US 2 – Poplar

Project Description

The US 2 – Poplar project began as a surfacing rehabilitation through the town of Poplar. A roundabout was added early in the design phase at Kirn Road to improve safety and slow speeds in a heavily used pedestrian area. MDT and the Tribes agreed upon the addition of a roundabout at 5th Ave. E to accommodate a new residential and commercial development. SK Geotechnical, RPA, and MDT District and MDT Surfacing cooperatively developed a constructible, cost-effective cement-treated pulverized base surfacing section for the rehabilitation efforts in town. The reconstruction portion of the project utilized cement-treated base course.  The project plans included new separated shared-use paths, ADA upgrades, pedestrian bulb-outs and RRFBs, landscaping, accommodations for oversized trucks, and construction detours and phasing that allows for each roundabout to be constructed in two phases. RPA’s school crossing study resulted in the addition of bulbouts, raised refuge islands and RRFBs for the Poplar Public Schools.

 

MDT and RPA  worked exhaustively to obtain and keep community and Tribal Executive Board acceptance with multiple visits and presentations to the Board, two community meetings, and several landowner meetings. Crucial to community acceptance was the culturally relevant landscaping designs and sculptures in the center of the roundabouts.

Project Details​

Client

Montana Department of Transportation

Location

Poplar, Montana

City of Helena Multimodal Traffic Study

Project Description

The study area is situated in the heart of Helena and provides access to the Downtown, Capitol, Helena College, and Helena Middle School. The area includes primary commercial, business, and residential districts and serves multiple transportation modes including passenger vehicles, freight, bicycles, pedestrians, transit, and rail. The study corridors and five-point intersections each have unique character, settings, and configurations, each with their own set of issues and needs. The two five-point intersections have non-standard layouts and geometrics. The configurations can cause driver confusion and have poor operating efficiency, particularly during peak hours. The study identified concerns regarding safety, a lack of suitable non-motorized infrastructure, undesirable aesthetics and lack of gateway signage, and access to commercial and residential areas.

The traffic study considered all previously completed planning efforts, assessed existing and projected transportation and environmental conditions, provided an in-depth analysis of feasible improvement options, and identified recommendations to be implemented over the next 20 years. Through a comprehensive evaluation of transportation and environmental conditions and a wide-ranging public and stakeholder outreach process, the traffic study identified a set of 16 recommendations to address multimodal safety, connectivity, access, mobility, aesthetics, wayfinding, and economic vitality for the adjacent areas. The recommended improvements offer a range of potential short- and long-term strategies to address areas of concern, including streetscaping enhancements, sidewalk improvements, ADA curb ramps, enhanced crosswalks, traffic signal timing adjustments, bike lane extensions, intersection realignment, a grade-separated rail crossing, trail extension, and intersection reconstruction.

Extensive public and stakeholder involvement occurred throughout the planning process. Before a study scope was developed, introductory visioning workshops were held with the community and key stakeholders to understand their concerns and needs prior to contract execution. During the plan development, our team held both in-person outreach activities (with small groups, and by appointment) and virtual opportunities. We developed presentation videos, high-quality graphic renderings, and other easy to understand public-facing materials. There was also extensive coordination with MDT, the Downtown Business Improvement District, two TIF districts, adjacent businesses, school district, and the City.

Project Details​

Client

City of Helena

Location

Helena, Montana

Makoshika State Park Infrastructure Repairs

Project Description

Montana FWP required repairs to the aging infrastructure at Makoshika State Park. The park is in a very dynamic geologic setting “the badlands” with fossil laden highly erodible and expansive soils. Early project planning and design included: road repairs; campground relocation; associated municipal water and on-site wastewater disposal designs; trail improvements and a new pedestrian bridge. Budgeting, site assessment, and prioritization moved the project focus to its greatest need of road and drainage repair. Full Depth Recycling (FDR) and Cement Treated Base (CTB) with asphalt overlay were major components of the road design for about 2.5 miles of the park access road. Twenty-six drainage crossings were assessed and reestablished.

Project Details​

Client

Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks

Location

Makoshika State Park, Montana

Holter Lake Campground – Boat Ramp and Docks

Project Description

The Holter Lake Campground is located about halfway between Great Falls and Helena, Montana on Holter Lake, an impoundment on the Missouri River. Campground visitation is currently about 50,000 visitors per year with projections of up to 350 boat launchings per day. The design includes a 65-foot boarding float between boat access ramp lanes, an 88-foot courtesy dock, and a 235-foot main overnight dock. The layout accommodates 43 overnight moorings and is designed for winter seasonal removal of the floating dock sections.

Trails to the docks were routed to provide ADA accessibility and minimize the impact on the existing facility. The paved trails, concrete stairway, dock abutments, shoreline stabilization, and anchoring system designs were complicated by fill-type soils and shallow groundwater. The existing boat ramp was being undercut at the toe and required deepening and lengthening in addition to adding ramp access lanes. The water depth at the ramp toe required that sheet piling be installed for dewatering during construction. RPA coordinated with a number of structural, geotechnical, dock, and ramp specialists to facilitate the design.

