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Delaware Avenue Extension Project Recognized Among Best in the Country
Publication Date
May 3rd 2017, 2:00 pm

Urban is pleased to announce that it won a National Recognition Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies at the organization’s annual Engineering Excellence gala in Washington, D.C. Heralded as the "Academy Awards of the engineering industry,” the event honors the preeminent engineering achievements for 2016 from throughout the world. Urban was recognized for its environmental engineering work on the extension of Delaware Avenue in Philadelphia. The project was previously honored at the state competition in Pennsylvania.


“It is a privilege and an honor to be recognized for this project at the national level, and we thank the Philadelphia Streets Department for the opportunity to be a part of this project,” said Urban Senior Vice President Matthew Marquardt, PE. “Our environmental services staff, led by Angelo Waters, PE, diligently work on projects that improve the built environment, and the extension of Delaware Avenue is proof of their success.”


With the extension of Delaware Avenue, the Bridesburg and Port Richmond sections of Philadelphia became home to the city’s first new roadway in over 30 years. Before the ribbon had even been cut, large commercial trucks, cyclists, and pedestrians were already enjoying the 0.6-mile-long extension. Before the project, the only means to accessing I-95 from this area was Richmond Street, which is a residential neighborhood that experiences significant truck traffic. This new roadway, which parallels Richmond Street and is closer to the Delaware River, has helped alleviate the heavy truck traffic with its accompanying noise and dust on Richmond Street and the narrow residential side streets.


While installing a section of subsurface drainage pipes, the contractor encountered an approximately 200-linear foot section of petroleum contaminated soil and groundwater in the vicinity of an abandoned underground oil/water separator. Due to the nature of the active construction and the need to complete the extension of Delaware Avenue in a timely manner, the Philadelphia Streets Department engaged Urban, who was serving as the lead engineering consultant on the extension, to provide environmental consulting. This project will go a long way in realizing many benefits, including economic revitalization; reduced blight and crime; increased property values; job creation; reduction in environmental and safety risks; reduction in urban sprawl; greenspace preservation; and infrastructure improvement.


The Engineering Excellence Awards Gala 50th Anniversary Celebration featured special celebrity host, Kevin Nealon. A distinguished panel of judges representing a variety of professions selected this year's best engineering triumphs using criteria such as uniqueness and originality, complexity, and technical, economic, and social value. The awards were given out at the Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, DC.