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December 5, 2013 / Brandon

When it Rains it Pours – B+W Engineering and Design Blog

When it Rains it Pours #CivilEngineer

I tried my best to take a break from the blog to get work done, and other important things like taking a little vacation. No matter how hard I tried I still saw the emails. I told myself stop looking, but the emails were like picking at a scab. I just couldn’t stop. I decided to take a few extra days to concentrate on a few of the projects that need to get out now. Not the everyone needs this done right this moment type of now, but there are deadlines to hit before someone loses their loan or other obstacles. I don’t think anyone was happy that I turned all the phones off to concentrate our resources on pure designing, but in the end this was the right thing to do. We even had some new Civil Engineer jobs to propose on, and they are sitting for tomorrow when I can give them a proper once over. The newer stuff coming in from previous clients know we are slammed and we are giving out deadlines accordingly. So what was I saying? Oh yeah when it rains it pours.

I turned the phones back on and started to really sift through the email. Never do this until you have a few hours to go through everything. I still am dreading going through my voicemails. In the end what needed to be sent out did, faster than I said it would. An example is a larger job with major changes that should not have been possible to turn around in the time we did. But here we are yet again, this job should get the grading permit in the morning.

So we are working on some Civil Engineering jobs that are going through the plan check process. Nothing too special except two jobs. One is going through Caltrans. That magic word that brings delight to everyone in the construction industry. I don’t know what to say about this. Its like trying to sprint through molasses. I drive the freeways every day and think why are private developers going through this? And then I think, I even interned at Caltrans, shame on me. The bureaucracy that is Caltrans is something amazing. Yes I can watch the plan checker who is doing a good job nitpick things, but then I think how do we get around this? And tonight I figured out how to get our plans to bypass the big questions they keep asking, even after sending in calcs which may or may not say otherwise. In order to not drain stormwater onto a Caltrans street, we are going to slightly alter the grading plan to drain everything onto the City street. This isn’t a very big deal. In fact its sort of silly. The original flow pattern shows one thing. The plan checker is calling us out on this. And no matter how I try to say it, they won’t agree. So we will drain the whole site back onto the City street. The funny part of this is that the street stormwater eventually flows to guess where? No biggie, but its interesting how to bypass things.

The other project is that pesky hillside grading project we are working on in Mount Washington. After the first submittal, Public Works wanted a one foot offset from where we start the grading off of the right of way. Its not simple, but we got it approved. Only to have the Soils Engineer say no no no. Somewhere in the generic report from a now defunct soils engineer they said trim the slope to 1:1. I took that as grade the slope to 1:1 and be done with it. The current soils engineer called me today to tell me they want the toe of slope to start at bedrock and trim with no fills. The request makes sense but makes the slope so much worse than anticipated. So after a few tries we now have a 1:1 cut only slope. Once again no big deal, but a slight miscalc on my part. Thank you Geosystems. It is nice to work with other consultants that are clear and precise about what they want along with being friendly while doing so. I need a thumbsup emoticon for this big thanks.

I am sure I have more to say about what’s going on in the Civil Engineering world, but that can be for another day. Okay fine I do know I have a lot more to say, but I try to keep these under 1000 words when possible. Can you tell I had a great rejuvenating thanksgiving? Time to get back onto capturing this pouring rain that is coming our way! And we don’t want it any other way.

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