Peoria Veterans Memorial at Rio Vista Park
Peoria, Ariz.
Best Project

Owner/Developer: City of Peoria
General Contractor: Valley Rain Construction Corp.
Lead Design Firm: AZTEC Engineering
Electrical Engineer: Wright Engineering
Subcontractors: Caliente Ironworks; Kimbrell Electric

Completed in time for Veterans Day in 2017, the Peoria Veterans Memorial at Rio Vista Park was inspired by efforts to help veterans recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Peoria officials faced a major challenge to build a complex memorial in a short time frame and with a limited budget. A design-build arrangement helped the team achieve the city’s goals.

“This project was multifaceted and required considerable teamwork and innovation to overcome the challenges presented by renovating an existing public space,” says Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat, adding that the patriotic nature of the project helped motivate the team.

The memorial expansion included a cantilevered plaza next to the lake, shade canopies, more plaza space, lighting, seating areas and landscape and irrigation upgrades.

The memorial entry features water, sound system wiring, a flag wall (where all five military branches are displayed) and a restored Bell UH-1 helicopter displayed 18 ft above the plaza.

Completed in October 2017, the $781,000 expansion also incorporates ADA accessibility in the form of wider walkways and a flag wall that accomodates wheelchair-bound veterans and includes a lowered crank to raise and lower flags.

The deck concrete finishes mix broomed and sandblasted bands, stained curbs and radially sawcut joints to control cracking.

Because of a ballooning price tag, the steel cantilevered deck over the water’s edge threatened to stop the project. However, team leaders recommended relocating the existing lake wall and building a shorter concrete overhang to reduce costs. Circulation pumps were added to enhance sound and visual effects. 

Other structural challenges were overlapping multiple foundations near potentially water-saturated soils and placing an 18-ft-high curved stand for the Huey helicopter. 

Builders used a low-strength concrete slurry for the new embankment, creating a stable foundation for the relocated lake wall and overhang. The curved overhang was accomplished with wood falsework and suspended face forms to create smooth curves for the new deck and curb.