A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer – Day 48

Day 48

Although we did not have today off, many others in the community did including the schools. So I think quite a few people at work took the day off so it seemed a little more quiet than normal at work. I started out going through emails and preparing for several meetings I had scheduled throughout the day. 

Staff Development Meeting

This was our regular day for our staff development meeting. We discussed several issues that had gone through planning commission and city council such as a special use granted for our proposed parking lot and a change in our sign ordinance. We also discussed a few of the developments that had been submitted and talked about their status. A couple of our planners had attended a planning conference held here in the suburbs so they shared some of the information they learned at the sessions they attended.

GIS Team Meeting

Unfortunately I left the meeting early because we had a GIS team meeting scheduled. Only about half of our team could make the meeting, but we had a good discussion and shared many of the things we are working on in GIS. We also shared with everyone our problem last week with the password changing and disruption of the web application. We also talked about the address assignment document I had set up. I need to add a few things to it, then I am going to send it to the building department for their comments because they are the ones who will initiate the assignment. Some of the features we talked about were our building layer, our critical facility layer, and our fire hydrant layer.

Development Site Meeting – Precon

Water Distribution

The last meeting I had was with the contractor and engineer for a development that is close to being approved for construction – we expect to issue the letter this week. Fortunately another engineer from the office went with me because he caught something none of us had seen during the design and review of the plans. They are lowering the parkway significantly for the proposed driveway which I had not realized during the review. The reason this is important is our water main crosses the drive, and if they lower the parkway four feet, our water main will no longer have the five feet or more of cover we require due to frost. So they will have to lower our 12 inch water main for a distance of about 100 to 200 feet. At least it was caught now instead of after the contractor started working. And I guess that's why it's so important to have a meeting prior to construction.

City Council Meeting

Finally, tonight I attended the city council meeting because we were asking them to consider awarding our culvert lining project to the successful bidder. Most of the time this type of action would be fairly routine, but I wasn't sure this would be the case tonight because we had a bidder who had not submitted a complete bid, and his price had been lower than all the other bidders. Our attorney had advised us that the bid was not "good" so the next bidder ended up having the lowest, responsive bid. We did inform the company with the incomplete bid, but instead of accepting our decision, he wrote a letter to the mayor and council asking that they waive the requirement and award him the bid. Fortunately we have a great council that understands the process and implications of ignoring laws and requirements. So there wasn't even discussion on the matter – they went ahead and awarded as we had advised.