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BAYSHORE GATEWAY TRIANGLE COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT

Bayshore Drive recognized with the 2022 Great Places in Florida Award

The year 2022 has been significant for this Bayshore Gateway Triangle Community Redevelopment Area in many ways. The pace of private development and redevelopment activity continues to tick upward. Construction of the Courthouse Shadows complex, including 300 apartments, is entering final stages, and construction has kicked off for the mixed-use catalyst project Metropolitan Naples at the intersection of Davis Boulevard and US 41. The CRA office completed the opening of a public parking lot with 37 parking spaces, 2 rideshare pull-offs, and low impact stormwater design, plus space for one electric car charging station. The CRA office also launched preliminary planning and permitting activities for the first phase of a boardwalk connecting CRA owned property along Bayshore Drive to Sugden Park, and initial steps are underway to launch a Master Plan for the Gateway Triangle Area.
The area’s redevelopment accomplishments have captured attention outside Southwest Florida. In November 2022, Bayshore Drive was named Winner of the Florida American Planning Association’s 2022 Great Place in Florida Award. Other finalists included places from Deltona, St. Petersburg, and Tallahassee. https://florida.planning.org/community-outreach/great-places-florida. The CRA joins an elite list of notable locations to have received this award since 2014: Mount Dora, Downtown Fernandina Beach, Cascades Park in Tallahassee, Downtown Pensacola, Downtown Winter Garden, Downtown Winter Haven, Historic Downtown Stuart, and Mill Lake Park Continuum in Orange City. This is the ninth year for this award. This year’s theme was Great Healthy Places. With attributes like Naples Botanical Garden, the gateway roundabout where Bayshore intersects Thomasson Drive at Del’s Corner, green colored bike lanes, a waterfront gathering place at Celebration Food Truck Park, and local artist installations, the corridor stands apart as a complete street and community asset, setting the standard for other jurisdictions looking to bring health, well-being and vibrancy through redevelopment.
Our planning team has provided planning and zoning services to the CRA office by assisting with monitoring development activity, advising the CRA on development inquiries, and by completing Growth Management Plan amendments and Land Development Code amendments that help implement the adopted CRA Redevelopment Plan. The amendments went into effect in April 2022 changing governing policies and regulations to align with three priorities identified in the Redevelopment Plan: appearance standards for outdoor sales, display, and storage; architectural standards for single family homes; and creation of public realm improvement requirements for the density bonus program along with a limited bonus density pool allocation process for properties of two contiguous acres or smaller. These new standards will help the CRA continue its trajectory with quality infill and redevelopment projects that contribute to the character of the area.
The impacts of Hurricane Ian’s landfall in Southwest Florida on September 28, 2022, was felt intensely in the Bayshore Gateway Triangle Community Area. The area’s older infrastructure and buildings were inundated with storm surge that compromised homes and businesses. In the days and weeks following the storm, the resilience of the people who live and do business in this area was steadfast. Through the community spirit and the lessons learned from this storm, the Bayshore Gateway Triangle Community Area will continue robust engagement and planning efforts to continue making strides toward redevelopment programs and projects that are recognized as models for success.
For more information, contact Chrissy Fisher, AICP at mkt@johnsoneng.com.

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CAPE CORAL NEW WEIR 29 TO HELP ALLEVIATE IRRIGATION RESTRICTIONS

The City of Cape Coral actively manages one of the largest surface water management systems in Southwest Florida, composed of many miles of fresh and saltwater canals, interconnecting culverts, irrigation withdrawal facilities, and 30 major water control structures. Like other areas in Southwest Florida, the City of Cape Coral has an overabundance of freshwater in the rainy season and a lack of water in the dry season, often leading to severe irrigation restrictions mandated by lowered water levels in the freshwater canals and groundwater. A key recommendation in the City’s stormwater master planning was to install a new weir at the existing, uncontrolled outfall to Yellow Fever Creek from Midsummer Canal. It was proposed that the new weir would raise the control elevation and reduce freshwater outflows during the dry season, preserving a precious resource.

