Gannett Fleming of Pittsburgh, Pa., has earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 54th annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) for designing emergency repairs to a sinkhole on SR 422 in Palmyra, Pa.

The July 4th, 2020 weekend was no holiday for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Gannett Fleming, as a large sinkhole closed SR 422, a main thoroughfare carrying 16,000 vehicles per day through Lebanon County. Advanced geographic information systems technology enabled the project team to quickly develop a subsurface 3D model of proposed site mitigation, including drilling 84 micropiles to support a new two-ft-thick, 280-ft long concrete slab.

Just 18 weeks after its closure, motorists were once again traveling safely on SR 422. Because sinkholes cannot be permanently fixed, inspection ports in the slab allow monitoring for future subsurface activity and provide access for remediation measures. Cameras are lowered into these ports every six months to capture potential problems, enabling a quick response to any emerging voids.

Founded in 1915, Gannett Fleming is a global infrastructure and engineering firm. 

The project is eligible for additional honors as part of 173 entries this year representing engineering excellence from throughout the nation and the world. Judging for the awards program—known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry”– took place in February and was conducted by a national 20-member panel of built-environment leaders, along with experts from government, media, and academia. Award criteria focused on uniqueness and originality, technical innovation, social and economic value, and generating excitement for the engineering profession.

Recognition of all award winners including top winners—20 Honor Awards, 16 Grand Awards, and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement—will take place during the 2021 Virtual EEA Gala, to be held Thursday, June 17, 2021.

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) is the business association of America’s engineering industry, representing more than 5,200 independent engineering firms and more than 600,000 professionals throughout the United States engaged in the development of America’s transportation, water and energy infrastructure, along with environmental, industrial and other public and private facilities. Founded in 1906 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., ACEC is a national federation of 52 state and regional organizations.