F&V Drain Survey Captures ACEC Award

Fleis & VandenBrink won the Honorable Conceptor Award for Surveying in the 2020 American Council of Engineering Companies of Michigan (ACEC/M) annual Engineering & Surveying Excellence competition.

F&V’s “Taming the Wildcat Drain,” project was a drain survey for the St. Joseph County Drain Commission. The award was announced Saturday at 20 Monroe Live in Grand Rapids.

“Congratulations to the St. Joseph County Drain Commissioner for doing this drain project,” said Paul R. Galdes, principal and president of F&V. “Together we were able to expedite and meet the accuracy required for proper design of the improvements and correctly identify the affected property and property owners in the drainage district as well as the drainage area itself.”

F&V provided surveying, engineering, and administrative services for this project after the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) realized that there was no public owned outlet for their stormwater.

MDOT approached the SJCDC and worked with them to come up with a plan to convert a ditch into a county drain. For the very first time, MDOT became a petitioner for a new drain that was to be named Wildcat, in honor of the Three Rivers High School mascot.

F&V’s survey team creatively leveraged both ESRI & Civil3D software together with LiDAR data to expedite the development of a drainage area map for a new drain to support a major MDOT reconstruction project underway off US-131 in Three Rivers. The LiDAR data was a fourfold improvement over previous data and enabled a savings of six months and $50,000.

“Thanks to F&V’s surveying, this project was accomplished in an expedited fashion to appease legal processes of drain ownership and keep MDOT on schedule,” said Jeffrey Wenzel, St. Joseph County’s Drain Commissioner. “Besides meeting and exceeding the tight deadline, F&V provided a fantastic product to help us understand the drain’s current condition.”