Design & Permitting
Plans & Specifications
Post Construction Monitoring
Project Management includes many elements. H&M professionals and administrative staff provide guidance from early conceptual planning stages, coordination through regulatory processes, all necessary technical services for design, assistance with the bidding process to select qualified contractors, construction phase professional services, and follow-up monitoring to document project success and provide baseline data for planning of future maintenance.
Careful planning during development of conceptual approach is essential to project success. H&M Engineers recognize the need to fully understand the dynamic processes that lead to erosion problems in order to be able to develop an appropriate design solution. This may be most effectively accomplished through a Feasibility Study. This is especially true for larger more complex projects that may require analysis of a variety of alternative project designs, to satisfy technical questions as well as satisfy regulatory requirements. Whether a Feasibility Study simply requires rudimentary review of existing data,
or supplementation with additional data collection and sophisticated numerical analysis of coastal processes, H&M has the experience to advise our clients of the appropriate level of study, and the capability to provide services necessary to prepare the study and make recommendations that enable the project sponsor to efficiently focus financial and manpower resources on the most cost effective design within constraints that may be imposed by regulatory agencies and environmental resources.
The ability to focus on those tasks that are necessary to complete design, and to understand what will be required to work through the permitting process can significantly reduce financial and manpower resources required to get through what is typically the most protracted phase of coastal projects. While there may be opportunities to streamline this process, H&M Engineers also has the foresight to recognize that there are areas where detailed data collection and analysis is essential to avoid last minute delays in the regulatory process, and to have thorough documentation to support plans and specifications in order to avoid problems during the construction
phase. Permitting in Florida may require a Joint Coastal Permit, a Water Resources Permit, a lease or easement over state owned submerged land, a Coastl Construction Control Line Permit for upland construction in a zone established and regulated by the state to reduce storm impacts, and a Federal Permit from the Corps of Engineers. The Corp permit may require an Environmental Impact Statement, and Environmental Assessment, or a Biological opinion from one of several agencies that provide review of specific resources for the Corps. Permitting is a complicated process for which H&M professionals can provide the necessary services to complete in a timely manner.
H&M has for years been working closely with all of the State and Federal regulatory agencies that have jurisdiction over projects in the coastal zone, and from working within many coastal counties and communities we are aware that there are often compliance issues with local regulations that also need to be addressed. The Corps of Engineers is the agency that ultimately issues Federal permits, however, it is important to initiate coordination with other Federal agencies that report to the Corps in certain specific situations. H&M Professionals understand when it is necessary to bring the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and National Marine Fisheries into a project in antici-
pation that their review will be required by the Corps. Similarly, with the State of Florida it is important to initiate coordination with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Division of State Lands, and the Division of Historic Resources early in the permitting process. Early identification of permitting issues not only expedites the regulatory process by enabling the design engineer to take those issues under consideration during design and anticipation of specific construction means and methods.
Public meetings are not only a regulatory requirement, for example to establish an Erosion Control Line, they can also be an important to public relations. Coastal construction projects are not always without controversy, however, H&M Professionals assist project sponsors with public meetings to bring grass roots support to projects that may be controversial. Environmental issues may become controversial if project details are not fully understood. Funding may also be an issue due to the fact that beachfront property owners receive storm protection benefit in addition to the recreational benefit that the broader community receives. H&M Engineers have assisted local com-
munities with quantifying the level of storm protection beach front properties receives, but also informing the public about how important those properties are to the community’s tax base, and how the greater community benefits from the tourism that contributes significantly to the economy of communities, the state, and the country. Many tourist dollars come from overseas tourists.
A detailed set of Plans and Specifications is important to be sure construction goes smoothly. H&M can provide a full set of Plans and specifications, however, we often work with our project sponsors who have an established set of Standard General Conditions including the Construction Contract. Where this is the case, H&M provides the Technical Specifications including a Bid Schedule and Construction Plans, and then works with the sponsor to prepare Supplementary Conditions to be sure there are no conflicts within the Bidding and Contract Documents.
H&M provides coordination during the bidding phase to select a contractor. Services typically include holding a pre-bid meeting, notifying responsible bidders who are capable of carrying out the construction and providing an opportunity for the contractors to become familiar with the work, as well as an opportunity to provide feedback. This informative process is intended to eliminate uncertainties contractors may perceive in how the work is to be completed, in order to obtain the most competitive of bids from the most qualified contractors. H&M also evaluates the bids, to determine the lowest responsive and responsible bidder.
As the Design Engineer, H&M recommends that the project sponsor engage the firm for construction phase services, to have a qualified representative on site to observe construction progress and procedures and to hold regularly scheduled progress meetings with the Contractor. By this process H&M can keep the project sponsor informed as to the Contractor’s performance, conformance with the design and regulatory requirements, and general quality of work. Any deficiencies in the contractor’s work can be identified quickly and corrected, to avoid regulatory problems and potential construction claims. Occasionally there may be need for a change order, perhaps
Construction Phase Services
from unanticipated site conditions, or construction being interrupted by storms as is often the case with marine construction.
The importance of Post Construction Monitoring should not be overlooked. After expending significant manpower and financial resources on the design, permitting, and construction of a coastal project, it is important to document what occurs after construction with physical and environmental surveys. H&M Engineers provide a detailed scope for this post construction monitoring during the design and permitting phases. The design engineer is the most familiar with the way the project was designed to meet specific objectives, and is the most qualified to analyze post construction monitoring data and evaluate project performance. This is particularly true on some of the
H&M projects that have been designed uniquely to address unusual site conditions. This is an important point, because the complex dynamics of the coastal environment are very different from the environment in which other conventional civil engineering development and infrastructure projects are constructed.