February 22, 2024

National Engineers Week 2024: Welcome to the Future

This week is National Engineers Week – a week to celebrate engineering’s vital role in innovating solutions to global challenges, the value of engineers, and engage students in engineering. The 2024 theme is “Welcome to the Future,” which is all about how instrumental engineering is to designing and creating solutions that shape the world of tomorrow. To celebrate this week and the awesome work that our engineers do here at Lochmueller Group, we asked our Water Resources and Traffic Engineering & Planning teams to share some of the ways they plan for the future in the work they do.

 

Water Resources

One way that our Water Resources team plans for the future is by incorporating green infrastructure (GI) into their projects. GI is an approach to water management that protects, restores, or mimics the natural water cycle. The goal of GI is to provide stormwater redirection/detention to reduce grey infrastructure components (storage tanks) and significantly reduce the conveyance needs for residual flow of combination sewage to the wastewater treatment plant. In other words, as development occurs and impermeable surface areas (sidewalks, rooftops, parking lots, etc.) increase, the volume of stormwater runoff also increases.

In downtown Evansville (IN), this additional runoff enters the combined sewers, contributing to combined sewer overflows. The underground stormwater detention systems in downtown Evansville redirect this stormwater to underground storage, allowing the stormwater to infiltrate into the underground soils and ultimately reducing the volume of combined sewer overflows.

Green infrastructure is effective, economical, and enhances safety and the quality of life for all.

 

Traffic Engineering & Planning

We like to think of our Traffic Engineering & Planning (TEP) team as fortune tellers. One instrument that they utilize often is a Travel Demand Model (TDM), which is an essential transportation planning tool for evaluating system performance through the detailed analysis of travel supply (e.g., roadways) and demand (trips). By employing a set of sample travel behavior data, this tool uses current travel behavior for a region to predict future travel patterns.

A calibrated and validated TDM will be a vital tool for local, state, and federal agencies getting answers for important long-range transportation planning related questions such as:

• What will the projected traffic volumes be on regionally important roadways for the horizon year?

• What trends will there be in regional Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) and Vehicle Hours Traveled (VHT)?

• How will a proposed new roadway or major development impact future travel patterns?

Additionally, in coordination with our Landscape Architecture/Urban Design team, the TEP team is focused on creating safe streets for all. The Federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) established the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program with $5 billion designated to fund grants to prevent roadway deaths and serious injuries. The SS4A program supports the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy and goal of zero roadway deaths using a safe system approach.

Lochmueller Group helps communities fully leverage the SS4A program to provide safer roads, bridges, transit stops, and walking and biking. We are currently assisting the City of Kirkwood (MO), St. Charles County (MO), Ozark Transportation Organization (Springfield, MO), Southeast Missouri Metropolitan Planning Organization (Cape Girardeau, MO), Tri-County Metropolitan Planning Organization (Peoria, IL), City of Danville (IL), and City of Noblesville (IN) with developing action plans and advancing implementation strategies to improve transportation safety in their communities.

 

Lochmueller Group engineers are shaping the future. Not only do they play a vital role in our firm but also in the communities and clients we serve. We strive to deliver a better tomorrow for all in everything that we do.

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