GRA has successfully resolved various problems associated with environmental engineering. These include the areas of wastewater collection and treatment, storm water collection and discharge, water distribution systems, and site assessments and remediation with respect to the presence of hazardous materials. Within each of these areas we provide services for all stages of a project, from conceptual planning to preliminary and final design of facilities, regulatory compliance, contract administration and construction inspection.
Our professional staff has gained extensive experience in these areas, and, through that experience, we have developed a sound understanding of the issues that must be addressed.
The following is a brief outline of those areas in which we provide engineering services:
GRA has years of experience in the planning, analysis and design of sanitary sewer systems. In this discipline, GRA has done extensive work in the City of Warwick, RI, through the Warwick Sewer Authority (WSA), for which GRA has conducted projects for many years.
GRA's assignments have ranged from the master-planning level of analysis to final design and the preparation of plans, specifications and estimates for bidding. In addition to design services, GRA also provides full-time resident inspection and office support on all of our WSA design projects.
GRA’s experience in storm drainage and runoff-related disciplines is extensive. GRA has performed drainage analysis on many RI Department of Transportation projects and on numerous private development projects. The related work has included runoff analyses, hydrological studies, hydraulic designs, drainage designs, pollutant loading studies and the design of various types of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce wetland and water resource impacts. GRA has undertaken specific BMP designs relating to the development of wet and dry detention basins, infiltration basins, underground storage basins, retention ponds, percolation trenches, level spreaders, oil separators and grass swales. Our office has also coordinated with and submitted applications to all the environmental permitting agencies that regulate storm water management issues.
A particularly noteworthy experience includes GRA’s participation as one of the two consultants on the RI Stormwater Management and Erosion Control Advisory Committee. That committee of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) was directly responsible for the development of the current RI Soil Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook and RIDEM’s Recommendations Regarding the Development and Implementation of Technical Guidelines for Stormwater Management. GRA was also selected to serve on the Technical Advisory Committee for the Scituate Reservoir Task Force. Additionally, the firm has participated in the development of the RI Standard Specifications “Part 200 - Earthwork and Erosion Control,” which included the development of new Erosion Control Standards.
Relocated Route 403
East Greenwich and North Kingstown, RI
This project passes over the Hunt-Annaquatucket-Pettaquamscutt (HAP) sole source aquifer and it passes through areas near or adjacent to sensitive surface waters and wetland. Both conventional and creative solutions were required to protect the existing fragile ecosystems. As part of the project, GRA designed extensive Best Management Practices, including eleven (11) water quality basins, with those over the aquifer containing impermeable liners below the bottoms of the basins. Vegetated channels, level spreaders and other techniques were utilized.
Complex hydrological and hydraulic modeling was required to design the freeway’s storm water management system. The effect that the storm drainage system would have on the area’s sensitive receptors was evaluated. The modeling output was used to support the RIDEM Freshwater Wetlands and Rhode Island Pollution Discharge Elimination System (RIPDES) permit application submittals. GRA obtained the RIDEM Freshwater Wetlands and RIPDES permits required to install the project’s storm water management system.
University of Rhode Island
Among the many capital improvements for which GRA has been the University’s design consultant is one that provides storm drainage improvements to the White Horn Brook. The White Horn Brook flows through the University of Rhode Island’s lower campus. Culverts and bridges used by students and vehicles had deteriorated over time and required replacement. Sediment deposits and organic debris had reduced the flow in the brook creating flooding conditions along the brook’s path. A two-phase project was proposed to address the brook crossing issues and to restore brook flow to pre-deposition conditions. The initial phase consisted of culvert replacements. The brook channel restoration program that includes sediment dredging and organic debris removal was implemented as a second phase.
GRA conducted a complete hydraulic analysis, including an updated flood routing analysis to determine existing flow conditions and to evaluate the culvert replacement and channel restoration program’s effect on flow conditions. The modeling was used to evaluate proposed culvert configurations and their effect on flow capacity. Additional modeling was then used to evaluate the effect the channel restoration project would have on flow. An Application to Alter Freshwater Wetlands was submitted to the RIDEM. Two of the completed culverts and a new pedestrian bridge over the brook are shown below.
Cross Park Avenue
North Kingstown, RI
GRA was retained by the Quonset Development Corporation (QDC) to design Cross Park Avenue, one of the major new internal roadways at the Quonset Business Park. The design of Cross Park Avenue included extending sewer and water lines to serve the newly accessible areas. In addition, there was an environmental element of the project that entailed wetlands permitting and the design of Best Management Practices (BMPs). Shown at the right is one of the several water quality basins designed by GRA. The basins receive and treat storm water runoff from the new roadway prior to discharge into the environmentally sensitive water courses in the area.
GRA's environmental site assessment, remediation and compliance services are led by senior staff experienced in all aspects of hazardous materials management on site development projects. Environmental due diligence is an important component in the initial site development planning process. Our experience assessing and remediating historic industrial and commercial properties, including former land uses such as mill complexes, dry cleaners and gas stations, allows us to identify potential environmental issues and their potential financial impact on a site development project.
GRA has successfully integrated remedial measures into site development designs resulting in significant cost savings for our clients. GRA's senior staff have prepared solid and hazardous waste management plans and specifications for highway construction and demolition projects. GRA's experience includes sites regulated under the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's (RIDEM's) Remediation Regulations, Underground Storage Tank Regulations, Oil Pollution Control Regulations, Underground Injection Control Regulations, and RIPDES regulations.
GRA's experience includes the following types of assessment, remediation and compliance projects: