A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer – Day 56

Day 56

Water Main Project

This morning we finally found time to run out to look at the location of our proposed easement for the water main project I've been working on. Fortunately it looks like the location in the field where I had planned to take it through a local industry's property (if they are agreeable to this) matches well with the plans. The other location goes through a local park, and based on the field location, I think I will adjust it just a little to minimize some bends. Normally we would have had this surveyed at the start, but I was unable to get a survey done at the time so had to rely on the aerial for the initial placement. Now I can finalize the alignment, secure the easements (if the property owners agree), and send it to the IEPA for a permit!

Broken Field Tile?

Later in the morning, our community development director and I ran out to a large tract of land the city owns. The person who farms a portion of the land had reported some standing water so we wanted to investigate the area. It appears to us there could be a broken tile. But it also appears the broken tile might actually be on someone else's property. I still have to discuss this situation with the rest of the staff to determine what, if anything, we might need to do. I realize normally a farmer would repair the tile, but because the purpose of this land is to remain green space – not necessarily farm land, we didn't think this water was causing any issues at the moment.

Public Works Staff Meeting

Later we had our monthly public works staff meeting with all the managers. There was so much to talk about, our group barely had time to share updates on our engineering projects. One of the primary issues under discussion right now is the removal of the ash trees that have been damaged by the Emerald Ash Bore.

Stormwater Meeting

Finally, I represented the city at a regional meeting to discuss stormwater funding and regulations in our area. Our intern was here today so he came with me. Whenever we bring interns to our meetings like this, they come away surprised at how much time we spend on what appears to be non-technical issues. But in the end, I try to explain we need to understand and be part of the decisions regarding funding and regulations and laws in order to be able to properly plan, design, and build.