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January 20, 2014 / Brandon

I Thought Today Would Be a Holiday – B+W Engineering and Design Blog

I Thought Today Would Be a Holiday #CivilEngineer

Today is a holiday so I thought okay time to finish up a few projects and get started on some others. No one is going to need a Civil Engineer today right? According to my email and call log, this was not a holiday at all! The Civil Engineering continues to pick up. Not a bad way to spend what I thought would be a nice and relaxing day and take it easy over the three day holiday weekend.

So it starts. Our project that just won’t get approved, the developer is calling and texting me constantly. I do sometimes turn the phones off to just work and not talk to anyone. But of course I decided to turn the phones back on and check messages and that didn’t work out too well. The City of Redondo Beach is still closed, but at least the developer knows the plans are ready to go for their final plancheck. At this point I have no idea what else the plan checker can find. But at the same time we now have a really good template for this particular strict plan checker who wants things done in triplicate with all of the everything dotted and crossed off. I am not kidding, on just how ridiculous this has been. The positive I get from this is now we have a nice clean and neat calculator for a lot of our calculations. Not to mention a template that should get our projects approved in Redondo Beach on the first go around. Next up is to convert that calculator to work on our Android and iOS phones so we can just plug and chug a design over the counter when necessary. And probably print over the counter while we are at a City or send a PDF directly to whomever needs it on the spot. Technology is great. I do dread doing some of the tedious calculations over and over and over. If my estimation is correct we should have two multi-residential jobs under construction in Redondo Beach, in about two weeks from Tuesday.

Next up is that it looks like the project in Highland Park is about ready to get going. That should be fun as its one of those single family houses that gets put into the hillside with a garage underneath. The fun part will be grading the backyard as the slope is running across the lot instead of from the middle to back of the lot.

Another fun project will be in Santa Clarita for Enterprise Rental Cars. This project is tricky because the next door site is an under construction carwash that we will tie into. And the other lot bordering the project is a dirt lot that may or may not be developed, but they want a driveway entrance built. Why is this tricky? With all of that, there may be a future road running right through the project, so we have to design the car rental location to accept a possible road cutting right against the property line, splitting the block in half. Not as tricky as I thought it was going to be, but the drafting will be a bit complicated tying an existing survey into an under construction grading plan with multiple ways to show our proposed grading plan. This is also the first project B+W Engineering will be doing in Santa Clarita. I look at this as an old stomping ground as the very first grading plan I worked on was in Santa Clarita on a 3 phase 150+ residential project on Golden Valley Road.

The other great thing is that the Enterprise property sits on Magic Mountain Parkway. And if there are three things I like, that would be cars, rollercoasters and horror movies. We have done work for the entertainment industry. We have worked for car companies, including this one and few upcoming projects. And this feels like we are getting closer to an amusement park. Once construction is underway, I will be visiting Magic Mountain Parkway frequently to do, cough cough, work. I am surprised how long I can watch a rollercoaster do its thing, without me moving. Talk about amazing some amazing engineering going on at Magic Mountain.

And that leads up to the more interesting call of the day. A new project we will be starting shortly in Venice. It’s a 40+ unit residential apartment by Chandler Partners. We really like working with these guys. The best way to describe Chandler, is that they are old school, laid back, but get the job done. I am always excited to work with them. But then I got a call from an Architect buddy who said he saw my name on their contact list. Now that’s a small world. We both job shadowed together in High School for an Architect in Glendale. He went off to become an Architect and I went into Civil Engineering. We hung out a lot together when I first started getting the company started. Many, many nights of talking shop. He was the one who made me see the light on what Architects actually do. I gained a lot more respect as its sort of a thing that architects and engineers get into it all the time. This Venice project should be a bit more interesting.

I think its good for current and prospective clients to know what we are working on. Also to know we aren’t just sitting around twiddling our thumbs, and we are actually pretty busy. I have been trying to go back to a more normal 7-5, Monday-Friday work schedule, but that went out the door as the New Year hit. And who knows, maybe another new Civil Engineer is interested in reading thoughts from someone with a little more experience, especially running their own business. I read lately that a lot of younger Civil Engineers seem lost or unsure of how to manipulate their career path. I am about to turn 35 and have loved doing this since I first started interning for Caltrans back at UC Irvine for District 12.

The post I Thought Today Would Be a Holiday appeared first on B+W Engineering and Design Blog.

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