ACEC Award for Utah County Emergency Watershed Project

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Utah announces that the team of J-U-B Engineers of Orem and Jones & DeMille Engineering of Springville has been awarded the 2020 Engineering Excellence Award in the Water Resources category for its efforts on the Utah County Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) project.

The Bald Mountain and Pole Creek fires in southern Utah County in late summer 2018 were among the largest in the nation, burning over 121,000 acres and affecting three major watersheds over 530,000 acres. The resulting damage and potential for storm run-off, debris flow, and flooding from the burn scars endangered public safety, property, water resources, wildlife habitat, and surrounding communities’ economic viability.

Project sponsor, Utah County, and co-sponsors: Elk Ridge, Payson, Santaquin, Spanish Fork, and Woodland Hills, received funding through the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) EWP program to conduct EnvironmentalAssessments and design and construct flood mitigation improvements. Due to the time-sensitive nature of this project, it was critical that the selected engineering team work quickly and efficiently to deliver improvements on time and coordinate effectively with multiple agencies on the federal, state, county, and local levels and private landowners and other entities.

Other challenges included high elevations and snow cover associated with most project sites and numerous land-use permits and private property easementsneeded before construction could begin. Although delays in receiving the NRCS contract created a very tight window for completion of improvements, the team’s efforts resulted in substantial completion before the NRCS deadline of December 7.

Improvements implemented included berms, silt fencing, debris, and sediment removal in debris basins and drainage channels, low-water crossings, stream bank restoration and stabilization, spring protection, and the repair of water control structures.

Utah County appreciates the professionalism and commitment demonstrated by the J-U-B/Jones & DeMille team in the successful delivery of a quality project that has been critical in our recovery from the devastating wildfires of 2018,” said Utah County Public Works Director/Engineer, Richard Nielson.