A rail system project at Miami International Airport earned dual Best Projects honors, winning the the Southeast's top transportation project award as well as the top safety award.

The MIA Automated People Mover System is a 1.27-mile-long elevated system that connects a new station serving all of the airport's terminals to an intermodal center, which houses rental car facilities and transfers to other forms of transportation. The APM's guideway was built atop a system of auger-cast and drilled shaft foundations supporting conventional reinforced concrete hammerhead piers and standard bulb-tee beams.

Construction crews building the new APM station were challenged by the site's close proximity to two existing parking garages that left just 10 ft of separation between the project and the existing structures.

Midway through the design process, the Miami-Dade Aviation Dept. challenged design-builder Parsons-Odebrecht to construct the facility to achieve LEED certification. The builders went beyond that goal, with the project earning LEED-Gold status. The design of the MIA Station, for example, realized energy savings of up to 26% compared with the original baseline.

Additionally, the project's construction eliminated the need for more than 100 circulating buses, reducing MIA's carbon footprint by 157,000 tons of CO2.

The project, which logged nearly 1.5 million man-hours, attained an OSHA incidence rate of 0.27. The safety program included: weekly project executive safety walks with documented follow-up; an employee feedback program; monthly all-hands safety meetings; and weekly training for all trade supervisors.

The independent judges who determined the winner of ENR Southeast's first-ever 'Best Projects' safety award quickly and unanimously recognized the MIA Mover project's exceptional approach to safety.

Gaylord Ballard, senior health, safety and environment manager for KBR Building Group, Durham, N.C., said: "[The project team] had a solid program of preplanning, training, incentives and administrative controls that only the best-in-class programs can boast."

The project "delivered outstanding results," added Hendrik Van Brenk, chief environmental, health and safety officer with Skanska USA, Atlanta.


Key Players

Owner: Miami-Dade Aviation Dept., Miami

Designer/Contractor: Parsons-Odebrecht Joint Venture, Miami

Architect: M.C. Harry Associates, Miami

Civil Engineer: NOVA Consulting, Doral, Fla.

Struct. Engineers: TY Lin Int’l, Miami, and SZA Corp., Miami

MEP Engineer: Fraga Engineers, Coral Gables, Fla.

Submitted by Parsons-Odebrecht Joint Venture

This file was updated to more clearly identify ENR Southeast's safety judges, who are quoted in the story.