Emiquon Preserve’s water control system — believed to be the only one of its kind in the world — won an Honor Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC-IL). The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Maurer-Stutz Inc. and Hanson Professional Services Inc. were recognized for the project Feb. 9 during the organization’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards in Lisle.
Emiquon Preserve, one of the largest floodplain restoration projects in North America, is located near Havana. The floodplain had been farmland that was separated from the Illinois River by a levee. To keep the 5,500-acre wetland in the preserve from degrading, TNC teamed with Maurer-Stutz and Hanson to create a water control system that reconnects the floodplain to the river for the first time in nearly a century. The team designed a multipurpose, gated water control structure; a pump station; and an elevated control building.
The water control structure provides adequate drainage and flood control for adjacent agricultural lands and infrastructure, water-level management between the floodplain and the river, control of the movements of sediment and fish and opportunities for scientific monitoring and research. It also allows for the fluctuation of water levels, which will benefit aquatic species in the habitat and the river. The water control structure is named Ahsapa — which means “web” in Myaamia, the language used by Native Americans who had been the land’s early inhabitants — to represent the reconnection of Emiquon and the Illinois River.
Maurer-Stutz served as the project manager and main point of contact with TNC; completed design, plans and specifications for the pump station and control building; developed bid documents; facilitated bid review and contractor selection; and led construction observation efforts as the engineer of record.
ACEC is a professional organization of 51 state and regional councils with members from more than 5,000 engineering firms across the U.S. The annual Engineering Excellence Awards recognizes outstanding achievements from member firms. ACEC-IL Honor Award winners are eligible for the national competition.
The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at unprecedented scale, and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in more than 65 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.
Thank you to everyone that helped make this project a success!!