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Port of San Diego Wins Five Awards from the American Public Works Association; Celebrates National Public Works Week

May 28, 2017 07:49PM ● By Paul Spear

The Port of San Diego’s engineering department has earned five awards from the San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA), including 2016 “Project of the Year” for emergency wharf repair on the North Embarcadero. The repairs were in response to a March 2016 crash of an excursion vessel into the seawall at one of the busiest areas on the San Diego Bay waterfront.


The project protected Port property and restored full usage to a high-traffic pedestrian walkway on a critical section of the waterfront just 60 days following the crash – and it was done with minimal down-time for lessees, without environmental incidents, and maintained the pre-crash appearance of the historic structure. The structure was built in 1928 as part of the historic Navy Pier and is located at the intersection of the USS Midway Museum, San Diego Bay harbor cruise facilities, and Harbor Drive.

“The damage caused by the unfortunate accident was extensive,” said Randa Coniglio, Port of San Diego CEO. “Our engineering department recognized that repairs needed to be made very quickly and were able to get the job done right in a very short time.”

“The Port’s engineering team deserves this recognition from the local APWA chapter,” said Port Chairman Robert “Dukie” Valderrama. “The great work they do at our various facilities, parks, and more benefits the public, our tenants, and our Port.”

“This one-of-a-kind project is an exemplary public works activity that brought out the best from the Port, our engineers, and the contractor,” said Ernesto Medina, Chief of Engineering, Port of San Diego. “Located at the front doorstep of San Diego, the project required speedy execution to provide a safe walkway for the public and restore business for our tenants who operate right there on the waterfront.”

Medina and his team received the awards on May 11, 2017 at the local APWA’s annual awards luncheon. The emergency wharf repair project, along with other “Project of the Year” award winners are automatically considered for an “Outstanding Project of the Year” award, which will be announced at the organization’s fall dinner.

All five awards are being especially celebrated during the APWA’s National Public Works Week, observed May 21-27 by municipalities across the country, including the Port of San Diego. Every year, more than 29,000 APWA members in the U.S. and Canada use this week to host events that celebrate the hard work of public works professionals and educate the public on the important role public works plays in their everyday lives.

The four other projects that received awards were:

  • Bayside Park Shoreline Stabilization – Category: Environment, Parks, Sustainable/Green, Disaster or Emergency Construction/Repair. This project involved the immediate repair of a collapsed bank at the Chula Vista Bayside Park due to severe beach erosion in November 2015. It was important to repair the damage quickly as it posed a threat to public safety in the area.
  • Harbor Police Headquarters Investigation Building Replacement – Category: Structures, Utilities. This project involved the replacement of two existing structures at the San Diego Harbor Police Headquarters complex with a new building that would be used by Harbor Police investigation as well as Coast Guard investigation staff.
  • Public Viewing Platform – Category: Structures, Parks. As part of the Port’s efforts to promote a vibrant and active waterfront and enhance the San Diego bayfront, the Port converted a 2,400-square-foot concrete platform into a public viewing platform on the North Embarcadero in front of Carnitas’ Snack Shack. 
  • B Street Pier Cruise Ship Terminal Photovoltaic Installation – Category: Sustainable/Green. The purpose of the B Street Pier Cruise Ship Terminal Photovoltaic Installation was to reduce emissions and costs associated with energy production on the B Street Pier Cruise Ship Terminal. The project involved the installation of a 112-kilowatt photovoltaic system on an existing canopy on the terminal.
About the Port of San Diego:
The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities.  Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront.  From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.

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