Engineering Students to Unveil Northampton Street Redesign Plans
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Tackling a real-world problem on behalf of the City of Northampton, Smith College’s senior engineering students drafted plans for replacing the utilities and repaving the street and sidewalks in the residential neighborhood of Ridgewood Terrace.
The students will describe their designs at an informational meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 8, in the City Council Chambers of the Wallace J. Puchalski Municipal Building, 212 Main St. The public is invited to view the plans prior to the presentation, beginning at 6 p.m.
Located near the Jackson Street Elementary School, the Ridgewood Terrace project became a priority for the Department of Public Works (DPW) following a series of water main breaks. When the DPW reviewed the possibility of replacing the water main, engineers identified problems with other utilities: tree roots growing into cracks in the sewer system, which dates back to 1925; roots damaging the sidewalk, causing it to crack and buckle.
The DPW determined it would be economical to repair all the utilities at the same time and asked Smith students to draft a plan that included replacing the sewer system, drainage system, water main, curbing, sidewalk and roadway.
Throughout the academic year, seniors Elizabeth Koenig, of Lyndonville, Vt.; Erika Mancha, of El Paso, Texas; Kimberly Reinauer, of Nashua, N.H.: and Patricia Groulx, of Toronto, Canada, worked on the project with Tom Smith and Chris Perrino of the DPW’s engineering division.
The students invited residents from the 35 homes along Ridgewood Terrace’s 1,300-foot-long, 26-foot-wide expanse to the public session. Following the meeting, the team will draft detailed plans and construction specifications necessary to advertise the project for construction. The project is slated for completion in 2006.
A real-world engineering project is a course requirement for Smith’s senior engineering students. Last year, a team worked with the DPW to design a 4,000-foot sidewalk along Bridge Road.
Established in 1999, Smith’s Picker Engineering Program is focused on developing broadly educated, well-rounded engineers capable of assuming leadership roles in corporations, non-profit organizations and technology-related fields. Smith is the largest undergraduate women’s college in the country and the first with an engineering program.
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