A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer – Day 46

Day 46

Development Review

On a 1 to 10 scale of busy, I’d say today was about an 8. Most of my time seemed to be spent handling issues related to one of the developments I have been reviewing. This particular one has been a challenge because the design has changed throughout the review process. And all of us have worked hard to accommodate these changes without holding up the review. I’ve had my final approval letter ready since last week, but hadn’t been able to send it because I kept hearing the plans were yet to be changed. Finally I was told there would be no more changes so I sent it off. But now, they are going to change the plans. So later this week, we will get the revisions and work on getting a review completed as fast as possible so a new final approval letter can be sent.

The whole thing reminded me of a discussion that took place in the Civil Engineering Central Group on LinkedIn where someone had asked: What is your most frustrating story about a government permitting process? I imagine the person asking had probably only thought frustration would be on the applicant side. But of course, the reviewers end up just as frustrated sometimes as the applicant. In the end, there were 16 comments representing a good range of viewpoints from both sides. Because the group is closed, I can’t really share much more than that. But if you are on LinkedIn, you can join the group and participate in discussions like this. It’s helpful to talk about common challenges and read comments from people who have different experiences and beliefs.

Alley Project

Manchester Alley in Geneva IL

As I mentioned yesterday, the contractor placed about half of the concrete alley on our project. So today the project engineer and I visited the site to check it out.. The contractor was working today forming up the pavement for the last half of the alley. (The photo to the right shows the same contractor placing concrete on the east half of the alley last year.)

Sidewalk Project at City Building

A couple of us also met with other city staff about improving an entrance to one of our city buildings. There is a slight threshold at the door we were trying to eliminate. Although the work seems simple enough to do – remove and replace sidewalk – when you factor in all the restrictions and regulations, it becomes quite a complicated project. We needed to ensure we were meeting ADA and also make sure we didn’t create any hazards with the new design. After talking about several solutions, it was decided that we would go back and draw up what we talked about so we can share this information with our supervisors. Then they can decide which alternative to implement.

Address Assignment

One of the issues that has come up at our GIS meetings is that we need to improve the manner in which we communicate address assignments. I have been trying to find sample forms used for this process from other agencies, but so far no luck. So today I started working on a draft form. I want to get something to pass out at our next GIS meeting so everyone can review it and offer comments.


I also took care of a few other minor tasks including helping someone determine the size and location of their water line. And I wanted to mention I will be taking off tomorrow to attend a parent-student day at the middle school. Which might make for another whole blog post!


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