Orange County Branch Newsletter

April 2016

Branch News

2016 Annual Awards Dinner

The ASCE OC 2016 Awards Dinner was creatively re-designed and adjusted by the new Social Committee. This year’s event was hosted at a new venue, Seven Degrees in Laguna Beach. While we could describe the elegance and beauty of the venue, the old saying rings true, a picture is worth a thousand words.

2016 Annual Awards Dinner - Seven Degrees in Laguna Beach

Every year ASCE OC hosts an Annual Awards Dinner to celebrate Orange County's best civil engineering projects and individuals. On Thursday, February 18, 2016, the festivities were held at Seven Degrees in Laguna Beach. Over 200 members and guests were in attendance as we honored exceptional individuals and outstanding projects for 2015.

The evening began at 5:30 PM with a social hour, durinch which attendees had the opportunity to network and take photos in front of a green screen.


2016 Annual Awards Dinner - Social Hour

After the social reception from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, Steven King, PE, current ASCE OC Branch President, kicked off the proceedings with a welcome address and appreciation to all of our sponsors.  We had very generous support from our Annual Corporate Sponsors as well as our Event Sponsors, whose contributions and participation greatly enhanced the event. Thank you to the 2016 Event Sponsors!

2016 Annual Awards Dinner - Steven King, PE
2016 Annual Awards Dinner - Event Sponsors

The awards were presented by Penny Lew, Awards & Scholarship Chair and Past President of the Branch.  She was assisted by Steven King, Josue Vaglienty (Vice President), and Ziad Mazboudi (Past President). Our professional photographer was at hand to capture each presentation.  A selection of his photographs accompanies this article.

2016 Annual Awards Dinner - Presenting Awards

The Branch had asked two key individual awardees to make short presentations.  Tom Bogard, P.E., this year’s winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award, spoke about his life and career as a civil engineer. Supervisor Todd Spitzer provided a special presentation to Kevin Onuma, P.E., winner of the outstanding Civil Engineer in the Public Sector award.

2016 Annual Awards Dinner - Tom Bogard, P.E., Lifetime Achievement Award
2016 Annual Awards Dinner - Supervisor Todd Spitzer

The Project of the Year Award went to West County Connectors.

2016 Annual Awards Dinner - Project of the Year Award Presentation

The ASCE OC Branch congratulates all the winners and looks forward to equally outstanding nominations for 2016. Please CLICK HERE for more photos.

Project of the Year

West County Connectors Project

The West County Connectors project was a joint partnership between OCTA and Caltrans linking high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes/carpool lanes on the San Diego Freeway (I-405) with those on the Garden Grove Freeway (SR-22) and San Gabriel River Freeway (I-605) to create a seamless carpool connection amongst the three freeways. The 6-mile project traversed the cities of Garden Grove, Westminster, and Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, Long Beach and the community of Rossmoor.

Project improvements include:
• Constructing two direct carpool connectors (detailed below)
• Adding a second carpool lane in each direction on the I-405 between the SR-22 and the I-605
• Reconstructing on- and off-ramps
• Constructing sound walls and retaining walls
• Adding landscaping and enhancing aesthetic elements
EAST SEGMENT: SR-22/I-405 Carpool Connector
• Directly connect the westbound SR-22 carpool lane at Valley View Street to the carpool lane on the northbound I-405 and the reverse movement
• Reconstruct southbound I-405 to eastbound SR-22 connector
• Reconstruct the Valley View Street Bridge over the SR-22
WEST SEGMENT: I-405/I-605 Carpool Connector
• Directly connect the northbound I-405 carpool lane to the carpool lane on the northbound I-605 and the reverse movement.
• Reconstruct the Seal Beach Boulevard bridge over I-405. Click for more information.
• Reconstruct the eastbound SR-22 to the northbound I-405 connector.
• Reconstruct the eastbound SR-22 to the northbound I-605 connector.
• Reconstruct the northbound I-405 to the westbound SR-22 connector /7th St.

Considering the project’s size, complexity, and numerous dedicated individuals coming together as the Project Team, the SR-22/I-405/I-605 West County Connectors project is a stand-out, unique example of effective partnering and execution in delivering a successful transportation project.

Airports & Ports Project of the Year, Architectural Engineering Project of the Year

Marina Park

Marina Park encompasses a 10.5-acre site and includes a new public park; a 24,000-square-foot Community and Sailing Center building; a 23-slip visitor serving marina; a reconstructed public restroom; a freestanding lighthouse playground feature and restroom; a nautical-themed children’s playground; an outdoor fitness circuit; an on-site restaurant; 177-space parking spaces; and the future home of the Girl Scout Leadership Center. 

The park site is located off W. Balboa Boulevard, between 15th and 18th Streets on the Balboa Peninsula.  The City of Newport Beach has owned the property for decades and a mobile home park formerly occupied a large portion of the site.  The park’s development, including planning, permitting and construction, occurred over the past 33 years.

