The City of Akron and Environmental Design Group receive Outstanding Achievement Award for Aqueduct Street Green Improvements


Akron, Ohio, April 30, 2020—The City of Akron, along with representatives from Environmental Design Group (EDG), accepted the Outstanding Achievement Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) in early March for the Aqueduct Street Green Improvement project that was completed in 2018.

The award recognizes projects that demonstrate a high degree of achievement, ingenuity, and value and is given to projects that show innovation in technology. Aqueduct was chosen for technology and innovation used to address storm water issues that contributed to combined sewer overflows (CSO). Specifically, the new technology includes porous-paver parking stalls, underground storm water chambers, grassy bioretention cells, and dry wells along the one-mile residential corridor. Design for the Aqueduct Street Green Improvements began in the summer of 2015 and construction was completed the summer of 2018. During that period, Ward 1 Councilman Rich Swirsky was instrumental in helping the residents understand and enjoy the ‘complete, livable, and green’ street design. Pictures of the project are attached, and more are available here.

“I’m so proud of the innovation that went into the Aqueduct Street project. Utilizing green infrastructure has helped save City residents millions of dollars in regard to the Federal Consent Decree to overhaul our sewer system. This project shows that green infrastructure is efficient, environmentally sound, and cost effective, making this innovative approach the best one for Akron,” said Akron Mayor Daniel Horrigan.

The City of Akron partnered with the University of Akron to include six senior students into the design process, as their senior project. The students assisted in the development of plans during the beginning stages of the project. The seniors provided useful skills to the process including survey of topography, drafting locations of existing underground utilities using AutoCAD Civil 3D, and developed preliminary construction quantities and an estimate. The team of students worked closely with the City of Akron and EDG to determine the final green infrastructure implemented in construction.

“I was very impressed with the ability of these students, and their drive to select a real project for their senior design project instead of a fictional project most students work on,” said Michael Teodecki, Design Division Manager.  “The students blended well into our design team.  They brought in their skills, and in the end, did not only just have a great senior project, but an award-winning City of Akron project.”

The renovations made during the Aqueduct Street Green Improvements project are part of the City of Akron’s Integrated Plan for the Consent Decree helping eliminate the need for a storage basin by employing green infrastructure to treat storm water runoff that would otherwise make its way to Racks 26 & 28 sewer shed. The stormwater drainage area for Aqueduct Street encompasses 38.1 acres of land that discharges storm water runoff along the one-mile street. Other renovations include implementing the complete street model for roads which makes Aqueduct Street, Akron’s first complete green street. Complete green streets allow for multimodal transportation including repaved sidewalks and a bicycle lane for safer transit in the community.

The award was presented at the ACEC Ohio Engineering Excellence Awards Banquet held on March 12th, 2020. Those in attendance to accept the award include Ed Lisowski with EDG as well as Michael Teodecki and Randall Keirns, the Design Engineers from the City of Akron. The event highlighted the engineering community with numerous awards with the Aqueduct Street Green Improvements receiving one of the ten Outstanding Achievement Awards for 2020.