A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer – Day 50

Day 50

Geneva Photos

Today was Wednesday so we had our engineering division staff meeting. Like our last staff meeting, it seemed there was quite a bit to discuss. Everyone shared the status of their projects and other tasks they have been working on. We have been on schedule with everything except for a few projects that have been delayed because agreements have not yet been reached with some property owners.

One of our projects that consists of adding a third deck to our existing commuter parking garage has been delayed because the RTA has been reviewing it for about 3 months now. We haven’t heard anything, nor do we know why it is taking so long. Metra already performed their review, and we received their comments within a few weeks. So now we cannot start building before winter and will have to wait to bid it out. This means construction won’t begin until next Spring. I guess that’s $3.5 million dollars worth of work that is on the shelf instead of creating jobs and stimulating our economy! (Our garage is shown in the back and to the right in this photo.)

Failed storm sewer pipe

We took a field visit to a job site where our water department has been working on a “sinkhole.” Usually these holes show up in pavement or yards because of some failure in the sewer system. In this case, it appears the concrete storm sewer pipe had settled allowing a pipe joint to open up on the bottom. So when water flowed through, sand from the area around the pipe would be lost. Our crew dug up the area, sealed the joint,and backfilled the hole. I wish I had taken a photo, but had not brought my camera.

Racoons don’t fit in sewers!


We’ve already had problems with racoons in one sewer in town where two had become wedged and died. We finally discovered them when we received reports of the pipe not flowing properly. Well, today our water foreman was on scene with the crew to rescue a racoon who had wedged himself between the openings of an inlet curb frame. He managed to pull out the racoon, but the animal, being scared, tried to run right back in and wedged himself even worse. So the foreman tried again to pull him out by his tail. The crew videotaped it – I wish I could have gotten a copy to show here! The second time he pulled him out, he pulled him far enough back so when he released him the racooon ran off under the truck. Wow! Not sure I would have tried to pull a racoon out of a sewer! (The photo, by Andrew Ratto, is not of the racoon we rescued, but illustrates that racoons love to hang out in sewers!)

Development Issues

I am still messing around with that review of a development where we discovered the water main had to be lowered. Today I had to send out an email asking for the engineer to document the changes he will be making. Later in the day, staff had some email discussions about other concept developments in the community so I participated in those.

Performance review and Goals and Objectives

Today, I also had my mid-year performance review. And I still need to hold the reviews for the rest of my staff. I also revised my goals and objectives 2nd quarter report and resubmitted it because the city administrator asked for all of us to submit them in a standard format.


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