Engineering

The Engineering Division of the Department of Public Works provides engineering design services and construction administration to support utility, infrastructure, facility, and environmental capital projects for the City of Roanoke. The Division also provides production, archiving, and distribution of maps and GIS map data for the city.

Administrative Team

The Administrative Team provides support and management for the five sections of the Engineering Division. The team prepares, monitors, and manages the Division's operating budget. They provide coordination of all of the Division's fiscal transactions for operations and assigned capital projects. The team also provides services supporting of the Division's project managers including electronic file systems, reception, clerical support, and contract development and administration. Other support services include: Citizen requests for service, contract document development, land acquisition, minority contracting, performance monitoring, and training coordination.

Facilities Team

The primary function of Engineering’s Facilities Group is to manage and oversee the design and construction of building-type projects, to include both new construction and the renovation of existing city-owned facilities. This office serves as the city’s primary contact between design consultants, contractors and other supporting entities for the larger and more complicated projects. The staff also provides design services for smaller, less complicated projects. Some of the larger projects completed in recent years include:

  • Main headquarters building for the Police Department
  • Special Events Center at the Roanoke Civic Center
  • Fire Administration/Fire-EMS Station No. 1
  • Fire-EMS Stations Nos. 3 and 5
  • Police Academy
  • Renovation and expansion of the Gainsboro and Jackson Park branch libraries
  • Expansion and replacement of the facade of Market Garage
  • Renovation of the City Market Building
For larger projects, this office is responsible to retain architectural-engineering consultants to provide the various services needed to plan, program, develop a design, prepare construction documents, provide assistance through the bidding phase, and provide administrative oversight during construction. This office also helps retain and/or coordinate the services of other firms/companies needed to support the primary design consultant to include: 

  • Building signage
  • Furniture and equipment providers
  • Geotechnical investigations
  • Hazardous materials inspections and abatement
  • Inspection and testing firms/labs
  • Locating subsurface utilities
  • Surveying
  • Security systems
The office coordinates project design and construction work with various utility providers and works with a number of other city departments.

Land Development
In addition to overseeing these tasks, the Facilities Group assists in the acquisition of land, in developing and overseeing budgets and project schedules, preparing site and feasibility studies, and performing value engineering (VE) studies. Recently this office managed the city’s second “turn-key” project delivered under the “Public-Private Educational Facilities Infrastructure Act” (PPEA).

Construction Oversight
The Facilities Group provides key administrative oversight during the construction phase of building projects. Some of the tasks with which the group is involved include:
  • Performing physical on-site inspections of on-going construction work
  • Reviewing requests for information (RFIs) and change order proposals
  • Reviewing reports received from inspection and testing laboratories, to include reports of special inspections
  • Maintaining inspection logs and shop submission and photograph files
  • Attending progress and coordination meetings
  • Reviewing monthly pay requests

Infrastructure Team

The Infrastructure Team provides engineering and professional services for the city’s Capital and Operating Programs. Core responsibilities include: Program Management, Project Management, and providing Engineering and Professional Support.

Bridge Inspection Program: The team manages the fourth largest municipal bridge inventory in the state of Virginia. National emphasis on safety inspection and maintenance of bridges increased when the Silver Bridge at Point Pleasant, W.Va. collapsed into the Ohio River in December 1967. Federal regulations were subsequently enacted that established bridge inspection procedures, frequencies, reporting guidelines, and personnel requirements. The Infrastructure Team ensures that all transportation structures (bridges, culverts and overhead traffic signs) are inspected and reported on, in accordance with all federal, state and local regulations.

Bridge Maintenance & Replacement Program: Using network level, data-driven information gleaned from the Bridge Inspection Program, the Infrastructure Team employs long-term strategies and practices to preserve, maintain, rehabilitate and replace the city’s bridges. The success of our maintenance and replacement program is based on a strategic, systematic, and balanced approach to inventory management and budgeting.

New Curb, Gutter & Sidewalk Program: Citizens have the ability to request the construction of new curb and gutter and/or sidewalk within the city. Often these requests are communicated as a citizen’s desire to protect or improve their property frontage, infill areas that are surrounded with existing infrastructure, or to address pedestrian and Americans with Disability Act (ADA) needs in highly trafficked areas. The Infrastructure Team:
  • Receives requests for new infrastructure
  • Evaluates each request along with the Complete Streets Committee
  • Responds to citizens regarding their requests
  • Maintains the Curb, Gutter and Sidewalk Database
  • Manages the design and construction of projects generated by the program
Virginia Department of Transportation Revenue Sharing Program: The team acts as a clearinghouse for the various city divisions that participate in Virginia Department of Transportation's (VDOT) annual Revenue Sharing Program. They act as liaison between VDOT and the city, as well as provide preliminary engineering and other professional services enabling the city to maximize available funding for numerous Capital Improvement projects.