Design alternatives were compiled into reporting that also addressed cost estimates. Design complications included significant wave and ice loads on the dock and shoreline stabilization. RPA accommodated multiple design reviews and provided complete plans and specifications provided for bid. The construction cost of the project was about $1.1M. The design work was completed through RPA’s IDIQ contract with the BLM Montana and Dakotas region.

Project Details​

Client

Bureau of Land Management

Location

Holter Lake, Montana

Port of Piegan – New Housing and Infrastructure

Project Description

RPA competed the Civil design work for this Land Port of Entry (LPOE) task under a General
Services Administration (GSA) Rocky Mountain Region 8 (Colorado, Montana, North Dakota,
South Dakota, and Wyoming), AE Services IDIQ. The project involved building additional
prototype housing for US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel at the Piegan LPOE property. The remote, self-sufficient site design required complex interrelations and significant infrastructure improvements.

KEY PROJECT ELEMENTS:

  • 63-acre site, 46 existing and new housing units
  • Phased design/build procurement, LEED compliance
  • Tribal lands, international border, national park setting, severe weather, variable seasonal use, and visitation, existing historic facilities
  • Site survey, existing infrastructure assessment, systems testing, soils investigations, alternatives analysis
  • On-site sewage treatment and disposal system, surge volume storage
  • Surface source water collection and security, water right review
  • Two-mile source water main, water treatment systems and backwash disposal, new water delivery system
  • Buried fire water and potable water storage, fire protection pump systems
  • Roads, parking, drainage system, and controls
  • Electrical distribution systems and emergency on-site generation, natural gas distribution
  • Security fencing, trails, common community areas, severe weather landscaping

Project Details​

Client

Bruce Boody Landscape Architects

Location

Port of Piegan, Montana

Kerry Pedersen, PE Earns Road Safety Professional Level 1 (RSP1) Certification

Kerry Pedersen
Congratulations to Kerry Pedersen, PE who has recently earned the Road Safety Professional Level 1 (RSP1) certification from the Transportation Professional Certification Board (TPCB)!
 
The RSP1 certification is a recognized achievement in the transportation industry for those who make decisions or take actions that potentially impact the safety of the traveling public. Road Safety is paramount to our transportation planning and design team and their continued education and certification efforts are exemplary.
 
Way to go, Kerry!

Robert J. Peccia has been inducted into the Montana Professional Engineers Hall of Fame!

RPA is very proud to announce that Robert J. Peccia has been inducted into the Montana Professional Engineers Hall of Fame! This recognition is well deserved for our founder and leader for many years. He has led an impressive career as an engineer beginning with a walk across the stage and graduating from the Montana State College (now Montana State University) as the 15,000th graduate to now as a highly-respected engineer and businessman. He has always believed in taking care of his employees and in 2009, Robert sold the last of his RPA shares to the employees to create the first 100% employee owned engineering company in Montana. His continual generosity is also aimed at engineering students as he established endowed scholarships at both Montana State University and Carroll College and has hired many graduates over the years.
 
Congratulations, Robert on your many accomplishments and the recognition from the Montana Society of Engineers!

Jeremy Perlinski, PE Returns to RPA

RPA is happy to announce the return of Jeremy Perlinski, PE, to our Helena office as a Project Manager in the Water and Wastewater Group. Jeremy is a graduate of Montana State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering and has 22 years of experience in civil engineering with a primary focus on municipal water and wastewater system design. As a project manager at RPA, Jeremy will apply his extensive knowledge and experience to provide high-quality, innovative engineering design solutions for current and future clients. Jeremy has managed a diverse range of water and wastewater projects throughout Montana and is currently working on water system upgrades for the Town of Chester, water supply improvements for the City of East Helena, and wastewater treatment plant upgrades for the City of Lewistown and East Helena.

Welcome to RPA, Trevor Larson

RPA would like to introduce Trevor Larson, EI, as an Engineering Designer/Construction Technician in our Water and Wastewater Group. Trevor holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Montana State University. Through a summer internship, he gained hands-on engineering experience performing hydraulic structures surveying, using Civil 3D to draft those structures for reference by hydraulic modelers, and surveying with Leica GS18 T and Leica one-man total station. Trevor is responsible for various reports, data collection and analysis such as sludge sampling and flow measurements, construction observation, and project administration. Trevor is currently assisting with the Hingham Wastewater PER, Lewistown Water System Improvements, and East Helena Water Improvements.
 

Welcome, Tony Woods to RPA!

Tony Woods

RPA wants to extend a warm welcome to Tony Woods, EI who has joined the Kalispell Office. Tony is primarily focused on engineering design, specifications, and cost estimates for National Parks Service (NPS) Projects. Currently, Tony is working on two (2) projects for the NPS within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. He is designing two (2) boat launch ramp extensions, one at Echo Bay and one at Hemenway Harbor, for Lake Mead. Additionally, he is working on the schematic design of an access road, parking lots, and launch ramp at Callville Bay within Lake Mead. With these projects, Tony is assisting the NPS at Lake Mead to maintain public access to the lake during these difficult low water times.