Projects Involving Civil Engineering

2022-23 Projects

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ENSC-20 Bioretention Media for Treatment of Stormwater Pollutants

Team Members: Sam Albers, Justin Gaffney, Sean Mullen
Faculty Advisor: Aimee Navickis-Brasch
Sponsor: Evergreen Stormwater
Design requirements for most bioretention best management practices (BMPs) include vegetation, which creates a challenge for Washington locations with hot and dry summers. This is because bioretention cells require irrigation to keep the vegetation alive between storm events. The cost to construct and operate an irrigation system adds to the overall life cycle cost of stormwater BMPs and consumes water that could have a higher beneficial use. This problem is compounded during drought years when irrigation is restricted. In addition to drought, in some locations, cold climate conditions span several months of the year, during which plant life is dormant and less effective at providing treatment mechanisms.
Project: Evaluate the treatment performance of two different Bioretention Soil Medias (BSM) without vegetation for reducing common pollutants found in stormwater runoff. This first year of a multi-year study will focus on designing the test site and experiments to test the media as well as conducted controlled experiments at the existing test site (located near the soccer field).

ENSC-21 Climate & Flood Resilience along the Shawsheen River

Team Members: Ryan Cooper, Sydney Anyan, Megan Fleming, Brooke Baker
Faculty Advisor: Alex Maxwell
Sponsor: Fuss & O'Neill
In the Town of Andover Massachusetts, significant flooding events along the Shawsheen River have led to multi-million-dollar damages in the area surrounding the Haverhill Street/Route133 bridge and voluntary evacuations from a senior living facility that displaced vulnerable residents to alternative locations out of harm's way. As detailed in the Town’s Summary of Findings following its 2019 Community Resilience Building (CRB) workshop, approximately 12% of the Town’s land area lies within the current Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) mapped 100-year floodplain (approximately 1,800 acres), and another 605 acres are within the 500-year floodplain. Over 80% of those surveyed during the CRB process identified flooding as one of the top four hazards of concern. Correspondingly, the Town’s top priority recommendation from the 2019 CRB workshop was to undertake a strategic program of land acquisition/conservation and adaptation projects along waterways to provide additional flood storage and reduce the impacts of larger storm events and increased runoff.
Project: Quantify the flood mitigation benefits gained from the potential implementation of flood storage and/or restoration projects along the Shawsheen River. This project will use hydrologic (HEC-HMS) and hydraulic (HEC-RAS) (H&H) modeling to evaluate the existing and projected future flooding conditions not only in the Town of Andover, but also downstream in the neighboring City of Lawrence. The key tasks to be completed by the senior design team include:

  1. Help model the heavily urbanized reach that spans across several flood-prone environmental justice communities in Lawrence.
  2. Assist the City of Lawrence in conducting a GIS-based desktop screening process to identify key properties along the Shawsheen that demonstrate significant climate resilience potential in terms of flood storage and/or nature-based restoration potential.

ENSC-22 Construction of Cle Elum Dam Fish Passage Structure

Team Members: Nathan Whites, Justin Anderson, Raven Haines, Amy Barber, Blake Beckwith
Faculty Advisor: Erik Wick
Sponsor: Garco Construction
A new juvenile fish passage is to be constructed around the Cle Elum Dam to continue efforts to reestablish sockeye and chinook to the Yakima River Basin. Since juvenile fish travel towards the top of the water surface, six separate concrete intake structures will be constructed in the reservoir at different elevations to allow for constant fish passage regardless of the lake's existing elevation. These intake structures are tiered on one another and extend further into the reservoir as the levels go down. The overall construction length of the lowest intake structure is 500' and the overall depth below the existing ground line that this lowest structure is to be constructed varies between 0-80'. Before construction of these intake structures can occur, suitable access and an overall sequencing plan must be developed within the guidelines of the contract plans and specifications.
Project: Design and provide plans for a shoring or excavation system to establish access for a juvenile fish passage intake structure that is to be constructed at Cle Elum Dam. Students will plan out a staged approach that involves access roads, crane and construction pads, and a large shoring system to develop a trench.

