VHB Wins Seven ACEC/MA Engineering Excellence Awards

Lord Overpass and the Route 9 Connected Corridor Project took home Silver Awards.

April 02, 2024

VHB took home seven awards, including two Silver Awards, at the American Council of Engineering Companies of Massachusetts (ACEC/MA) annual Engineering Excellence Awards Gala last week. Often called “the Academy Awards of the Engineering World,” the Engineering Excellence Awards celebrate the year’s most impactful engineering projects. Projects are evaluated on their uniqueness, innovativeness, complexity, and future value to the engineering profession. Projects’ social, economic, and sustainable development considerations are also taken into account, as is their fulfillment of client needs.

The 2024 ACEC/MA Engineering Excellence Awards drew 42 project entries. VHB’s Silver Awards went to the City of Lowell’s Lord Overpass project and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s (MassDOT) Route 9 Connected Corridor. Bronze Awards were given to Rand-Whitney Container’s Boylston Corrugated Packaging Facility, Boston Properties’ 180 CityPoint, and MassDOT’s Flood Resiliency for Route 9 in Framingham, Route 128/I-95 Land Use & Transportation Study, and Stormwater Design Guide.


The City of Lowell’s Lord Overpass

The original grade-separated Lord Overpass structure had long been a significant barrier to equitable access and economic growth in Lowell, isolating vulnerable communities. VHB worked with the City of Lowell and the public to develop and execute a design that balances vehicular traffic with other transportation modes, enhances safety, and boosts economic and social opportunities. The newly designed Lord Overpass has revitalized the City's connectivity and innovation, creating a new urban corridor that is poised to benefit both residents and visitors for years to come.


MassDOT’s Route 9 Connected Corridor Project

MassDOT’s Route 9 Connected Corridor from Worcester to Wellesley was the first of its kind in Massachusetts—a 38-intersection corridor that shares traffic information with drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists. VHB’s innovative team designed a Connected Vehicle communications network that is compatible with both existing and emerging technologies and remotely accessible by MassDOT for monitoring and resolving issues. MassDOT has adopted the Connected Vehicle system and its technology as the new MassDOT standard for future intersection work across the Commonwealth.


Rand-Whitney Container’s Boylston Corrugated Packaging Facility

As a business with roots in Central Massachusetts, it was important to Rand-Whitney Container to remain local when it built a new packaging facility. Surrounded by wetlands and featuring a steep grade, the topography of its new site in Boylston presented VHB with the complex task of maximizing the land’s potential for Rand-Whitney while respecting the natural environment. Using model-based design and integrated thinking, VHB provided designs that addressed these challenges while helping Rand-Whitney open its doors as soon as possible.


Boston Properties’ 180 CityPoint

This new, modern life science facility in Waltham features 330,000 feet of laboratory and office space that was designed to attract top life science and biotechnology companies. This project was a collaboration between several Massachusetts and national firms. VHB designed aesthetically pleasing entries and walkways and addressed accessibility issues as well as transit and parking strategies.


MassDOT’s Flood Resiliency for Route 9 in Framingham

Route 9 under the Route 126 overpass in Framingham was the site of dangerous flooding when it rained. VHB designed two basins to collect stormwater and remove sediments and pollutants as the water infiltrated into the ground. Since its completion in April 2023, the new system has proven effective; no flooding has occurred, even with summer 2023’s unusually heavy rains. The project has led MassDOT to plan additional flood resiliency improvements throughout the state.


MassDOT’s Route 128/I-95 Land Use & Transportation Study

VHB’s multimodal infrastructure- and policy-based recommendations for the Route 128/I-95 corridor between Newton and Lexington resulted in an actionable plan for a sustainable environment that encourages inclusive and equitable transportation alternatives. These forward-thinking, data-informed recommendations, presented in a clearly defined implementation plan, aim to reduce carbon footprint and alleviate some of the impacts of the bustling economic development—all while making way for an equitable and sustainable future.


MassDOT’s Stormwater Design Guide

MassDOT’s stormwater control measures protect water resources from pollutants in stormwater runoff along the Commonwealth’s 4,600-mile road system. To update its stormwater design guidance, MassDOT partnered with VHB and undertook the unique and exhaustive task of collecting more than 25 years’ worth of best practices from staff throughout the Department. This collaborative effort resulted in a new Stormwater Design Guide that gives designers a comprehensive resource with practical, MassDOT-specific guidance for designing effective and compliant solutions.


Congratulations to all ACEC/MA Engineering Excellence Awards winners!

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