Construction began in December 2013 with an estimated completion in spring 2016 and an “all-in” project cost of $39.5 million.  However, the project was completed ahead of schedule, in December 2015, and under budget with final project costs estimated at $36 million. 

Bikeways & Trails Project of the Year

Oso Creek Multi-Use Trail

The project was a linchpin in the plan to redevelop the City of Laguna Niguel’s Gateway District from an aging, low-rise commercial area into a vibrant, sustainable community.  The new trails alongside Oso Creek offered local pedestrian and bikeway access from new high-density residential complexes to the Metrolink Rail Station.  Space for the trails was carved out by narrowing the existing overly-wide Forbes Road cross-section to bring it down to a more pedestrian-friendly scale, and utilizing Orange County Flood Control District maintenance accessway. Impervious roadway pavement was replaced with permeable asphalt, decomposed granite, and landscaped bioretention areas to help reverse the hydrologic and water-polluting impacts on the creek.  The trail created new community green and recreational space alongside a once-bleak trapezoidal creek channel, and reduced the area’s carbon footprint by encouraging walking, biking and mass transit ridership by residents in the 3,000 new dwelling units planned for the neighborhood.

Bridge Project of the Year

Lincoln Avenue Widening over the Santa Ana River

As an Orange County gateway linking the City of Anaheim to the City of Orange is the Lincoln Avenue Bridge over the Santa Ana River.  The $8 Million Lincoln Avenue Bridge widening project successfully provides a safe, multi-use accessible six (6) lane corridor with bike lanes and raised sidewalk on each side from Batavia to the 57 Freeway. This project not only improves traffic to a Level of Service (LOS) A, but acts as the main Anaheim Cove entry to the Santa Ana River Pedestrian and Bike Trail through cooperative efforts by the County, Cities, and Water District. Other major improvements include installation of pedestrian railing, construction of retaining walls on both sides of roadway embankment through Orange County Water District (OCWD) detention basins, relocation of utilities, and
replacement of trapezoidal concrete channel with underground storm drain. The Lincoln Avenue Bridge Widening is a significant achievement for all stakeholders involved.

Community Improvement Project of the Year

PCH/Del Prado Street Improvements

This project was honored for exceptional design and construction management of a $20M complex and comprehensive urban downtown revitalization street and right-of-way and transportation circulation project. The complexity of the civil right-of-way design was significant with the 144 existing properties located along the eight blocks of this two avenue couplet.  Project design required individual evaluation of each entry doorway and integration of curb drainage, sidewalk drainage and ADA accessibility. Temporary or permanent right-of-way acquisitions were required at 19 locations where detailed interface grade and access work was necessary on private as well as public property.  The unique acute angle intersections at both ends of the couplet were quite challenging and integration of traffic calming chicanes, transit cutouts, pedestrian crossings, bike lanes, and traffic circulation changes made this quite a unique project. Two unique structural elements, the outsized banner poles and suspension cables and the historic archway both presented architectural and structural engineering integration as well as installation challenges.

Construction Project of the Year

Brookhurst Street Widening Project

This Brookhurst Street Widening Project was selected for improvement under the Arterial Capacity Enhancement (ACE) program because it was the last bottleneck segment of the 14.7-mile Brookhurst Street corridor between Interstate 5 and Pacific Coast Highway that had not been improved to six lanes.  Traffic congestion between Katella Avenue and Ball Road in the City of Anaheim caused the street to operate at a Level of Service (LOS) F (1.22).  This project improved the capacity to a LOS A (0.54).  Prior to construction, the City acquired 21 homes along the east side of Brookhurst.  The one-mile long project widened the east side of Brookhurst Street from Ball Road to Katella Avenue to expand the existing four lane facility into a six lane roadway with median islands and parkways, including three northbound through lanes and two southbound through lanes transitioning to three southbound through lanes midway between Chanticleer Road and Cerritos Avenue.  New street enhancements included the installation of curb and gutter, catch basins, sidewalk, bikeway, driveway approaches, rubberized asphalt overlay pavement, streetlights, traffic signal improvements, raised landscaped median islands and parkways, bioswales, drainage system improvements, and a wide greenbelt with meandering sidewalk on the east side of Brookhurst Street between Forest Lane and Harriet Lane. 

Traffic safety was enhanced by channelizing left turn lanes, adding Class II bike lanes and parkway/sidewalks.  Landscaped median islands and parkways improve storm-water quality.  The project reduces travel time, greenhouse gas emissions, and improves the Level of Service from an F to A.  The $21,722,067 project was funded through multiple agencies and completed June 2015.

