Akima Construction Services Takes Over Flood Control Project

93761401306145LeveeProject.jpgIt’s been years since tourists on the Mall in downtown Washington, D.C. have avoided construction. Work on the 17th Street Levee project was slated to be completed long ago, but due to the job being stalled work was suspended.

In the beginning of October 2013, Akima Construction Services was hired to complete the project. The agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will bring in $1.2 million for the company.

“It is a great honor that the Army Corps of Engineers would recommend us to take over such a high visible project that is in such need of getting back on track,” says Senior Project Manager, Kevin Morton.

Completing the job includes finishing off concrete walls with granite, landscaping, as well as sidewalks and roadways along the east end of the Capital wall. The project will be completed no later than May 31, 2014.

Morton says much of the momentum originates from Barbara Price, senior project manager, and Hugh Jones, senior superintendent, both with Akima. They’ve been working on-site to ensure everything is done right so the company will continue to have these opportunities.

Following the devastation Hurricane Katrina brought to many parts of the country, the Federal Emergency Management Agency started a nationwide review of flood-zone maps.

FEMA found the existing plans to use Jersey barriers and sandbags, to prevent possible floodwaters from moving north on 17th Street, were insufficient. So the project was awarded to create a levee system that protects the lower part of Washington, D.C.

“It is an important flood control, if there ever is a flood in Washington, to protect the city as a whole,” Morton said.

Akima has worked on a lot of high profile buildings, including the Pentagon. What’s different about this project is that it’s open to the public. A lot of the work the company does is behind the scenes, and for different security reasons, cannot be visited.

“This is one of those projects that I’m probably going to take my kids and grandkids to and say hey, look, this is something we have done,” Morton explained.

Not only is the project important to protecting the city, it is in the shadows of some very highly visible monuments and memorials. Some of them include the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Washington Monument.

 “It’s a neat place to be,” Morton explained, “it’s right in the center of all the activities. Millions of people are going to walk by it for hundreds of years to come. No one is going to look at it and think that it’s a levee, people are going to look at as being built in the same quality as the surrounding monuments are.”

For more information: http://www.akimaconstruction.com/