RESPEC Receives 2023 Engineering Excellence Award for Outstanding Flood Control Design

Pictured left to right: David Gatterman, Executive Engineer, SSCAFCA, Chris Naidu, Supervisor, RESPEC, and Hugh Floyd, Manager, RESPEC

On April 21, 2023, RESPEC was honored with the 2023 Engineering Excellence Award at the New Mexico American Council of Engineering Companies Annual Awards Gala. The award recognizes RESPEC’s remarkable contribution to engineering for its innovative and sustainable flood control design for the Lisbon Pond in Rio Rancho, New Mexico.  

Flooding has long been a problem for Rio Rancho, where severe storms and flash flooding have historically been devastating and costly. In 2013, the Southern Sandoval County Flood Control Authority (SSCAFCA) identified the Lisbon Pond as critical infrastructure needed to address capacity issues and flooding risks downstream of the project area.  

SSCAFCA selected RESPEC to work on the final design. We worked with SSCAFCA to develop a design that mitigated the risk of flooding and safeguarded the communities and infrastructure in the downstream area.  

Initially, the construction of Lisbon Pond was estimated to cost $1.3 million and required several reinforced structures. SSCAFCA chose RESPEC to finalize the design and manage construction. Instead, RESPEC devised an innovative approach: we designed a side-channel emergency spillway. We used the excess earth from the pond excavation to raise two historically washed-out roadways that often exposed critical utilities in the area. The raised roadway embankments also acted as a secondary ponding area that captured and detained runoff that would have otherwise bypassed Lisbon Pond, thus further preventing flooding of nearby roads and critical utilities. This approach reduced the need for expensive structures and saved the client money, with a final project cost of $1.24 million. 

Construction was completed in May 2021, and the new dam immediately proved its worth. Two high-intensity storms hit the area a week after construction, putting the design to the test. The facilities effectively detained the stormwater runoff, providing relief and protection to the public and nearby infrastructure. 

Receiving the 2023 Engineering Excellence Award highlights RESPEC’s commitment to safety and sustainability. Creative solutions, close coordination with different agencies, and a cost-effective design played a crucial role in the success of the Lisbon Pond Project.  

RESPEC’s outstanding contribution to engineering is a testament to the company’s excellence, innovation, and commitment to solving complex challenges. The award underscores RESPEC’s position as a leading engineering and consulting company and a trusted partner to clients seeking exceptional engineering solutions.  

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