Orange County Branch Newsletter

February 2013


2013 ASCE OC Annual Awards Dinner

By Ziad Mazboudi, PE

On February 21, 2013, during National Engineers Week, ASCE OC recognized some of Orange County's finest Civil Engineers and Projects at the Annual Award Dinner - this year held at The Center Club in Costa Mesa. We would like to thank our generous Award Dinner sponsors who helped to make this night of recognition special. At the bottom of this page below the sponsor logos are the summaries of each winner.  Click the project name or the person's name next to the summaries to see even more detail.

2012 ASCE OC Award Winners

Young Engineer of the Year: Andrew Pham, P.E., City of Irvine
Government Engineer of Merit: Matthew Cugini, P.E., Caltrans
Government Engineer of the Year: Dan Ferons, P.E., Santa Margarita Water District
Engineer of Merit: Mabel Garcia, P.E., Hunsaker & Associates
Land Development Engineer of the Year: Jim Yates, P.E., Rancho Mission Viejo
Engineer of the Year: Michael Rudinica, P.E., RBF Consulting, a Company of Michael Baker Corporation
Distinguished Engineering Educator: Farzin Zareian, Ph.D., UC Irvine
Lifetime Achievement in Civil Engineering: Dwight Schroeder, P. E.
President’s Award: Eric Bauman, P.E., City of San Juan Capistrano
Excellence in promotion of Infrastructure: Orange County Transportation Authority
Project of Merit - Transportation: Santiago Creek Bike Trail, City of Orange
Project of Merit - Water: Wells 21 and 22 Desalter, Irvine Ranch Water District
Project of Merit - Sewer: Ocean Outfall & Booster Pump rehabilitation, Orange County Sanitation District
Project of Merit - Sewer: Secondary Activated Sludge Facility2 at Plant1,Orange County Sanitation District
Sustainable Project of the Year: Newport Beach Center, Coast Community College District and LPA, Inc.
Land Development Project of the Year: Lambert Ranch, The New Home Company
Project of the Year: Alton Parkway Extension, County of Orange, City of Lake Forest, RBF Consulting, a Company of Michael Baker Corporation
Special Recognition: Ted & Ruth McConville

Please join ASCE OC in thanking our Annual Award Dinner Sponsors.

Platinum Sponsors

Golden Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Special Thank You

The Annual Award Dinner program is printed by:

Sustainable Project of the Year

Newport Beach Learning Center

The new interdisciplinary Newport Beach Center is located on Monrovia Avenue in the City of Newport Beach, California. It provides a total of approximately 66,800 gross -sq.-ft., as well as hardscape and landscape. The project includes construction of 260 spaces of on-site parking lot directly adjacent to the structure. 

The challenge for the Newport Beach Center was to figure out how to take the existing educational space previously spread over 10.5 acres and fit the program onto the new 3.9 acres site.  The solution was to go vertical.  The final design offsets the classroom blocks, creating a landscaped roof which functions as the campus quad.  The center supports a very diverse set of programs ranging from adult education to science labs and a community art gallery.  The naturally ventilated central atrium provides the main social space which compliments the more structured interior classroom spaces.  Built by the coast, the roof garden quad affords magnificent views while integrating the site and building together with the local climate.  The learning center maximizes natural daylight, solar energy and natural ventilation.  In fact, the building is unique in that the cooling and ventilation systems only use outdoor air for cooling, utilizing the conditions of the coastal climate. The center is on track to receive LEED Platinum Certification from USGBC.

Project of the Year

Alton Parkway Extension

The $28 million, 2.1 mile Alton Parkway project is an innovative roadway gap closure project, implemented with multiple partnerships, and constructed for the future.  The goal was to implement the last major link in the Foothill Circulation Phasing Plan and improve regional traffic circulation.  Alton Parkway is designated as a major six-lane arterial highway on the County’s Master Plan of Arterial Highways, and serves as one of the last major arterial connectors constructed between Central Orange County and the Eastern Foothill communities of Lake Forest.  The true benefit of completing Alton Parkway from Irvine Boulevard to Towne Centre Drive was connecting communities and people. Delivered on time, the project realized a cost savings of $15 million.

Furthermore, the project ambitions also included flood protection and environmental benefits.  The theme of connectivity extended to wildlife.  The project provided a critical link to the future wildlife movement corridor.  When completed by others, the corridor will stretch from Laguna Coast Wilderness Park to Limestone-Whiting Wilderness Park.

Key project features include 100-year regional flood control improvements; 12 acre wildlife corridor and mitigation site; a unique flow splitter structure for the mitigation site; wildlife under-crossing; off-site habitat mitigation; backbone utilities; and a comprehensive GIS database.