Johnson Engineering completed the design, specifications, and permitting through SFWMD and USACE for a new primary outfall structure, Weir 29.  The project is currently nearing the end of construction. Performed entirely in-house, the design included a fixed-crest concrete weir with two slide gates with motorized actuation, remote monitoring, and remote operation. The Supervisor Control and Automatic Data Acquisition (SCADA) system was designed to be compatible with the existing remote monitoring and operating system currently used by the City of Cape Coral.

At the beginning of the detailed design phase of this project we critically reviewed the conceptual design provided and found that the downstream culverts under the roadway were shown to be the controlling factor, not the proposed weir. This allowed the weir design to be reduced from 68 feet to 20 feet, resulting in considerable cost savings for the City while providing the same level of service.

Our team looks forward to assisting the City on future stormwater projects. For more information, contact Jordan Varble, PE at mkt@johnsoneng.com.

 

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CITY OF CLEWISTON INFRASTRUCTURE ENHANCEMENTS

Clean and reliable drinking water is the driving force for the City of Clewiston to upgrade the infrastructure in the central part of their community, with more to follow. The residential and commercial areas along Alverdez Avenue and Commercio Street in the City of Clewiston will soon have improved water service reliability, increased water pressure, and will have 11 new fire hydrants throughout the area. Previously, the water flowed through small diameter water mains, outdated pipe materials, and had little to no fire hydrants for fire protection.

Johnson Engineering’s utilities team designed a potable water system extension of 5,300 linear feet of water main throughout this portion of Clewiston. The new PVC and HDPE water main pipe material, ranging from 3-inch up to 12-inch, will improve the City’s existing system that consists primarily of obsolete pipe materials. Working closely with the contractor, Johnson-Davis, our team oversaw the installation of two subaqueous horizontal directional drill crossings underneath Canal C-4 and Alverdez Avenue, and one horizontal directional drill crossing underneath the Ventura Avenue roadway. Construction began in April 2022 and is anticipated to be completed in February 2023.

The team divided this project into three construction phases allowing for various segments to be constructed and placed into operation consecutively. This method of scheduling was beneficial to allow portions of the new system to be placed into operations once they were completed. In addition to the aforementioned improvements, the water main installation also provided the adequate flow and pressure needed to meet fire flow requirements; this upgrade will facilitate redevelopment and future investment in the central business district and adjacent properties. The City received a federal grant through the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to fund the construction cost of this project in the amount of $1.4 million.

The City of Clewiston realizes the importance of public utility infrastructure enhancements and has leveraged approximately $9 million to improve and extend necessary water and wastewater infrastructure facilities along the US 27 Highway corridor throughout the City and surrounding areas, as well as at Airglades International Airport. These improvements will positively impact their future economic development efforts and will provide more reliable water and wastewater service to communities for years to come. For more information, contact Billy Saum at mkt@johnsoneng.com.

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JOHNSON ENGINEERING HAS ACQUIRED MARCO SURVEYING & MAPPING

Johnson Engineering has acquired Marco Surveying & Mapping, a Naples, Florida-based company, in a strategic move to enhance its surveying services. The acquisition added 11 experienced surveying and mapping staff to the Johnson Engineering team, in addition to surveying records and equipment.

Marco Surveying & Mapping founder and President, David Hyatt, PSM, and his team will transition into the Johnson Engineering family and will work from the company’s Naples office.

“Lately it’s been challenging to find help and keep up with demand” said Johnson Engineering President Lonnie V. Howard, PE.  “David and his team, along with their knowledge, experience, equipment, and records, will significantly enhance our ability to provide surveying and mapping services to our clients in Collier County and surrounding areas. It will also free up additional resources in our other office locations.”

