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Alaska Capital Engineers Announce Winners at Engineers Week Banquet

Projects of the Year, Engineer of the Year & ACE Scholarship Winners Named at Baranof Hotel


Keynote Speaker Rear Admiral Michael F. McAllister


The Alaska Capital Engineers (ACE) culminated National Engineers Week with a Banquet at the Baranof Hotel Saturday night. Approximately 70 guests attended the Banquet which included keynote speaker Rear Admiral Michael F. McAllister; presentation of Juneau Engineering Projects of the Year for Infrastructure and Innovation; announcement of the Outstanding Engineer of the Year for the local Engineering societies; and announcement of the ACE High School scholarship Winners.


ACE is made up by the Juneau Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Juneau Section of the Alaska Society of Professional Engineers.


The keynote speaker Rear Admiral Michael F. McAllister assumed the duties of Commander, Seventeenth Coast Guard District in June 2016. He is responsible for Coast Guard operations throughout Alaska, which include protecting life and property, enforcing federal laws and treaties, preserving living marine resources and promoting national security. Admiral McAllister attended the United States Coast Guard Academy, graduating in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. In 1991, he was awarded a Master of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana .His personal awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit (four awards), the Meritorious Service Medal (five awards), the Coast Guard Commendation Medal (three awards), the DOT 9/11 Medal, as well as numerous other personal, unit and Service awards. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Washington.


Infrastructure and Improvement Project of the Year winner was the Statter Harbor Launch Ramp Facility. Designed by PND for the City and Borough of Juneau Docks and Harbors. Through a cooperative agreement with ADFG Sport Fish, the CBJ retained PND to plan, permit, design and administer construction for the Statter Harbor Improvements Project - Phase II. An extensive environmental assessment was first conducted in accordance with NEPA guidelines and community meetings were held over several years to solicit public comments. PND developed numerous concept plans in response to local and regulatory input and selected a preferred alternative, which was endorsed by all regulatory agencies, to carry forward to construction. This project constructed the second of four phases for Statter Harbor. Phase II was recently completed and includes nearly 150,000 cubic yards of fill placed over wick drain stabilized soils, to create a 4.5 acre parking and marine recreation facility designed to CBJ and Sport Fish standards and conforming to all ADA accessibility requirements. The design included 3,700 tons of ACP pavement, 4,000 linear feet of curb and gutter, 2,000 linear feet of storm drain, water services, sewer force main for future restroom, a concrete marine seawall, a seawalk with covered shelter and a multitude of landscape features which make the facility a fully functional and aesthetically pleasing venue for the developing Auke Bay area. Construction was specifically sequenced over two seasons to allow sufficient time for soft ground modifications, surcharge fill and site paving to be completed just in time to allow partial utilization of the new facility for the 2016 Golden North Salmon Derby, with the remaining work substantially completed by year end.


The Innovation and Design project of the year winner was the Whittier Street Reconstruction. Designed by DOWL for the City and Borough of Juneau. The Whittier Street project reinforces the City and Borough of Juneau’s position as a welcoming Capital City by providing safe and efficient access to the flagship structure of the Willoughby Arts District, the $140 million State Library Archives and Museum building (SLAM). Whittier Street took a beating during SLAM construction, and road reconstruction provided the opportunity to improve pedestrian amenities and address engineering shortcomings. Improvements include white LED lamps that direct light onto the sidewalk and street, creating a warm and inviting space for pedestrians while improving visibility for drivers. Curb bulb-outs shorten mid-block crosswalks, increasing sidewalk depth and protecting driveway sight distances. Improvements have been noticed by the citizens working in the area, such as Bill Legere at KTOO. “Now, for the first time in a long time, I see people enjoying themselves rather than just passing through – walking dogs, spending time on the SLAM’s plaza, waiting for the bus, stopping at the food trucks.” Parks and Recreation Director Kirk Duncan oversees Centennial Hall and Zach Gordon Youth Center. He said, “The new street lighting is extremely attractive and effective...The design is awesome and the contractors working on the job were easy to get along with...Well done to all concerned.”


The selection for Outstanding Engineer of the Year is Carl J. Uchytil, P.E.. Carl was raised in Iowa and graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 1984 with a degree in Marine Science. In 1992, he received his Master’s degree in Ocean Engineering from the University of Rhode Island, which included a thesis on aqueous disposal of dredge material. He served 27 years in the Coast Guard in a variety of roles in civil engineering, aboard cutters and senior staff positions retiring as a captain. His engineering roles included 4 years at the Coast Guard Civil Engineering Unit in Miami in charge of maintenance and repairs of aids-to-navigation and lighthouses in SE United States and the Caribbean. He served 5 years at the Coast Guard Facility Design Construction Center in Seattle as a project manager and planner for large recapitalization and improvement projects. Carl served multiple tours aboard polar icebreakers, operating in both the Arctic and Antarctic and was a member of the POLAR SEA in 1985 which completed the first solo circumnavigation of North America.


Upon retirement in 2011, Maria and Carl elected to remain in Juneau and assumed the role of the CBJ Port Director. Under his leadership, CBJ Docks & Harbors have successfully completed or partnered in projects which have included $23M at Statter Harbor; $16M at Douglas Harbor; $10M at Aurora Harbor; and $70M at the downtown docks. CBJ Docks & Harbors have received project recognition at each Engineers Week Banquet since 2012. Carl remains active in ASCE and is a past Juneau Branch President and currently serves as the Alaska Section Vice President. He authored the ports & harbors segment of the recently released Alaska Infrastructure Report Card.


Carl is a registered civil engineer in Florida and Alaska. He is the President of the Alaska Association of Harbormasters & Port Administrators, Chair of the Cathedral Renovation Committee and member of the Cathedral Pastoral Council. Married to Maria, they have four children Nicholas, Dana, Carl Patrick and Claire.


The Banquet began with a trailer for an IMAX film about engineering called “Dream Big”, which is now playing in IMAX and Giant Screen Theatres. More information and the trailer can be viewed at http://www.dreambigfilm.com/.


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