Two Rincon Projects Honored with APWA Ventura County Project of the Year Awards


We are excited to announce that Rincon has brought home TWO awards! The American Public Works Association (APWA) Ventura County Chapter selected Foster Park Fish Passage Improvements Project and the Santa Ana Boulevard Bridge Replacement Project as 2022 Projects of the Year (insert applause here)! Each year, APWA presents the Public Works Projects of the Year awards to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects, recognizing the alliance between the managing agency, the contractor, the consultant, and their cooperative achievements.

Foster Park Fish Passage Improvements Project 

Rincon assisted the City of Ventura in the strategic development, planning, evaluation, and implementation of a fish passage project on the Ventura River. The City owns a subterranean diversion structure at Foster Park on the Ventura River that became exposed many years ago creating a potential barrier to upstream migrating fish including the federally endangered southern California steelhead as well as Pacific lamprey. Rincon worked with the City providing CEQA expertise, historical resource impact assessment for the project to assess potential impacts the project may have on the subterranean diversion structure biological assessment to assist with federal Section 7 consultation for federally listed southern California steelhead and California red-legged frog, additionally, our fisheries biologists reviewed engineering designs for the project to ensure fish passage criteria were met. Following a two-year planning and design period, the project was successfully constructed in the fall of 2022, providing fish passage opportunities for the focal fish species and other species in the river. Rincon continues to work with the City of Ventura in evaluating the effectiveness of the newly constructed fish passage design at the diversion.

Santa Ana Boulevard Bridge Replacement Project 

Rincon assisted the County of Ventura Public Works Agency by providing Archaeological, Biological Native American, and Paleontological monitors, as well as a bat specialist to monitor the implementation of the Santa Ana Blvd Bridge Replacement Project. This involved a biological assessment of the river and surrounding habitats to identify any potential impacts of the bridge replacement on local plant and animal species during construction. The replacement of the Santa Ana Blvd Bridge over the Ventura River is an important project that serves as a crucial step towards the removal of the Matilija Dam, which is essential for the Ventura River watershed’s long-term environmental health. The new bridge project, designed with funding from the California State Coastal Conservancy and construction funding from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, aims to restore fish habitat, biodiversity, and coastal wetland ecosystems. The new 350-foot-long and wider bridge provides unimpeded traffic access across the Ventura River, enhances endangered steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) migration, and eliminates current and future concerns about increased sediment transport. The project also addressed previous bridge’s seismic compliance concerns and provided local jobs and economic stimulus, upgrading infrastructure for improved water and climate resilience. Overall, the project is a crucial component of a larger watershed-scale ecosystem restoration effort that aims to restore ecological balance in the Ventura River watershed.

Congratulations to all involved with these award-winning projects!