Building Relationships through Community Development Services
Situated just 25 miles southeast of Des Moines in the south-central portion of the state, Knoxville, Iowa has the unique distinction of being the home to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and the famous Knoxville Raceway. The city’s proximity to the state capital makes it a prime location for residents who prefer the tranquility of small-town life, with a short commute to the larger metro area. Since 2013, Snyder & Associates has filled the role of engineering representative for the City of Knoxville, aiding in the design and implementation of many infrastructure projects of varying complexity.
As a multi-disciplined engineering firm, Snyder & Associates offers a full range of municipal engineering services to help towns, cities, and counties manage their development and engineering needs. Our firm’s approach to municipal engineering involves assigning each client with a single point of contact, backed by a support staff of over 200 professionals working behind the scenes. This standard provides a level of professionalism that has allowed Knoxville to tackle large-scale projects, while at the same time providing the flexibility to manage the town’s everyday engineering needs.
Handling Commonplace Tasks with Professionalism & Enthusiasm
With a large pool of talented professionals on staff, our firm is able to perform a wide spectrum of tasks, no matter the size. Among the services that Snyder & Associates provides for the City of Knoxville as the engineering representative are:
- Community and infrastructure planning
- Site development reviews and survey
- Traffic studies and pavement management
- Park and trail design
- Wastewater analysis
- Capital improvement plan (CIP) facilitation
- Construction inspection
- Funding assistance services
Wastewater Reclamation Facility Upgrades & Pavement Management Study
After performing many site development reviews and other engineering tasks for the city, one of our firm’s first large-scale projects as Knoxville’s engineering representative was the planning work we completed for the wastewater reclamation facility improvements. This included creating a facility disinfection plan, generating a nutrient reduction report, and facilitating construction services. This extensive project led to our firm’s services being engaged for multiple other undertakings.
In response to a citizen survey that called for making street repairs a high priority, a pavement management study was performed the following year. This study helped create a roadmap for ranking the importance of future street repair projects. In addition, Snyder & Associates took a leading role in the capital improvement planning (CIP) efforts to better facilitate the funding of road work projects. This plan has resulted in our firm performing stormwater drainage and roadway design work over the following several years.
Adoption of Bicycle & Trail Master Plan
The same community survey that identified road repairs as a major public concern also illustrated a strong desire for a more extensive biking and walking trail system in the city. This led to the creation of the Knoxville Bicycle & Trail Master Plan by a Snyder & Associates planning team. Fully adopted in 2015, this Master Plan laid the groundwork for building a multi-use trail system around the city connecting several destination locations. Incorporating designated bicycle parking spaces and wayfinding signage at strategic points, construction of the trail system seeks to benefit the physical health and wellness of community members, expand transportation options, and attract families and professionals looking to relocate.
Extensive funding options were also outlined in the master plan with detailed recommendations for creating a fundraising committee. The purpose of the committee was to keep the project, and the interest level, moving forward. The plan identified numerous grant and funding options that could be applied for, including:
- Resource Enhancement and Protection Grant (REAP) through the Iowa DNR
- Regional TAP grant funding from the Central Iowa Regional Transportation Planning Alliance (CIRTPA)
- Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT grants) offered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA)
Several grant and funding opportunities from the Iowa DOT were also explored, including:
- State Recreational Trails funding
- Federal Recreational Trails funding
- Traffic Safety Improvement Program (TSIP)
- Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)
The Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association presented the Transportation Planning Award to Snyder & Associates in recognition of their work on the Knoxville Bicycle & Trail Master Plan. The award is given for transportation planning excellence as it relates to planning and innovation, compatibility, engagement, effectiveness, and results.
Young’s Park Master Plan Improvements Expand ADA Accessible Miracle Field, Adds Other Amenities
Continuing on the recreational tract, the Snyder & Associates team created a park master plan that reviewed multiple design element improvements to Young’s Park near the center of town. This included the survey and site work for expanding an existing ADA accessible “Miracle Field” playground on the north edge of the park. The construction of the all-inclusive playground was the first phase to improve the usability of Young’s park.
The master plan also incorporated new active and passive park amenities, including additional parking, more restrooms, and shelter options. Adjacent to the new playground is space dedicated to a splash pad, sail shelter area, and climbing structure. Additionally, a new, 8,000 sq. ft. skatepark was designed and built near the old tennis courts on the south edge of the park. The skatepark replaces the city’s ad hoc collection of wood and metal ramps located at the Knoxville Recreation Center a few blocks away. Snyder & Associates performed all utility connections and site drainage reviews for the projects in Young’s Park, as well.
Iowa Highway 14 Lane Reduction “Road Diet”
Currently underway is the lane reconfiguration of Highway 14, the main arterial running through town. The resurfacing and restriping of pavement markings on the road will ultimately convert Highway 14 from a four-lane, undivided configuration into a two-lane road with a center, two-way left-turn lane. This process is commonly referred to as a “road diet.” This style of lane alignment is designed to calm traffic, reduce crashes, and provide additional space between vehicles and pedestrians without performing any roadway widening. The project is also incorporating the redesign of six intersection traffic signals and pedestrian accommodations. Our team is responsible for all design work associated with this project.
At Snyder & Associates, we provide our clients with services that are proactive, responsive, and cost-effective. We help communities plan responsibly for sustainable growth and we work diligently to nurture strong relationships, appreciate multiple perspectives, and respect the culture of each community we serve. Most important, we know it takes experienced, skilled professionals to gain the trust of our clients. We have earned that trust with many cities and towns like Knoxville.