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Street and Utility Improvements

June 3, 2024

Poor drainage was causing accelerated deterioration along Hawarden’s Avenue L, which serves as the primary collector route to the town’s nursing facilities and the local hospital. When repeat efforts to patch and repair this critical stretch of roadway were only fleetingly effective, the City of Hawarden partnered with DGR Engineering to develop a comprehensive approach for improving Avenue L for the long-term benefit of the community.

The improvements included installing a new storm sewer system, making repairs to the existing water main and sanitary sewer, and taking steps to improve future drainage, all before installing new 6” concrete pavement.

Neighborhood Revitalization

April 12, 2024

Neighborhood Revitalization

Paved Asphalt Street

Neighborhood Revitalization

Infrastructure Replacement in Dell Rapids

Project Owner:
City of Dell Rapids, SD

Unique Project Challenges:

  • Phasing of construction to minimize disturbance to residents in project area
  • Coordination and communication with 200-plus residents, property owners, and business owners impacted
  • Removal of over 3,000 cubic yards of quartzite bedrock for utility replacement, which often
    required blasting
  • Relocating the water mains that were in the alleys, which involved directional drilling of service lines and backyard connections
  • Replacement of a large box culvert originally built from quartzite rock, which involved both precast and cast-in-place concrete
  • New ADA-compliant sidewalks and curb ramps throughout the project, including many areas that did not have sidewalks before
  • Improving the drainage through the project area while matching into existing driveways, which required extensive design effort

Key Features:

  • Nearly 30 city blocks of total infrastructure replacement throughout residential neighborhood
  • Replacement of existing sanitary sewer, water, and storm sewer utilities at four railroad crossings
  • Two construction contracts, combined total cost of more than $8.5 million
  • Funding for the project included:
    - $600,000 SDDOT Community   Access Grant
    - Grants and loans through SRF
    - City of Dell Rapids local funds
civil collage
Storm Sewer Near Box Culvert
culvert replacement collage
Concrete Paving 2
sfo quote

Replacement of deteriorating infrastructure has been a high priority for the City of Dell Rapids for many years, and in 2016 the City decided to take on a neighborhood reconstruction project that would be their largest yet. When it came to determining the area of town that needed the improvements the most, it did not take long for the answer to become clear. In the years prior, the City Public Works department had spent considerable time fixing water main breaks and sanitary sewer issues in an older neighborhood located in the southeast quadrant of town. DGR Engineering (DGR) assisted the City with their annual capital improvement planning process, which helped to identify the scope of the nearly 30 city block reconstruction project that would ultimately be referred to as the Southeast Infrastructure Improvements.

DGR worked closely with the City to develop the project design, and also provided construction administration and observation services. The project was constructed in multiple phases over a three-year period, which helped limit the impact to the residents in the area. Construction occurred under two separate contracts with the first phase commencing in 2019 and project completion occurring in 2022. The improvements included complete replacement of the sanitary sewer collection system, drinking water distribution system, storm drainage system, streets, and sidewalks within the limits of the project. The borings completed during the initial design indicated quartzite bedrock was less than 6 feet below the surface throughout much of the project area, with some areas having bedrock less than two feet below the surface. Rock blasting was needed to provide sufficient depth on the new water mains and adequate slope on the new sewer mains. More than 3,000 cubic yards of quartzite rock was excavated for the project. The rock blasting operations required greater communication than normal with the nearby residents and the natural gas company.

The project included other unique elements in addition to the rock blasting. There were over 1,800 feet of existing sanitary sewer and water mains that were installed in narrow alleys, and there was not enough space to replace and maintain both utilities in the alleys. Thus, the new water mains were installed in the street and new water services were directional drilled from the street to the backyards where the connections were made. The project also included replacement of a shallow box culvert that was built masonry style from quartzite rock. A new precast box culvert was installed across the street, which involved rock blasting followed by cast-in-place concrete transition sections on each end to tie into the existing masonry quartzite rock drainage channel.

New ADA-compliant sidewalks and curb ramps were installed throughout the project to improve pedestrian travel. New streets were constructed with asphalt pavement in the residential areas and with concrete pavement along the truck route. All streets were constructed with concrete curb and gutter. Storm drainage in the area was greatly enhanced by improving the slopes of the streets and installing new storm drainage systems. Coordination with the local railroad entity was required for replacement of the existing sanitary sewer, water, and storm sewer utilities at four railroad crossings.

