Waterloo's Revamped University Ave cited in National Engineering Competition

WASHINGTON, DC (March 28, 2023) – AECOM Technical Services, Inc., of Waterloo, Iowa, has earned a National Recognition Award for exemplary engineering achievement in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) 56th annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) for the reconstruction of University Avenue in Waterloo, Iowa.

Public involvement played a key role in shaping the transformation of an auto-centric highway into a fully accessible multimodal corridor. Focusing on improving existing assets rather than expanding the physical footprint, the project team implemented a “road diet” approach that converted the existing six-lane divided roadway to a four-lane “Complete Streets” corridor.

Completed in three phases, the three-mile project upgraded eight signalized intersections and added Waterloo’s first multi-lane roundabout to bring the corridor into compliance with modern design standards. Other enhancements include plantings, street trees, intersection markers, gateway features, and controllable dynamic LED wave railing lighting on two bridges. The upgraded corridor has already spurred economic redevelopment in downtown Waterloo, with several adjacent businesses having completed private property improvements.

The project is among 179 EEA 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 March and was conducted by a national 27-member panel of built environment leaders, along with experts from government, the 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 2023 award winners, including top winners—16 Honor Awards, 8 Grand Awards and the prestigious “Grand Conceptor Award” for the year’s most outstanding overall engineering achievement—will take place at the annual EEA Gala Dinner and Awards Program, a black-tie event to be held Tuesday, June 13, 2023, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C.

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.