Difficult and challenging projects cannot succeed without partners—and Alton was no exception.  In an example of public-private partnership, the County of Orange partnered with Shea Baker Ranch Associates to jointly fund the EIR and regulatory permitting.  In addition, the County partnered with the Department of the Navy to construct the roadway through the former MCAS El Toro, and with IRWD to install backbone utilities.

Ultimately, the project represents the future - the future growth of the foothill communities, the future entrance to the Musick Correctional Facility, the future utility needs of the region, and the future wildlife movement corridor.

Project of Merit

Santiago Creek Bike Trail - Tustin Street to the Wanda Road & Collins Avenue Intersection

The Tustin Street to Wanda Road & Collins Avenue Intersection Bike Trail segment through the City of Orange completes the Santiago Creek Bike Trail that runs from the Cannon Street Staging Area to the Orange / Santa Ana city border.  The goals for completing this segment were to connect and protect.  This segment connects a new section of the Orange County Regional Bike Trail system to the existing Santiago Creek Bike Trail and it protects the natural environment and beauty of the Santiago Creek while allowing responsible recreational access. This segment completes an important segment of the bike route envisioned to ultimately connect the Santiago Oaks Regional Park to the Pacific Ocean.

This project is over 40 years in the making.  Planning documents and discussion about this project can be traced back to 1959.  Committees dating back to the 1970s kept this project alive.  The community and the City shared the vision of a day when residents could bike, walk, and jog along the Santiago Creek.  At the February 11, 2012, Dedication and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony their shared dream became a reality.

The ability to complete the segment now stems from a variety factors coming online.  These include securing funding sources, obtaining approvals from governing agencies, securing property acquisition and easements, and the completion of surrounding bike trail segments.

Project components specific to the Tustin Street to Wanda Road & Collins Avenue Intersection segment include: two pedestrian bridges, two staging areas with parking, two illuminated undercrossings, a paved 10-foot wide trail spanning approximately 10,250 linear feet, enhanced flood-way protection including a new storm drain outlet and reconstruction of an eroded channel, a Rails to Trails conversion, utility coordination and protection during grading for the Kinder Morgan fuel oil pipeline, extensive multiple agency coordination and numerous property acquisitions & easements, and construction permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Fish & Game, County of Orange Flood Control District, and Caltrans.

Project of Merit

Wells 21 and 22 Desalter Project

The 2012 ASCE Orange County Project of the Year is awarded to Irvine Ranch Water District for the successful completion of the Wells 21 and 22 Desalter Project. The complex project rehabilitates and equips two formally unusable wells and constructs a project to produce and deliver 6.3 million gallons per day of high quality drinking water. IRWD used available ARRA stimulus funds to not only provide needed construction jobs, but also to create a reliable, sustainable new water supply.

The project was constructed in an existing urban area in very close proximity to residential homes and businesses. Pipelines serving the projects were constructed in heavily traveled roadways with high traffic volumes. Numerous Federal, State, and local agencies were involved in reviews and approvals.

Two existing wells were carefully rehabilitated and equipped so that impacts to the adjacent neighbors would be minimized during construction and during the long-term operation of the wells.  A 6.3 million gallon per day water treatment plant was constructed on a site of an old abandoned warehouse, which was demolished during the early stage of the project.

The look and feel of this commercial area was carefully considered in the design and construction. Advanced Water Treatment using reverse osmosis was selected to remove salts, nitrate, and hardness from the water. The plant will operate at a very high recovery rate of 85% to minimize waste disposal.

The completed facilities are high quality, cost effective projects that blend in well with the existing urban setting. These facilities will provide a local sustainable water supply to IRWD and its customers for many years in the future.

Project of Merit

Ocean Outfall Land Section and Ocean Outfall Booster Pump Station (OOBS) Piping Rehabilitation Project

The Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) is rehabilitating the land section of its 120-inch diameter, 5-mile long, ocean outfall (Long Outfall) in order to maintain its long term performance and reliability. The work includes repairing corrosion-damaged concrete and steel pipe sections, installing a new ultrasonic flowmeter, and making other repairs. In order to implement the project, the Long Outfall will be taken out of service and the shorter (1-mile long) 120 inch/78-inch outfall (Short Outfall) will be operated.  The project requires construction in a public access area near a Least Tern preserve at Huntington State Beach and across the Santa River from the residents of Newport Beach.  OCSD prepared a full EIR, conducted a public hearing, consulted with numerous agencies, performed in plant disinfection studies, and conducted particle transport modeling. This project addressed regulatory and environmental challenges during project planning and execution.

