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Client Name
Iowa State University
Project Type
Services Provided
  • ADA Compliance Review & Analysis
  • As-builts
  • Bicycle & Pedestrian Planning
  • Complete Street Design
  • Construction Administration
  • Construction Observation
  • Construction Staking
  • Topographic Survey & Subsurface Utility Engineering
  • Urban Design
Project Manager
Contact Rich Voelker, PE
Transportation Business Unit Leader

Morrill Road is a one-way street that winds through the Iowa State University central campus in Ames, IA. The corridor is adjacent to several significant campus buildings including the Parks Library, Beardshear Hall, and Morrill Hall, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was originally constructed in the mid-1920s of concrete and had received numerous rehabilitation and overlays over the years. The pavement was beyond its design life and needed replacement. High pedestrian use throughout the corridor was a critical component of this project.

In 2008, Snyder & Associates completed a corridor study and developed the concept statement to acquire Iowa DOT Institutional Roads funding for the project. The design was unique as a complete street with one-way vehicular traffic including CyRide buses, two-way bicycle traffic, through use of a shared one-lane and a contra-flow bike lane, and significant pedestrian traffic. Snyder & Associates increased the width of adjacent sidewalks and added an additional walkway to accommodate the high volume of pedestrian traffic and minimize pedestrian crossings. Our firm developed a Developmental Specification, approved by the Iowa DOT, for the use of Highbuild Waterborne pavement markings on the project. All pavement markings included pavement grooving to extend the life of the markings. During construction, three crossings were maintained to allow pedestrians access through campus. Parking along the corridor was also a high priority and the final design maintained the number of parking stalls. The final design was completed by Snyder & Associates in 2009 and included a combination of parallel and diagonal parking that opened up the view in front of Beardshear Hall.

Alignment of the road was designed to minimize disruption to a major communications duct bank that ran the length of the corridor. Utility improvements included stormwater piping, water distribution, telecommunication and electrical lines. The project also included reconstruction of a major electrical vault that had to remain energized during construction. Snyder & Associates provided photometric analysis for various lighting options within the corridor. Iowa State University chose to replace the existing lights with new poles and LED fixtures.

The proposed pavement structure included 9-inch of PCC over a 12-inch layer of modified subbase. Drainage for the pavement subbase was provided by 6-inch longitudinal subdrain. Placement of the modified subbase allowed concrete trucks to drive on the grade during the concrete pour. Permeable pavers were located in front of Beardshear Hall to provide both a place for gathering as well as a delivery area for service vehicles. The overall width of the roadway pavement was reduced from 24 to 20-feet. Due to the decrease in hard surface area, the amount of stormwater piping and intakes were reduced in the new design thereby reducing future maintenance costs for the University.

Snyder & Associates provided a concept statement, topographic surveying, subsurface utility engineering, preliminary and final design, bidding services, construction administration, full-time construction observation, and record drawings for Morrill Road. Due to the amount of construction required and the critical time constraints, work began during the spring semester of 2010. The road was opened to traffic one week prior to the fall 2010 semester.