ENSC-23 Developing a Sustainable Drinking Water Filter with Biochar

Team Members: Evan Bates, Emma Accardi, Jem Pedicord
Faculty Advisor: Kyle Shimabuku
Sponsor: Gonzaga Civil Engineering
Exposure to per/poly-fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) in drinking water can cause cancer, reproductive system effects, and child developmental issues. PFAS are often found in drinking water wells that serve individual households including those in rural, small, and/or disadvantaged communities that typically lack adequate treatment. For example, elevated PFAS levels have been found in private and municipal wells and community members’ blood in the West Plains of Spokane County, WA. Point-of-use treatment (e.g., under kitchen sink filters) can empower communities with the ability to reduce their exposure to PFAS from drinking water. Granular activated carbon filters are arguably the most sustainable point-of-use filters widely used to control PFAS. However, granular activated carbon has sustainability shortcomings that could be addressed by biochar, which is an emerging PFAS adsorbent. Biochar could increase disadvantaged communities’ access to point-of-use PFAS treatment as it can be purchased at fraction of the cost of granular activated carbon.
Project: Develop biochar adsorbents with PFAS removal efficiencies that rival or exceed that of established adsorbents while addressing sustainability issues associated with existing point-of-use treatment technologies. One of the main goals is to identify biochar production conditions optimized for PFAS adsorption. Around 30 biochars made in a specialized production system between the summer of 2021 and 2022 will be evaluated in bench-scale batch and column adsorption tests using PFAS contaminated water collected from the West Plains. For point-of-use PFAS removal technologies to be adopted it is essential that their utility is communicated to end users. This senior design project team will partner with an environmental studies senior capstone project team that will work with local K-12 schools that have been directly impacted by PFAS contamination with hands-on learning modules on PFAS treatment.

ENSC-24 New Public Library Building

Team Members: Drew Barlow, Andres Yalan, Joe O'Hagan, Rory McCarthy, Trenton Uchima
Faculty Advisor: Aaron Zwanzig
Sponsor: Integrus Architecture
In an effort to better serve its community, the Public Library System is providing a design for a new library building in response to numerous program criteria, existing and future site and library system conditions, and by various standards and regulations governing the project. This project provides a great opportunity to create a 21st century library for the Public Library System, with a new marketplace, program room, children’s discovery area, adult + teen area, group study rooms, and staff area. The new 12,500 square foot building will replace the 6,000 square foot existing library building.
Project: Develop a proposal for comprehensive structural engineering services related to the design of their new building located in Spokane, Washington. These services shall include the production of design development level structural framing plans, providing gravity and lateral framing systems, along with supporting structural calculations. The project sponsor will provide architectural floor plans, elevations and building sections to be used in developing the design.

ENSC-25 South Logan Transit Oriented Development Study

Team Members: Sam Novack, Marco Navarro, John Walatka, Jules Wagner
Faculty Advisor: Rhonda Young
Sponsor: City of Spokane
The City of Spokane is planning for housing and transit-oriented development along The City Line, Spokane's first bus rapid transit route. The South Logan Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Project will create a subarea plan to facilitate higher density development that leverages investments in transit with supportive uses. The project is also part of the City's ongoing efforts to enhance housing options and affordability in areas with good access to daily needs, services, and jobs. The study area will focus on three The City Line stations in the South Logan area of the Logan Neighborhood, which is around Gonzaga University and adjacent to the Hamilton Street Corridor.
Project: Study the transportation components of the TOD project including trip generation, parking generation, and corridor design to support the use of transit and active transportation in the area. Transportation design alternatives for key corridors will be developed and modeled using traffic simulation software.

ENSC-26 Lucky Duck Pond ADA Trail & Parking Design

Team Members: Alicia Anderson, Antonio Campos, Sophie Zukowski, Josephine Jankovich
Faculty Advisor: Rhonda Young
Sponsor: Washington Department of Commerce
The Town of Springdale, WA has a pond called "Lucky Duck" that is located within city limits. The pond is stocked yearly with trout by WA Department of Fish & Wildlife and is open to juveniles (under 15 years of age), seniors (70 years of age and older), and anglers with a disability who possess a designated harvester companion card. The pond has wheelchair access from the main road through town, but no Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible paths or parking next to the pond. The area from the bottom of the ramp to the fishing bridge is uneven and rocky and can become unsafe during inclement weather.
Project: Create a parking lot and trail design that is ADA accessible utilizing Civil 3D to provide a final design plan set to the Town of Springdale.

ENSC-27 Waikiki Springs Bridge Inspection and Design

Team Members: Iain McDaniel, Alan Champagne, Rachel Fields, Grace Dojan
Faculty Advisor: Ted Bernards
Sponsor: Coffman Engineers and the Inland Northwest Land Conservancy
The goal of this project is to convert an existing pedestrian bridge over the Little Spokane River back into a vehicular bridge to help the INLC with the maintenance of trails and re-introduction of fish species in the Waikiki Springs/LSR Natural Area. The approach to this project includes a bridge inspection to as-built the structure (including site visits on, around, and under the bridge), verify that the bridge could support a 25 Ton vehicle (AASHTO Type 3 Truck),  and then select a bridge deck material and design the new bridge deck to handle the appropriate vehicular bridge loads. This project will, at a minimum, include the following tasks:

  1. Compete a bridge inspection on the existing pedestrian bridge. This will involve conducting a site visit and possible use of canoe and rigging to do the bridge inspection.
  2. Prepare bridge inspection report that describes the findings of the inspection and a load rating analysis to validate that the existing structure can handle the 25 ton truck.
  3. Conduct a material investigation for new deck (wood vs concrete) and preliminary cost estimate.
  4. Complete deck design, drawings, and calculations.

Learn more about Gonzaga SEAS Senior Design program