Energy Project of the Year

Waste to Energy - Bowerman Power Project

Located at the Frank R. Bowerman Landfill in the foothills northeast of Irvine, the Bowerman Power Project is a state-of-the-art landfill gas-to-energy facility ranked among the top ten landfill gas-to-energy projects in the U.S.  The plant delivers 20 megawatts of renewable electricity to the City of Anaheim under a 20 year power purchase agreement, generating 160,000 megawatt-hours annually or the equivalent of serving 23,000 average southern California homes while offsetting 86,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

Environmental Engineering Project of the Year

Newport Beach's Harbor Litter Removal Project

The City of Newport Beach was recognized for their aggressive trash and debris mitigation program. The City has implemented an aggressive program to prevent tons of trash and debris from entering Newport Bay through the its storm drain system.  Public Works installed two hydrodynamic separation units (a Contech Continuous Deflective Separation (CDS) unit and a Bio Clean Nutrient Separating Baffle Box (NSBB) unit). These units will remove tons of trash and debris from Newport Bay each year.  Trash in Newport Bay causes significant water quality problems. Small and large floatables can inhibit the growth of aquatic vegetation, decreasing spawning areas and habitats for fish and other living organisms. Wildlife can be harmed by ingesting or becoming entangled in floating trash. Floating debris that is not trapped and removed will eventually end up on the beach or in the open ocean, repelling visitors away from our beaches and degrading coastal waters. Settleables include glass, cigarette butts, rubber, construction debris and more. Settleables can be a problem for bottom feeders and can contribute to sediment contamination. Some debris (e.g. diapers, medical and household waste, and chemicals) is a source of bacteria and toxic substances. Trash continues to impact beneficial uses.

Flood Management Project of the Year

Newland, Edinger, and East Garden Grove Wintersburg Storm Channel Confluence System

The East Garden Grove-Wintersburg Channel, Edinger Channel, and Newland Channel all converge at the I-405 Freeway where the cities of Huntington Beach and Westminster share an intersection.  The project consisted of three phases: a physical hydraulic model of the freeway-channels confluence, the Edinger Channel project (which included a tunneling project under the I-405 Freeway), and the Newland Channel project which included over a mile of drainage improvements down the center of Newland Street.

This project was unique due to its complexity.  The channel/drainage hydraulics were so complex that a $600,000 physical hydraulic model of the channel system at the I-405 Freeway was constructed to determine the hydraulic constraints for upstream improvements.  Once the channel hydraulics through the freeway were determined improvements to Edinger Channel and Newland Channel could be designed with confidence.  The Edinger Channel project required the addition of a 72"x113” elliptical RCP under the I-405 Freeway which required an extensive low height fill tunneling operation under the I-405 Freeway in addition to major drainage improvements upstream.  The third phase of the project included the construction of a facility that bifurcates its flow at the freeway, sending half of its flow to the East Garden-Grove-Wintersburg Channel (C05) upstream and the other half through a tunnel under the I-405 Freeway to confluence downstream.  The Newland Channel extends approximately 6,200 feet upstream in the middle of Newland Street, a very busy arterial highway in the cities of Huntington Beach and Westminster.  The drainage improvements included expanding the existing concrete trapezoidal channel to a larger rectangular channel and reconstructing drainage improvements under five street intersections requiring the redesign of each intersection.

The East Garden Grove-Wintersburg Channel is the largest flood threat in Orange County and the subject area had suffered chronic flooding over the years ever since the I-405 Freeway had been constructed including widespread flooding in 1995 and again in 1997.  The improvements described above will assist in alleviating the overall drainage issues in the area upstream of the I-405 Freeway.  In addition, the Newland Channel project incorporated low impact development water quality features such as artificial turf and a debris capture system in the channel.

Geotechnical Project of the Year, Structural Engineering Project of the Year

Cow Camp Road Design – Phases 1A & 1B

Cow Camp Road is a vital east-west arterial critical to the development of Rancho Mission Viejo’s overall Ranch Plan located in South Orange County. It is a major infrastructure link for both regional traffic movements as well as locally into the current and future Planning Areas within the Ranch.  Phases 1A and 1B are the first of Cow Camp Road, and included a new 7,000 ft. long roadway with four controlled intersections. The project also incorporated a major twin-bridge structure over Chiquita Canyon with significant geotechnical features, utility and access road envelopes, and seismic considerations. The bridge is a 1,400 ft. long, 8-span structure that faced numerous design challenges and site constraints.  Columns ranged in clear height from 40 ft. to 70 ft. with 10 ft. diameter drilled shaft foundations ranging in depth from 40 ft. to 90 ft. Michael Baker International coordinated with TCA, County of Orange, and Rancho Mission Viejo for all approvals and permits. Phases 1A and 1B were successfully completed in 2015.

Historical Renovation Project of the Year


Thousands visit the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts to enjoy its Pageant of the Masters as well as meander through the array of art exhibits and crafts offered by talented local artisans. Long overdue for a facelift, the Festival of Arts Board of Directors commissioned Bauer Architects, with Fuscoe Engineering as the civil engineer of record and Spurlock Poirier as landscape architect, to revamp the Festival grounds’ aging entry, gateways and frontage area, covering approximately one acre and approximately 500 LF along Laguna Canyon Road. The public now can enjoy an easily accessible, inviting and artistic entrance with sustainable features and bold, dynamic graphics.

