South Burlington, VT/Atlanta, GA – The joint venture partnership of PC Construction and H. J. Russell & Company announced today that their work on the Atlanta Water Supply Program project recently received two new awards.
The Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) recently announced that the project has earned a national Project Achievement Award. The joint venture earned recognition in the Water/Wastewater/Utility: Construction Value Greater than $50 Million category. The CMAA awards program recognizes projects that serve as an example of excellence within the construction industry and, specifically, of the construction management at-risk approach to provide best value while building challenging public works projects. The Atlanta Water Supply Program achieved that success and has become a model for municipalities across the country.
In addition, the national publication Engineering News-Record (ENR) announced their award-winning projects for the Southeast region, with the Atlanta Water Supply Program project earning a top recognition as Best Project in the Water/Environment category. According to ENR Southeast, 95 entries were submitted, and an independent panel of jurors selected 35 as worthy of varying levels of recognition.
These are not the first awards recognizing the project’s complex scope and successful completion. Earlier this year, the project was honored by the Associated General Contractors of America with a national Build America Award. The project has also been recognized for its focus on sustainability, with Gold and Silver certifications by the U.S. Green Building Council, as well as Envision Silver by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure.
The project, which was completed during five years with a total investment of $321 million, is the largest water supply project to-date in the State of Georgia. The work converted an existing 400-foot-deep rock quarry to a 2.4-billion-gallon raw water storage system, then constructed a new 5.5-mile tunnel to connect the quarry to 11 storage and flow control shafts, two new large pumping stations and the Chattahoochee River Intake Pump Station shaft. This system increases the City’s emergency raw water reserve from three days to more than 30 days, ensuring that residents and businesses have access to clean, safe drinking water, especially during drought conditions and emergencies.
According to Ade Abon, project director for the City of Atlanta, “Prior to the project coming online, we estimated that the City could lose $250 million per day in economic activity should our water supply be compromised. We are now in a position of strength with the completion of this important project and the significant expansion of our water reserve. It has not only transformed our community’s water infrastructure, but also how we view the ultimate success of our utility construction projects.”
The PC/Russell team completed the project on time and $5 million under budget, implementing creative solutions to challenges encountered along the way. For example, toward the end of the project, when it came time to install three Andritz submersible pumps at the quarry pump station, COVID-19 travel restrictions prevented the Germany-based Andritz engineers from traveling to Atlanta to oversee the installation. In order to keep the project moving forward, the PC/Russell team proposed completing the installation with Andritz virtually overseeing the work from Germany. This approach allowed pump installation to be completed on time in September 2020, despite the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic.
Jay Fayette, President and CEO of PC Construction, said, “We are honored to receive this recognition for constructing a safe and viable water supply future for one of America’s fastest growing cities. PC has been a leader in Construction Management in the water and wastewater industry for many years. Together with our partner, H. J. Russell & Company, we put that experience to use to effectively manage the project and ensure budget and schedule success while embracing a truly collaborative approach with the City of Atlanta. The results speak for themselves.”
“We pride ourselves on taking on and excelling at complex projects; however, this was one of the most complex for us, and we couldn’t have had a better partner in PC Construction,” said Michael B. Russell, CEO, H. J. Russell & Company. “It’s also rewarding to know Russell was a part of a team that played such a significant role in building an award-winning project that will serve the citizens of Atlanta in the case of a drought or drinking water emergency.”