WASHINGTON, D.C.—The University Pointe Boulevard in Charlotte, North Carolina, has earned the Envision Bronze rating for sustainable infrastructure from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). This is the first project in North Carolina to receive Envision recognition.
The University Pointe Boulevard, completed in the summer of 2017, is a roadway improvement project addressing a need identified in the Charlotte University Area Plan for a new roadway and pedestrian corridor to cross over Interstate 85 (I-85), connecting businesses, neighborhoods and schools west of the interstate to the developments and light rail station on the east side. The project includes a new bridge over I-85, new secondary access road to two schools, a roundabout intersection to improve traffic flow, pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and two creek crossings built with bottomless culverts to maintain the natural creek beds.
WSP USA served as the City of Charlotte’s planning and engineering consultant to deliver this award-winning, sustainable project.
“The University Pointe Boulevard project is a prime example of systems thinking,” said Sean Melville, a senior engineer with WSP who served as the Envision sustainability professional for the project. “The project team studied the challenge from a holistic point of view and delivered a product that responds to the needs of the community, businesses, roadway network, public school system, public transit system and environment. The collaboration between the project team and these entities helped ensure the project would serve the well-being of the entire community.”
The Envision sustainable infrastructure rating system assesses how sustainability contributes to positive social, economic and environmental impacts on a community during the planning, design and construction of infrastructure projects.
The University Pointe Boulevard project directly addressed the community needs identified in the Charlotte University Area Plan and delivered multiple benefits, including increased accessibility to public spaces, including athletic fields and bike and pedestrian facilities; enhanced pedestrian safety with improved sidewalks and a tree-planted strip between the road and sidewalks; measures to reduce traffic congestion; and improved connections between schools, residential areas, and businesses.
The project exemplifies collaboration and teamwork. Throughout project planning and design, the project team collaborated with community members, utility companies, two schools with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation. This ensured the project aligned with the goals and needs of the community and addressed community safety and access concerns during the construction phase. Meaningful risk-and-reward sharing was also made part of the contract between project owner and project team to incentivize high-quality, safe, and efficient work.
About WSP USA
WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, is the U.S. operating company of one of the world's leading engineering and professional services firms—WSP. Dedicated to serving local communities, we are engineers, planners, technical experts, strategic advisors and construction management professionals. WSP USA designs lasting solutions in the buildings, transportation, energy, water and environment sectors. With more than 7,000 people in 100 offices across the U.S., we partner with our clients to help communities prosper. www.wsp.com
Jayanti Menches, SVP, Director Communications