This purchase fits well with Johnson Engineering’s business strategy to “build and maintain our leadership position in our markets as the preeminent provider of engineering-related services, exceeding our clients’ expectations and solving their problems with responsive, innovative solutions”.  Hyatt’s 38 years of experience in land surveying, combined with his established team of surveyors and mappers, will be a strong addition to Johnson Engineering’s existing survey team.

We welcome these newest team members to our Johnson Engineering family!

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GREATER PORT CHARLOTTE SURFACE WATER MASTER PLAN

Major storm event, water, flooding, canals, waterways…are words that keep ringing through our ears after the catastrophic Hurricane Ian tore through Florida. Diligent planning, effective modeling software, and engineering designs allowed for the Greater Port Charlotte (GPC) Storm Structure in Charlotte County to work effectively, keeping residents, businesses, and roadways safe!

In 1999, Charlotte County Public Works (CCPW) retained Johnson Engineering to modernize the Greater Port Charlotte (GPC) Storm Structure infrastructure within the Fordham/Niagara & Little Alligator Creek Basins. This comprised almost 21 square miles of urbanized area of Charlotte County. Initially, General Development Corp (GDC) planned this development circa 1950s – 60s; with a massive marketing campaign of selling Florida paradise all over the United State and the world in 80’x125’ lots. To do this, GDC planners and engineers shaped and dewatered this native Florida landscape with canals/waterways and provided storm structures along major corridors. These basins have 51 total structures installed circa early 1960s and have reached their life span in planned use.

CCPW knew the GPC area needed re-modeling to account for urbanization growth which occurred over the 50+ years of development and to assure no adverse impacts would occur with major storm events. One past storm event was in the summer of 1995, which caused roadway overtopping, roadway scouring failure, and major damage with exposed/compromised water/sewer infrastructure.

CCPW retained Johnson Engineering to survey, design, permit, and re-create the modeling of the GPC basins. The modeling required initially was Storm Water Management Model (SWMM), which is software from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and allows a dynamic model and included inflows from Sarasota County. To acquire permits from Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD), the model was converted to Interconnected Channel and Pond Routing (ICPR) modeling software. This led Johnson Engineering to acquire a conceptual Environmental Resource Permit (ERP) from SWFWMD for the County. This conceptual ERP would be the guiding document to the systematic replacement of the 51 storm structures over the next 20+ years as funding/budgeting became available. The phasing and sequencing was interrupted with the 2004-05 hurricane seasons, with 2004 Hurricane Charley causing years of delay in order to address the repairs needed post-hurricane.

Most recently, as Hurricane Ian slowly and stubbornly made its destructive way through the area with relentless rain, wind and storm surge, the GPC renovated storm structure system performed without fail!

This table summarizes the project and our team’s involvement in the engineering, permitting, and construction of the storm structures in the project.

In addition, this work has been beneficial to the public in the following ways:

  • Maximizing public right-of-way – The original storm structures installed by GDC spanned the roadway width only, which wouldn’t allow for many other amenities found in modern roadway/bridge construction, i.e. pathways, lighting, utilities. The new structures were designed and located to maximize the full right-of-way to allow for these amenities to be placed now or in the future.
  • Along with these replacements, Johnson Engineering was instrumental in qualifying many of these structures as Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) bridges due to the span in the waterways being >20 ft wide. Therefore, these structures will be on the FDOT bridge inventory to be inspected within the FDOT library on an annual basis.
  • Needed utility upgrades at each structure were accommodated during design and construction. The initial 1960s construction of these storm structures was transportation focused with little accommodation for utilities (public and private) which eventually followed. As part of the new construction, utilities were addressed and accounted for.
  • Since these 21 square miles of basin are mostly built out, this means the public transportation system at these structures is heavily used by commuters, residents, school busing systems, garbage collection, emergency management, and others as part of daily life. Johnson Engineering worked with these stakeholders to implement fast-track construction, detour routes, and on several structures required open roadways/sidewalk during construction to avoid major daily life interruptions.

