2015 OUTSTANDING CIVIL ENGINEERING PROJECT OF THE YEAR
The ASCE Knoxville Branch recognized the Lakeshore Park Abatement and Demolition Project as the Outstanding Engineering Project for 2015. The City of Knoxville is transforming 185 acres of the former Lakeshore Mental Health Institute into Lakeshore Park. Quantum Environmental & Engineering Services, LLC (QE2) was the design engineer for abatement and demolition. QE2 had performed many tasks on the site while working under multiple Tennessee Statewide Environmental Services Contracts and was familiar with the facilities and operations of the Lakeshore Mental Health Institute. QE2 demonstrated appreciation for the site’s history and for its potential as a City park.
The Engineers partnered with the City of Knoxville (Owner) and the awarded Contractor to accomplish the work of the project, which involved design and abatement and demolition of more than 20 buildings in a year’s time. The project was completed with the respect required to impact a facility that had served the public of East Tennessee for 126 years as a mental health institute and for a couple of decades as a City Park. The project was completed without closing the park or even closing the site roads except for one partial road closure during demolition of the smokestack.
There were many challenges to the project, not the least of which was trying to continue to provide utility infrastructure and continual service to buildings that were to remain. The buildings to remain included an operational residential facility serving approximately 12 mentally handicapped clients of Helen Ross Mcabb. This was especially challenging because the utilities were a mixture of types of pipe and conduit, some of which were close to 100 years old. Additionally, many other onsite projects were ongoing at the same time, including restoration and renovation of the 100 year old Administration Building to the headquarters for Knoxville’s Parks and Recreation Department, and the development of a fully accessible playground. The work was designed to accommodate ongoing events at the sports fields and throughout the campus, including different track and field events, soccer and baseball events. Several meetings and social events for users such as the City Mayor Budget presentation or the Pilot Flying J Employee Appreciation Day were also held during the Project.
The other component which allowed QE2 to provide a remarkable product was in Tree Preservation. QE2 worked with the City of Knoxville’s Urban Forester to prepare specifications that protected the trees on campus and nearby buildings from damage during the abatement and demolition project. Some of these trees are more than 100 years old, and since the facility is planned to be a City Park, it was necessary to protect every tree possible.
The Knoxville ASCE Branch submitted the nomination to the Tennessee ASCE Section, and the project was awarded one of two 2015 Outstanding Engineering Project of the Year awards at the Section level.