Archives for Fall 2014


Eagles in Flight

We’re not talking about the American Bald Eagle, but the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Eagles alumni, who have spread their wings and landed safely here at Johnson Engineering.

For the last 17 years, Johnson Engineering has played a large part in helping FGCU grow into the University it is today. It is rewarding to see that now 8% of our employees are FGCU alumni who bring fresh new ideas and experiences to our well-established civil engineering firm.

Our long standing history with the University started in August of 1997 with the first groundbreaking. At this time our team helped with planning and development, surveying, water resources, and landscape architecture and has since continued to lead the University’s environmental consulting and civil engineering needs to this day.

In 2005, we established the Johnson Engineering Scholarship Endowed Fund, benefiting FGCU students majoring in civil or environmental engineering. The lobby of the U.A. Whitaker College of Engineering in Holmes Hall bears our company name, in honor of our contributions supporting higher education.

Many FGCU students have interned at our firm during their summer breaks, and most are hired as full-time employees once they graduate. The following page highlights a group of our current FGCU alumni who have chosen their career paths at Johnson Engineering.









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Our Design Gets the Job Done During Recent Rainfall in Naples

On Monday, August 4, the Naples area received an astonishing 7.4” of rain in four hours that created flash flooding conditions at many locations…but not all. Among the areas that fared better than others, according to Mr. Gregg Strakaluse, Director of the Streets and Stormwater Department of the City of Naples, was the area known as Basin III. This area is located between 5th Avenue South and 13th Avenue South, just south of Downtown Naples.

A few years ago our water resources team designed and permitted Basin III’s water management improvements for the City of Naples. Monday’s record rainfall was bittersweet as we saw the images of areas damaged by flash flooding, yet was rewarding to see our water management plan for Basin III worked as designed. Our design was put to the test during this storm and the results spoke for themselves, instilling client satisfaction and confidence in our team’s water management expertise.

The design allowed the construction to be divided into two phases so that the City could allocate funding per the Capital Improvement Plan. The first phase of construction was completed in 2011 and focused on collection and conveyance of runoff from western areas of the Basin along Gulf Shore Boulevard South, as well as storage and water quality along Broad Avenue South.

The second phase of construction was completed in 2012 and enhanced collection and conveyance of runoff from eastern areas of the Basin along 8th Street South. Our improvements ended one block from the existing pump station on Broad Avenue, so the discharge into Naples Bay was not modified.

The only visible evidence of our design is the water detention areas along Broad Avenue. These were contoured around the historic Ficus trees and accentuated their presence in the landscape. The remainder of the design components include inlets, manholes, and buried pipes. Although out of sight, these are the links that keep the entire system working properly in order to effectively get the job done.

The drainage system of Basin III was put to the test during this large rainfall event and it passed with flying colors. The system performed as it was designed to do, keeping the area from flooding and negatively impacting the City of Naples residents.

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The City of LaBelle Opens New Water Treatment Facility

City of LaBelle residents have a reason to be thankful as they now have access to a plentiful and healthy supply of fresh water thanks to the City’s new water treatment plant. A new state-of-the-art reverse osmosis facility was recently completed, replacing the existing 30-year old facility that was approaching capacity.

The new facility located off S.R. 29, has 1.5 million gallons per day (mgd) capacity, withdrawing water from the Lower Hawthorn Aquifer through two wells and high-service pump stations. The new facility was made possible by grant funding received from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development initiative and the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). This funding was secured through the hard work and continued efforts of the City of LaBelle leaders and staff. Thanks goes to the Paul Family that allowed the City to acquire the site from a willing seller. This long term project was successfully completed under the direction of City of LaBelle Public Works Director and Project Manager Michael Boyle.

Johnson Engineering’s president, Lonnie Howard, P.E., provided the drilling and geophysical logging of the test well and provided various testing, sampling and performance analyses for the water supply. Though a small part in a much larger accomplishment, we are proud to contribute and would like to extend our congratulations to the City of LaBelle on this great step forward.

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Cellular Transmitters Track Caracara

Our ecologists and one of the leading experts on crested caracara, Dr. Joan Morrison, had their work cut out for them by this threatened Florida species. The caracara eluded our team for weeks as they attempted to capture three birds to attach cellular transmitters in order to track their movements. These clever birds have a distinct memory and never fall for the same trick twice, which made capturing them a challenge.

The team was eventually able to successfully capture and deploy three different GPS/GSM transmitters on three separate adult caracaras in hopes to watch and learn more about their habits. These caracara’s movements are being tracked and the data is transmitting every few hours, allowing us to analyze it using Google Maps.

This information will also be used to determine which transmitter will be best used in future studies for tracking the birds as part of a study for the United States Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS).

To see our team in action and learn more about the crested caracara directly from Dr. Joan Morrison, view the documentary film produced by Into Nature Films at

For more information on conducting caracara surveys, contact the Director of our Environmental group at [email protected].

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