City of Columbia, Woolpert Win 2019 SC APWA Project of the Year Award


The team was honored for its design, construction, and stormwater and water quality improvements at Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

Columbia, S.C. (June 28, 2019) — The city of Columbia, S.C., and Woolpert were honored by the South Carolina American Public Works Association with its 2019 SC APWA Project of the Year Award in the category of Structures/Historical Restoration for their Martin Luther King Jr. Park Detention and Water Quality Project.

The project was a collaborative effort between Woolpert water resource engineers and landscape architects, Columbia Engineering and Parks and Recreation department staff, and the community to address routine flooding and water quality issues while improving the appearance and functionality of the park.

For the project, the team designed and constructed an off-line dry detention area to assist with stormwater attenuation, increased the overall stormwater storage capacity within the park and provided pollutant trapping within new storage areas. The detention area also was designed to be used as an environmental education area, and a handicap-accessible boardwalk was added to provide park visitors access to Rocky Branch Creek, which runs through the park.

“Extreme weather events are part and parcel with living in the Southeast, and mitigating stormwater from them in an environmentally responsible way is what this project is all about,” said Assistant City Manager for Columbia Water Clint Shealy. “As this project shows, building more resilient infrastructure can go hand-in-hand with creating a more aesthetic and livable city.”

Woolpert Program Director Hal Clarkson said he was honored to receive the SC APWA award and was pleased with how well the project has been received.

“It was important that the design strike a balance between alleviating flooding and creating an engaging destination for the community,” Clarkson said. “With this project, the park regained lost space, water quality improved and people of all mobilities can now enjoy this beautiful site. I’m just proud to be a part of it.”

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