Muller Engineering Company (Muller) of Lakewood, in conjunction with its client partners, Jefferson County Open Space and Concrete Express, Inc (dba CEI), was recognized as a National Engineering Excellence Awards winner for the Clear Creek Canyon Park, Gateway Segment project by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC). The project received one of eight Excellence Awards.
The Gateway Segment of Clear Creek Canyon Park allows visitors of all physical abilities to enjoy a variety of recreational opportunities in this beautiful but forbidding canyon. Whether on wheelchair, foot, bicycle, skateboard, or scooter; visitors enjoy the scenery, fishing, kayaking, tubing, rock climbing, hiking, cycling, local history, and wildlife viewing made possible by engineers sensitively blending recreation into nature.
Muller’s team of project engineers rose to this challenge. We engineered a 10-foot-wide concrete trail, three bridges, and two large trailhead parking areas into the narrow, steep canyon terrain, working around both the creek and existing US 6 highway. Historic facilities such as the 1930s Welch Ditch wooden irrigation flume and 1870s hand-stacked rock walls from the Colorado Central Railroad were rehabilitated and preserved for use by visitors. Durable materials, such as colored concrete, weathered steel, and rock from an abandoned onsite quarry, were chosen to blend the trail with its surroundings and minimize maintenance. The chosen trail alignment hides in the forest where possible and preserves large trees and rock outcrops.
The ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards receives submittals for projects that were winners in ACEC state competitions from around the country, which included 179 entries this year. The awards were presented at the annual “Academy Awards of Engineering” celebration held in Washington D.C.