The GPC basins have all been modernized with new storm structures with design life to last generations and CCPW has fulfilled their duty to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Charlotte County. Johnson Engineering is proud to have worked in such a major role for this project.

For more information, contact Charlotte County Branch Manager, Chris Beers, PE, PSM at cbeers@johnsoneng.com or (941) 766-6262.

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FLORIDA GULF COAST UNIVERSITY’S WATER SCHOOL OPENS TO STUDENTS

The newest academic building #9, the School of Water Resources & Integrated Sciences, nicknamed “The Water School”, opened this fall for students. This revolutionary educational facility is like nothing Southwest Florida has seen. The new 4-story facility will be entirely water-focused, integrating water resources, coastal studies, marine, biology, and ecological sciences together with the existing STEM programs. Hands-on labs and classrooms will allow students to dive into learning more about the estuaries and rivers that flow throughout our communities, to the Everglades, and Gulf of Mexico. This school will open many doors to students as well as benefit our Southwest Florida community by helping learn, study, research, and find solutions to help our area’s water quality issues.

Johnson Engineering was the civil engineer for the project, working closely together with RG Architects, HuntonBrady Architects, and Manhattan Construction, as we provided the overall site and parking design, stormwater management plan, environmental, utilities, and associated permitting. We are excited to see the impact this school makes on our community.

For more information, contact Dana Hume, PE at (239) 461-2471 or dhume@johnsoneng.com.

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JOHNSON ENGINEERING EMPLOYEES “SUPPORT OUR SCHOOLS” WITH MUCH NEEDED SUPPLIES

Johnson Engineering’s “Support Our Schools” initiative grew out of our belief that private enterprise has an ongoing responsibility to contribute to the education and learning of the young people in their local communities. We also believe that their teachers, who play such a vital role in their students growth and development, are truly the unsung heroes of our communities. They deserve every opportunity possible to have whatever supplies and equipment they need to teach effectively. This perspective led to Johnson Engineering’s “Support Our Schools” Program, which is designed to benefit K-12 schools in the counties in which we have offices by participating, sponsoring, and donating to a variety of community relations efforts to directly and positively impact the school’s teachers and students.

This fall, Johnson Engineering employees donated hundreds of school supplies to the School Districts of Lee, Pasco, Hendry, Collier, and Charlotte Counties. Community support is such an important resource for our schools. Improving education resources can better prepare our children who will become our future workforce.

We wish the teachers and students a successful 2022-23 school year!

For more information contact Dana Hume, PE at (239) 461-2471 or dhume@johnsoneng.com.

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ANDY TILTON, PE, RECOGNIZED FOR OUTSTANDING CAREER ACHIEVEMENTS

Through an official Proclamation from the State of Florida, Johnson Engineering’s Director of Water Resources, Andy Tilton, PE, was recognized for his nearly 40 years of outstanding achievements and successful projects as a professional engineer!

Andy joined Johnson Engineering in 1978 and throughout his career has played a role in nearly every project imaginable throughout Southwest Florida, in one aspect or another. Andy has studied, walked through, and tested many natural water bodies plus a significant number of stormwater ponds, whether big or small in Southwest Florida. His knowledge of our area’s hydrology is unmatched. Congratulations Andy!

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MAPPING THE UTILITY WORLD BELOW USING SUE

Subsurface Utility Exploration (SUE) is the process of vacuum excavation to expose underground utilities to determine their location, size, types, and depths to help avoid conflicts during construction.

Not far below the everyday places we walk and drive, exists a maze of utilities which carry critical components for our daily lives, carrying water, sewer, phone, and electricity to our homes and businesses. Navigating this unseen superhighway of conduits to avoid utility conflicts, delays, and service interruptions is a challenge that general contractors, utility providers, and municipalities face. Comprehensive and accurate mapping is critical for the success of their projects.

