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Jeff Mazanec of R.A. Smith National Honored with William J. Rheinfrank Award

by Jessica Pairrett 20. June 2017 07:12

Jeff Mazanec

Civil Engineer Receives American Public Works Association Award that Honors Service to Profession

Jeff Mazanec, project manager and senior consultant with R.A. Smith National, received the William J. Rheinfrank Award from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA).

The APWA Wisconsin Chapter William J. Rheinfrank Award is presented annually to recognize a person or organization who has provided a positive, far-reaching impact on public works programs, services or policies demonstrated by distinguished public service and commitment to their community and the state of Wisconsin.

Mazanec has dedicated more than 43 years to his consulting engineer career. Over that time, he has served state, county and municipal clients in Wisconsin and beyond. A professional engineer, Mazanec has been involved in all aspects of municipal, water and wastewater, water resources, transportation, solid waste and environmental engineering service projects.

Both locally and regionally, Mazanec has been a speaker on topics such as stormwater management and erosion control, permitting, and mobile applications for collecting and sharing field data. Additionally, he has held key leadership positions in several private and professional organizations within the public works and engineering industry, with a strong focus on effective communication and collaboration. He holds a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Platteville.

“Others and myself in the public works profession are fortunate to have Jeff as a friend and resource. Jeff has created far-reaching positive impacts in public works programs by providing dedicated service and outstanding support to municipalities, agencies and professional organizations. He is always willing to provide and share his extensive knowledge on stormwater utilities, MS4 permit compliance, and on public utility conveyance systems to those in the public works profession," said Sean Gehin, P.E., project engineer for the City of Wausau.

About the Award

This award is presented in memory of former APWA Wisconsin Chapter president William J. Rheinfrank. Rheinfrank held a long career with the Milwaukee Department of Public Works, serving the last 18 of his 43 years as Superintendent of Street Sanitation. Fighting the snow, his most distinguishable contribution, resulted in turning the City’s once-inadequate system into “the best department in the Midwest snow belt region.” In 1965 he published a comprehensive plan for combatting snow and continually campaigned for better equipment and training.

The Wisconsin Chapter of the APWA presented the William J. Rheinfrank Award during their spring conference held May 10–12.

Dodge County Bridge Projects Receive Project of the Year Award

by Jessica Pairrett 2. June 2017 07:16

County Highway Bridge Replacements Win Top Honor by American Public Works Association

A pair of accelerated bridge construction projects in Dodge County, Wis., has received a 2016 Public Works Project of the Year Award from the Wisconsin Chapter of the American Public Works Association (APWA).

R.A. Smith National provided construction services for the replacement of Dodge County bridges on County KW and County S, which were at the ends of their useful lives. Dodge County implemented a new technology known as geosynthetic reinforced soil-integrated bridge system (GRS-IBS). This technology was chosen from the Every Day Counts initiative set forth by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). GRS-IBS is an efficient, cost-effective and safe method for constructing bridges. At the time of these bridge replacements, only one other bridge in Wisconsin had been constructed using this technology—and with great success.

County S after construction

Above: County S over Shaw Brook with GRS-IBS abutments and precast box beams.

Additional Information

The main appeal of the new GRS-IBS technology to the traveling public is that projects can be constructed in as little as weeks instead of several months with traditional construction methods. Another advantage of using this technology is cost savings, between 25 to 60 percent less than conventional methods. Saving taxpayer money is the number one goal in using this technology. GRS-IBS bridges also offer durable construction with low maintenance, the potential for lower lifecycle costs and minimized environmental impacts.

Both new County KW and County S bridges replaced existing bridges that were structurally deficient. Greater clear widths on each bridge will improve safety and reduce the likelihood of crashes, while increased shoulder widths better accommodate bicyclists. Beam guards and railings were updated to improve safety.

R.A. Smith National provided construction administration and inspection, while OMNNI Associates designed the two new bridges and Janke General Contractors constructed the bridges. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Structures provided technical assistance. These projects required the cooperation of many different entities working together to promote new technology and innovation in Wisconsin.

GRS-IBS Abutment Under Construction

Above: This photo captures several unique aspects of the GRS-IBS abutment under construction, including the reinforced soil foundation (RSF), different colored layers of blocks, fabric reinforcement and backfill. The crew is placing steel reinforcement and concrete in the top three layers of the wall per the manufacturer’s specifications. The abutment was approximately 80% complete when the above photo was taken.

Judging and Awards

A jury of professionals selected award recipients based on criteria such as: construction management techniques; demonstrated safety during construction; community relations; awareness of the need to protect the environment; unusual accomplishments under adverse conditions; additional conditions like construction innovations or money-saving techniques; and sustainable infrastructure.

The Wisconsin Chapter of the APWA presented the Public Works Project of the Year Award during their spring conference held May 10–12.

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