Project Management: For a wide variety of Capital Improvement projects including transportation structures, roadway and traffic, streetscapes, landscaping and others, the Infrastructure Team is tasked with: Conceptualization, Engineering Design, Estimating, Construction Administration, Construction Inspection, Contract Management, and Subsequent Maintenance.

Engineering & Professional Support: The city’s built infrastructure requires continual maintenance and repair. The team often supports the city’s Operations staff by evaluating existing structures and providing professional engineering support for each structure’s maintenance. The Infrastructure Team has offered its services in evaluating potential earthquake damage to city buildings and bridges, managing inspection services for parking garages, providing structural design services for the Roanoke Performing Art Theatre, and others. The Infrastructure Team collaborates with other Engineering Division Teams to execute a wide variety of other tasks as directed by the City Engineer.

Mapping Team

Core Responsibilities
The Mapping Team's core responsibilities include:

  • GIS Parcel Base Maps
  • Archived Survey and Plan Records
  • GPS Inventory Locations
  • Maps Production and Support
GIS Parcel Base Mapping
The City of Roanoke’s GIS (Geographic Information System) maps require updates as changes occur in parcel boundaries, new developments, easements, and installment of new storm drain infrastructure. As these features change, the Mapping Team of the Engineering Division applies the changes to the base mapping to assure that the most current map data is available for use by the citizens of Roanoke and its surrounding communities.

Archived Surveys & Plan Records
Recorded surveys, subdivision plats, and engineering plans are all cataloged and archived in a series of image and tabular data base systems. The City of Roanoke’s GIS is then utilized to link these databases to their related parcels which can be viewed by the public on the city’s GIS website.

GPS Inventory Location
When new infrastructure is installed, GPS (Global Positioning System) technology is used to gather point and line locations of the new infrastructure features. This new data is added to the existing inventory data base which is then utilized in GIS.

Map Production & Support
Engineering’s Mapping Team provides quality maps and support to other city departments, as well as Roanoke’s citizens and private firms. These maps serve as powerful tools which help to inform the user as well as facilitate the decision-making process. 

Special Projects Team

Core Responsibilities
The motto of the Special Projects Team is “Highest Quality Work, Protect Every Dollar.” The team performs: 

  • Base map preparation
  • Capital project budgeting
  • Construction cost estimation
  • Construction inspection services
  • Contract administration
  • Project management
  • Site and utility design
  • Stormwater management
  • Surveying
  • Value engineering for a variety of city projects
Project Management
The Special Projects Team managed the city's first federal stimulus infrastructure project, the City-Wide Rehabilitation and Conservation Districts New Concrete Curb, Entrances, and Sidewalk Project; and the city’s first PPEA design-build project, Campbell Garage. 

Revenue Sharing Projects
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Revenue Sharing projects include VDOT’s first Safe Routes to School Project, which improved pedestrian access between neighborhoods and schools in the Washington Park area. Another notable VDOT Revenue Sharing Project was the Aviation Drive-Towne Square Boulevard Intersection Reconfiguration, which reconfigured and signalized one of the city’s most congested interchanges. This intersection project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget. 

Surveying & Design
The team has also handled surveying and design for smaller projects such as Valley Metro Bus Shelters, Public Art, and improvements at the Mill Mountain Zoo. In addition, they design, manage, and inspect infrastructure projects such as the Bullitt Avenue Streetscape, 6th Street Streetscape in front of the newly renovated Cotton Mill apartments, the Rehabilitation of Franklin Road Bridge, and the various phases of the Reserve Avenue Streetscape. 

Capital Building Projects
The Special Projects team has teamed with the Facilities Section as the civil engineer on capital building projects: 
  • Market Building Renovations
  • Gainsboro Library Expansion
  • Jackson Park Library Expansion
  • Melrose Fire Station No. 5
They have planned, designed, and managed various improvements at the city’s Public Works Service Center, including a metal equipment building, drainage improvements, and they are currently designing a large-scale rainwater harvesting system. They have also performed cost estimating for Carilion’s Roanoke River District.