A Day in the Life of a Civil Engineer – Day 64

Day 64

Culvert Lining Project

Today was somewhat of a continuation of the issues that started yesterday with our culvert project. Tomorrow I am meeting with the contractor and giving him the detailed structural design that we received today from our consultant. The contractor will have to determine if the work shown was what he anticipated when he bid the job. If not, he will tell us how much more he would charge us. Then if this is the case, we will need to review the increased amount and decide if we think that is a correct value. If not, and if we cannot reach an agreement, we will have to remove the concrete work from the contract.

This is a good lesson in why it is so important to have a lot of detail in the plans. A misinterpretation of the plans by the contractor or a difference in interpretation from what was expected by the engineer can lead to problems like this during construction. It can also lead to higher bid prices if there had been some uncertaintly on the contractor’s part about the work when he was determining his bid. It’s frustrating for us because we are managing the construction, but had to rely on another engineer for the design and the plans. And I realize it’s frustrating for the contractor. Now we have a real chance of having to delete the work from the contract because the plans/specs seemed to have caused a difference of opinion over what the work entailed, and we are not sure if we can come to some agreement on the cost.

Water modeling

I have been working on the design of a water main extension. Today I contacted one of the owners of a parcel over which we are asking for an easement. We arranged to meet later this week to look over the area. I also started working on running an analysis of the water system with this line in place so I can finish filling out the IEPA permit. Fortunately a model was built several years ago when the city built a new water treatment plant. And the consultant who built that shared the information with us. It was built with EPANET so I downloaded the program. In the past I’ve used a DOS -based program and WaterGems, but since the data is in the EPANET format, I will just try to figure that software.

Miscellaneous & NaNoWriMo

We also drove a few more roads to determine their condition. Then at the end of the day, I attended an APWA education committee meeting. Today was also the beginning of NaNoWriMo. It’s not really an engineering event, but I’ve always enjoyed writing so have tried to participate most years. And it’s a great incentive for working on writing skills. I encourage anyone interested in writing to check it out!

NaNoWriMo Participant


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