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Sanitary Sewer Collection

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.

Sanitary Sewer

July 20, 2021

Sanitary Sewer

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Gravity sewer provides for both existing and future development

Sioux City’s Southeast Morningside Sanitary Sewer

Project Owner:
City of Sioux City, IA

Key Experience:

  • Lift station improvements
  • Large diameter sewer design
  • Gravity siphon design
  • Directional bore sewer installation
  • Low water crossing

Key Features:

  • 10,069 linear feet of 24” and 30” gravity sewer
  • 4,628 feet of twin 10” force main
  • VFD pump controls
  • Flow meter installation

The City of Sioux City had been seeing residential development on the east side of the city in the area of Whispering Creek Golf Course. The hilly terrain, however, limited the area that could be served by the existing sanitary sewer lift station on Whispering Creek Drive. This lift station was also experiencing problems due to the limited capacity of the gravity sanitary sewer to which the force main from the lift station was discharging.

DGR Engineering (DGR) worked with the city to develop a plan for a new gravity sanitary sewer that would open up additional development area as well as provide adequate capacity for discharges from the Whispering Creek sanitary sewer lift station.

In the early 1990’s DGR designed the Southeast Morningside sanitary sewer lift station in the southeast corner of the city. The location of this new Southeast Morningside Lift Station allowed for gravity sewer service to area which is now home to the Sunnybrook Plaza, Sunnybook Village and Lakeport Commons commercial areas in the southeast corner of town and was also designed to provide addition future capacity though pump upgrades to serve additional residential development including the area where the city was seeing growth.

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The final plan included over 10,000 feet of 24” and 30” gravity sanitary sewer starting at the Southeast Morningside Lift Station and running south and east along an existing drainage way and then north in an abandoned railroad right of way to Old Highway 141. The gravity sewer continues north through portions of the new Eagle Ridge and Whispering View Subdivisions. An inverted siphon was required for the crossing of the existing creek just south of the Southeast Morningside Lift Station. A granular access road was constructed along much of the gravity sewer to provide maintenance access. A low water crossing was installed at the creek in one location as an alternative to much more expensive box culvert or bridge options.

The upper end of the gravity sewer serves as the discharge point for twin 10” force mains (one for current conditions with a second for future development) from the Whispering Creek Lift Station.

The force mains run along portions of the Whispering Creek Golf Course and cross under holes 1 and 9 requiring a 1,000 foot long directional bore.

The Whispering Creek Lift Station was retrofitted with VFP pump controls to reduce operating cost and better match the pump output to existing and future flows. A flow meter was also installed in a vault downstream from the lift station to meet current IDNR requirements.

The new gravity sewer is already being utilized by several new additions to the Whispering View Subdivision and the initial phase of the Eagle Ridge Subdivision.

Funding for the project included the use of state Revolving Loan funds to be repaid with future sanitary sewer service area fees.

Click here to read this story in the newsletter.

Site Development

April 27, 2021

Site Development


site layout and grading key
to project's success

Sunnybrook Village, Sioux City, IA

Project Owner:
AP Sioux City, Dallas, TX

Key Experience:

  • Building Layout Coordination
  • Site Access
  • Site Utilities
  • Significant Site Grading

Key Features:

  • 42-acre retail development
  • Two primary retail buildings
  • Four outlots
  • Free-standing buildings

The area’s growing population had generated demand for additional shopping options in Sioux City, Iowa. DGR Engineering (DGR) worked with the developer and initial tenants to develop a 42-acre retail subdivision on the south end of Sunnybrook Drive.

Prior to 2000, the area consisted of farm ground and an open ditch. The Sunnybrook Plaza project included installation of a 3,000 ft. box culvert through the site and grading to fill in the ditch. Also included in the project were utilities, a lift station, site grading and paving of Sunnybrook Drive to support the two main anchors, Target and Lowe’s, along with six other lots for future tenants.

Later, DGR projects included additional grading and paving of Sergeant Road, the extension of Sunnybrook Drive to Christy Road, and preliminary grading for the future site of Sunnybrook Village.

DGR worked with the developer to put together a preliminary layout for the site. However, when Fleet Farm expressed interest in putting a 200,000+ square foot building on the site, a significant revision was needed to fit the larger building footprint and required parking on the site.

The use of AutoCAD Civil3D® allowed DGR to redesign the site plans by moving the building pad back toward the hill and steepening the slope behind the building. Coordination between multiple entities to create a mutually satisfying layout of buildings, parking area, utilities and street access was a main element of the planning process.

The current construction will provide 274,000 square feet of retail space for Fleet Farm and Hobby Lobby, a free-standing Fleet Farm car wash/gas station/convenience store and room for an additional 44,900 square feet of retail space. 1,208 parking stalls will be provided in the initial phase of construction. Future development on the site will include four outlots for future stores or restaurants, as well as space for one additional free-standing building.

A challenge this job presented was the existing flood plain designation along Sunnybrook Drive. Documenting DGR’s previous design work on grading and storm drainage work enabled DGR to work with FEMA to obtain a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR). This removed the flood plain designation, allowing work to move forward on the project.

Site utilities include installation of water main and sanitary sewer to serve each building, as well as storm sewer to collect site runoff. The runoff will be delivered to an existing 72” storm sewer along the front of the site. It will then be carried into the existing storm water detention area on the south side of Christy Road.