Shepherd Drive, Harris County, Texas
City of Houston contracted URS and later AECOM to develop the PS&E package for the reconstruction of Shepherd Drive in Houston between the IH 69 and Westheimer Road corridor. This busy segment will be reconstructed to accommodate a reconstructed pavement section and many more pedestrian-friendly facilities, including wide, landscaped sidewalks. The existing roadway profile and cross-slopes were not in compliance with the current design criteria and had to be updated. This change in profile meant we could not tie near existing curb elevations and as such curb walls were installed in several locations to allow the tie-in at the property and building lines.
All existing utilities including power lines were designed to be relocated underground to improve the aesthetics and walkability of the project. This project was in coordination with the local TIRZ authority. Utilities were heavy in this area as it is a highly dense urban setting. The utilities as such were relocated under a separate design package to be constructed first and the construction verified plans (new as-builts) would serve as the existing utilities to design the roadway improvements based on their new locations. This allowed for the most complex part of utilities to be completed first and the roadway to come after.
The roadway was modeled utilizing OpenRoads 3D modeling to incorporate the very restricted ROW in the corridor. By identifying the existing building lines and ROW limits, we were able to develop the roadway with smoother grade crossings with the cross streets and allow smoother traffic flow across all signalized and unsignalized intersections.
The Drainage was unique in the fact that the project's system outfall connection was recently redone, and our project could not revise the outfall, and as such, we had dual trunklines going in both north and south directions. This meant that the existing project trunkline heading north was left in place and a separate trunkline going south to a separate system outfall was installed. This novel approach to storm design allowed for the existing storm system to not be overwhelmed via a more impervious area, and the flows from our project could be diverted to a separate storm sewer system that had more capacity for our flows. Drainage was designed using SUDA 3D along with a 3D utility file and conflicts were able to be found using SUDA
Shepherd Drive, Harris County, Texas
Mr. Romero was instrumental in the Shepherd Dr. roadway reconstruction project, which entailed creating a highly walkable street with landscaped and architecturally designed sidewalks. In this project, Mr. Romero was able to create a full 3D model of the roadway, drainage elements and utilities to visualize the vast number of utilities underground. Another challenge was a brand-new trunk line from an adjacent project north of Westheimer Rd. Being that the roadway was recently reconstructed, we could not break the ground and adjust the trunk line’s flowline to allow our project to connect to it. Thus, a second trunk line had to be added flowing in the opposite direction to a separate outfall, in effect having dual trunk lines flowing in opposite directions under our pavement. Having to circumvent the northbound trunk line while tying into the southbound trunk line at very similar depths and avoiding other utilities proved extremely difficult, but was a challenge that was resolved by careful planning and strategic crossing design and verification with 3D modeling tools. This corridor with the dual trunk lines proved to be one of the most congested underground utilities project in COH
US 183 Design Build in Bergstrom, Texas 2019
US 183 Pond design requirements dictated a 10% reduction in flows from existing conditions for extra protection to the downstream receiving channel. This allowed an opportunity to design an innovative solution that was cost-effective, greatly improved the surrounding area and lowered their risk for future flooding. Firstly, the geometry was laid out to achieve the largest footprint possible, careful grading was achieved so as to not overtop into neighboring properties. Pond volumes and Hydrology were analyzed in SWMM and Hec-HMS respectively. By operating like a normal pond with a restricted outlet, the pond would overtop, but would not meet the 10% reduction of flows without the restrictor. A trunk line was introduced that would sit under the pond embankment with an inlet and outlet riser box. The inlet riser would allow the flows in low flow condition to flow straight to the trunk line and exit the system through the outlet riser box. This allowed the flows to bypass the pond. As the flows would increase and the trunk line would get overwhelmed, the inlet riser box would begin to fill and once overtopped, that water would spill into the pond starting the filling up process. At the outlet side, the outlet riser had a lower and an upper opening, so low flows could drain out to the outfall, and higher water would begin entering from the top over a small weir and let the water out to the outfall. With this clever design, we were able to maximize the functionality of the pond, not overtop, and achieve a 10% reduction in flows vs existing conditions.
FM 521 PS&E Fort Bend County, Texas
FM 521 saw the design of 2 detention ponds to offset the increased imperviousness due to the widening of the road and the addition of a grade-separated intersection. The ponds were designed in 3D utilizing OpenRoads SUDA 3D and was designed in full 3D to create detailed grading plans and key locations for the contractor to be able to build easily. All details and connections were made to the model to account for all tie ins including the retaining walls into the pond embankments, and pond inlets and outlet.
West Alabama Street from Weslayan Street to Buffalo Speedway, Harris County, 2019
As Project Engineer Mr. Juan Romero was tasked with the reconstruction of a busy urban corridor for the addition of a dedicated dual left-turn lane and the addition of dual bike lanes and shared-use path (SUP) all OpenRoads, the latest 3D corridor modeling software. The project involved geometric design, drainage design, waterline design, sanitary sewer design, signing and striping, SW3P, TCP, demolition, standards, quantities, bid item preparation (specifications), and preparation of the project manual. The roadway was modeled in full 3D with utilities, inlets and trunk lines represented in real space and size. This allowed Mr. Romero to cut cross sections and visualize the proposed storm sewer system in place with the existing and proposed public and private utilities within the right-of-way (ROW). The project provided challenges as the corridor was located over a massive hub of AT&T conduits. Over 120 - 4" conduits came out of the central hub and crossed under the pavement. These immovable conduits along with a very restricted ROW made relocating utilities for the roadway reconstruction very difficult. With precision, good data verification, and a lot of patience and determination, Mr. Romero was able to fit the utilities within the existing ROW, constructible within the TCP phases, and not overlapping with one another. This was possible with Mr. Romero’s expertise with the OpenRoads toolset including clash detection and flagging of trouble areas.