This project posed a number of unique challenges. Approximately one-third of the frontage area adjacent to Laguna Canyon Road (SR133) is within the State of California right-of-way, resulting in multiple agencies having jurisdiction on various portions of the project. The primary drainage facility for the canyon behind the Festival of Arts is aligned directly under and through the Festival. Coordination and design of ADA accessibility, legacy tree protection, pavements, hardscapes, water quality features, structural footings and drainage involved the entire design team of civil, structural, architectural and landscape consultants. Fuscoe designed integrated, cost-effective solutions for both hardscape, accessibility and water quality issues. The team utilized a combination of tightly specified, porous concrete sidewalks within the State right-of-way, and outside the State right-of-way, infiltration chambers and biofiltration planters were used in the parking lot/plaza planting areas. Fuscoe filed a design exemption request through Caltrans for special consideration of Caltrans handicap standards within the right-of-way and also coordinated the maintenance agreements between Caltrans and the City of Laguna Beach. Of special note is the façade screen wall, which was built from “rammed earth” and layered to reflect local geologic strata.

Parks & Recreation Project of the Year

New Ocelot Exhibit at the Santa Ana Zoo

The regional focus of the Santa Ana Zoo’s Master Development plan is Central and South America. Ocelots, a small, wild spotted cat found predominantly in this area, are showcased in the new Ocelot Exhibit. The project involved development of approximately a 6,000 square foot area, which included construction of a 280 square foot holding facility, two-500 square foot outdoor habitat areas, walkways, seating, interpretive signage, areas for docent talks, and a small picnic/reception area.

Habitat spaces were kept shallow, but long, which decreased the visual distance between the animal and visitor and increased the odds of viewing. The habitat is lush with vegetation, allowing the animals areas for recluse, while offering the visitor an interactive game of “hide-and-seek”. Climbing and perching opportunities for the cats were provided with salvaged trees that had to be removed to make way for the exhibit.

One key feature of the design was to come up with a configuration that could accommodate a breeding pair of ocelots, which requires a layout that would allow the adult animals and offspring to be grouped in various combinations. To accomplish this, a shift door system was incorporated between the individual units in the holding facility, with and between the outdoor exhibit areas, allowing for ultimate flexibility.

The exhibit is designed to present the ocelot in the context of its natural habitat but at the same time, allow for a connection to be made between this beautiful animal and the zoo visitor. Exhibit features allow visitors of all ages to appreciate the amazing attributes of ocelots in a fun and interactive way. Graphics and an education station help visitor’s further understand how the ocelot makes its living.

Roadway & Highway Project of the Year

Bristol Street Improvements Phase II

The Bristol Street Improvements project was planned and designed to incorporate complete street concepts with storm drain quality features and implementation of Green Street technologies.  The City was awarded with a Bronze Certification from GreenRoads, which is a third party rating system that rewards roadway projects that exceed public expectations for environmental, economic, and social performance.  The improvements included widening of the street from 4 lanes to six lanes, with bus turnouts, raised median, bike lanes, and sound walls.  The project also brings native and organic landscaping that beautifies a fully developed urban area.

The project team selected a biofiltiration BMP for Bristol Street Improvements. A series of drought tolerant vegetated bio-swales were designed to capture and filter a 2 year storm. The swales did not only include run-off from the project foot print but also run-off from the whole drainage area boundary.  Storm drain run-off flows from adjoining neighborhood streets to the main arterial where a storm drain facility exists. The 2-year storm run-off of the drainage area boundary is 6.92cfs and the swales capacity collectively is 8.93cfs.  The project includes a creative low impact development solution by incorporating a vegetated bio-swale in proposed parkways. The bio-swale will disconnect impervious areas, filter storm drain run-off, and contain flows from moderate rain storms. Additionally, the bio-swale will bring a native and organic pre-development landscape theme to a fully built-out transportation corridor. 

Small Project of the Year

Gilbert Street Improvements

As the County of Orange’s first “complete” streets project of its kind, Gilbert Street Improvements utilize a roadway diet to enhance safety and provide traffic calming element in a highly congested residential and commercial corridor.  The project featured roadway improvements, ADA accessibility throughout the project limits, railroad crossing upgrades, storm drain upgrades, traffic signal modifications at Cerritos Avenue and Chanticleer Road, and new pedestrian flashing crosswalks at Banta Avenue and Guinida Lane.  With the collaborative efforts among the County and Cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Stanton, and UPRR, the project will exemplify our teamwork to enhance safety for this neighborhood.

Sustainable Engineering Project of the Year

City of San Clemente Recycled Water Expansion Project

The City of San Clemente’s $25.1 million Recycled Water Expansion project more than doubled the amount of tertiary treated recycled water produced at the City’s wastewater treatment plant from 2.2 to 5 million gallons per day and included construction of 9 miles of pipelines, a 2 million gallon reservoir conversion to recycled water, a new 200,000 gallon potable water reservoir, and a pressure reducing station. The 2½ year long project, which was completed in October 2014, represents the third largest project in the City’s history and single civil engineering endeavor completed by the City. The project will extend access to recycled water to over 150 new recycled water services throughout San Clemente. Over the past two years, the City has been expanding its customer base by maximizing Metropolitan Water District’s On-Site Retrofit Program Incentives for Recycled Water Use and obtaining almost $1 million in grant funding to assist with the on-site conversions to recycled water.

