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Boise firm honored for Yale Dam fish net system

McMillen LLC, of Boise, is a finalist in the American Council of Engineering Companies’ 44th annual Engineering Excellence Awards competition for designing a net system to protect fish at the Yale Lake Reservoir in southeast Washington.
To comply with the terms of its operating license, the Yale Hydroelectric Project needed to construct a system to prevent threatened bull trout and other fish from being drawn into the powerhouse intake ports. McMillen developed a design for a 785-foot long, 134-foot deep anchored net system. Made of a strong, long-lasting synthetic fiber, the net was installed using 4,000-pound concrete anchors. Installed during a scheduled maintenance outage, the new net system offers a new low-cost, effective way to protect fish at hydroelectric facilities across the country.
The project is among 163 engineering projects from throughout the nation that are being recognized by ACEC as preeminent engineering achievements for 2009. Judging for the prestigious Engineering Excellence Awards – known industry-wide as the “Academy Awards” of the engineering industry – took place in February, conducted by a distinguished panel of more than 30 engineers and architects, along with representatives from government, media, and academia. Criteria for awards include uniqueness and originality, technical, social and economic value, complexity, and success of the projects in meeting goals.
ACEC is the Washington-D.C.-based business association representing about 5,700 independent engineering companies throughout the United States.

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