Michael Baker Wins Multiple Awards at Annual ASCE Orange County Awards Dinner

March 30, 2016

Accolades Include Project of the Year

During its recent awards dinner, the American Society of Civil Engineers, Orange County chapter (ASCE OC) recognized Michael Baker International’s project teams for engineering innovative solutions on notably complex projects in 2015. Project teams were recognized with awards in the Project of the Year, Bikeways & Trails and Structural Engineering categories.

The chapter also recognized Mujahid Chandoo, P.E. as the 2015 Outstanding Younger Engineer for his contributions to the field of civil engineering through his professional excellence and involvement in ASCE.

Project of the Year: West County Connectors (State Route 22/I-405/I-605 Interchange)
WC-Connectors.jpgMichael Baker’s team won the Project of the Year award for West County Connectors, one of Orange County’s largest infrastructure projects that provides smooth interconnection between three major Orange County freeways by linking carpool lanes on the I-405 with those on State Route 22 and I-605. The Michael-Baker-designed information technology system (ITS) upgrade for the roadway became the area’s first Ethernet-based ITS communications system. Michael Baker team members were also responsible for the design of drainage plans and irrigation and landscaping.

The West County Connectors project included the widening and reconstruction of six existing bridges and construction of two new bridges to connect HOV travel between the freeways. The ultimate goal was to reduce traffic congestion since more than 327,000 vehicles pass through the interchange each day. With the improvements, commuters using the carpool lanes no longer need to navigate general lanes to get from freeway to freeway.

Brad Losey, P.E., was the project manager with notable contributions from John Andrew, Rich Beck, Susan Harden, Cathy Johnson, Chris Johnson, Ryan Hansen, Jeremy Hohnbaum, Barbara Vealey and Marc Violett.

Bikeways & Trails Project of the Year: Oso Creek Multi-Use Trail
2016-02-13_Oso-Creek-Trail-080.jpgASCE Orange County recognized Michael Baker for its work on the Oso Creek Multi-Use Trail project, a linchpin in the plan to redevelop the city of Laguna Niguel’s Gateway District from an aging, low-rise commercial area into a vibrant, sustainable community.  The company provided preliminary and final landscape architecture and engineering design services for the new trails alongside Oso Creek, which created recreational space out of what was once a bleak creek channel. The trail includes a water-permeable asphalt bikeway, a decomposed granite trail for pedestrians and horses and a landscaping area. The project incorporates urban runoff features, including a bio-retention planter area that filters storm water runoff before it is released into the flood-control channel. The improvements reduced the area’s carbon footprint and are aimed at encouraging people in the 3,000 new units planned for the neighborhood to walk, bike and use mass transit.

Carrie Davis, P.E. was the engineer of record on the project. Others who made notable contributions included John Andrew, Alaa Chaabani, Michelle Han, Cathy Johnson, Chad Harden, Brad Losey, Marc Violett, Trisha Keith, Steven Nguyen, Dan Apt and Jeremy Hohnbaum.

Structural Engineering Project of the Year: Cow Camp Road Design
CCR_Image_3.jpgMichael Baker won recognition for its work on Cow Camp Road, a vital east-west, four-mile highway on the Orange County Master Plan of Arterial Highways that serves as a major infrastructure link for both regional and local traffic. It will connect Antonio Parkway with Ortega Highway and accommodate the estimated 30,000 to 45,000 vehicles expected to travel the roadway when it is completed.

Michael Baker’s work on the first phase of Cow Camp Road included a new 7,000-foot-long roadway with a major twin bridge over Chiquita Canyon. A team of Michael Baker transportation planners, civil engineers and structural engineers coordinated with the Transportation Corridor Agency, County of Orange and Rancho Mission Viejo Company to address significant geotechnical and seismic considerations for the new bridge. The team also coordinated all necessary approvals and permits.

Brad Mielke, P.E. was the Structures lead on the project with notable contributions from Mujahid Chandoo, Brendan Dugan, Alan Su, Sal Sheikh, Fabio Sanchez-Duran, Gary Warkentin and Dan Apt.

Outstanding Younger Engineer: Mujahid Chandoo
ASCE_OC_.jpgA project engineer in Irvine’s surface water department with extensive experience in hydrology, hydraulics, sediment transport and advanced modeling, Mujahid Chandoo has been involved with a variety of projects since he joined Michael Baker International eight years ago.  This includes storm drain master plans throughout Southern California, storm drain design, FEMA processing, sediment transport modeling, environmental documentation and large-scale, two-dimensional floodplain studies. Chandoo is currently responsible for developing advanced, two-dimensional hydrology and flood models for the city of Redlands, Cathedral City and Point Mugu Naval Air Station.

Chandoo also contributes his engineering skills and experience to help improve the lives of others, both locally and around the world. He has been involved with the Engineers Without Borders USA - Orange County professional chapter for the last six years. He was a member of the team that designed and constructed a footbridge that serves more than 4,500 impoverished citizens of Laikipia County of Kenya, providing access to medical clinics, schools, churches and business centers. He has also volunteered as a technical lead for a septic tank system design and multiple sanitation system retrofit projects to benefit families in the communities of Cerro Azul and Valle de las Palmas in Tecate, Mexico.