The City of Olathe, Kansas and GBA Recognized by ACEC

Kansas for South Cedar Creek Sewer Improvements


The City of Olathe, Kan., and GBA Architects and Engineers have been selected to receive the City Public Improvement Award in the “50,000 and above” population category from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Kansas for the South Cedar Creek Sewer Improvements.

GBA and the City of Olathe will accept the award at the Kansas Association of City/County Management’s Annual Conference in Topeka on December 1. The South Cedar Creek Sewer Improvements have earned recognition for their benefits to the community, providing sewer service to developing areas that will support the BNSF Railroad’s Intermodal Development in southwest Johnson County while protecting and enhancing the environment.

“GBA designed new gravity sewer, forcemain, and a submersible pumping station that is not only functional, but also sustainable and funded by a special sanitary sewer benefit district,” said Rebecca Bilderback, P.E., City of Olathe. “GBA and the City collaborated early in the design phase of the project to ensure that goals were accomplished and stakeholders’ expectations were met.” Plans by the City and Johnson County to develop a recreational trail following the stream that is adjacent to the improvement project were among the considerations in the planning, design, and construction of the project.

According to GBA Vice President and Principal Bill Carter, P.E., the establishment of the special benefit district resulted in one of the most significant benefits to citizens of Olathe. “Since the capital costs for the project are being paid for by the benefit district, citizens of Olathe will receive the long-term benefits of additional property tax income without incurring capital debt,” he said.

Equally important to the citizens of Olathe is the environmentally sound method by which the project was planned, designed, and constructed, including:

• Careful selection of stream crossing locations to minimize interceptor disruption by high velocities/stream scour.

• Selection of alignment to reduce loss of large-diameter hardwood trees.

• Minimization of visual impact of the project along the stream corridor by alternating construction clearing limits on each side of the project centerline.

• Stream bank restoration using bio-engineered solutions, i.e., native trees, plants, and grasses with erosion control mats and filter materials.

• Preservation of clearings resulting from interceptor installation for future trail system.

• “Park-like” features incorporated into pump station design, i.e., earth tone split face CMUs, sustainable “light-colored metal roofing,” dark perimeter fencing. (The City intends to remove the pumping station and to use the building and parking lot in conjunction with the future trail.)

• Provisions for pump station to handle additional capacity if needed.

About the GBA Companies
The GBA Companies provide innovative, sustainable engineering, architectural, and construction management solutions for high-profile projects throughout the world.

GBA and its subsidiaries, GBA Builders, GBA Systems Integrators, and ViroCon, serve primary markets including transportation, traffic integration, water environment, building design, civil/site development, commissioning, sustainable design, and surveying.