Transportation Project of the Year

I-5/SR-74 Interchange Improvement Project

Caltrans District 12, Orange County Transportation Authority, Flatiron Construction and the City of San Juan Capistrano worked as partners with community stakeholders to provide much-needed improvements to outdated infrastructure at the I-5 /SR-72 Interchange. The completed project helps relieve congestion in the area and enhances the economy and livability of the State of California, Orange County and the City of San Juan Capistrano.

This $77.2 million major freeway improvement project was initiated by the California Department of Transportation and Orange County Transportation Authority to improve traffic congestion as well as improve traffic safety and operations by reconstructing the I-5/SR-74 Interchange.  The City of San Juan Capistrano also played a key role in the project’s initiation by preparing the project’s environmental document.  The project effectively doubled the capacity of the Ortega Highway Bridge over I-5, assisting commuters who travel to and from the Inland Empire daily on State Route 74 as well as local drivers from Orange County.  Construction was accomplished with minimal interruption to Interstate 5, California’s preeminent north/south artery, and the SR-74 bridge remained open to the travelling public as well as pedestrians except for intermittent nighttime activities including demolition and falsework installation. 

By working collaboratively the project team was able to accommodate local civic leaders during annual city celebrations and accommodate local businesses during the economically important holiday shopping season.  All of this was accomplished on time and within budget bringing the project to a successful completion.

Urban or Land Development Project of the Year


Alegre is an award-winning affordable LEED Gold-certified apartment complex on 3.5 acres in Irvine. This exceptional project features 104 one- to four-bedroom units and was formed through an unprecedented partnership between AMCAL, Irvine Community Land Trust/City of Irvine and the Las Palmas Foundation (non-profit). Funding for this project was provided by Bank of America, Irvine Community Land Trust, California Community Re-investment Corporation and Cal HFA. Alegre is Irvine’s first permanent affordable housing complex.

Each of the buildings is three stories high and designed by MVE & Partners in an efficient tuck-under floor plan, in the established Cypress Village architectural style. Cypress Village is a master plan community with a mix of residential offerings. The apartment common areas include a lap pool, splash pad, barbeques, playground and a large two-story community recreation center with offices, computer lab, kitchen, media room, game room and fitness center. Additionally, Alegre design integrates direct pedestrian access to an adjacent community park and the Jeffrey Open Space Trail. AMCAL partnered with LifeSTEPS, Families Forward, Orange County Health Care Agency and United Cerebral Palsy to provide complimentary social services for residents.

Fuscoe Engineering provided comprehensive services for this outstanding development, including engineering, survey and mapping, construction staking and stormwater management. The project required an OCFA Alternate Means & Methods Request to accommodate deficiencies in fire access presented by the site plan.

Water Project of the Year

Gobernadora Multipurpose Basin

Orange County is highly dependent on imported water resources, and Rancho Mission Viejo (RMV), in partnership with Santa Margarita Water District (SMWD) and Orange County Public Works (OCPW) have taken an innovative approach to securing local water by recycling a wasted water source – urban nuisance runoff. Through the construction of a truly unique multi-functioning 26-acre basin system, urban runoff is captured while providing additional key benefits including regional flood protection and improvement of water quality.

The benefits produced by the basin are made possible due to advanced engineering design including dynamic controls that adjust operation according to flow conditions, inflatable rubber diversion dams, wetland water quality treatment, extensive flood detention, groundwater pumping wells, and a complex pumping facility to transfer treated flows to a non-potable water system and an important regional ecological area for habitat and environmental preservation. As an uncommon joint partnership project between public sector agencies and a private land developer, there are many beneficiaries from this project including over 155,000 residents.

The 26-acre Gobernadora Multipurpose basin provides several beneficial functions including:

• Water Recycling
• Groundwater Recharge
• Groundwater Recovery
• Flood Mitigation
• Urban Stormwater Treatment
• Stream Stabilization and Habitat Restoration
• Wetlands and Open Water Habitat
• Regional Trail Connection

The multipurpose Gobernadora Basin facility is divided into two basins: a 10.9-acre Upper Basin and a 15.3-acre Lower Basin. The combined maximum flood control storage is approximately 120 acre-feet. The lower basin is further divided into two independent sub-basins connected to the upper basin via two 95-foot-long spillways. The upper basin is subdivided further into four interconnected water quality cells that include: 1) a side weir alongside its east embankment for peak flow diversion and bypass of sediment to the natural alluvial channel, and 2) a low-water diversion structure for the collection of nuisance flows generated from the upper watershed during dry weather conditions.

