Growing Community Benefits from City Engineering Partnership
Home of the National Balloon Classic and Simpson College, the central Iowa community of Indianola has experienced steady population growth since 2010. Like many communities of similar size, managing their ever-changing engineering needs with limited resources is a constant balancing act. In 2016, the City of Indianola partnered with Snyder & Associates to serve as their city engineer, helping maintain and grow the city’s infrastructure and providing first-rate services to the community’s 15,000+ residents.
As a multi-disciplined engineering firm, Snyder & Associates offers a full range of municipal engineering services to help towns, cities, and counties manage their public works and development needs. Our firm’s approach to municipal engineering involves assigning each client a single point of contact backed by a support staff of over 200 professionals working behind the scenes. This allows the city engineer to confidently handle all day-to-day issues and quickly consult experts in various fields when necessary. This standard provides professionalism, allowing Indianola to tackle large-scale projects while providing the flexibility to manage the town’s everyday needs.
Among the services that Snyder & Associates provides for the City of Indianola are community and infrastructure planning, site development and survey, subdivision and platting review, traffic signal studies, and pavement management planning. But perhaps most importantly, Snyder & Associates brings extensive resources to the table that help the city locate and secure the funding they need to make their project concepts a reality.
Long-Range Comprehensive Plan Guides Community & Economic Development
A prime example of our services to the city is the “Elevate Indianola” Comprehensive Plan that was formally adopted in May 2020 and created a 20-year vision for the entire community. A comprehensive plan sets out broad policy directions for growth, development, and redevelopment and represents the community’s vision for the future. Guided by our planning team, residents, business leaders, and city staff worked together to identify the community’s issues and challenges, along with the assets and opportunities that can be better utilized moving forward.
The Snyder & Associates planning team gained support for the plan by engaging and educating the public throughout the entire process. Public meetings with residents and businesses created a sense of ownership within the community. An implementation schedule identified the type of action, timeframe, resources, and partner organizations for each activity. Indianola officials have expressed their commitment to implementing the plan’s goals with each decision they make.
The plan aims to make a difference in the lives of residents by preserving the small-town atmosphere and high quality of life that initially attracted new residents to the community. By addressing educational needs, local business, and public amenities, the City of Indianola will build upon its existing strengths and minimize its weaknesses to help guide the community into the future.
Streets Master Plan Provides Pavement Management Guidance & Protocols
A growing challenge for many communities is finding the best way to manage and plan for roadway maintenance. Facing budget constraints, programs for road improvement funding are extremely limited. To help Indianola proactively address these common concerns, our team developed a “Streets Master Plan” that effectively established a practical and cost-effective plan for maintaining the community’s roadways.
This pavement management system includes pavement condition inspection and pavement condition prediction methods to assist in developing repair and maintenance strategies that optimize spending. The plan saves the community money by creating a financial system for pavement improvements, including rehabilitation, preservation, and reconstruction. By proficiently using these techniques, the community is better positioned to allocate resources where they’re needed when needed.
Traffic Signal Timing Study Emission Reductions Exceed Modeled Expectations
Not all of the projects our engineering team undertakes for the city are as all-encompassing as a comprehensive street plan. The recent traffic signal timing study along the bustling U.S. 65/69 and Iowa 92 corridors is an example of a project with a narrow focus that had a large-scale impact on vehicle emissions in the community. Outdated signal timings and coordination plans can cause excessive vehicle delays during regular and event traffic, increasing emissions and pollutant outputs.
This targeted project included a comprehensive review, infrastructure updates, and improved coordination of traffic signal timings along the two identified corridors that run through the heart of Indianola. The ultimate goal was to increase the efficiency of the city’s transportation corridors by reducing travel times, eliminating traffic congestion, and minimizing idle times at intersections.
By all accounts, this project was a huge success. The performance evaluation completed after real-world improvements were enacted indicates the actual reduction in key pollutants along the corridor substantially exceeded the initial estimates. Also, because this project was focused on reducing emissions through better signal coordination, our team was instrumental in assisting the city to apply for and receive over $120,000 in Iowa Clean Air Attainment Program funding (ICAAP) administered through the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT).
At Snyder & Associates, we provide our municipal clients with day-to-day services that are proactive, responsive, and cost-effective. We help communities like Indianola plan responsibly for sustainable growth, and we work diligently to nurture strong relationships, appreciate multiple perspectives, and respect the culture of each community we serve. Most importantly, we know it takes experienced, skilled professionals to hold the trusted position of city engineer.