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HDR Project in Texas Earns 2021 ACEC Engineering Excellence Award

DALLAS, TX — Several HDR projects received 2021 Engineering Excellence Awards from multiple state chapters of the American Council of Engineering Companies. The state chapters each recognize the winning project teams and clients at local awards ceremonies throughout the fall, winter, and spring.

The state-winning projects advanced to the national ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards competition, which culminates with the announcement of national award winners at the Engineering Excellence Awards Gala on April 27 in Washington, D.C. The gala, which recognizes the year’s most remarkable engineering achievements, is part of the 2021 ACEC Annual Conference.

The winning project in Texas was the Able Pump Station, which earned a Gold Award. The Able Pump Station, located on the south side of Riverfront Boulevard between the Houston and Jefferson Street viaducts, is designed to provide 100-year flood protection to approximately three square miles, including 171 acres of land.

The properties adjacent to the previous Able sump complex have experienced frequent flooding. The sump complex includes nine separate and interconnected ponds that store stormwater, as well as two existing pump stations, constructed in the 1930s and 1950s, with a current combined capacity of 220,000 gallons per minute. To help prevent the loss of life as a result of flooding, the City of Dallas hired HDR to design the new Able Pump Station, which will increase the pumping capacity nearly fourfold, to 875,000 gallons per minute. It will also lower the 100-year flood elevation from 399.0 to a design elevation of 392.5 feet.

The new pump station will utilize 3,000 HP concrete volute pumps as the pumping units. The station will have dual primary electric service and dual transformers to provide reliable service, and will be integrated into the new communications system used by the city’s flood control staff. The dual power provides an automatic switchover to a backup power supply in the event the primary power is lost during a flood. The secondary independent power feed enables the City of Dallas Flood Control to continue pumping flood waters into the Trinity River, preventing loss of life and any unnecessary damage to the adjacent properties in the area.

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The project includes constructing the new pump station, decommissioning two existing pump stations, improving the connections between nine ponds that form the sump system, and designing aesthetic improvements. Soils in the area are very poor, and the pump station structures were constructed on piers. The station has an elaborate groundwater mitigation and management system to protect the foundation.

HDR has provided the following services: surveying; geotechnical investigation and engineering; planning; civil, electrical, mechanical, architectural, process, and hydraulic design; 404 and 408 permitting; and construction administration.

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