Bolton & Menk, Inc.
Municipal engineering is at the heart of our firm. We serve more than 300 cities across the Upper Midwest, including 50 communities in Iowa. We understand the value of having an engineer who is responsive, reliable, knowledgeable, and a strong communicator. We spend the majority of our time working with administrators, public works, councils, boards, commissions, and the many agencies that provide funding to help your City thrive.
The City of Windsor Heights & Engineering Service Needs
Windsor Heights’ dynamic population is constantly changing. As such, the expectations of the residents have changed over time in regards to what amenities are desired within the City. Connectivity is becoming more prevalent just as it has in several other Iowa communities. Windsor Heights is a community nestled in the middle of the Des Moines Metro. Your infrastructure takes the abuse of not only your citizens but also commuters who travel on your streets every day. In addition to the streets, your underground infrastructure also requires maintenance and attention. The cost of these improvements come with a high price tag, so the City will need to continue to diligently search for funding/grants to relieve the stress on the City financials to make these necessary improvements.
Educating the Community
We believe in a transparent and ongoing community engagement process for complex projects. Engagement with community members early in the design process will help develop collaboration and allow understanding of the complexities on a project and the ultimate outcome. There is no one-sized approach to community education and engagement. With all of these tools available, it is still important to understand the most important thing is still to listen – to staff, Council, and the community, and help build informed consent throughout the project.
Tomorrow Plan & Complete Streets Policy
The Tomorrow Plan is a roadmap for the many facets of sustainability for communities that make up the Des Moines Metro. Its major focus is the long-term viability of existing communities and the smart growth of new communities. One of the focuses of the Tomorrow Plan is the concept of a more integrated transportation approach that includes the concept of Complete Streets. When boiled down to its key components, a Complete Streets design approach develops ‘right-sized’ multi-modal corridors for all types of users that may experience the use of the corridor instead of the more traditional carfocused approach to transportation. In the context of University Avenue in Windsor Heights, this may mean accommodating pedestrian, bicycle, bus rapid transit, and automobile types of transportation all within one corridor. Bolton & Menk has a multitude of Complete Streets projects in the Upper Midwest including the 42nd St/Roosevelt Cultural District in Des Moines; Mississippi Drive in Muscatine; and the ARTery in Hopkins, MN. We have also worked within communities to form and adopt community-wide Complete Streets policies.
Current Street Project
Our staff will thoroughly review all work that has been completed to date. This includes reviewing the plans, contracts, and communications with property owners, City staff, and utility companies. We will engage the public before the remaining phases begin in order to provide all information that will impact daily routines and properties. We will have significant dialogue with the contractor and all companies working with them to understand any past concerns and lay out expectations for completing the work this coming year. As the City has already paid for these services with the previous engineer, we will bring ourselves up to speed on the project at our own expense. We believe it is not fair to the City and its residents to pay for services that have already been done.
It is important to keep the residents of Windsor Heights informed. Communication is a critical element for every project. The dialogue between everyone is what makes a project successful. We use a variety of methods to involve residents including community events, town hall meetings, door-to-door discussions, community surveys, instant polling, social media, and project websites. We utilize tools that allow all people to be involved in the process.