Water/Wastewater Treatment Project of the Year

Groundwater Replenishment System Initial Expansion

The Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS) is the world’s largest water purification system for indirect potable reuse and helps increase Orange County, California’s water independence by providing a locally controlled, drought-proof supply of high-quality water. The GWRS came online in 2008 and produced a record-breaking 70 million gallons of potable water per day. In 2015, the GWRS Initial Expansion increased the capacity of the GWRS by 30 million gallons per day (MGD), bringing its total capacity to 100 MGD, and generating enough near-distilled quality water to meet the needs of 850,000 people.

In 2008, the Orange County Water District (OCWD) and the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) made history with the opening of the GWRS. The GWRS produces high-quality water using a three-step process consisting of microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide. The purified water helps to protect Orange County’s groundwater basin from the threat of seawater intrusion and increases local drinking water supplies. The GWRS Initial Expansion not only increases output to 100 million gallons per day at a typical average cost of $525 and acre-foot, it decreases dependence on costly imported water from Northern California and the Colorado River, uses half the energy required to deliver imported water to the region, provides reliability in an area plagued by cyclical droughts, and protects the environment by decreasing the amount of treated wastewater in our ocean and reusing a precious resource.

The expansion included the addition of two 7.5 million gallon flow equalization tanks, 6,840 microfiltration membranes, 6,300 reverse osmosis membranes, and 1,728 ultraviolet light lamps. In addition, the expansion included the installation of energy recovery devices (ERDs) within the RO system. Each ERD was integrated with a booster pump to boost feed pressures to later stage membranes, leading to prolonged membrane life. Estimates indicate the ERDs will result in saving 29 kilowatts of energy and $23,000 per year per RO skid. New post treatment stabilization was also implemented and included lowering the pH and increasing the alkalinity to increase buffering capacity and decrease variability. As part of this enhancement, the previous lime feed system was replaced with a Tekkem system.

The GWRS is Orange County’s shining example of forward thinking and environmental stewardship that will help Orange County prepare for those not-so-rainy days. To date, it has produces more than 172.5 billion gallons of fresh, clean water.


Cerritos Avenue Reconstruction and Sanitary Sewer Improvement Project

The County of Orange/OC Public Works, City of Anaheim, and Garden Grove Sanitary District joined forces to minimize public inconvenience and save tax payer dollars while making needed sanitary sewer and road improvements.  The Cerritos Avenue Reconstruction and Sanitary Sewer Improvements Project took place on Cerritos Avenue between South Brookhurst Street and Gilbert Street in the unincorporated County area of Southwest Anaheim.  The County, as Lead Agency for construction, combined their street improvement with GGSD and Anaheim’s sanitary sewer improvements to create one project. 

The sanitary sewer improvement project addressed the sewer deficiency in capacity and mitigated the risk of sanitary sewer overflows by replacing 2,472 feet of 8-inch vitrified clay pipe (VCP) with 15-inch VCP.  This new system provides adequate peak flow capacity and better service for approximately 40 house connections.

The project also reconstructed the existing pavement, sidewalk, curb and gutters, and driveway approaches to improve access and to meet current Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

Through close coordination and innovative design/planning, the City of Anaheim estimates combining projects saved Anaheim and GGSD approximately $148,000 through elimination of usual duplicative pavement, traffic loop replacement, and similar costs.  This minimized inconvenience to the public, maximized efficiency, and protected the integrity of the pavement to be reconstructed. 

By coordinating these projects, the community was less inconvenienced and tax payer dollars were saved for the community’s benefit. 

Outstanding Civil Engineer in the Public Sector

Kevin Onuma, P.E.

Kevin is a licensed Civil Engineer and currently the Deputy Director of the Operations & Maintenance Service Area for the Orange County Public Works Department.  He has over 26-years of engineering experience with the County of Orange which includes stints as the Deputy Director of Infrastructure Programs, interim Chief Engineer, interim Assistant Director of OC Engineering, Flood Control Division Manager, as well in time in the County’s Flood and Road Program and Flood Control Design groups.

Outstanding Civil Engineer in the Private Sector

Fred Minagar

City of Laguna Niguel Council Member Fred Minagar, MS, PE, RCE, FITE has over 31 years of real world practice and teaching experience in the field of transportation. He has planned, engineered, managed and administered over 550 traffic/civil/electrical engineering, transportation planning and intelligent transportation systems projects in 16 states across the United States, South Korea, and The Peoples Republic of China. With over 20 years of continuous civic service in the City of Laguna Niguel, he is currently the longest serving City Council Member/Commissioner in the City. He has served for 8 years in the Planning Commission as well as 10 years in the Traffic & Transportation Commission while serving as chairman over half a dozen times. Fred is the president & CEO of Minagar & Associates, Inc., a consulting ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems), traffic/civil/electrical engineering, transportation planning homeland security & CEM firm headquartered in Irvine, for over 22 years. He is a recognized national authority in the areas of ITS, traffic engineering & transportation planning and toll finance. He is the recipient of over a dozen local, regional, state and national awards in the area of transportation.

