For Engineers Week, we asked our project manager, Mark Smith, to tell us about one of his favorite projects. This is what he told us:
Considering my almost-twenty years at Horizon Engineering, one project was quite memorable. It spanned nearly 10 years from start to final inspection/project closeout and it demanded I utilize many of my professional skills. The Upper Perkiomen Valley YMCA project encompassed the design, permitting and construction of a new YMCA facility on approximately 48 acres of Kistler-Bitting Park in Upper Hanover Township, Montgomery County. The project began as a sketch plan, necessitated land planning, progressed through the land development approvals process, and concluded with construction phase services. Our survey crews were involved from the project inception performing boundary and topographic survey and continued throughout the duration of the project, concluding with building and stormwater stakeout as well as full site as-built survey.
Along the way, the project presented numerous design and engineering opportunities, as well as the opportunity to work closely with a great group of individuals comprising the entire project team. This includes the client, traffic engineers, wetlands consultants, soils scientists, municipal staff, PennDOT, contractors, agency personnel and neighbors. Offsite intersection and roadway upgrades were engineered, and we studied the feasibility of obtaining municipal water and sewer service via gravity in lieu of a planned pump station. This culminated in the identification of a one-third mile long offsite water and gravity sewer extension that included tunnel boring.
Of course several environmental studies and permits were required to accommodate the project, and we facilitated and oversaw this work. To reduce the project’s impact on the environment, we implemented creative design of numerous stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) facilities including rain gardens, basins, infiltration trenches, vegetated swales, soils amendments and implementation of meadow in lieu of traditional lawns where feasible. We also provided landscape architectural services for plantings and site lighting. Finally, of particular interest is a series of three stepped raingardens located on the south side of the site entrance driveway. Visitors entering or exiting the site during a particularly heavy rainstorm can witness flowing waterfalls interconnecting the individual raingardens.