PITTSBURGH, PA, Feb. 6, 2009 -- Michael Baker Jr. Inc., an engineering unit of Michael Baker Corporation, has been selected by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Pennsylvania to receive a 2009 Diamond Award Certificate for the Latadomi Nature Center Pond Restoration Project.
The Latadomi Environmental Educational Center is a 300-acre wildlife preserve and educational resource within Allegheny County's North Park which features open fields, forests, streams, hiking trails, and a 1.25-acre man-made pond. During the past 30 years, sediment from upstream residential construction and increases in stormwater runoff drastically reduced the surface-size and depth of the pond to less than half its original size. In addition, the embankment and outlet works of the dam had become a safety concern and no longer were in compliance with Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Division of Dam Safety regulations.
"Baker developed a plan and kept the regulatory agencies informed throughout the project," said William D. Trimbath, P.E., vice president and director of Baker's Civil Engineering Services. "As a result, this important environmental and educational resource has been returned to southwestern Pennsylvania residents and will be enjoyed by future generations."
Baker developed a restoration plan to bring the pond back to its original size and depth by removing more than 5,500 cubic yards of sediment; conducting hydrologic, hydraulic, and dam breach analyses; replacing the primary water intake structure and reconstructing the emergency spillway system. Since the pond's restoration, many species have returned including snapping turtles, bullfrogs, salamanders, minnows, great blue heron, green heron, Canada geese, mallards and wood ducks. The restoration of the diverse wildlife habitats has restored the associated educational opportunities and allows the Latadomi Environmental Educational Center to offer a full schedule of programs.
Michael Baker Corporation provides engineering and operations and maintenance services for its clients' most complex challenges worldwide.