The Allen Creek Railroad Berm project in Ann Arbor, Michigan has been awarded the 2021 Project of the Year in the Quality of Life ($5 Million to $25 Million category) by the Michigan Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA). National architecture, engineering and planning firm Bergmann also received the 2021 Engineering Honorable Conceptor Award from American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC/M) for its work on the project. Bergmann started the work in 2013, teaming up with consultants and the City of Ann Arbor to complete a feasibility study, and providing project management, public outreach, stakeholder coordination; rail, structural, and site design; and design assistance through the construction process.
The completion of the project in October 2020 marked a positive turning point for the City of Ann Arbor and its residents. At the railroad berm near the mouth of the Allen Creek in the vicinity of Depot and Main Street, an area prone to frequent flooding in rain events, a new flood relief tunnel lowered the floodplain depth, reducing flood levels by as much as seven feet in some areas. As a result, some local businesses and residents will see flood insurance rates decreased or eliminated. The team also designed and constructed a pedestrian underpass beneath the railroad that provides safe and legal access from the downtown area to the Border-to-Border Trail.
“Years of work on this project culminated in a much-improved quality of life and level of walkability for Ann Arbor residents,” said Jeremy Hedden, PE, vice president and project manager, Bergmann. “We are proud to have worked so closely with the City on this important initiative, coordinating with all relevant parties – Amtrak officials, MDOT, nearby local business owners and more – to get the project completed efficiently.”
The APWA Michigan Chapter Public Works Project of the Year Award recognizes the alliance between the managing agency, the consultant/architect/engineer, and the contractor who collaborate to complete public works projects. One of seven categories, Quality of Life includes parks, monuments, community planning, urban renewal and streetscape. Each year, ACEC/M recognizes engineering and surveying firms with Engineering & Surveying Excellence awards for projects that demonstrate an exceptional degree of innovation, complexity and value. This year’s winners were announced on during a Virtual Awards Gala.
For more than four decades, Bergmann architects, engineers and planners have been delivering results to clients across the United States and Canada. This team of more than 450 professionals spans the Northeast, Midwest and Atlantic regions. Bergmann develops connections with partners and communities to create dynamic, creative solutions that will stand the test of time, while promoting environmental and functional sustainability. Projects in the Bergmann portfolio range from signature buildings and commercial developments to critical transportation infrastructure and community planning.