American Civil Engineering has quietly shaped the history of our nation and every community within it. Unfortunately, the contributions of civil engineers have often gone unnoticed by the public, and even by engineers themselves.
In 1964, ASCE set out to remedy this situation by establishing the Committee on History and Heritage of American Civil Engineering (CHHACE). Now known as the ASCE History & Heritage Committee, it is charged with enhancing the knowledge and appreciation of our civil engineering history and heritage, and the program recognizes national and international accomplishments.
To date, more than 200 projects worldwide have earned this prominent ASCE Historic Civil Engineering Landmark designation; recognizing the creativity and innovative spirit of civil engineers. Almost always performed under challenging conditions, each of these engineering feats represents the achievement of what was considered an impossible dream.
The Historic Civil Engineering Landmark Program provides guidelines for nominating sites for consideration. ASCE Sections must present research documenting the significant contribution the project made to the development of the region; the United States; or other countries, and, to advancing the profession of civil engineering in particular. Additionally, to be considered, projects must have achieved 50 years of age. A database of designated landmarks is available at the ASEC web site; however, while ASCE website reconstruction efforts are underway, a list of these landmarks can be found on Wikipedia - Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks.
The DC, MD, VA region is rich with examples of outstanding historic civil engineering landmarks, as can be seen in the tabulation below.
The five National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks (NHCELs) in the DC region, that our NCS H&H Committee worked on to be so designated, are highlighted in green.
|Bollman Truss Bridge||Savage, Maryland||1966|
|Patowmack Canal & Locks||Great Falls, Virginia||1969|
|Druid Lake Dam||Baltimore, MD||1971|
|Cabin John Aqueduct||Cabin John, Maryland||1972|
|Crozet's Blue Ridge Tunnel||Waynesboro, VA||1976|
|Mason-Dixon Line||DE-MD-PA-VA Boundary||1977|
|Gosport Naval Dry Docks||Norfolk, VA||1977|
|Fink Deck Truss Bridge||Lynchburg, VA||1979|
|Washington Monument||Washington, DC||1981|
|Carrollton Viaduct||Baltimore, MD||1982|
|US Capitol Dome||Washington, DC||1986|
|Dismal Swamp Canal||Chesapeake, VA||1987|
|Blue Ridge Parkway||VA-NC||1999|
|Old Cape Henry Lighthouse||Virginia Beach, VA||2002|
|Thomas Viaduct||Elkridge, MD||2010|