Oakland University retained SME to provide engineering and design services for the replacement of a corrugated steel plate culvert structure that conveys a drainage stream 40 feet below Meadowbrook Road. This roadway is a primary ring road artery located within Oakland University’s Rochester main campus. The culvert failed and was in need of immediate replacement to keep campus traffic flowing. The project included designing a new concrete box culvert; temporary stream bypass components; temporary utility installation to maintain existing utilities across the expansive excavation; stream improvements; and improvements of the land-bridge slopes. All of this work had to be completed during the short summer break before students, and abundant traffic, returned to campus in the fall.

SME provided multidiscipline services including geotechnical engineering, subsurface utility engineering, civil engineering, construction phase engineering, and construction testing and inspection services. Due to the short response time and the project’s complexity, SME retained expertise from partner firms to provide topographic surveying, utility locating, stream flow hydraulic modeling, and electrical engineering.

In addition to design and engineering services, SME assisted the University with the bidding process and provided Construction Administration (CA) and construction materials testing services (CMS) for the project. Together with our specialty contractors, SME completed the project within an expedited schedule. We completed all work from start to finish during the summer months, which accommodated the University-mandated schedule to have the road reopened to traffic prior to the return of students for the 2015 Fall Semester.

The project posed many challenges that required quick and decisive responses during design and construction to ensure the project was completed on time. SME provided a turnkey solution to the University, with many of the primary design and construction phase tasks being provided from SME’s local offices.