Monday, January 28, 2013

2013 Central Arkansas' Top Workplace!

Garver is the 2013 Central Arkansas' Top Workplace! More than 115 companies were nominated for the award, and Garver received the highest marks in the 251-500 employees category.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette worked with a consulting firm to survey employees at nominated companies in the Little Rock metro area and surrounding counties. More than 4,200 employees answered questions related to employee engagement, career development, total rewards, and work environment.

"It is truly an honor to receive recognition as a top employer in central Arkansas," said Garver Director of Human Resources Tatiana Herrington. "It is our mission every day to create an extraordinary working environment that provides our people with that balance of personal and professional fulfillment, which makes Garver stronger and benefits our clients and business partners."

In its special publication, the newspaper said that the recognition highlights "employers that are going out of their way to create desirable and sought after workplaces," and it shows how the winning companies "recognize the importance of creating dynamic workplaces where employees feel appreciated, valued, and where their opinion matters."

Garver is currently hiring project engineers for our water and aviation teams in North Little Rock and experienced project managers in Fayetteville.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Two Projects Win ACEC of Oklahoma Awards

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Oklahoma honored Garver with two awards at its annual banquet on Jan. 24.

Garver's Tinker Air Force Base Visitor Center project won the top award in Category B: Building/Technology Systems. Tinker Air Force Base is Oklahoma’s largest single–site employer, welcoming more than 27,000 military and civilian employees through its gates every day. Much of the traffic now flows through the base’s revitalized front entrance at Tinker Gate. The ID Building/Visitor Center is the site's first LEED-certified structure, and the U.S. Green Building Council recently awarded the 3,775-square-foot building LEED Gold. Numerous "green touches" were incorporated into the visitor's center, including low-flow fixtures and energy saving HVAC and lighting design.

Garver's Inner Dispersal Loop I-244 project also won the top award in Category H: Transportation. Garver performed the required fast-track design and plan production to reconstruct the western segment of the IDL for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT). The reconstruction plans included 5 lane miles of complete roadway and ramp reconstruction, deck replacement for 12 bridges, and concrete overlays for two slab-span bridges. The project consisted of light grading, drainage, surfacing, erosion control, traffic control, bridge redecking/overlay, and pavement marking.

Congratulations to all those who worked on the projects.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ray Balentine Named MTI President-Elect

Garver's Ray Balentine, second from left, is serving as president-elect for the Mississippi Transportation Institute.

Ray Balentine, PE, Senior Project Manager and Environmental Team Leader in Garver’s Transportation Group, has been named president-elect of the Mississippi Transportation Institute (MTI). Founded in 1990, MTI promotes communication between government agencies, academics, businesses and local organizations to increase awareness, share best practices and discuss concerns about transportation. MTI holds a conference every two years that educates and empowers its members to support transportation improvements in Mississippi.

Ray Balentine has 34 years of engineering experience. He retired from the Mississippi Department of Transportation in 2007, having served in multiple planning positions during his career, including assistant roadway design division engineer, state planning engineer, and director of intermodal planning. Ray joined Garver in 2012 and continues to provide transportation expertise to Mississippi.

After serving as president-elect of MTI for two years, Ray will assume the presidency in 2014.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Taxiway Project Uses Green Solutions

Auburn University Regional Airport in Auburn, Alabama faced a unique challenge during its taxiway extension project—contending with an abandoned, capped landfill.

The airport extended Taxiway Charlie by 2,200 feet, connecting the Runway 36 threshold with the new terminal development area and eliminating the need for aircraft to make routine midfield crossings. However, the taxiway extension needed to cross the inert landfill that had been in existence for more than 25 years.

Geotechnical subsurface exploration revealed approximately 12 feet of landfill debris containing topsoil, vegetative debris, construction waste and scrap metal under a 2 to 3-foot layer of clay. This clay had to be excavated and replaced to construct a stable foundation for the taxiway extension and its associated safety area. Garver coordinated with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) early in the project and with regular meetings to ensure environmental compliance.

Construction contractor D&J Enterprises of Auburn found a green solution for disposing of the excavated landfill material. In essence, the material was removed from the taxiway footprint and sorted. Organic soil was reused by local landscapers, trees were chipped and reused for mulch, metals were salvaged for recycling, and topsoil was reused to cap the project's embankments.

According to officials, less than 12 percent of the 29,000 cubic yards of landfill material was transported to another landfill.

Read more about this project in Garver's IQ newsletter article, What Lies Beneath.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Executive Tour of Tupelo Bayou

Conway Corporation executives received a tour of the Tupelo Bayou WWTP site.

Garver’s Jim Ward and Gary Bennett led a tour of the rising Tupelo Bayou Wastewater Treatment Plant for executives from Conway Corporation. Construction is progressing for the facility, which is located in Conway, Arkansas. The WWTP will provide a 16 MGD capacity for the City of Conway, with a future maximum capacity of 32 MGD. Garver, who provided planning and design, is also overseeing the new WWTP’s construction. This $66 million construction stage began in early 2012 and involves almost two years of construction and 37,000 cubic yards of concrete. PC Construction is the general contractor building the facility.

