Fenstermaker Receives Transportation Excellence Award

Fenstermaker received the coveted Transportation Excellence Award in the category of Innovative Use of Product or Technology from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LA DOTD) at the 2009 Transportation Engineering Conference closing luncheon held February 11th in Baton Rouge, LA. The award was given to Fenstermaker’s Advanced Technology Division to recognize the innovative and combined use of Underwater Acoustics and High Definition Survey. These services were performed on the inspection of Lake D’Arbonne Dam in Union Parish, LA. By combining the data collected from the two technologies, Fenstermaker was able to deliver a comprehensive model of the dam for analysis by LA DOTD. Fenstermaker’s Ken LaBry and Ryan Fuselier, P.E. led the firm’s Underwater Acoustics and High Definition Survey teams on this project.

LA DOTD’s Transportation Excellence Awards recognize special achievement in engineering and construction projects performed by transportation partners. The competition recognizes the "best of the best" projects which exemplify a shared dedication to providing the highest quality in transportation infrastructure to the citizens of Louisiana and the users of state highways, transit systems, airports, ports, and other public works.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, Public Works and Water Resources Division (LA DOTD), through the Bayou D’Arbonne Lake Watershed commission and Riley Company of Louisiana, Inc., contracted Fenstermaker to perform a comprehensive survey and inspection of the dam, utilizing new and innovative technology in underwater acoustic imaging and profiling. This project was part of the effort to provide a thorough, in depth profile of the as-found condition of the dam structure and the water bottom approach and egress, allowing the expedient remediation of any observed or recorded problematic issues. To accomplish this goal, Fenstermaker developed a comprehensive surface and high resolution topographic model of the dam system for LA DOTD, in addition to conducting a visual safety inspection of the dam system, which included the internal, external, and all appurtenant surrounding structures.

LA DOTD designed D’ Arbonne Dam in the mid 1950’s and its construction was completed in 1963. The structure is a concrete slab, buttress and interior gallery design with a concrete spillway 799′ long and an earthen embankment 1,646′ long for a total system length of 2,445′. The drainage area for the system is 1,585 square miles with a lake surface area of 15,250 acres, providing a very high watershed drainage area to lake surface area ratio. There are four 60 inch by 60 inch sluice gates located at the south end of the spillway section. The gates are primarily used for dam maintenance and reservoir management.

Under the direction of Zahir "Bo" Bolourchi, P. E. Director, Water Resources Programs at LA DOTD, the agency has actively pursued new and innovative technology to utilize in the quest for more detailed and comprehensive information. LA DOTD then uses this information as a decision-making tool in devising a plan for the maintenance and repair of dam systems.

In 2007, Fenstermaker received this award for High Definition Underwater Acoustic work on the Huey P. Long Bridge in New Orleans. It was the first underwater inspection of the Huey P. Long Bridge and part of the Huey P. Long Widening Project, a TIMED Project, put forth by LA DOTD.

As a result of the success of the Lake D’Arbonne Dam project, the State of Louisiana through the LA DOTD Dam Safety Group, has contracted Fenstermaker to conduct Underwater Acoustic and High Definition Survey work and inspection on all remaining 19 State-maintained dams.

About Fenstermaker
Fenstermaker is a regional company providing engineering, surveying and mapping, and environmental services to federal, state and local governments, the oil and gas industry and private enterprise. Fenstermaker’s offices are located in Lafayette, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Shreveport, Louisiana and Houston, Texas.