Project of Merit

New Secondary Activated Sludge Facility 2 at Plant No. 1 (Project No. P1-102)

The Orange County Sanitation District’s (OCSD’s) $202M New Secondary Activated Sludge Facility 2 at Plant No. 1 (P1-102) is the cornerstone project of OCSD’s $2.2B Capital Improvements Program (CIP), one of the most comprehensive public works programs in the nation.  Black & Veatch is the lead consultant providing preliminary design, final design, and construction phase services.  The P1-102 project was initially developed to (1) meet Consent Decree requirements of full secondary treatment by December 31, 2012, (2) meet increasingly stringent OCSD NPDES objectives, and (3) meet OCSD’s commitment to provide high quality secondary effluent to the award-winning Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS), a joint effort of OCSD and Orange County Water District.  Preliminary design for P1-102 developed an 80 mgd activated sludge treatment train.  Reduced flow projections resulted in final design of a 60 mgd facility.  Variations on the original project planning that the consultant team has suggested include: (1) a hydraulic design that eliminated the need of a new primary effluent pump station; (2) a secondary treatment process for nitrogen removal which will reduce operation costs and improve treatment efficiency, and (3) changes in clarifier configuration that reduce life-cycle costs and increase ease of operation and maintenance.

Project challenges included:
• Developing the 2,000 page Preliminary Design Report within 8 months, including over 100 preliminary drawings.  A local Project Office was established to enhance communications and expedite the schedule.
• Producing more than 1,100 drawings within a time frame of 30 months.  A comprehensive resource loaded schedule was created to ensure adequate staffing throughout the design effort.
• Providing process enhancements to allow OCSD operations staff system flexibility to address changes in flow and quality conditions.  This was essential to meeting GWRS start-up goals.
• Developing construction packaging and sequencing to maintain other CIP projects and minimize system disruption and construction cost and impacts.  This includes addressing a myriad of underground piping and utility tunnels on and adjacent to the project site.

Young Engineer of the Year

Andrew Pham, PE, City of Irvine

Andrew Pham, PE, LEED AP, M.ASCE

Andrew Pham is currently a Civil Engineer for the City of Irvine in the Development Engineering Division, where he has worked on several city planning area projects, as well as the Great Park.  Prior to joining the City of Irvine in 2008, he worked as a Staff Engineer at Hall and Foreman for 3 years.  Andrew has been actively involved with ASCE OC YMF since 2007, and has served as social chair, as well as on the executive board.  During the past 5 years, as social chair, he as organized and hosted many events including Mammoth trips, Winetasting trips, Happy Hour Events, Beach Events, and Go-Kart Racing Events. In 2010, Andrew was elected as President for the Orange County Younger Member Forum.  Andrew received the YMF’s Vice President’s Award in 2008 for his outstanding contributions to Orange County Younger Member Forum. During Andrew’s presidency he supported his board to host 2011 Western Regional Younger Council and the 2012 Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition. Andrew supported the group as both a trusted team member and advisor. Several of Andrew’s direct contributions were instrumental in the success of these and numerous other events. During PSBC Andrew’s direct involvement in securing and coordinating with the venue was vital. Andrew was also the PSBC volunteer coordinator and oversaw all the volunteer work for the event which sought to inspire hundreds of high school students to seek a career in engineering.

Government Engineer of Merit

Matthew Cugini, PE, Caltrans

In his twenty three years of state service at Caltrans, Mr. Cugini has provided valuable service to the engineering profession, the state and its citizens.  He has ensured the timely delivery of many quality transportation projects including current work on the $1.7 billion project to widen fourteen miles of interstate freeway, which currently is in public review.  He provides leadership and mentoring to not only his own staff, but also to local agency staff as well as private engineering staff for projects on the State Highway System.  Mr. Cugini is always willing to step up and take on additional responsibilities as the need arises.  In addition to his other duties, Mr. Cugini has been the District’s CADD Coordinator for the past six years.  Matthew Cugini has earned the confidence of the District 12 Executive Staff and is regularly requested to assist with various tasks requiring both discretion and specialized knowledge.  He is a strong advocate of the Highway Design Standards and ensures that all involved in the project development process not only understand the need for the standards, but also how to integrate the standards effectively into projects for the benefit of all the users of the State Highway System.  Matthew Cugini has the respect and appreciation of his peers and District 12 leadership for his abilities and his dedication to his work.

Distinguished Engineering Educator

Farzian Zareian, Ph.D.

Simply stated, Professor Zareian has proven himself as an effective educator (judged based on all the teaching awards he has received and the feedback from his many students).  His contributions to research related to Earthquake and Structural integrity has received an extremely positive response from funding agencies who have supported his ideas as well as scientific peers who have evaluated his many peer-reviewed papers. Dr. Zareian’s civic contributions have been in dissemination of knowledge and information to the public and schools about Earthquakes and their potential adverse impact on society. Dr. Zareian has also been asked to serve as member of Post-earthquake assessment teams to Chile, Japan and Iran.