Private development must adhere to engineering standards established by the city and the county as well as national standards. Staff reviews the engineering plans to ensure they are well designed and will function as intended. Some of the key items that are reviewed include:
- Grading and drainage
- Stormwater retention
- Water, sewer and fire lines
- Public infrastructure improvements
In addition to plan review, the Land Development Division is responsible for the field inspection of public infrastructure such as streets, waterlines and sewer lines that are installed as a part of new development projects. The Division also maintains a state of the art, nationally accredited materials laboratory to help insure that the construction materials used on our projects meet all required standards.
What’s Under My Road?
Why do some public works projects take so long? There are metal plates on the roads and some of the traffic lanes are closed for weeks or months. There is little evidence of construction improvements except for traffic delays. What's going on?
There is more than meets the eye when underground utilities are involved. Much more. All of the modern conveniences of life as we know it are provided by utilities: power, gas, water, sewer, cable TV, computers and phone lines. Most of the utilities run under the major streets in the City where they are accessible for maintenance and won't interfere with houses and buildings. At major intersections, the lines under each road have to cross over one another. It's a maze.
As the City grows, capacity has to be increased. There are also additional utilities (fiber optic, for example) that didn't exist 20 years ago, making the maze of underground utilities even more complicated. When a utility line is upgraded, the new line has to wind its way in between all of the other lines, while still maintaining service. Imagine the inconvenience if an electric power line is damaged. Imagine the health hazard if a sewer pipe is broken. Imagine the danger to life and property if a gas main is punctured. It is delicate and complicated work that takes time to do it right.
So the next time you feel frustrated at how long that road project takes, please understand that the majority of the work is not visible when driving by.