Award-Winning Engineering Achievements
Snyder & Associates, along with our clients, received five engineering awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Iowa. This competition recognizes Iowa-based engineering firms for projects that demonstrate innovation, complexity, achievement, and value. Entries are judged on the basis of uniqueness, complexity, the degree to which the client’s needs are met, value to the engineering profession, and the social, economic, and sustainability considerations of the project.
Snyder & Associates received the highest honor, the Grand Place Award, in the Water and Wastewater Category for the Ethanol Wastewater Reclamation project in Cass County. They also received an Engineering Achievement Award in the same category for the Cedar Falls Dry Run Creek project. In the Transportation Category, Snyder & Associates received an Engineering Achievement Award for the Stagecoach Drive Extension/Sugar Creek Realignment project in West Des Moines and an Honor Award in the same category for the Grand Avenue Bridge Replacement. In the Special Projects Category, Snyder & Associates received an Honor Award for ecological improvements to Fourmile Creek.
Ethanol Wastewater Reclamation: Cass County – Grand Place Award, Water & Wastewater Category
The new ethanol plant in Cass County, Iowa, northwest of the City of Atlantic, is transforming wastewater into a cooling resource for ethanol production. This project aligns with a sustainability shift to mitigate concerns about the large amounts of fresh water used in ethanol production on behalf of fuel producers and the communities they call home. The innovative use of treated municipal wastewater at this ethanol plant is transforming an average of 1.1 million gallons of water per day. Previously this water would have been drawn from community wells.
Wastewater System Analysis & Planning: Cedar Falls – Engineering Achievement Award, Water & Wastewater Category
Steady population growth and an expanding commercial base led to sewer system capacity issues in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The city asked Snyder & Associates to examine the Bluff Street Lift Station and the sanitary sewer collection system that drained into it. The evaluation studied over 17 square miles of tributary leading to the Bluff Street Lift Station. As part of the study, flow monitoring and field inspection activities were conducted to locate, quantify, and evaluate rainfall-induced inflow and infiltration entering the city’s wastewater collection system.
The analysis led to the development of the Bluff Street Lift Station Drainage Area Wastewater Master Plan. This plan analyzed existing infrastructure and provided recommendations including increasing the capacity of the station, expanding the capacity of the trunk sewer, and improving the sanitary sewer conveyance system.
Stream Realignment for Roadway Extension: West Des Moines – Engineering Achievement Award, Transportation Category
The Stagecoach Drive Extension over Sugar Creek is a project in West Des Moines that extended a minor arterial roadway to serve a rapidly-growing residential area. Stagecoach Drive is currently a two-lane road that’s planned for expansion to five lanes as future conditions warrant. Ultimately, traffic models predict that Stagecoach Drive will carry up to 23,000 vehicles per day, creating a need for additional lanes.
After completing an analysis of alternatives and coordinating with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (USACE), it was determined the best solution was a new, single-span concrete beam bridge with a five-foot-wide sidewalk on the south side. As future traffic demand warrants, the bridge can easily be widened. To accommodate the new bridge, a sharp meander in the creek needed to be removed. By realigning the creek to minimize the meander, Sugar Creek was reduced by 140 feet in length.
Grand Avenue Bridge Replacement: Des Moines – Honor Award, Transportation Category
Following the demolition of the previous structure, construction of a new 446-foot long, four-span, pretensioned, prestressed concrete (PPC) beam bridge began in December 2016. The bridge supports three lanes of traffic with a westbound bicycle lane and 14-foot wide sidewalks on both sides. The development of the aesthetic details was a collaborative effort with the City of Des Moines to create a new signature Des Moines River Bridge. This included the addition of a painted, metal panel arch façade, and LED accent lighting to enhance its appearance.
This project posed several challenges including the need to leave portions of the existing abutments in place to minimize disturbance to floodwalls and levies, the design of a non-standard deck cross-section with a raised pedestrian sidewalk, and the addition of beamlines under the sidewalk to accommodate equipment for future bridge inspections. It was also necessary to incorporate over 20 separate utility conduits during construction.
Fourmile Creek Ecological Improvements: Des Moines WRA – Honor Award, Specialty Project Category
The Fourmile Creek improvements project north of Broadway Avenue protects vital infrastructure while fostering improved ecological functions and habitat. This project began when streambank erosion at several Fourmile Creek locations put sanitary sewer infrastructure at risk. Snyder & Associates’ experience with environmental engineering, fluvial processes, and stream restoration prompted the Des Moines Metropolitan Wastewater Reclamation Authority (WRA) to seek our assistance on a creative solution to address the issue. Collaboration was essential in creating a vision for the project, as well as identifying project priorities and opportunities.
By reading the river and using natural channel design concepts this project transformed an environmental liability into an improvement that boosts water quality through sediment loading reductions and vegetative filtering of nutrients. It also strengthens the safety of stable/non-vertical banks, reduces the risk of downstream flooding, and creates a user-friendly recreational environment while enhancing the aquatic habitat.