F&V Transportation Infrastructure Project Earns ACEC Merit Award

Fleis & VandenBrink (F&V) won a Merit Award for Engineering in 2022 American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC/M) annual Engineering & Surveying Excellence competition.

F&V’s “Transforming Old Runway into a New Roadway” project was a transportation infrastructure project for the Jackson County Department of Transportation. The award was announced Saturday at The Inn at St. Johns in Plymouth.

“Congratulations to the Jackson County Department of Transportation officials for earning this award with us,” said John DeVol, principal and president of F&V. “We were excited to assist with an ‘outside the box,’ innovative approach, initiated by DOT officials, to reduce costs through construction methods, beneficial partnerships, and with them doing as much of the work ‘in-house’ as possible.”

“The centerpiece of the project, which put new life into a commercial corridor serving a large residential network and providing a critical link to US-127, was a bottom-up approach to the cross-section roadway design.”

F&V provided design and construction engineering services on the roadwork, non-motorized facilities, and watermains. F&V also conducted a traffic study, reaffirming that one lane in each direction with a center left turn was the optimal configuration along McDevitt Avenue.

The cost to repair the 1.5 miles improvement project using a traditional pavement structure exceeded the budget Jackson County DOT had established for Summit Township’s McDevitt Avenue. But with F&V’s assistance, DOT officials came up with an innovative way to reduce costs through construction methods and beneficial partnerships – saving $5 million.

Ten inches of Bound Aggregate Base (BAB) material was used as the road base. The BAB was created from recycled, milled asphalt from a discontinued airport runaway, which was a safety hazard for air traffic. The former runway has now been reused and transformed for a new roadway.

“Thanks to F&V for helping us with this innovative project,” said Joe Bentschneider, Jackson County DOT senior civil engineer. “Recycling old roadways to pave and reconstruct new roadways is the future.

“The benefits of transforming our old airport runway into a new roadway was far superior compared to traditional reconstruction. The project not only reduced carbon emissions associated with construction by 50-70%, but it saved us millions of dollars using the BAB material.”

F&V’s transportation project was among 30 engineering entries. F&V also received an Engineering Merit Award for “Taking Water Sampling to New Heights.”