News Release Manager

USACE project finalist for prestigious environmental award

Published Aug. 15, 2012

PHOENIX – The Design and Construction Tres Rios Environmental Restoration Project, Phase 3A&3B, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District project in Phoenix, is a finalist for a Valley Forward Association Crescordia Award.

Valley Forward’s Crescordia Award takes its name from the Greek term that means “To Grow in Harmony.” The project is in the running for the award under the Site Development and Landscape, Public Sector category for the Association’s 32nd annual Environmental Excellence Awards program. The restoration project is a joint endeavor for the District and the City of Phoenix.

“This is a great honor for us,” said Joel Rodriguez, the District’s project engineer. “Tres Rios is important as a whole, because it shows just how much positive impact a project can have. This project helps restore an ecosystem by bringing water back to a desert area and using available resources for maximum benefit. It’s pretty impressive.”

The project being recognized is a portion of the overall Tres Rios Environmental Restoration Project. The first part of the project created more than 500 acres of wetlands using treated effluent from the 91st Ave. Wastewater Treatment Facility in Phoenix’s West Valley. From its inception, the City of Phoenix has worked in partnership with the District to ensure the project reaches its full potential.

“The portion of the project is Phase 3A & B, the full environmental restoration of the Salt and Gila Rivers channel from 105th Ave to El Mirage Rd,” said Bob Upham with the City of Phoenix’s Water Services Department. “This portion of the project removed the invasive species (Salt Cedar) and replaced them with native plants, which include Cottonwood and Willow trees.”

Kiewit Infrastructure West Co., the District’s contractor, said they understand the value of the project to the city and are very proud to be a part of the project.

“Going into this, Kiewit and its partners had a clear understanding of the environmental impacts of the project,” said Dennis Onstott, Kiewit’s project director. “We knew how important it was to the habitat, what it meant to the city, USACE and the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and we knew what it meant to the community. Our project team was dedicated to delivering excellence on this environmental restoration project.”

Valley Forward was founded in 1969. Its members represent large corporations and small businesses, municipalities and government agencies, educators, non-profits and individuals working together on environmental initiatives. The annual awards program, known as the “Academy Awards of the environmental community,” spotlights distinguished projects that demonstrate a high level of environmental commitment and contribute to the region’s overall sustainability. The announcement will take place during the association’s program to be held Sept. 29.

Daniel J. Calderon

Release no. 12-012