It's a bridge—that breathes fire. Seriously.
And it's the reason that the Louis Berger Group of Morristown, took home one of the biggest honors in the engineering industry this week.
Louis Berger, along with New York-based Ammann & Whitney, was awarded an Engineering Excellence Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies for the Dragon Bridge in Da Nang, Vietnam.
The honor, given to eight projects, is considered the Academy Award of the industry.
"It isn't often that you find clients bold enough to stretch the creative limits of engineering design," Louis Berger President and CEO Nick Masucci said in a statement. "We are proud that Louis Berger and Ammann & Whitney's inventive, yet culturally significant design was the one selected by the Da Nang People's Committee."
The bridge is a 666-meter structure that links the city with the developing eastern sectors and the region's world-renowned beach resorts.
Its supports are shaped to look like a dragon and are illuminated by 15,000 LED lights that change colors at night.
The big show, however, comes every night at 9, when it breathes fire to the delight of big crowds.
Since its opening on March 29 of last year, the Dragon Bridge has become an icon to the community of Da Nang. The Da Nang Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism anticipates that the bridge will attract around 3 million tourists to the city this year.
"This bridge has become the pride of the city, and I believe it will become the new symbol of Da Nang," Dr. Vo Duy Khuong, vice chairman of the People's Committee of Da Nang City, said in a statement. "This prestigious recognition has elevated the city's profile and will help increase Da Nang's economic and social growth."
The Engineering Excellence Awards competition celebrates the most outstanding project achievements in the field of engineering around the world and has been called the "Academy Awards of the engineering industry."
Projects are judged based on originality, innovation, value to the public and the engineering profession, complexity, social and economic considerations, sustainability, and exceeding client needs.
The award is Louis Berger's first Grand Award in the annual ACEC national competition since 2004.
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