GS&P Becomes First to "Three-Peat" as ACEC TN's Grand Iris Award Winner

Transportation Projects Honored for Interchange Design and Accelerated Bridge Construction

March 10, 2017   |   Nashville,  Tenn.   |   Awards

Gresham, Smith and Partners has become the first firm to win the Grand Iris Award in ACEC of Tennessee’s Engineering Excellence Awards program for three years in a row. GS&P took home the top prize for its design of the I-40/SR-66 diverging diamond interchange (DDI) for the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) in Sevierville, Tenn. In addition to winning the Grand Iris Award, which recognizes the most outstanding project of all categories, the DDI also won the Grand Award in the Transportation category. The firm’s third honor, the Grand Award in the Small Project category, was for the GS&P-designed accelerated bridge construction (ABC) project at SR-25 over Liberty Creek in Sumner County, Tenn.

“GS&P is tremendously proud of the three awards presented to us by ACEC of Tennessee, and we’re especially honored to have taken home the Grand Iris Award for the third year in a row,” commented Michael Flatt, P.E., division vice president at Gresham, Smith and Partners. “These projects exemplified an exceptional team effort and team commitment. In different ways and in very different environments, both projects introduced important transportation solutions that have improved safety and traffic flow for drivers. We share these awards with our clients, who we thank for offering us the opportunity to work with them on creating real, positive change in these communities.”

The I-40/SR-66 DDI is located at the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. GS&P served as the engineer-of-record and provided complete design development for all phases of the project, from preliminary roadway plans to signed and sealed roadway construction plans. TDOT’s overarching goal was to address the high volumes of traffic and safety concerns at the interchange while keeping disruptions to tourist traffic at a minimum. The rare DDI configuration proved the optimum design solution by allowing traffic to be switched to the opposite side of the road, eliminating four left-turn lanes in the center of the intersection. The project transformed the existing interchange into a safer and more efficient intersection at the entrance to one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country.

The SR-25 ABC project, which replaced a structurally deficient and functionally obsolete bridge over Liberty Creek, was the first rural ABC weekend-only closure project ever undertaken by TDOT. GS&P’s design included roadway widening, substructure modifications and replacement of an existing two-span structure with a single-span superstructure utilizing precast box beams and full-depth deck panels. These elements were installed with traditional construction equipment that is readily available in rural areas and completed in a single weekend road closure rather than months of closures generating travel delays and lengthy detours. The project has been identified as the prototype ABC project for rural bridge rehabilitation in Tennessee.

GS&P won the Grand Iris Award and People’s Choice Award in ACEC of Tennessee’s 2016 Engineering Excellence Awards program, both for the I-40 Fast Fix 8 ABC project. In 2015, another GS&P-designed Accelerated Bridge Construction project, SR-254 over Otter Creek Bridge in Davidson County, took home ACEC of Tennessee’s Grand Iris Award. Additional winning projects recognized by ACEC of Tennessee have included the Bowling Green Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion in Bowling Green, Ky., the Lower Big Haynes Regional Pumping System in Georgia’s Gwinnett County and KUB’s Second Creek Wastewater Storage Facility in Knoxville, Tenn.

“GS&P is tremendously proud of the three awards presented to us by ACEC of Tennessee, and we’re especially honored to have taken home the Grand Iris Award for the third year in a row. These projects exemplified an exceptional team effort and team commitment. We share the awards with our clients, who we thank for offering us the opportunity to work with them on creating real, positive change in these communities.”

Michael Flatt, P.E., GS&P division vice president
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