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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
      programs
    - City of Dell Rapids local funds
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Storm Sewer Near Box Culvert
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Concrete Paving 2
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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.

Site Development, Utility Improvements

July 25, 2022

Site Development, Utility Improvements

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public support for
public safety in alton

Project Owner:
City of Alton, IA

Key Experience:

  • Long term coordination with the City of Alton to plan for the future needs of the area
  • Successful coordination with local contractors
  • Local design partnerships with CMBA and EDA for the building addition project

Key Features:

  • Long-term City planning outlook- 2015 street project, 2022 Fire Station Addition project
  • Community support, $2M bonding bill supported by 97% of voters
  • Local contractors bids add to the community feel

DGR Engineering (DGR) continues to support the City of Alton, IA in planning and design for their long-term infrastructure needs, including a new fire station. As part of that process, a multi-phase plan for infrastructure projects was developed, splitting the project work into two phases to meet budgetary and approval constraints. Phase 1 (2015) involved a street reconstruction project, including updated sanitary sewer and water infrastructure with new road surfacing (PCC). Phase 2 (2021-22) included new (PCC) driveway and sidewalk, grading and building utilities adjacent to the new building addition.

Driveways, sidewalks and utilities for the 11th Street project (2015) were planned while keeping in mind the challenging ADA site for the future fire department expansion project (2021).

To add to the public support sentiment that surrounded this project, both publicly bid projects featured area contractors. The 2015 street project was completed by Jellema Construction of Alton, and the building general contractor was Poppma-Sikma of Sheldon. The design group included DGR as the civil engineering consultant for both projects, while the building addition (2021-22) was designed by CMBA Architects and Engineering Design Associates (EDA) as design partners.
Based on the design, bidding and construction time frames, the building addition project experienced the early effects of recent economic inflation. The City and design team selected project materials and changes as needed to meet the project budget. The project overwhelmingly passed in the bonding vote, including an additional parking paving bid alternate that was not included in the final project.

Challenges
As with most projects, challenges presented themselves throughout the course of the two projects. The primary concern from a site perspective was constructing a single floor elevation building addition adjacent to a roadway with 4' of fall, while maintaining fire truck passable driveway slopes and ADA required sidewalk grades.

The City provided early indication of their future building plans, allowing DGR engineers to design street grades that would meet the municipal street needs and allow for an ADA accessible route to the new community asset.
In the end, successful communication, planning and flexibility culminated in two successful projects for the community of Alton, resulting in a singular infrastructure upgrade.

Neighborhood Reconstruction

July 25, 2022

Neighborhood Reconstruction

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Making Neighborhoods Better.

Project Owner:
City of Brandon, SD

Key Experience:

  • Project Phasing
  • Community Communication
  • Open House Informational Meetings
  • Easements

Key Features:

  • Water and Sewer Line Replacement
  • New Storm Sewer
  • New Curb and Gutter
  • New Asphalt Pavement
  • Sidewalk and ADA Improvements

In 2018, the City of Brandon selected DGR Engineering (DGR) to assist the community with the reconstruction of approximately 30 city blocks of the Rushmore Area in the southeast part of the city. The streets had outlived their useful life and the roadway was starting to degrade quickly in certain areas. Part of the reason for the rapid degradation of the street surface was the lack of storm sewer in the neighborhood. In addition, the water and sewer lines were in need of replacement due to their age and condition. Additional storm sewer, new curb, gutter and asphalt pavement, as well as a new 4 ft. wide sidewalk and ADA improvements, were also included.

The first steps in the process were to survey the entire project area, coordinate with staff to define the scope, and develop cost estimates for the work that needed to be done. Potential project phases were developed for the project to meet the financial needs of the City. Phasing of the project that would best fit the City's budget was determined, and then DGR began to design the first phase.

Communication was critical to keep residents informed. Letters were mailed out to residents prior to a survey taking place. A public open house was held to give residents details of the project and inform them of easements that would be needed. Easement documents were prepared and sent to property owners. DGR conducted many personal meetings with residents to discuss and obtain easements to facilitate the project.

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DGR designed a new lift station, new sanitary sewer, water mains and the associated service lines as well as a storm sewer system to collect stormwater. The stormwater was routed to the south end of Rushmore Drive to the sedimentation basin designed as part of the project. The sedimentation basin has a system in place to help collect trash washed from the streets and to contain sediment and oils from the roadway. This allows the City to collect that material and dispose of it, rather than have it carried into Splitrock Creek.

DGR teamed with Confluence to facilitate streetscaping and the sedimentation basin landscaping.

The sedimentation basin was a unique feature to this project. It was designed to slow the discharge of stormwater to Splitrock Creek in smaller rain events, but it also has the ability to be overtopped at the bottom in larger rain events without causing damage to the system. As the City of Brandon grows, the basin will help to meet upcoming MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) EPA requirements that will be placed on the City.

DGR assisted the the City in acquiring the land needed to construct the sedimentation basin and relocate the City’s lift station that serves the area. The decision was made to relocate and construct a new sanitary sewer lift station on the same parcel that would contain the sedimentation basin. The new lift station replaced some aging pumps and equipment, and employees will no longer need to climb down into a confined space. In addition, an on-site back up generator was added to provide instant backup in the event of a power outage.

During construction, DGR provided on-site construction observation to ensure the work complied with the design requirements and to work with residents, answer their questions and address their concerns. Temporary mailboxes were added near the post office for the project and when the project was complete, Cluster Box Units (CBU’s) were installed, eliminating mailboxes at each residence.

Phase II is planned to be constructed in 2023 and Phase III construction is planned for 2025.

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