Articles

  • Grand River project is a game-changer for Grand Rapids

    By Jim Hegarty Last Friday, I got updates on the massive Grand River restoration project in Grand Rapids at two events. At the first event, sponsored by the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds (LGROW), I saw a graphic of the project, which proposes to restore the Grand River’s 18-ft drop as it winds its […]

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  • Infrastructure Asset Management Plans – Helping communities develop long-term rate structures

    By James Hegarty, PE I’m encouraged by Michigan’s state-wide movement toward adopting asset management as a financial planning tool for key infrastructure systems. This article supported my belief that to enjoy the current level of service from our infrastructure into the future, it’s going to cost more money. It’s easy to see the results of […]

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  • Preventative Traffic Engineering: Leading the Way to Safety

    This article summarizes an inspiring talk given by our traffic engineer, Ariana Jeske, PE, at the 2013 Institute of Transportation Engineers conference. Preventative traffic engineering refers to an approach to traffic engineering and planning that prevents, rather than reacts to, dangerous situations and accidents.  The key is keeping walkability in mind. The term “walkability” has […]

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  • Do you really need an engineer to design your trail?

    Several years ago, I met Fred Meijer at a meeting. Mr. Meijer was well known for his philanthropy, especially in the development of bicycle paths across West Michigan. When he found out that I design these paths, he baitingly asked me, “Why do we need an engineer to design bike paths?” I gave him all […]

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  • Don’t let the vocal minority kill your project: How to Deal with Trail Opposition

    While it is typical to have someone who objects to a proposed trail, in most cases we see an about-face once the trail opens for public use. One property owner actually called me a couple months after the trail opened and apologized for being difficult during construction. She discovered how much she loved the trail! […]

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  • Whitehall’s green street featured in MML Review

    The May/June issue of the MML Review features Whitehall’s Lake Street (the green road) on pages 8-10. Here’s an excerpt! Indeed, the real genius of the project lies in the low-impact design created by Prein&Newhof. Rather than imposing on the landscape a series of artificial constructs to perform the filtering functions, these innovative engineers looked […]

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  • Designing low-maintenance trails

    When I started designing non-motorized trails in the Holland area about 16 years ago, trail development was still in its infancy. Since then, I have designed or managed construction of about 150 miles of trails. As your community’s trail system develops, maintenance becomes a real concern. Here are 13 of my favorite maintenance-minimizing trail design […]

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  • Is this the future for local road funding?

    By Jim Hegarty, PE I drive nearly 30,000 miles every year for my job, so I’ve gotten to see a lot of Michigan. Whenever I stop for gas or an iced tea, I like to scan the newspaper headlines to see what’s going on locally. Last week, I happened upon the Williamston Enterprise with the […]

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  • Pavement Management shows promise as pothole fix

    by Connie Houk, PE Car repair shops love potholes! The rest of us, not so much. So, how do we prevent them? The answer is simple. If there is no water trapped under the road bed to freeze, there are no potholes. The solution, however, is a complex mixture of design, materials, maintenance and management […]

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  • Winning Non-motorized Trail Grants: How to Up the Odds

    By Scott Post, PE In my last post, I talked about where to find money for a non-motorized trail project. Here are nine ways you can help your project compete for grants: Have a written Recreation Plan, and designate non-motorized trails as your #1 priority. Commit as high a matching fund percentage as possible. Put […]

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