Rocker Interchange

Project Description

RPA was contracted to provide design services to implement a previous high-level planning study’s preferred configuration of roundabouts for the Rocker Interchange ramp terminals. Five- and six-legged roundabouts were developed to accommodate the interstate ramps, frontage roads, and business accesses in this tightly-constrained setting. Due to landowner opposition and political pressure, the south roundabout was converted to a standard intersection during design, implementing improved geometrics where feasible. The north roundabout includes outer truck aprons to accommodate the high volume of trucks, pedestrian amenities, and landscaping. Drainage is collected through the new storm drain system and retained on-site in a series of retention ponds. The plan sequence of operations allowed traffic to all roadways and businesses throughout construction.

Project Details​

Client

Montana Department of Transportation

Location

Rocker, Montana

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

Block 106, Lot A

Project Description

Block 106, Lot A is a 3-story mixed use Type V building located in the Mill District, and is
currently under construction. The building is 17,600 SF with 4,000 SF of at grade parking beneath the building. The ground floor is intended for retail and office space with levels 2 and 3 serving as multi-family residential units. The structure is a combination of steel and wood framing. Wood shear walls serve as the lateral force resisting system for the building. The building is configured with a 2,000 SF courtyard at the 2nd level. The courtyard was designed for a 605 SF landscaped roof garden and snow storage.

RPA served as the Civil and Structural Engineer of Record for this project. Additionally, RPA’s
structural group provided special inspection services during construction

Project Details

Location

Bozeman, Montana

Architect

Minarik Architecture

Big Horn Valley Clinic

Project Description

RPA partnered with High Plains Architects to design a new 8,640 SF, single-story medical office building. The superstructure system consisted of exposed open web, parallel chord hybrid roof truss, comprised of wood and metal, supported on steel and wood framing. Rammed aggregate pier foundations were employed beneath the building to mitigate highly compressible subgrade soils. A network of cast-in-place concrete grade beams were utilized to transfer superstructure loads to the pier foundation. Careful planning and collaboration with the architect was undertaken to ensure interior demising walls, which were framed to the underside of roof sheathing, were detailed to allow deflection of the roof trusses and maintain rigorous sound isolation between exam rooms and offices.

Project Details​

Client

Big Horn Valley Clinic

Location

Hardin, Montana

Virginia City LiDAR

Project Description

RPA partnered with Aero-Graphics to complete a LiDAR project to provide mapping and aerial photography for a 32-mile square area in and around Virginia City, Montana. Aero-Graphics
requested RPA to set 10+ targets, including 2 porous targets for their work. RPA was able to set and control the project in time for a late notice fight operation (weather delays) and was able to provide continuous GPS ground control for flight operations.

Project Details​

Client

Aero-Graphics, Inc.

Location

Virginia City, Montana

Montana Eye Care

Project Description

Working with Mosaic Architecture, the project included design and construction of a new 12,000 square foot clinic building. The new facility, located at the intersection of Montana Avenue and 11th Avenue in Helena, houses both an optometry clinic and retail showroom.
Site design included challenges associated with keeping the existing clinic building in service, while the new facility was being constructed. In addition to a fully accessible site design, the new facility includes 10,000 gallons of underground stormwater detention/retention, located directly underneath the new 38-stall paved parking lot. The underground facility is constructed of aluminized corrugated steel piping, with perforations to allow stormwater runoff to infiltrate on-site.

KEY PROJECT ELEMENTS

  • New 38-Stall Paved Parking Lot
  • Underground Stormwater Detention/Retention System
  • ADA Accessible Site Design
  • Site Landscaping and Privacy Fencing

Project Details​

Client

Montana Eye Care

Location

Helena, Montana

Architect

Mosaic Architecture