January 2018 Print

President's Report

I hope everybody enjoyed the Holiday season, time to get back to work I guess.  St. George is going crazy it’s amazing how much building and development is going on in this area.   Throughout the year of 2017 has experienced quite a few changes.  The interstate that runs through our area has had some major transformations and reminds me of some of the interchanges that you would find in large cities.  Growing up in a small town I always pictured myself residing not too far from my roots.  When I moved to St. George in 2004 it was just small enough and close enough to my hometown that I did not feel like I was in a big city.  It’s starting to grow on me, one thing that impresses me is the projects that are going on downtown on St. George Blvd.  I am glad to see that the City and Developers still find ways to keep the down town area alive and a place people want to visit.  It seems like sometimes that growth happens around the city center and businesses move away from the downtown area.  I feel that St. George is doing a great job keeping this area a place to visit.

            I get the opportunity to head down to Las Vegas this month for the Region 8 assembly meeting.  I look forward to hearing about what is going on in our region and also on a national level.  Many branches will be sending officer to the leadership conference.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about ASCE and also network with other professionals in our region.  I look forward to reporting back to the Utah Section members on the assembly meeting, so watch for my message in the February Civil Source.

            I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the officers and board members that served this last year.  With that being said we are approaching election time for the Utah Section and many of the local branches if you are interested or know someone that might be interested in serving as an officer for ASCE please let me know or one of our board members.  I have enjoyed all the years I have been involved in ASCE.  The attached pictures were taken in Baltimore.  I was in Reston, Virginia for the Presidents and Governors forum a couple years back.  I had the opportunity to spend the day at the harbor in Baltimore and was able to watch the US Coast Guard dock one of their ships it was an awesome experience and one I would not have had if I had not been involved in ASCE.

            Also if you have not had a chance to visit our new website I encourage you to do so http://asceutah.com/index.php .   We are also looking for sponsors that we can place on our website and also in our monthly Civil Source.  If your firm is interested in having your company logo on our website and an ad in the Civil Source please contact me or one of the officers we would love to get you more information.

On behalf of the ASCE Utah section I would like to wish you a Happy New Year.

Anthony Schmid, S.E.

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Calendar of Events

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Technical Article

Design-Build Contracting

For the past 10 years, the design-build contracting method has dominated my professional life.  It has afforded me the opportunity to work on some of the Utah Department of Transportation’s, (UDOT), largest and most public projects. From the time, I was an Engineer-In-Training working on the South Layton Interchange, to my current role as a Lead Roadway Design Engineer on the Four Bangerter Interchanges Project, the methods, pressures, and timetables involved in the design-build world have become repeatedly and deeply ingrained into who I am as an engineer.  So much so that it has become my preferred method of practice and delivery.

Design-build contracts are issued by an owner, hiring a contractor to administer both the design as well as the construction of the project.  This differs from the more traditional design-bid-build contracting method, where the owner hires a designer to prepare the plans, and then hires a separate contractor to build the project.

There are several benefits to a design-build contract on a project.  The most prominent benefits that I have observed are:

  •          Single source of accountability:  Since the designer is hired by the contractor, the designer is ultimately accountable to the contractor, and the owner only needs to administer one contract.
  •          Innovation in design and construction:  When competing to win the design-build contract, teams are encouraged to find innovative and cost-effective methods to meet the minimum design requirements set by the owner.  This often leads to a lower bid price.
  •          Budget management:  The designer and contractor are part of the same team.  If there is an error between the two, there is a shared responsibility and cost between the designer and contractor to resolve it.  This reduces overall risk to the owner.
  •          Reduces project duration:  Because the designer and contractor are on the same team, the project does not need to wait for an entire design to be completed before beginning construction.  In most cases design begins, and remains, just slightly ahead of construction.  This allows for design and construction to happen nearly simultaneously, greatly reducing schedules for the project.
  •          Enhanced communication:  From the time of bid to project closeout, the designer and contractor are working closely together as a team to help identify potential issues early and avoid costly problems down the road.  The contractor is also able to be involved, giving feedback during the design process, to help develop a design that is practical and efficient for the contractor to construct.


While design-build contracts do have many benefits, they are not right for every project and come with some drawbacks.  These can include:

  •          Projects are often fast paced and high pressure.  This can lead to burn out, and employee turnover if done for an extended period, or if individuals are not prepared for the situation beforehand.
  •          Project issues can be expensive: Design and construction are being done simultaneously and often on a tight schedule. There is very little buffer if any type of issue arises.  Solutions to unidentified issues can be expensive and prolong the project timeline.
  •          Projects rarely exceed minimum requirements: Design-build teams are given a set of minimum project requirements set forth by the owner, typically in a Request for Proposal, (RFP), document.  In most situations, the contract is awarded to the lowest bidder.  Thus, the design-build team rarely has the opportunity to exceed minimum requirements in an effort to keep the bid price low.  This can lead to an overall product that was not quite what the owner envisioned if the RFP is not clear and complete.


