Environmental Protection

FHWA Honors Flatiron for Innovative Construction

Flatiron of Longmont, Colo., has won an Environmental Excellence Award in ecosystems, habitat and wildlife for an innovative pile-driving method used on the U.S. 17 Washington Bypass in Beaufort County, N.C.

The awarded was presented by the Federal Highway Administration. Flatiron developed a patented variation of the top-down construction technique for the North Carolina Department of Transportation's $192 million design-build Highway 17 Bypass around Washington and Chocowinity, N.C. which included a new three-mile bridge over the Pamlico-Tar River.

The project was the world's first application of the pile-driving operations from an erection gantry. It not only saved time and cost, it also eliminated the need for large cranes and temporary access trestles, significantly reducing environmental disturbances to the wetlands below.

The FHWA recognized Flatiron's method not only for its application on the Washington Bypass but for the broader promise the erection gantry holds for minimizing damage to wetlands in the future. The award also recognizes the financial risk Flatiron took in order to realize the innovation as well as the company's commitment to environmental excellence.

Flatiron representatives accepted the award at the International Conference on Ecology and Transportation held in Duluth, Minn., in September.

The Environmental Excellence awards is a biennial program developed by the FHWA to honor those partners, projects and processes that excel in meeting growing transportation needs while protecting and enhancing the environment.

Flatiron, with a construction volume of $1.04 billion in 2008, is one of the leading providers of transportation construction and civil engineering in North America. Its core competencies include major bridge, highway, and rail projects.

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