Outstanding Civil Engineer in Community Service

Amy Choi, EIT

Amy is a Project Engineer with RailPros, and specializes in rail alignment design as well as the train control system. Amy has expanded YMF’s K-12 Outreach Program to be more than an engineering presentation. She has planned interactive day events and classroom visitations, which incorporate fun engineering activities. where the students can correlate subjects they are learning to their surroundings. 

Amy has been personally involved in the initial meet-and-greet of each individual teacher she has worked with. She held all essential meetings in person and has aligned engineering activities with the science standards being taught concurrently. She focused her event planning on what the students can personally gain from the event, whether it may be to understand the relationship between school and the real world or to inspire students to consider the field of engineering.
Amy also partnered with non-profit organizations bring a world of engineering opportunities to students who come from households that were not able to continue education beyond high school. With the ultimate goal of motivating these students to pursue higher education in the STEM field, Amy provided tips and insight into what life is like as an engineering college student. She recounted her college experience participating in the fabrication of steel bridges and concrete canoes and competing against other universities in the annual Pacific Southwest Conference.

Amy is truly passionate about bringing the world of engineering to students of all ages. Her personal goal is to inspire bright young minds to pursue an exciting and rewarding career in the field of civil engineering. She aims to encourage those who may love science and/or math, but does not believe they are qualified to do engineering. Amy has built a strong ASCE presence in the Orange County region to help build up future engineers and strives to continue inspiring eager students with innovative ways to present civil engineering.

Outstanding Civil Engineer in Legislative Activities

Ravi Shah, PE, QSP/QSD

Ravi is a Project Engineer with Mark Thomas and Company and specializes in Highway and Local Roadway Improvement projects throughout California. Ravi’s dedication to the industry is exceptional for any engineer to have accomplished. In his current roles he continues to be heavily involved with ASCE reinvigorating the Government Relations committee and starting the first successful Mentorship Program in Orange County while managing his work assignments. Ravi currently serves as an ASCE State Advocate and has participated in several State and Federal legislative days including 2 State Fly-Ins and 2 DC Fly-Ins where amongst his colleagues they have met with their representatives to advocate for infrastructure and serve as technical resources.

In 2014, Ravi was recognized as a 2014 New Faces of Civil Engineering for his work accomplishments and his involvement with ASCE. This included his term as the President of OC YMF in 2012-2013, where he led an amazing growth for the LA Centennial and OC 60th Anniversary. Ravi was able to lead a fresh group of 22 young engineers to nearly triple the number of events reaching 95 events for the year. Through his leadership, the group was able to increase the diversity of events, bring the university students and professionals closer together and increase the active membership of younger members in OC.

Outstanding YMF Officer

Roxanne Follis

Roxanne’s passion for the industry is apparent in her dedication to her work at HDR and YMF. She began her involvement in OC YMF while in college and became the current President within only three years. As OC YMF’s first UCI Liaison, she is an example that YMF truly does help individuals transition from student to professional. Through her involvement in YMF, Roxanne has assisted with the coordination of numerous events, notably the Women in Engineering Panel and Corazon Home Builds.

In YMF, Roxanne shares innovative ideas, supports and encourages the voices of others, and sets an example for excellence in her duties. In only 3 years with YMF she has been involved in over 250 events, 2 regional conferences, and every committee. Her passion is clearly Outreach; to the community, K-12 students, University students, and the industry as a whole.

During her involvement in YMF, Roxanne has been mentored by several extraordinary individuals and hopes to provide the same guidance to her fellow YMF board members. She is committed to maintaining the group’s success and legacy.

Outstanding ASCE Faculty Advisor

Amir Aghakouchak, Ph.D., M-ASCE, P.E.

Dr. Aghakouckak is an outstanding Civil Engineer, Educator, Mentor, and Researcher.  In the four years he has been at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) Civil Engineering Department he has proven himself as a brilliant thinker and creative individual.  His scientific ideas have received the attention of many funding agencies including NASA, NSF, NOAA, U.S. Dept. of Energy, U.S. Dept. of Army Research, and the State of California Dept. of Water Resources as well as Energy Commission.  In the short time he has mentored a large number of Ph.D. students and Post Docs working on his projects.  He has already graduated several Ph.D. students who been successful on their own to gain employment in government and academia.  His publication record is over 60 in peer reviewed journal articles that are well cited. His work related to problems of drought in the Western United States, especially has received a lot of attention by the media and was recently featured in the video El Niño - UC Irvine.

Outstanding ASCE Life Member

Harvey Gobas

Harvey has demonstrated a life-long commitment to ASCE, beginning as Student Chapter President at USC in 1972, followed by the various roles and activities he has served in. As a staff member at Psomas, Harvey has provided an outstanding professional program and project management services to the City of Santa Monica.

Outstanding Younger Civil Engineer

Mujahid Chandoo

Mujahid Chandoo, P.E., is an Associate and Project Engineer in Michael Baker International’s Surface Water group with extensive experience in surface water management. Mujahid is recognized for his leadership and ability to coordinate and develop solutions to complex challenges collaboratively with multiple stakeholders. He understands the complete engineering, planning and environmental processes and is willing to take ownership of the project, consistently providing clients with a quality product.

