Blog

Posted: July 2016

July 26, 2016

Research in Our Ranks: Porous Pavement Bike Lanes

Photo of bike tire

Transportation has always been one of Davis & Floyd’s strongest sectors and because of that we recognize that the challenges of public transportation are often about integrating options beyond automotive.

That is why we wanted to take a minute to highlight research done by one of our own – Tripp West, PE. An engineer in the Charleston office, Tripp works on project teams for water resources, transportation, and land development projects for both public and private clients. Through design, preparation of plans and specifications, permitting, and cost estimating, he has been essential on multiple plans, analyses, and developments.

Tripp always has been passionate about helping others meet their basic needs, from clean water to safe living spaces, access to work, and a means to move people and goods. While working on his engineering degree, he was a founding member of a group called Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries. His focus on sustainability is one reason he believes that engineers can make great strides as we tackle future problems like climate change and rising sea levels.

With that in mind, we wanted to share some of Tripp’s thesis research on porous pavement bike lanes adjacent to impervious traffic lanes. He was able to analyze the distance required for water running onto a porous pavement to fully infiltrate into the pavement – proving that it is linearly proportional to the width of the adjacent impervious traffic lanes and the rainfall intensity. It is also inversely proportional to the sum of the rainfall intensity and pavement hydraulic conductivity.

Why are his findings on porous pavements so important? We will let Tripp explain:

The inclusion of bicycle lanes or pathways is increasing in urban areas where local governments are looking for ways to increase alternative modes of transportation and provide safe routes for the increasing number of cyclists choosing to ride their bicycles around town rather than drive a vehicle. Even from a site design perspective, we are now required to include in our plans how pedestrian and bicycle access will be accommodated within our developments and how those pathways will connect to existing routes. One of the leading causes of increased flooding is the conversion of pervious areas (forests, farmland, and other open spaces) to impervious areas (buildings and pavement), which increases the volume of downstream runoff leading to potential flooding issues. The addition of paved bicycle lanes and pathways in a road corridor further increases the total amount of impervious area required for that facility.

Pervious pavements, which allow water to drain through the surface, are already being used in other applications where traditional pavement is required to reduce the overall volume of runoff leaving a site. The goal of this project was to investigate the feasibility of using pervious pavements for the bicycle lane application and then identify which components of the system would need to be further investigated in hopes of creating a design guideline for using this application in practice.

The pervious bicycle lane concept could potentially be implemented within new road corridors, alongside existing roadways, or incorporated into maintenance and retrofits of existing streets.

Today, Tripp and his Davis & Floyd colleague Mike Horton are serving in an industry advisor role with his former professor on a new research project. The project, entitled “Performance Based Design of Low Impact Development Technologies in Response to Climate Change Induced Changes In Rainfall Patterns,” is funded through the SC Sea Grant Consortium.

July 18, 2016

Teamwork & Team Spirit

Greenwood Office Cookout & Cornhole

Davis & Floyd continues our summer tradition of afternoons outdoors and friendly competition. This month, our home office in Greenwood pulled out their cornhole boards, set up tents and Steve Case fired up the grill again. Out under our pecan and oak trees, we had a bit of a potluck with great dishes brought by all.

As usual, grads from The Citadel and Clemson took it as an opportunity to gang up on each other, but it was all in good fun. (Even though the older Citadel grads beat the younger Clemson grads…)

Congratulations to our Greenwood winners, Charlie Blackmon and Jason Calvert.

Check out our album and give our Facebook page a like if you haven’t already!

July 11, 2016

Supporting South Carolina’s Development

DF OEA SponsorshipRichard Blackwell, Executive Director of the Oconee Economic Alliance, receives Davis & Floyd’s annual contribution from Mark Warner, Vice President, Business Development & Marketing

Davis & Floyd has always made it a point to support the economic development efforts of counties and regional alliances around South Carolina. As a member and sponsor of the South Carolina Economic Developers’ Association – the voice of economic development in South Carolina – we know the power of partnerships.

As the preeminent engineering firm in the state, Davis & Floyd deeply believes in innovative, responsible, thoughtful growth driven by state, regional, and local economic development forces across South Carolina.

We’re especially proud to work in tandem with the Oconee Economic Alliance, an organization dedicated to highlighting the economic development opportunities in Oconee County. At the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, outside of Greenville and between Atlanta’s and Charlotte’s metropolitan areas, Oconee County represents a vibrant community of residents and businesses.

This is our second year supporting the Oconee Economic Alliance. Last week, Mark Warner, our Vice President, Business Development & Marketing, presented Richard Blackwell, Executive Director of the Oconee Economic Alliance, with the company’s annual contribution.

July 2, 2016

From the History Books: A Celebratory Site & Naval Memorial

Fireworks

As Davis & Floyd celebrates the Fourth of July, we take a look back at two projects that reflect the spirit of the holiday.

A gem on the South Carolina coast, North Charleston Riverfront Park was opened to the public on July 4, 2005 and has been continuously used for the city’s annual celebration and fireworks display – the festival is the city’s largest sponsored event and features national performers each year.

The park site was originally the grounds of the Officer’s Club and golf course on the former naval base and today it provides access to the river that citizens of North Charleston previously lacked. Serene vistas, graceful grand oaks, and historic homes set the scene for a contemporary arts pavilion. Fitted with a one-of-a-kind amphitheater and interactive fountain, the park draws patrons to community events year-round. As the initial anchor set within the 3,000-acre Noisette Master Plan and planned 350-acre Navy Yard at Noisette, this project incorporated sustainable development practices in all facets of the design from the site lighting to its source of irrigation.

For this special project, Davis & Floyd served as the park’s design engineer, supporting the project team by leading the due diligence and design necessary for deconstruction or protection of existing structures, pavements, and utilities, and the design of new retaining walls; boardwalks; structural foundations; and water, sanitary sewer, and stormwater facilities.

Two years later, we completed the Greater Charleston Naval Base Memorial located within Riverfront Park. Davis & Floyd was commissioned to lead a team of professional engineers and architects for the survey, design, and construction documentation for the memorial.

The memorial’s structure includes a pavilion, a water feature with a reflection pool and pedestrian bridges, sculptures, and landscaping that continue the unique sustainable fabric used in the construction of the city’s Riverfront Park.

This project is a monument in honor of the importance of the Charleston Naval Base to the community and a memorial to the military personnel and civilians who served the United States and the Greater Charleston region while the base was operational.

From our family to yours, we hope you have a safe and celebratory Independence Day – whether you are out at your city’s arts venues, in your own backyard, on the water, or at a ballgame.

Riverfront Park