Baker recognized for river restoration, parks project in North Carolina

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CARY, NC, Dec. 21, 2009 -- The American Council of Engineering Companies of North Carolina (ACEC-NC) selected Michael Baker Engineering Inc., an engineering unit of Michael Baker Corporation, as the 2010 Engineering Excellence Grand Award winner in the Environmental Category for the Ararat River Restoration, Greenway, and Parks Project. This project was undertaken on behalf of the City of Mount Airy; Resource Institute Inc.; and the Surry County Soil and Water Conservation District. The project restored approximately 3.5 miles of the Ararat River, constructed a 2.5-mile riverside greenway, refurbished one park and constructed two additional parks.

"Factors that added to the complexity of the project included working in and around a large river channel (almost 75-square-mile watershed), designing elements of the parks and greenway to complement the river restoration work, and coordinating multiple design teams to complete the project on schedule and within budget."

"The goal was to improve water quality in the watershed and the Yadkin River Basin, and also to benefit city and county residents and visitors to Mount Airy," said Baker's Joshua White, professional geologist. "Factors that added to the complexity of the project included working in and around a large river channel (almost 75-square-mile watershed), designing elements of the parks and greenway to complement the river restoration work, and coordinating multiple design teams to complete the project on schedule and within budget."

In addition to the environmental benefits of a restored stream, the project provides educational, recreational, and aesthetic benefits to area visitors and the 73,000 residents of Surry County. Upstream of the project area, the Ararat River is a stocked fish hatchery. The greenway and river corridor extend to three area schools: Tharrington Elementary School, Tharrington Middle School, and Mount Airy Middle School. In addition to the educational opportunities provided by the new parks and greenway, the project is designed to encourage area youth to have a more active lifestyle, building healthy habits that will last a lifetime. Finally, the project will expand the City's stated goal of becoming an ecotourism destination.

About Michael Baker Corporation
Michael Baker Corporation (www.mbakercorp.com) provides architecture, engineering and construction services for its clients' most complex challenges worldwide. The firm's primary business areas are aviation, defense, environmental, facilities, geospatial, homeland security, municipal & civil, pipelines & utilities, transportation and water. With more than 2,300 employees in over 40 offices across the United States, Baker is focused on creating value by delivering innovative and sustainable solutions for infrastructure and the environment.

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