Suburb Community Benefits from City Engineering Partnership
Standing as the eastern gateway to the City of Des Moines, the suburb community of Pleasant Hill has experienced steady growth since it was incorporated in 1956. Like a lot of communities of similar size, managing their ever-changing engineering needs with limited resources is a constant balancing act. In 2008, the City of Pleasant Hill partnered with Snyder & Associates to serve as their city engineer charged with helping to maintain and grow the city’s infrastructure and provide first-rate services to the communities, 10,000+ 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 infrastructure and development needs. Our firm’s approach to municipal engineering involves assigning each client with 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, with the ability to quickly consult experts in various fields when necessary. This standard provides a level of professionalism that has allowed Pleasant Hill to tackle large-scale projects, while at the same time providing the flexibility to manage the town’s everyday needs.
Among the services that Snyder & Associates provides for the City of Pleasant Hill are community outreach and planning, roadway infrastructure planning and design, stormwater management, survey and platting services, subdivision and site development review, traffic studies and pavement management, park and recreational trail planning and design, capital improvement plan (CIP) facilitation, wastewater systems analysis and design, and construction observation, just to name a few. But perhaps most important, Snyder & Associates brings extensive resources to the table that help the city locate and secure the funding they need to make their project planning efforts a reality.
Municipal Services for Comprehensive Infrastructure Projects: Northeast 70th Street Corridor & Land Development
One perfect example of our breadth of services encompasses numerous projects we’ve undertaken surrounding a newly reconstructed section of the Northeast 70th Street corridor extending south from Highway 163. This section of roadway is emerging as a major thoroughfare for Pleasant Hill residents seeking quick access to the U.S. Highway 65 interchange but was too narrow to effectively handle the increased traffic flows. Snyder & Associates was tasked with not only redesigning the roadway to accommodate heavier traffic loads but also to “rebrand” the roadway section as a distinctive Pleasant Hill entry point.
Guided by the comprehensive plan and coordination with city staff and the city council, this corridor design included ADA-compliant sidewalks and ramps, and other complete street considerations. A new, safe roundabout was constructed at the intersection with Rising Sun Drive to replace a poorly configured and dangerous intersection. The plan incorporated community-branded entryway signage and attractive streetscape features that help to create the desired sense of place, along with full consideration to crucial elements like stormwater and utilities.
The Snyder & Associates team continues to spearhead this ongoing, multi-faceted project area, including the extension of Martha Miller Drive and development efforts for the new City of Pleasant Hill Public Safety facility. This also included development review and observation of the new Palm Estates residential neighborhood to the east of Northeast 70th Street, as well as several other plats slated for future residential development.
Doanes Park Master Plan Creates Playbook for Building Destination Location
In 2010, our team was approached by leaders from the Pleasant Hill Parks & Recreation Department to create a master plan to guide the redevelopment of Doanes Park on the city’s west side. Among the design recommendations, this comprehensive plan called for the reconstruction of the road with additional parking to provide better access to the park’s amenities.
These multi-year park improvements also included the addition of ball fields, playground areas, and soccer fields that were designed by our landscape architects, as well, and provide first-rate recreational opportunities for the surrounding neighborhoods. Additionally, a restroom building for park patrons and an emergency generator for the adjacent Pleasant Hill Youth Center were also included in the improvements.
A new multi-use tennis and pickleball facility created three regulation tennis courts with markings for pickleball and tennis on each court. The design included all grading work, an asphalt surface and all-weather coating, fences, and dual-purpose nets. Through various public meetings and working with Pleasant Hill city staff and other stakeholder groups, our designers were able to understand the priorities and budgets of the various groups to accomplish numerous improvements over a short number of years.
Youngstown Trail Network Connects Pleasant Hill with Central Iowa Trail System
Another long-term project our team has led for the community is the construction of the Youngstown Trail network. This multi-phase project was designed to link the city to the Gay Lea Wilson Trail and ultimately providing access to the entire Central Iowa Trails System.
Launched in 2016, the first phase of the project included a new concrete trail from Northeast 56th Street extending along the U.S. 65 bypass and connecting to Oakwood Drive. Phase two created the connection to the Gay Lea Wilson Trail and Doanes Park on the southern leg of the trail. The upcoming phase three will provide an extension of the Phase 1 project south to Parkridge Avenue adjacent to U.S. 65. This extensive project included all grading plans, culvert design, pedestrian crosswalks, and Central Iowa Trails signage. The creation of Youngstown Trail has dramatically improved trail access for Pleasant Hill residents by allowing them to access city recreational facilities and services without a motorized vehicle.
At Snyder & Associates, we strive to provide our municipal clients with day-to-day services that are proactive, responsive, and cost-effective. We help communities 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 important, we know it takes experienced, skilled professionals to hold the trusted position of city engineer. Our commitment to Pleasant Hill provides a perfect example of that trusted relationship.