On January 24, 2018, APWA Monterey Bay Chapter presented Harris & Associates with the award for 2019 Public Works Project of the Year/Emergency Repair Projects Less Than $5 Million. APWA chose the project from a field of 14 contenders in the three-county area. Harris’ partners included the County of Monterey and Granite Construction.
The team was recognized for quickly designing and deploying solutions to repair Palo Colorado Road in Big Sur, which had suffered major blowouts where it crossed Rocky Creek and Brandon Creek. Sixty homes were cut off from stores, schools, and workplaces in what public officials declared a disaster area.
Construction began on June 18, 2018, and the new road opened just four months later. Harris leveraged its experience in post-disaster restoration to design a lasting solution and expedite progress amid a myriad of challenges, including working in a remote, narrow space, completing complex environmental reviews, and securing FEMA funding even as the agency juggled multiple disasters.
“We are grateful for the recognition from APWA and for the hard work of our partners,” said Frank Lopez at Harris. “It’s always rewarding when we can apply our expertise to bring about a speedy resolution. Unfortunately, given recent severe weather events, we will probably see a lot more projects like this in California.”
The honor was one of two for Harris during the APWA ceremony. Harris also took home Project of the Year for Transportation Projects Less Than $5 Million. Teaming again with Granite Construction, among other partners, Harris took a “complete street” approach to the pavement rehabilitation for Alta Street in Gonzales, which also included full depth reclamation—a cost-effective, green process that reuses existing pavement and base rock material.
“This was one of the largest capital improvement projects for the City of Gonzales,” said Frank Lopez at Harris. “By handling the design, bidding, and construction management, we were able to improve a busy corridor that accounts for vehicular traffic as well as bike and pedestrian safety.”