SUE is a process that uses a combination of pressurized water and high vacuum suction to remove and break up soil, rocks, and underground roots to reveal utility lines buried underneath all the debris. These utility lines can be buried anywhere from one foot deep to eight feet below the surface. Once uncovered, the size and composition of the utility pipe is recorded, photographed, and then marked with a wooden stake. The stake is labeled with the size, material type of utility and depth of the pipe for field use. Traditional survey methods are then used to locate x, y and z coordinates of the utility. Survey technicians can put this information into CADD programs for engineering design use or into a Geographic Information System (GIS) for a variety of mapping applications. After the dig is complete the hole or trench is then backfilled, and the soil is compacted back to its original condition.

Johnson Engineering began offering SUE services in the late 1990s and has continued to build upon our arsenal of resources. Our surveying and mapping team recently acquired the newest line of Vermeer’s high-capacity truck-mounted vacuum excavator. This 4-wheel drive diesel custom-built truck expands our service and efficiency. It has increased our ability to stay on site longer, with larger 2,200-gallon water supply and spoil tank capacity, as well as an increase to 3,000 psi water pressure to quickly break down compact dirt and debris. The vehicle also comes with a remote-controlled hydraulic telescoping boom to easily hold and extend the suction hose in place during excavation. The hydraulic cam-over rear door allows for storage as well as the ability to easily empty the spoil tank to restore the area to pre-existing conditions. This one-of-a-kind vehicle provides double the suction and lift power of traditional machines and is a cost-effective, efficient tool to utilize on your projects.

SUE is required by FDOT on all design projects that include underground infrastructure or earthwork excavation. Choosing the right company to quickly perform these underground investigations is vital to identify potential conflicts before they adversely affect the schedule and budget. Our team is specialty-trained, holding both state and federal certifications for quality levels A through D excavating and covering tasks, operation of heavy equipment and sign placement for gas companies. They are trained in traditional land surveying, as well as OSHA safety regulations, MOT regulations, Sunshine State One Call requirements and the other unique aspects of SUE technology. 

Having provided SUE throughout Southwest Florida for the last 20 years, we are continually searching for ways to provide our clients the most effective and efficient service. Comprehensive and accurate underground utility location and mapping of these vast and complicated networks has become a critical and essential asset to utility providers, general contractors, and municipalities alike and we have stepped up to the challenge of efficiently uncovering them. With the addition of our new SUE Vermeer system, we will continue to provide comprehensive and accurate underground utility mapping for our clients. 

For more information, contact the director of our surveying and mapping team, Matt Howard, PSM, at mkt@johnsoneng.com.

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HELPING PROTECT THE FLORIDA PANTHER USING RADIOCOLLARS

For a few weeks this past February and March, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Panther Team conducted surveys on CREW Wildlife and Environmental Area in Naples to capture and radiocollar Florida panthers. Collaring panthers is a research tool that helps FWC to monitor and estimate population size, survival, assess health, and much more. Prior to joining Johnson Engineering in 2017, Dr. Jennifer Korn (“Jen”) was a panther biologist with FWC and was invited as a volunteer to assist on a few capture dates with the FWC Panther Team. 

On a very lucky day in February, the team captured the cat now known as FP263, an adult male panther estimated around 8 years old. Citizen scientist, Tom Mortenson, who has monitored the area with trail cameras for many years, first photographed this male panther in 2018. Tom named the cat “No Ears” because of his very small ears which are likely a result of past territorial fighting or infection. 

As with all captures, FP263 received a full veterinary assessment that included testing for feline leukemia (FeLV), giving vaccines, and collecting blood for genetics and further health testing. After the vet check, body measurements, and a GPS radiocollar, FP263 was released in the same area as capture. 

Jen was excited and thankful to be able to assist in this collaborative effort in panther recovery. If you have Florida panther questions or need assistance with a project pertaining to Florida panthers, wildlife crossings, trail camera monitoring, etc., do not hesitate to reach out to Jen at mkt@johnsoneng.com. If you would like to read more about FWC and Florida panther monitoring and recovery, visit their website: https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/wildlife/panther/.  

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