Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport mitigation project recognized with top design award

January 22, 2018


(l-r) ACEC Washington Chair Elect Dan Campbell, Kari Nichols (Mead & Hunt), Vince Barthels (J-U-B Engineers), Mark Napier (J-U-B Engineers), ACEC Washington Chair of the Board Kathy Cox-Czosnyka
(l-r) ACEC Washington Chair Elect Dan Campbell, Kari Nichols (Mead & Hunt), Vince Barthels (J-U-B Engineers), Mark Napier (J-U-B Engineers), ACEC Washington Chair of the Board Kathy Cox-Czosnyka

The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport mitigation project was awarded a Best in State: Gold Award for social, economic and sustainable design by the American Council of Engineering Companies of Washington.

The Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport’s realignment project required a large-scale mitigation effort to compensate for 22 acres of combined wetland and stream impacts at the airport.

Mitigating these impacts in close proximity to the airport was not feasible since wetlands and streams attract wildlife that can be hazardous for airport operations. Because of these restrictions, the airport needed to locate the mitigation property more than two miles away, yet still within the same watershed.

The Mead & Hunt’s team obtained permits, secured land, designed and procured bids, and managed construction in a short six-month turn-around period. The project yielded the largest mitigation site, in terms of area, in eastern Washington.

Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport mitigation
A 113.6-acre wetland mitigation project for the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport was the largest in eastern Washington. (photo courtesy of J-U-B Engineers)

The site includes the creation of eight acres of riverine wetlands, the enhancement of 13 acres of existing riverine wetlands, the preservation of 91 acres of adjacent and contiguous upland buffer areas, and the installation of thousands of plants, shrubs, trees and boulders.

The mitigation project is unique because it occupies a large, 113.6-acre continuous tract of land, rather than spreading resources between smaller isolated mitigation sites. This uses a more holistic approach to wetland and stream mitigation that provides greater habitat diversity and wetland functions.

The establishment of the mitigation site has also resulted in several benefits to the region. The site influenced the creation of companion projects, such as the enhancement of approximately 87 acres adjacent to the site.

The mitigation site improvements also provided flood storage to those located down-gradient of the project site. After a heavy winter, the site leveled out the south fork of the Palouse River, dissipating floodwaters and bringing energy out of the river system.

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