A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District employee took home impressive honors at the Florida Chapter of Construction Management Association of America (CMAA) Project Achievement Awards ceremony in Orlando, Fla, Dec. 1.
Nathaniel “Nate” Earnshaw of the HHD Area Office was recognized as Distinguished Young Engineer of the Year at CMAA’s annual gala event to recognize innovation, excellence and achievement in the industry. The district’s Jacksonville Harbor Deepening and Hebert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation Projects were recognized in the Transportation Project and Environmental Project categories for their excellence.
“HHD – which is now coming to a close – I was project engineer for one of the last task orders, building a cutoff wall that reinforces the dike between the existing water control structures,” said Earnshaw.
Earnshaw has been a member of the HHD team for his entire career . . . so far.
“I love it. I started as a student intern, a college senior, 21 years old. I’m 27 now. It’s been a great opportunity for my professional career,” he said.
He described his role as a junior engineer as being something of a day-to-day coordinator, providing contractor oversight, quality assurance and inspections oversight for the 18-year, $1.5 billion rehabilitation project, which was officially completed in January of this year, $300 million under budget and three years ahead of schedule.
“It feels good,” said Miguel Cedeno-Morales, Jacksonville’s Area Engineer for the project. “It’s a well deserved recognition for the program, for the PDT, and for AECOM, the Construction Management Services firm that worked with USACE on the project.”
James McRae, supervisory engineer in the district’s Construction Division, represented the Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project team at the event along with representatives from the project non-federal sponsor, the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT)
“It’s very satisfying to be here on behalf of the many team members who worked this project for so many years to bring it to completion,” said McRae.
The Jacksonville Harbor Deepening Project was completed through Blount Island in May 2022, providing a 47-foot channel depth for vessels calling at JAXPORT.
The $420 million project deepened the Jacksonville shipping channel from its previous depth of 40 feet (12.2 meters) to a depth of 47 feet (14.3 meters). The project included construction of a vessel turning basin that now allows larger ships to better maneuver at the Blount Island berths.
A deeper harbor is essential to meet the needs of larger cargo ships transiting the Suez and Panama Canals as those vessels deliver cargo to JAXPORT terminals. A 47-foot depth for the federal channel positions JAXPORT as the first U.S. East Coast port of call for fully loaded post-Panamax class vessels.
“It’s truly an honor to receive this award for a great project and continued strong partnership with JAXPORT,” said project manager, Jason Harrah.
(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District on the district’s website at https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JaxStrong.