UWP students plan Southwest Road revamp

November 11, 2002

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2002_11_11.jpg PLATTEVILLE-(From left to right) UWP students Shaun Endres, Robert Potter and Dewey Jorgenson review data pertaining to Southwest Road. The students are working with Platteville city officials on designs to update Southwest Road from a rural road to an urban road with curbs and gutters.

PLATTEVILLE-With funding for the project anticipated to be secured soon, city officials of Platteville have turned to University of Wisconsin-Platteville students Robert Potter of Jeffers, Minn., Dewey Jorgenson of Darlington and Shaun Endres of Waunakee, for plans to revamp Southwest Road.

"We're working with Platteville City Engineer and Public Works Director Howard Crofoot to upgrade Southwest Road from a rural section of road to an urban section of road," said Potter, the student project manager. "We'll be focusing on the stretch of road that runs from Longhorn Road down to the bridge at the bottom of the hill."

Surveying the land, determining storm sewer pipe locations and researching the amount of rainfall and water the road receives are aspects of the project the students have already tackled. Next, they will be working on the roadway layout and design of the parking area.

"Our next vital step will be getting in touch with people from the UWP greenhouse to find out what plans they have for the area and if they can provide us with any information pertinent to the project," Jorgenson said. "Then we'll get together to look at our storm treatment options. Because the area at the bottom of the hill is a flood plain, we're considering putting in a retention pond."

The students said surveying skills acquired from previous engineering classes and knowledge gained from their environmental engineering classes have helped the project run smoothly so far. However, the group has encountered a few challenges along the way.

"Finding information and researching the project has been somewhat of a challenge because we are limited with the research we can do in regards to previous roadway plans and existing utilities," Endres said. "It also took us a while to download our data from the surveying equipment because so few people are familiar with the equipment."

The project will conclude with students providing cost estimates for the project in addition to written and oral reports presented to city officials. Working on a project from start to finish has been a valuable experience, the students said.

"When you do a co-op, you only see one portion of a project, often coming into a project that is already underway and is not completed before the co-op ends," Potter said. "It's been interesting to follow through the duration of a project."

"I've worked on some projects from start to finish, so for me, the most beneficial aspect has been working with different people and hearing their ideas," Jorgenson said. "This project really helps with the social aspects of engineering, giving us an idea of what it will be like to work with a team of professionals, collaborating on a project."

The students said if the city favors their plans, the project is expected to be implemented next summer. All three students anticipate graduating in December. Potter is majoring in civil engineering with an emphasis in geo-technical and constructional engineering. He is a 1997 graduate of Red Rock Central High School in Lamberton, Minn., and the son of Ray and Diane Potter of Jeffers. Following graduation, Potter has been offered a position with the engineering firm Freeberg and Grund, Inc., in Bemidji, Minn.

Endres is also majoring in civil engineering with an emphasis in geo-technical and constructional engineering. He is a 1997 graduate of Waunakee High School and the son of Tom and Terry Endres of Waunakee. Following graduation, Endres plans to pursue a career in engineering construction.

Jorgenson is majoring in civil engineering with an emphasis in construction and transportation. He is a 1997 graduate of Darlington High School and the son of Duane and Liz Jorgenson of Darlington. Jorgenson plans to pursue a career as an engineering consultant after graduation.

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