Infrastructure Week Day 5: Roads

Village of Wappingers Falls Utility Contract 1

In the U.S., roads are an unavoidable part of our everyday lives. We use roadways daily to travel to and from work, school, social engagements, and more. So how do we deal with the issue of America’s crumbling roadway infrastructure?

As the years go by, American metropolitan areas are stymied by traffic congestion.

According to a recent report, in 2014, Americans spent 6.9 billion hours sitting in traffic. That’s a total of 42 hours per driver! Meanwhile, suburban and more rural areas are forced to contend with deteriorating road conditions, as well as outdated and dangerous traffic configurations.

At KC Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C. (KC), maintaining and upgrading our roads remains an important priority. Our civil engineers are skilled in parking lot and roadway design, and along with our traffic engineers they can effectively and efficiently plan, design, and oversee the construction of intersection improvements, parking facilities, maintenance and protection of traffic plans, highways, utility relocations, site lighting, driveways and other roadways, curbs, and sidewalks so that the outcomes not only provide for smooth transitions but also for economically functional results.

With projects like Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287) Exit 8E Reconstruction, 5th Avenue Reconstruction, DeLavergne Avenue Reconstruction, and Milling and Resurfacing of Federal Aid Roads, KC strives to maintain the safety and commutability of area roads, because at KC we recognize the vital importance of roadway infrastructure.

Infrastructure Week Day 3: Transit

City of Kingston Greenkill Avenue Bridge Replacement

Public transit is a staple of our nation that continues to grow yearly, although remains neglected and radically underfunded.

American transit systems carry billions of people a year via trains, commuter buses, ridesharing services, and more. These systems mainly provide transportation in urban areas, but are vital in many rural areas across the country.

In the past few years, we’ve seen major train derailments, non-passengers killed in transit-related accidents, and damaged infrastructure as a result of natural disaster. The resilience of outdated, unreliable infrastructure is tested day by day.

For full functionality of national transit systems, we need not only transit vehicles, but also sufficient infrastructure like traffic signals, train tracks, and roadways to successfully carry and guide these vehicles. However, with lack of funding, years of deferred maintenance, and aging infrastructure, our public transit systems continue to suffer.

At KC Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C. (KC), our civil engineering services include roadway and highway design, traffic engineering, lighting design, and other services to maintain and improve transit operations.

With projects like Gowanus Expressway Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) and Emergency Repairs, Greenkill Avenue Bridge Replacement, and Route 9D Pedestrian Improvements, KC has provided construction inspection for replacement of bridge and mounting tube railings, design assessment for rehabilitation of railroad bridges, and traffic calming and street lighting design.

Infrastructure Week Day 1: Bridges

Replacement of the Route 59 Bridge over MNRR

How do we resolve a problem as widespread as nationally deficient bridge infrastructure?

Year after year, America’s deteriorating infrastructure is so critically neglected that now, in 2018, we face a multi-billion dollar backlog for the rehabilitation of bridges, a vital facet of the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

While the number of structurally deficient bridges in the United States is down significantly from years past, according to an Infrastructure Report Card provided by the American Society of Civil Engineers, around 188 million trips were taken across these deficient bridges in 2017.

Rehabilitation needs for bridges are backlogged as much as $123 billion, an investment of over half of the funding already provided. These high repair and rehabilitation costs pose a nationwide challenge to state transportation agencies pursuing the construction of reliable infrastructure.

At KC Engineering and Land Surveying, P.C. (KC), structural engineering remains an integral part of our corporation’s contribution to providing safe, sufficient bridge infrastructure.

With projects like the Design and Construction of Emergency Repairs of the Park Avenue Viaduct at 118th Street, Replacement of the Route 59 Bridge over MNRR, and the Greenkill Avenue Bridge Replacement, KC is continuously able to provide survey services, design assessment, and structural analysis for the replacement and rehabilitation of damaged, deficient, and extremely vital bridge infrastructure in various counties of New York State.

The Benefits of Design-Build

The design-build project delivery method differs from the traditional design-bid-build delivery method in that it involves one contract between a design-build team and the project owner rather than two separate contracts between the project owner and a contractor and the project owner and a designer. This method streamlines the process, unifying the designer and contractor to enhance their collaboration and prevent conflicts.

Design-build is still in its nascent stages in New York, where agencies are beginning to recognize the benefits of this increasingly popular delivery method, which include more innovative designs, accelerated project delivery, lower project cost, and fewer change orders. ACEC New York endorses the design-build delivery method under the condition that it is a two-step procedure, “a process that best protects the interests of the owner, design professional, contractor, and the public.” This process requires a New York State registered and licensed design firm, independent of the project owner and teamed with an equally qualified contractor, be selected based on qualifications and experience during a two-phase Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS) process with transparent selection criteria.

An example of one such design-build project is NYSDOT’s D900034 Region 8 Design-Build Project in Ulster County, for which the KC Team was shortlisted in the RFQ stage and subsequently selected as the most qualified in the final RFP stage, with a perfect technical score. This design-build project involves the full replacement of two bridges: BIN 1040750 NYS Route 209 (3-span continuous steel girder bridge with a total span of 402 feet) over Rochester Creek and BIN 1019700 NYS Route 28 (7-span continuous steel girder bridge with a total span of 994 feet) over Esopus Creek.

As Lead Designer, KC is performing the structural design of the two structures, including the three-span continuous multi-steel superstructure and seven-span continuous multi-steel superstructure, staged construction and work zone traffic control, geotechnical work, and hydraulic analysis. Because of our well-integrated team and fast-tracked design during the RFP stage, we were able to deliver an innovative solution that reduced the overall bridge span length while maintaining full structural stability and adhering to all applicable codes and regulations.

KC is thrilled to help pioneer design-build projects in our backyard, and we look forward to playing a key role in future projects as New York joins this growing trend in the design and construction industry.