Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sharing Traffic Knowledge

Garver traffic engineering employees (left to right): Mike Spayd, Claire McKinney, Annette Porter, Traffic Leader Nicci Tiner, and Nathan Becknell.





Approximately 15 years ago, Garver added traffic engineering to our expertise. What started as one person dedicated to traffic studies and design has developed into a team of professionals with a passion to improve our transportation systems' safety, quality, and driving experience. The Garver Traffic Team provides traffic engineering services such as traffic studies, signal design, intersection design, pedestrian facilities, permanent signing, ITS, and maintenance of traffic. By having a team focused on traffic aspects, we can provide a high-degree of technical competence and develop solutions to complicated projects.

Several members of Garver's Traffic Team recently attended the Missouri Valley Institute of Transportation Engineers (MOVITE) annual fall meeting in Little Rock, Arkansas to share and receive industry knowledge. The three-day technical conference included presentations on pedestrian accommodations, roundabouts, highway safety, and accessible pedestrian signals.

In addition to hosting a vendor booth and assisting with registration, four Garver employees contributed to the presentations. Garver Traffic Team Leader Nicci Tiner, PE, PTOE; 2011 Arkansas MOVITE Director Nathan Becknell, PE; and Project Engineer Claire McKinney, EI served as session moderators. Becknell also led a session on traffic knowledge, and Bridge Design Manager John Ruddell, PE, SE discussed the new Two Rivers Bridge that Garver designed.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Encouraging the Big Dam Bridge 100 Cyclists

This past weekend, cyclists in the Big Dam Bridge 100 Tour rested outside Garver's corporate office in North Little Rock, Arkansas to catch their breath and refuel with sandwiches and drinks. Garver also set up a couple speakers that amplified inspirational music to encourage the cyclists on their way.


Approximately 2,300 cyclists registered for the sixth annual event, which is the largest bicycle tour in Arkansas. A group of Garver employees biked in the event, and several tackled the 100-mile course.


Garver employees and their families cheered and clapped for the bikers as they went by. Cyclists chose routes 16, 30, 50, 68, and 100 miles long. After the event, the employees donated the remaining food to the Arkansas Rice Depot.

Thanks to Mike Massey for contributing these photos.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Kentucky's First All-LED Airfield

Russellville-Logan County Airport is the first all-LED airfield
in Kentucky.

Garver recently provided design and construction administration to improve the airport's lighting system, which was dated. The parallel taxiway didn't have edge lights or signage, the medium intensity runway lighting system was old, and the approach lights were not functioning correctly. The airport now features LED runway edge lights, LED taxiway signs, LED runway end identifier lights, and retro-reflectors for the parallel taxiway.

Converting the airside lights to LED technology will provide the airport with decreased operational costs, increase lighting system reliability, and improve airfield visibility for pilots.

Garver also worked to give the airport a new rotating beacon and beacon tower, standalone vault building, and equipment. Together, the enhancements work to improve safe airfield operations, especially during low-visibility conditions.

Over the past decade, Garver has provided electrical services on numerous projects that led the way in new airfield LED technology.

2002 - North Little Rock Municipal Airport: First LED taxiway edge lights in Arkansas
2008 - Arkadelphia Municipal Airport: One of the first LED REILs in Arkansas
2009 - Ada Municipal Airport: First LED airfield signs in Oklahoma
2009 - Little Rock National Airport: First LED runway guard lights in Arkansas
2011 - Paris Municipal Airport: First LED MIRLs in Arkansas
2011 - Russellville-Logan County Airport: First all-LED airfield in Kentucky

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Magazine Includes Garver Project in High-Profile List


CE News, a monthly publication by ZweigWhite, has listed a Garver project as one of 29 significant road, highway, and bridge projects in progress. Ranked by estimated cost, the I-269 Loop Highway near Memphis, Tennessee is valued at $670 million. The project is a new four-lane controlled-access interstate, and Garver's portion involves an eastern section. A total of four consultants are working on the corridor.

Garver is providing engineering services for multiple phases, including surveys and roadway and bridge design. First phase services involved right-of-way plans for the project, which includes 6.3 miles of interstate highway. Garver's section involves one interchange, several grade separation structures, and a 4,000-linear-foot bridge over the Coldwater River. We are currently working on final construction plans.

The article, Transportation Projects Roadmap, lists 58 notable infrastructure projects in road-highway-bridge, rail-transit, port-waterway, and airport. This the second annual CE News transportation projects roadmap.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Balancing Work, Life, and Volunteering

Garver transportation engineers Nathan and Natalie Becknell understand what it means to give back and are making it a priority to mentor young engineers.

