The Deep Foundations Institute has awarded this year’s Outstanding Project Award to a team of companies working on the Red Rock Dam. In a release, the DFI applauded the “ingenuity” of the design and work put in to modify the dam over Iowa’s Des Moines River into a hydroelectric facility.

The team on the project included:

Stantec (engineer)

Ames Construction (general contractor)

Case-Bencor JV (Keller; foundation)

Missouri River Energy Services (owner)

Rembco Geotechnical Contractors (grouting)

And Schnabel Geostructural Design & Construction (anchor).

DFI will present the award during the 46th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, Oct. 12-15, 2021, in Las Vegas.

In a release, the group says companies on the project overcame many geotechnical and other challenges, including constructing a new intake channel, penstocks that carry water to the turbines, and a powerhouse directly adjacent to the existing dam’s spillway. Teams on the project used extensive water- and earth-retention systems, prescriptive construction staging, and a robust dam safety surveillance program to maintain the dam’s integrity during construction. The key foundation elements and excavation features included diaphragm walls, deep excavations and treatment of solutioned gypsum deposits.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ facility near Pella, Iowa, now provides up to 55 MW (55,000 kW) of clean, reliable power to surrounding communities, and will generate 178,000 MWH (178,000,000 KWH) annually.

Special recognition awards will also be given to two other entries: Little Island Pier 55 at Hudson River Park in New York City, in which Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers designed hybrid piles for an undulating landscape that required exacting pile locations and extremely tight pile cutoffs; and PB&A for the complex shoring wall design for 2nd Street/Broadway rail station, with challenges that included maintaining live traffic during excavation, supporting heavy underground utilities, and the protrusion of the Los Angeles Times Building into the station.

The OPA was established in 1997 to recognize the superior work of DFI members. A committee selects the projects based on size, scope and challenges of the project; degree of innovation and ingenuity exercised; and uniqueness of the solution to the difficulties of the job.

The DFI is an international association of contractors, engineers, academics and suppliers in the deep foundations industry with more than 3,500 members worldwide. For more information about the Deep Foundations Institute, visit