Michael Baker Receives Recognition at 45th ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards

March 30, 2016

Innovative Solutions Recognized as Engineering Excellence

The American Council of Engineering Companies New Jersey chapter (ACECNJ) recently recognized Michael Baker International for several projects during its 45th annual Engineering Excellence Awards. These innovative solutions received the Grand Honor Award – Small Projects, two Honor Awards and a Distinguished Award.

Grand Honor Award - Small Project: Merion Park Drainage and Roadway Improvements
Photo-4.jpgMichael Baker International received recognition for its efforts to rehabilitate a 60-year-old drainage system for the flood-prone residential neighborhood of Merion Park in Ocean City, New Jersey. The neighborhood had long experienced frequent tidal saltwater floods in its streets, which impacted travel, commerce and daily living for residents and visitors. Michael Baker focused on relieving Merion Park of the too-common nuisance flooding by developing a conceptual plan, final drainage design and roadway improvements.

The Merion Park Roadway and Drainage Improvements Project delivered a solution that has changed public opinion of the neighborhood and has given the residents hope for a safer and more resilient island existence. The efficient handling of stormwater reduces the potential for stagnant water, prevents brackish water landscape damage and  has helped to stabilize property values.

Honor Awards - Small Project: Route 130 Adaptive Traffic Signal
Route-130.jpgACEC honored Michael Baker  for designing and implementing an adaptive traffic signal system for the the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) Bureau of Mobility and System Engineering. The project used adaptive signal control technology at 17 signalized intersections along a corridor on US Route 130 and NJ Route 32 in Mercer and Middlesex counties to reduce traffic delays and travel time.

The system uses both image- and radar-based vehicle detection systems to adjust signal timing based on the real-time flow of traffic rather than pre-planned timing. It provides advanced traffic control that is engineered to respond to changing traffic conditions; minimize stops, delays, and corridor travel times; reduce the number of accidents; decrease fuel consumption; and lower vehicle emissions, thereby enhancing the quality of life for New Jersey residents.

Honor Awards - Small Project: Asset Management System Implementation
Photo-6.jpgMichael Baker International earned the accolade for developing and deploying a web-based and geospatially enabled asset management data model to assist the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) with regional-level transportation planning and budgeting activities that support short- and long-term goals. The project also met compliance requirements of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which  governs United States federal surface transportation spending.

Michael Baker used an innovative approach to develop a workflow and supporting software to leverage NJTPA’s existing commercial-off-the-shelf software, maximizing the agency’s software investment. The new asset management system provides the technology to meet MAP-21 requirements, with the ability to expand the system to adapt to changes in reporting requirements and NJTPA’s evolving needs.

Distinguished Awards: Route 7 Concept Development Study
Photo-3.jpgMichael Baker’s work on the Route 7 Concept Development Study won praise because the company expanded the scope of the project to incorporate safety improvements versus solely focusing on pavement reconstruction. As a result, Michael Baker was able to assist the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT) in securing Federal Highway Administration Highway Safety Improvement Program funding for the project.

Michael Baker performed an analysis of the proposed improvements to Route 7 using the AASHTO Highway Safety Manual’s predictive method to estimate the crash reduction that will result from the safety improvements. The results were used to support the approval of HSIP funds for the project, the first to be approved for HSIP funding using the predictive analysis process on a NJDOT-maintained roadway.