Ayres celebrates role in Project of Year

Freeman Staff

March 28, 2019

CITY OF PEWAUKEE — Ayres Associates is proud of the role it played in the repairs of U.S. 34 corridor in Colorado, which was recognized recently by Engineering News-Record magazine as Project of the Year.

The repairs were needed along the corridor, which is next to the Big Thompson River near Loveland, Colorado, after damage was caused during September 2013.

The periodical of engineering and construction news, ENR announces regional award winners each year in 20 categories and then chooses Best of the Best national award winners among those regional winners. Finally, from those 20 national winners, it picks a single Project of the Year.

According to the announcement, the U.S. 34 project was named Project of the Year, “in part because the project finished two years ahead of schedule while maintaining a safe construction record despite hazardous site conditions.”

The Colorado Department of Transportation project was designed by lead firm Jacobs Engineering and subconsultants Ayres Associates, Muller Engineering, Rock-Sol Consulting Group, WSP, and Yeh and Associates. Kiewit Infrastructure Co. was the general contractor.

Ayres provided the hydraulic analysis and engineering that guided the early design steps in a project that had to handle the destructive forces of the Big Thompson River. In 2013, eight people were killed in northern Colorado after a 21-inch rain event over a few days that also did $2.9 billion in damage, including 23 miles of destruction along U.S. 34, 12 miles of which was virtually erased from the landscape, according to ENR.

Innovations noted by ENR included installing partially grouted riprap beneath the surface along a two-mile stretch of U.S. 34 to create a more solid foundation, protecting bridge approaches with rocks, moving the road away from the river where possible, and in some cases rerouting the river to make the roadway more resilient in future floods along this busy tourist route.

ENR presented its 2018 awards during its Award of Excellence celebration in New York.

Ayres Associates is a multidiscipline consulting firm of 310 professionals in several states, including with several locations in Wisconsin and one in the City of Pewaukee.