PC Construction iron workers tie wall steel at Tupelo Bayou.

Conway Corporation has operated the city’s utilities for over 80 years. Conway is one of the fastest-growing communities in Arkansas, and Conway Corporation has made significant efforts toward infrastructure improvements, including the new WWTP. Garver staff led the tour of the construction site to demonstrate the project’s progress. Conway Corporation members at the tour included Richard Arnold, CEO; Bill Bethea, Assistant to the CEO; Randy Crowell, Chairman: Lori Ross, Vice Chairman; Bret Carroll, CFO; Tommy Shackleford, COO; Greg Dell, Manager of Engineering and Planning;  and Crystal Kemp, Head of Marketing.

Aerial photo of the construction site.

The Tupelo Bayou facility will replace the old Stone Dam Creek facility and features advanced disinfection methods. Instead of chlorine gas and sulfur dioxide, Tupelo Bayou will use UV disinfection, which is easily-expandable and cost-effective. Tupelo Bayou will also be the first WWTP in Conway to feature odor control.

This tour was also featured in an article published by Conway’s Log Cabin Democrat.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Wastewater Reuse at Fort Sill

The Fort Sill wastewater treatment plant in Lawton, Oklahoma has adopted a reuse system that replaces on-site potable water usage with high-quality wastewater effluent. The recycling distribution network gives Fort Sill the ability to use the treated wastewater in its energy plant's cooling towers and for geothermal heat pumps to condition buildings.

"Under a typical water rate structure, a project of this type has the potential to save the utility between $200,000 and $300,000 a year," said Garver Treatment Plant Operations Specialist Michael Graves. "When recycled water leaves the treatment plant and picks up additional users, it becomes a new commodity while reducing potable water usage and costs."

The Fort Sill wastewater treatment plant produces high-quality effluent. Its treatment process includes clarification, activated sludge, filtration and UV disinfection with re-aeration processes. To move the treated water around Fort Sill, Garver designed a recycling distribution network that includes a chlorination chemical treatment system, a pump station, and underground supply and return piping.

"Clients can get a big bang for their buck when recycled water becomes a commodity," Graves said. "At Fort Sill, those potential users are the energy plant, other chilled water or cooling tower operations, and irrigation for event fields. In the future when additional phases are implemented, contractors could even access it for dust control during construction activities."

Read more about this project in Garver's IQ newsletter article Wastewater Reuse: The New Commodity.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Energy Services Spotlight

Garver provides generation, transmission, and distribution services designed to client standards.

Many clients have energy-related methods, processes, components, and training already in place. When systems need updating or expanding, Garver develops designs that meet today’s standards while satisfying each client’s unique requirements.

Our custom designs and energy knowledge encourage a system’s smooth transition into new energy infrastructure.

Garver's energy capabilities include the following services:
  • High-voltage transmission lines
  • Power distribution substations
  • Distribution systems
  • Generation
  • Protection and control relaying
  • Route selection studies
  • Environmental and permitting
  • Surveying and property acquisition
Garver is expanding our team of energy professionals and is seeking a Substation Project Manager and a Transmission and Distribution Senior Project Manager to grow with us.

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Professionals

Garver congratulates four employees who have passed their professional exams and received engineering or surveying licenses.

Sam Feezor, PE is an electrical engineer in Garver's Federal Group. Sam serves in our North Little Rock, Arkansas office and has worked with Garver for more than four years.

 John Moll, PS is a land surveyor in Garver's Survey Group. John serves in our North Little Rock, Arkansas office and has worked with Garver for more than five years.

Rusty Tate, PE is a water engineer in Garver's Water Group. Rusty serves in our Fayetteville, Arkansas office and has worked with Garver for more than two years.

Adam White, PE is a civil engineer in Garver's Aviation Group. Adam serves in our Fayetteville, Arkansas office and has worked with Garver for more than four years.

As a benefit to our employees, Garver pays for licensing costs, association dues, and continuing education costs. For more information about the benefits Garver offers, visit

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Top Blog Posts in 2012

We shared 90 stories on Garver's blog this year. After looking back through the the 2012 archives, we've compiled a list of the "most read" stories each month. Enjoy!

January: Garver's Emerging Leaders
February: Four Projects Win ACEC Awards
March: President's Award
April: Top 500 Design Firm
May: Work Life Balance Award
June: What Are You Doing This Summer?
July: Thank You Military Veterans Part 1 and Part 2
August: Brock Johnson, CEO and Past President, Dies at 63
and Dan Williams Appointed Next President
September: Awesome Summer Snapshots
October: Big Dam Bridge 100
November: Holder Named Director of Transportation
December: Christmas Angels


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