Students control erosion problems in Platteville

May 6, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE - The city of Platteville has called upon one UW-Platteville senior design team to provide a solution to the erosion that is and will continue to be a problem along Southwest Road from the intersection at Longhorn Drive down to the Rountree Branch.

The senior design team consists of four seniors who will be graduating this May. The team includes Clint Wienen, a senior from Galena, Ill. majoring in civil engineering with an emphasis in environmental engineering; Matt Garon, a sixth-year senior from Marinette majoring in environmental and civil engineering with an emphasis in environmental engineering; John Puls, a fifth-year senior from Slinger majoring in environmental engineering; and Ryan Schultz, a fifth-year senior also from Slinger with an emphasis in environmental engineering.

The team's role in the project is to design a storm water solution that will solve the erosion problem occurring along Southwest Road. Once solutions have been developed, the team will present the alternative suggestions to the city of Platteville and the Platteville city engineer, Howard Crofoot.

Thus far the team has completed preliminary surveying and consulted with state and local governments including the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and the Platteville engineers. Using different software programs, the team members have been able to conduct floodwater analysis and complete alternative storm water designs.

The next step for the team members includes determining the peak flowage along Southwest Road and crunching numbers to determine the most effective and efficient design. Once that is completed the team will finalize its plans, prepare a cost estimate and present its suggestions to the city of Platteville.

Throughout the completion of the project, the team has encountered some challenges. Surveying has proved to be time consuming and the computer programs have presented numerous technical problems for the group. The group has also been challenged by proper communication and being able to contact Crofoot, who is extremely busy. As far as determining possible solutions, the team has had to evaluate the possible impacts its suggestions could have on future road design as well as the result of a possible increase of water to the Rountree Branch.

Despite these challenges, the team members feel their classes have prepared them well for the project. Hydrology classes have provided the team members with an adequate amount of background information. The team has also had the opportunity to improve a few skills while completing the design project such as project, and time management and communication.

The team members agree that this project has offered them the diverse opportunity to work with members of the DNR and city engineers. As a team, they have been able to experience numerous real-life situations in a preliminary environment.

Following graduation, the team members will work or continue searching for future employment. Puls has already accepted a position at Earth Tech, Inc., in Sheboygan. Wienen, Garon and Schultz are currently interviewing and weighing their options for employment.

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