      As adisclaimer, I did not work on the following project, however in my research for this paper, I came across a sentiment that I think appropriately sums up what can be accomplished by a design-build contract if well executed.

“On Aug. 1, 2007, the I-35W Bridge over the Mississippi River collapsed. Thirteen months later, on September 18, 2008, the first cars rolled across the newly constructed bridge. The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) used design-build to complete the construction. The biggest benefits were described as “speed of delivery and innovation.” The state was able to save time by overlapping design and construction activities. The state avoided an estimated $400,000 a day from lost revenue and the costs of detouring traffic caused by the downed bridge”.


Life on a design-build project can be exciting.  I enjoy the opportunity it gives me to work closely with the contractor during design, fostering relationships that are not soon forgotten.  I thrive in the high stress high paced environment that the projects require. I am proud to see the projects I have helped design come to fruition for the good of the owners and the general public.

J. Darren Burton P.E.

ASCE Wasatch Front Branch President


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Wasatch Front Branch Update

This month I really want to express my gratitude to all of those that helped with the Wasatch Front Branch  Sub for Santa.  This is a program that we have run in coordination with the Family Support Center, for the past several years, and is independently financed by the donations from our members.  Each year the Community Giving Committee spends hours of selfless time to put this together, and our members respond in kind, by opening up their hearts to make sure that a local family has a merry Christmas.  It is truly humbling to see everything that it takes to make it come together.  I want to give a special thankyou to our Community Giving Committee who made sure that this event was a success.

In December we heard from Greg Nelson with CRS Engineers who spoke about the recent Vivint Smart Home Arena Remodel project.  If you haven’t been out to see the new arena yet, we encourage you to do so, particularly the new entrance and plaza that CRS Engineers designed.

Currently ASCE's movie "Dream Big" is continues to be played at the Clark Planetarium. Follow this link for ticket information: https://tickets.clarkplanetarium.org/WebStore/Shop/ViewItems.aspx?CG=11&C=277

The January luncheon will be held Friday January 19th from 11:30 to 1:00 at WesTech Engineering Offices, (3665 South West Temple).  Mr. Jake Price, a Geotechnical Engineer,  with RB&G Engineering will be talking about the Tibble Fork Dam Rehabilitation Project.  We are always looking for additional speakers to help us fill our remaining luncheons through the rest of this year and into the next. If you or anyone you know are interested in helping us out by presenting, please contact us at asce.wasatch@gmail.com

During Engineer’s week, on February 20th  we will again be visiting Parkview Elementary School and on February 21st we will be visiting Escalante Elementary School, to help with some fun engineering related crafts and projects.  I attended last year and had a great time.  The kids are so excited to learn!  If you are interested in participating please email us.


J. Darren Burton, President, ASCE Wasatch Front Branch

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Northern Utah Branch Update

As we begin the new year in the NUB, we can look back at some great things that occurred in 2017 within the branch.  Our participation at our branch meetings has increased.  We have a larger group of volunteers leading the branch behind the scenes - including Quinn Dance helping with the monthly lunch and learns and Alex Oliphant working with the Younger Members.  Our relationship and involvement with the USU Student Chapter has grown, including a great industry meeting and tour last Spring.  We performed a couple of great service projects for the Willow Park Zoo and a public Mountain Bike Trail at Beaver Mountain Resort. 

The NUB has some great momentum going into 2018.  Our efforts will continue to expand, including activities where the Weber County and Box Elder County branch members can easily participate. 

Our next activities are:

January 18 at The Bluebird in Logan.  Jeff Gilbert from the Cache Metropolitan Planning Organization (CMPO) will be presenting on the transportation planning that has and is occurring in Cache Valley.  This will most likely include a discussion about the one-way couplet among other transportation projects in the valley.

February 22 at The Bluebird in Logan.  Garrett Pallo from Clearas Water Recovery will present.  Clearas Water Recovery is based out of Missoula, MT and is a provider in advanced, sustainable wastewater treatment technologies.  They are currently part of the South Davis Sewer District wastewater plant upgrade project.  He will present on this algae based technology and the status of the plant upgrade at South Davis.

Sincerely, John Powell, PE, ASCE NUB Past President

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Younger Member Forum

Happy New Year 2018! ASCE Utah YMF would like to start the year 2018 with a Community Service Project this month. We will be serving Ronald McDonald House on January 24th, 2018. Ronald McDonald House has been keeping families close in a place that feels like home – providing stability and resources when they need it most. Join us in cooking and serving dinner! We will start cooking at 5 pm and will be done by 7.30 pm. Look at the email for details, but you could also let us know earlier at asceutahymf@gmail.comif you’re interested


ASCE YMF is also planning an outreach activity in February 2018 involving night-ski. Details to come!

