A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer – Day 16

Day 16

Back to work after a weekend of working on a presentation I'm giving in September at the Illinois Association of Highway Engineers conference in Normal, Ill. I'm really looking forward to the event, and if anyone reading this is going make sure to say hi at the conference!

Development Meeting

So today was our Development Staff Meeting. As usual we meet every other Monday morning with other department staff to discuss developments and related issues going on in the city. Today we discussed a few developments that range from those with initial inquiries to others that are almost finishing construction. We also talked about a few potential amendments to zoning districts and sign ordinances.

School Zones

Because one of our interns is now gone, I worked a little bit with our remaining intern to finish up our study of school zones in our city. We discussed the work they had done. Then we drove through all the school zones so I could get a better idea of where exactly the signs are placed and so I could review their recommendations. Next I plan to meet with the police department to discuss the zones, and then we'll present our recommendations to the council for amending the current ordinance.

Water Main Installation

Water Main Revisions

We also had a question come up with one of our developments. They found during construction that their water service line, which is planned to be 6 inches in diameter, will not have enough cover once they finish grading for their parking lot. (Normally we like to have about 5 or 5.5 feet of cover at least to ensure water lines will not freeze in the winter – this depth changes depending on where you are in the US.) So the engineer for the owner called to see if they could change the design to try to lower the line. There was some back and forth discussion, but because it was not something easily resolved through email and phone calls, we decided to meet on site. I went along with the engineer who reviewed the plans who was handling approval of this change and with our water and sewer superintendent. After seeing it out in the field and meeting with their engineer and contractor, we all decided on a different solution. They will shut down the water main in the block where they are connecting and will remove the existing service valve, then immediately dive the pipe down to get their cover, and then move the valve further into the site. The photo on the left isn't of this site, but it does show what the new valve will probably look like.

Development Review

Throughout the day I reviewed a resubmittal of the plans for a proposed development. There were only a couple items left to be addressed, but I can't send off the comments until I get the water and sewer fees calculated. And we can't complete the calculation of the fee until they tell us the size of the meter. Hopefully we'll get that this week, and then I can send this off.

Where did our Files Go?!

We even had an incident today where somehow one of our folders accidently had gotten taken out of the top level directory of our server and put into another folder. So no one could find the information they needed that had been in there. Because we don't have administrator access to bring folders back up to the top level, I ended up contacting IT, and they moved it back for us. But I am hoping they can make it so it can't be moved in the future. It's a good lesson to be careful when you're in a shared directory so that you don't accidently move folders into other folders without realizing it.