Our Services - Transportation
Written by: Rachel Washington and Tyler Smith, PE
Transportation Engineering is a facet of the civil engineering services our firm provides. This type of engineering focuses on the planning, design, operation, and maintenance of transportation systems to help create a safe and well-structured community. Whether it’s providing traffic analysis, adding dual turn lanes, or re-designing traffic flows to be more efficient, our team provides innovative solutions for the transportation needs within our projects.
What is Transportation Engineering?
MDG’s transportation department is responsible for planning, designing, permitting, and assisting with construction of roadway projects in both the public and private markets. Our expertise and experience in Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and St. Johns County/local regulations and requirements, as well as our relationships with these agencies, allow us to provide exceptional designs and a seamless service to our clients from conceptual planning through construction.
Typical design services could include new roadway design, existing roadway improvements (widening, resurfacing, etc), driveway and access permitting, turn lane design, intersection improvements, safety improvements, and pedestrian improvements (sidewalk, multi-use trails, and crosswalks, etc.). MDG is prequalified to work on anything from small driveway connections up to interstate and interchange design.
why is Transportation Engineering important?
Transportation networks are essential to the economy and the general public. They’re needed for everything from distribution of goods to finding your way home from work. Although it’s not something typically thought of during conceptual design, every land development project will need some form of access planning for a connection to a state or local road. This access planning is often overlooked and may have requirements that can significantly impact plans onsite. We recommend involving our transportation team in early discussions to avoid these roadblocks and significantly speed up the design and permitting process.
The Key Elements of Transportation
A few essential elements of Transportation Engineering are:
Can we add a traffic signal? Am I required to provide a turn lane or other offsite improvements? Will there be right-of-way impacts? We are here to vet out any questions and requirements before entering the design phase. Planning for constraints is an important part of the process and it will give you a better understanding of your project scope as you move forward.
- Design and Permitting.
Once the planning phase is complete, we review the scope of work to create detailed construction plans to accommodate the project needs. Work in this phase fine tunes the conceptual design and prepares your site for construction. Our staff works closely with the review agencies to get your project approved on budget and in a timely manner.
- Construction Administration.
MDG provides construction administration and construction phase services after design and permitting. Our team of engineers routinely help clients and their contractors work through the construction of the improvements. This could include reviewing shop drawings, site visits and inspections, as-built review, and assisting with any unforeseen field issues. After construction is complete, our team will continue to assist in closing out the project with all applicable agencies.
Why Do We Recommend this Service?
Getting our transportation team involved early is recommended in order to establish any required roadway improvements in the beginning stages of the project and incorporate these access points and offsite improvements into the site design. MDG’s transportation team is committed to leveraging our expertise to provide an innovative and cost-effective execution.
What Should You Know?
Compare and Contrast. During the planning phase, it is a great idea to provide several possible land uses for your site if there is flexibility. Some land uses, such as a drive-thru restaurant, may require significant offsite roadway improvements and could be a large, unforeseen added cost to the project. Failing to plan accordingly could slow down or stop the project. It’s good to have options!
Design and permitting can be time consuming. From first submittal, review agencies typically will review plans within 30 days. At that point MDG would revise the plans per the comments and resubmit. Turn around time for MDG could be anywhere from a week to a month as some agencies could have 3-5 rounds of comments depending on the complexity of your project. Be patient, sometimes waiting to submit an extra week is worth an entire month or two of revisions. All in all, you should plan on 1-2 months for initial design and submission followed by 3-5 months of permitting prior to approval.
A Real Life Example
MDG provided transportation engineering services for the new Rock Springs Farm subdivision located off US 1, south of SR 206 in St. Johns County. A preliminary turn lane analysis determined the need for a left and right turn from US 1 into the new development.
Additionally, early coordination with FDOT determined that the driveway opening needed to meet median opening spacing requirements. Our transportation team reviewed and modified concept plans and coordinated with the client representative to optimize the access driveway location. The planning between our client, transportation team and review agencies saved us from unnecessary comments throughout the permitting process.
Meet Our Transportation Team
Chris Buttermore, PE
Chris Buttermore brings extensive design and project management experience on both public and private sector civil engineering projects. His relevant civil engineering experience includes site planning and land development design services for a variety of residential, commercial, and industrial projects as well as for government agencies and municipalities. Chris’s expertise includes working as a project manager, roadway engineer, MOT engineer, and S&PM engineer on many FDOT, county and city projects. He has firsthand experience with FDOT protocols, design criteria, digital/electronic delivery process and filing conventions that facilitate permit and final project approval.
Tyler Smith, PE
Project Manager – Transportation
Tyler Smith has a broad range of transportation engineering design experience working in conjunction with various state Departments of Transportation. During his career, he has specialized in designing roadway and transportation systems which have included widening, milling, and resurfacing, intersection improvements, and interchange design. Tyler developed indispensable engineering knowledge while working on projects ranging from small driveway projects to large design-build interchange projects. His work also includes permitting land development projects in the private sector. design, Tyler oversees shop drawing reviews, construction inspections and closeouts once each project goes to construction.
Adriana Salinas Diaz, EI
Project Engineer – Transportation
Adriana recently graduated from University of North Florida as a first-generation student. She brings experience in transportation engineering through her past internship and has served as an executive member for American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE). Adriana is experienced in highway widening, FDOT standards, QA/QC processing, Intersection Control Evaluation (ICE) reporting, and traffic analysis on Synchro.
In need of transportation services for your project? We would be happy to partner with you!