The University of Arkansas's newest edition of The Volunteer View features the alumni Becknells. The publication highlights ways Nathan and Natalie are balancing their work at Garver with life responsibilities and volunteer opportunities.

"As alumni, we learned quickly that you don't have to endow a scholarship to make a difference," Natalie told The Volunteer View. "We make it a priority each year to give back, and we do what we can."

The Becknells contribute money to engineering scholarships, serve as student advisers, and regularly visit the university to offer students advice and encouragement.

"We give reassurance," Nathan said. "The students who are doing the best academically often doubt themselves the most. We give advice that will help them with current classes and projects and also prepare them for the real world."

The Becknells' real world activities also include taking part in the Illinois River Watershed Project by planting trees and cleaning streams, participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and staying active in the University of Arkansas's concrete canoe contest.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Airplane Cuts Ribbon to Re-open Runway

At most ribbon-cutting ceremonies, the tool of choice is a pair of scissors. At Addison Airport in Texas, the instrument is an airplane flying 15 feet above the runway.

Addison Airport recently re-opened its 7,200-foot-long runway. To celebrate, acrobatic pilot Jan Collmer flew his plane down the runway and used a wing to cut the ceremonial ribbon, which was stretched high above the pavement. Trailing a cloud of white smoke, Collmer dipped a wing as he flew by the ribbon, successfully cutting the material in two. Town of Addison Mayor Pro Tempore Blake Clemens accompanied Collmer in the plane.

Addison Airport posted a ribbon-cutting video. (If you have trouble viewing it, right click on the video and turn HD off).

Addison Airport is one of the busiest general aviation airports in Texas and the United States. Garver's engineering services on the $10.5 million project involved full-depth runway reconstruction, high-intensity runway lights, runway guard lights, hold position signs, a medium-intensity approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights, and an airfield lighting control and monitoring system. Improvements were also made to the runway safety area and airfield drainage. To put this project into perspective, it involved:

1,263 truckloads of asphalt. If you lined up the dump trucks bumper to bumper, the traffic jam would stretch longer than 7 miles.

157,700 square feet of runway and taxiway paint. If you painted a 4-inch-wide line, it would stretch 181 miles.

38.5 acres of seeding and 38,900 square yards of sodding.
This is enough to cover 35 NFL football fields.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

National Recognition in Engineering Inc.

 As 23,000 readers pick up the newest edition of Engineering Inc., they'll see Garver featured in the glossy pages and read about our $128 million "Building Big" project.

The American Council of Engineering Companies publication dedicated a portion of its September/October issue to complex mega projects and their designing firms, which includes our multimodal bridge across the Arkansas River in Tulsa to replace the deteriorated westbound I-244 bridge.

The article, Tulsa Goes Multi-Modal, highlights Bridge Team Leader Jason Langhammer, PE and Garver's services as lead design consultant. The new westbound I-244 multimodal bridge will carry highway traffic on the upper level and high-speed rail, light rail transit, and pedestrian/bicycle traffic on the lower level. The westbound bridge is currently under construction, and the eastbound bridge, which will carry only highway traffic, is in final design.

The project involves 2.5 miles of combined highway, rail, and pedestrian bridges, 1 mile of multi-lane interstate highway, and a pedestrian trail system extension. To meet the provisions within the federal TIGER grant (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery), Garver completed design within an accelerated, nine-month schedule.

According to the publication, Engineering Inc. is sent to engineering firms across the United States, every member of Capitol Hill, numerous federal agencies, and state departments of transportation.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Big Dam Bridge 100 and Jersey


Registration is open for Arkansas' largest cycling tour, the sixth annual Big Dam Bridge 100, which starts in Little Rock, Arkansas and ends in North Little Rock on September 24. A change in the 100-mile course includes a new route over the Garver-designed Two Rivers Bridge.

Garver is again providing a rest stop at our corporate office, cheering on a group of company riders, and designing the official event jersey. Here's a peek at this year's design with the slogan, "It's just the Big Dam Bridge. Get over it."

The event jersey can be ordered on the Big Dam Bridge 100 website when you register for the ride. And if you participate in the tour, keep an eye out for bicyclists wearing our past designs:

2009

2010

In the next few years, bicyclists will benefit from several Garver-designed improvements made to the central Arkansas bicycle trail system. Construction crews are beginning work to add a west leg to the Little Rock side of the Big Dam Bridge, which will allow bicyclists to connect with the Two Rivers Bridge without attempting a tight 180-degree turn. In addition, design on the pedestrian bridge at Shilcutt Bayou is nearly complete. The new replacement bridge will provide a safer and smoother ride than the existing alignment, and it will offer cyclists a route that is not limited by the existing timber structure.

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