We’re GOING to Western Regional Younger Member Council (WRYMC). It will be held on January 11-14, 2018 in Las Vegas, NV.  Check out the WRYMC website for more information. ASCE Utah YMF is planning a dinner for the state of Utah ASCE members, including students. If you are going, please contact Heather Hamilton (asceutahymf@gmail.com) to be included in the dinner. We’ll SEE YOU THERE! Also, if you have any issues you would like to put before the ASCE Board? We are the right channel to give you a voice within ASCE! Don’t hesitate to let us know.

PE Exam is coming up! Do you feel prepared? ASCE Utah YMF may be able to help you preparing for the exam. The Spring PE Exam is scheduled for April 23, 2018 and once again, the Utah YMF will be hosting a 5-week review course. Topics will include those found in the breadth and depth portions of the exam for structures, geotechnical, transportation, construction, water resources, and environmental. A full syllabus and register on our website (https://www.asceutahymf.com/).

When:   February 20 – March 22, 2018

Tuesday & Thursday, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Location: TBD (Salt Lake City)

Cost:      $360 by January 30

$460 after January 30

(Don’t forget to register for the PE Exam by 3:00 PM EST February 15, 2018 — https://ncees.org)


Younger Member Groups and individuals are encouraged to attend Regional Student Conferences. If any Student Chapter is interested in collaborating to organize events or activities at the conference, please don’t hesitate to contact us at asceutahymf@gmail.com. We may help you to apply a grant that ranges from $200-$500. But hurry up, the application is due on Feb 16.

We definitely want YOU in ASCE Utah YMF! If you (or know somebody) have not received any email from us, sign up to our email list (https://www.asceutahymf.com/). For sure, you will get the information for the next activity.

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Central Utah Branch Update

We have been excited to learn that UVU will be establishing a student chapter of ASCE in the coming months and we will be delighted to have them as part of our Central Utah Branch.  Some exciting things are happening at UVU from an engineering education standpoint so stay tuned.

Our January luncheon is scheduled for January 18th, 2018 at noon at the Eleve’ Events Center at 439 South Pleasant Grove Blvd, in Pleasant Grove, Ut.  We are looking forward to hearing from Dr. Marie Jackson of the University of Utah who will be telling us about her research on Roman Concrete and why it’s more durable than our modern concrete.

Please plan to join us, and bring a colleague!  We would love feedback on speaker ideas from our members so let us know if you have a suggestion or are willing to speak on a project you are working on.  If you are not receiving our emails with meeting date and time information please contact our Secretary, Steven Lord slord@mapleton.org to make sure we have a correct email address for you.  

Jeff Egbert, 2017-2018 President, Central Utah Branch

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Southern Utah Branch Update

Last month we had our annual Christmas Banquet and had a good turnout.  Everyone enjoyed the food, visiting and the door prizes!  Thanks to all who attended. 

Our next event will be the annual APWA/ASCE conference on February 14-16; see the attached flyer in the Civil Source for more details, or contact one of the branch officers and we will forward you the information.  The keynote speaker will be our National ASCE President, Kristina Swallow.  We encourage you all to attend!

Hope you have a great year in 2018!  

Kirt McDaniel, P.E.

Southern Utah Branch President

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Structural Engineering Institute Chapter

It’s January, and I hope everyone had a great holiday season and is now back to working productively.  We’re planning to make 2018 a good year.  Here is some information on two great events.

EERI has an upcoming all-day seminar on Friday, February 9,  Building Resilient Communities: A plan to Survive and Thrive.  Resilience is as structural issue.  One of the benefits of the increased importance factor for Risk Category III and IV buildings is a reduced level of damage. Reduced damage = faster recovery.  Attend this seminar to learn how structural resilience relates to community resilience.  We have a variety of natural hazards here in Utah, and implementing strategies now to improve recovery later will be a good use of resources.

We hope you’ll join us at another great Structures Congress April 19-21 in Ft. Worth for unparalleled learning, networking, and fun social events. Book your lodging soon and the best registration rate is available through February 14 at www.structurescongress.org .  The early registration discount ends more than one month from now, so you’ll be getting another reminder next month.  Don’t procrastinate and waste the mental energy if you’re going.  Just register and be done with it.  If you’re undecided, there is still time to decide and get the best rate.

Conrad Guymon, P.E., S.E.

ASCE SEI Utah Section

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We are less than two weeks away from the Wasatch Choice 2050 + Mayor's Metro Solutions combined event on January 23rd at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

If you haven’t already, please take a moment to view the program agenda & register now.

Keynote speakers: 

Bruce J. Katz and Jeremy Nowak, co-authors of The New Localism: How Cities Can Thrive in the Age of Populism.

A FREE copy of “The New Localism” will be available to the first 400 event attendees.

*AICP credits will be available.

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