The project was financed by multiple funding sources. The City was awarded a $600,000 grant through the SDDOT’s Community Access Grant program for the improvements along the truck route. Most of the project funding was received through the State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs that are administered by the South Dakota Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources. Both grant and loan funds were received through the SRF programs. The City also contributed local funds for a portion of the project costs.
DGR and the City of Dell Rapids have formed a strong working relationship over the last 30-plus years, which was key to the success of this project. DGR and the City emphasized coordination and communication with the 200-plus residents, property owners, business owners, and others affected by the project, from initial design concepts through final completion. This coordination and communication took place in many forms, including public open houses, various mailed letters, individual meetings, bi-weekly progress meetings and newsletters throughout construction. Replacing existing infrastructure in a developed residential neighborhood is challenging for all involved, but exceptional coordination and communication again proved to limit the difficulties in the process.

The Southeast Infrastructure Improvements project was an investment by the City of Dell Rapids into one of the older neighborhoods in town. The project revitalized the neighborhood by replacing dilapidated infrastructure with new, dependable infrastructure that will serve the community for many years to come.

Infrastructure Improvements

April 8, 2024

DGR Engineering (DGR) and the Town of Chancellor worked together to plan an infrastructure improvements project. Ultimately, solutions were divided into three project phases. Phase 1 included Main Street and the west half of the community. The Town of Chancellor received funding which included nearly 89% in grants and principal loan forgiveness.

Phase 1 included the beginning of a new storm sewer system. DGR and the Town worked with landowners to acquire the needed land and easements for a new storm sewer outlet. It allowed the storm sewer to be extended across the southern end of town in each of the phases of construction, connecting each of the street’s drainage to a larger diameter storm pipe to improve drainage.
Chancellor was awarded Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds for their planned Phase 2 project, which covered the central part of the community. They followed with funding for their Phase 3 project and were successful in securing approximately 85% grant and principal loan forgiveness for both Phase 2 and Phase 3 projects.

Each of the project phases included the replacement of sanitary sewer main and services with PVC pipe, replacement of all sanitary manholes with new concrete manholes, replacement and up-sizing of PVC pipe water main and water services as well as adding additional water services to areas that previously did not have existing water main. New street surfacing was placed after the underground improvements. While Main Street included concrete surfacing on the north two blocks, the remaining streets will maintain a rural section paved with asphalt surfacing. The rural section is designed with minor ditches graded along the roadways and culvert replacement at the driveways and intersections to allow the stormwater to flow to the storm sewer system, located at the southern portions of the streets, to reduce the stormwater ponding that had occurred.

The infrastructure investment will significantly improve and benefit the community and all residents. They are looking forward to project completion and many years ahead with reliable infrastructure to support their Town.

Drainage Channel Improvements

April 8, 2024

The City of Sioux Falls requested DGR Engineering’s (DGR) services in 2014 for improvements to a small drainage channel which was undersized, and some adjacent properties and structures had previously sustained flood damage during large rain events. After initial concepts were reviewed, the City opted to have DGR design the channel to handle more capacity, which required making the channel deeper and wider.

The project was put on hold for various reasons, but after almost ten years of coordination, design, and construction, this drainage channel project was finally completed in the summer of 2023. The contractor and subcontractors did an amazing job revitalizing an area that had been neglected and overgrown, and the property owners along Riverdale Road are now better protected against future flooding.

Athletic Field Site Design

April 8, 2024

Project planning by Augustana University and DGR Engineering to upgrade Bowden Field to a championship level began in 2018, and eventually culminated in a new facility which opened for the 2023 season.

The biggest challenge: fitting a new modern facility within the existing field’s footprint (circa 1991). To achieve this, home plate was shifted approximately 12 feet south to maintain existing fencing dimensions and provide room for chair back seating and a fan suite/press box behind home plate. Also, an extended planning process was necessary to balance donation momentum with the university’s facility expectations for a championship-level facility.

The final project plan balanced design goals with the funding while utilizing bid alternates for several features to allow the University flexibility in decision-making in the following areas:

• Lighting
• Outfield padding
• Dugout Cabinets
• Press box lift
• Home team dugout kitchenette
• Chairback seating – Potential future addition space

The final result is a state-of-the-art facility that all parties can be proud of and that will serve the needs of Augustana University’s softball team and its fans for many years.