Like exceptional leaders do, Mujahid strives to advance his career and the educational development of others by continually seeking opportunities to collaborate with other professionals and identifying new opportunities to work on challenging projects.  His “go-getter” attitude sets him apart from his colleagues and showcases his enthusiasm to achieve exceptional outcomes personally, for the industry, and internationally. Mujahid has notably established himself as an expert in advanced hydraulic modeling both locally and internationally.

Mujahid’s dedication to further everyone’s education through his work with EWRI, EWB and Muli Children’s International Education Program has established him as an expert for both his leadership and technical skills.

Outstanding Civil Engineering Student

Chloe Gharios

Winner of one of the 2015 ASCE OC Branch Achievement Scholarships. Chloe Gharios is the ASCE student Chapter president at CSU Fullerton. Chloe was part of Cal State Fullerton’s Geo Wall Team that won the National Championship in San Antonio, Texas last year. She has been working at Mark Thomas & Company during the school year and summer break and is expecting to graduate in May 2017. She is also Vice President of Tau Beta Pi and member of Chi Epsilon.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Tom Bogard

Tom Bogard has been a leader of public and private engineering projects for over 40 years. Starting as a structural engineer, he went on to plan and manage capital projects throughout the world. He has worked and lead projects for engineering firms, construction firms, and public agencies. During his career, Tom has planned, designed, and directed multibillion-dollar public works projects and lead the business operations of private engineering and construction firms. He has had a special role in Orange County with his leadership of the Measure M transportation program - that has impacted us all.

Tom was the Director of the Highway Program for the Orange County Transportation Authority, one of the ten largest transportation agencies in the nation. He was responsible for managing projects under both the original and renewed Measure M programs, the half-cent sales tax programs that will generate $12 billion for transportation improvements. Tom has influenced the planning and implementation of improvements to Orange County’s freeway system for over 20 years.

In addition, Tom has been a leader and manager for four major private engineering and construction firms. He also has taught engineering management courses at two universities.

Tom has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s in business administration. He is a registered professional engineer in California and New Mexico.

Excellence in Journalism

Dr. Adrian Moore

Dr. Adrian Moore Ph.D. is a transportation economist and vice president of policy at the Reason Foundation, a non-profit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. Moore leads Reason’s policy implementation efforts and conducts his own research on topics such as privatization, government and regulatory reform, air quality, transportation and urban growth, prisons and utilities.

Excellence in Promotion of Infrastructure

Ryan Chamberlain

As District Director of Caltrans in Orange County, Ryan works with Caltrans’ partners and stakeholders to fulfill the department’s mission to provide a safe, sustainable, integrated and efficient transportation system to enhance California’s economy and livability.  He joined Caltrans in 1999 and has held positions at Caltrans headquarters, Districts 7 and 12, in Local Assistance, Environmental Planning and Transportation Planning. Before joining Caltrans, Ryan worked on environmental compliance and geospatial mapping at Parsons Brinkerhoff.

Ryan graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Environmental Studies and considers himself a lifelong learner who embraces innovation in both his professional and personal life. Ryan and his wife Jodi have two children and live in Orange County.

Land Development Engineer of the Year

Jeffrey Okamoto, PE

Jeff is serving as a Project Manager for the engineering and surveying services required to develop this project. He has implemented the overall master plan for street, drainage, sanitary sewer systems, water distribution systems, and precise grading of the houses.

President's Award

Elizabeth Ruedas, EIT, ENV SP

Elizabeth Ruedas, a recent graduate, has been instrumental in the renewal of all communication streams of ASCE OC Branch and OC YMF, providing effective outreach tools to both the membership-at-large and other entities, as well as streamlining the efforts of all active board officers.

Her contributions have in return helped her grow in both her professional and personal life. In a great deal of appreciation of ASCE OC, she quickly became passionate about making sure that others were well aware of the opportunities that ASCE has to offer as well. Her involvement as Webmaster for both the Branch and YMF allowed her to realize this goal. The two websites that she maintained, the articles that she wrote and the mass emails that she sent out aided in keeping members well aware of past and future opportunities.

Elizabeth personally worked with ASCE OC officers, committees, institutes, and Jub Jub, ASCE OC’s website developer, to provide updated content to the newly redesigned website. Continuous updates to the website ensured that it remained a reliable source of information for 3,000+ ASCE OC members. Elizabeth’s top three goals as Webmaster included quickly familiarizing herself with the tools and resources that were available, teaching others how to manage/upload information to the website, and finding ways to streamline public relation efforts.

Elizabeth took much of what she learned through her involvement with the Branch and applied it as Webmaster for ASCE OC YMF as well. She led the website redesign, with an ultimate goal of making it mobile-friendly. In an effort to make best use of ASCE OC YMF’s limited budget, she ensured that it also took advantage of the features that had been previously developed for the Branch’s website.

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