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Projects

Comprehensive Solutions. Personalized Approach.

No matter how big or small, ms consultants provides a comprehensive and integrated approach to each client and project. Through collaboration, our local architects, engineers, and planners provide custom solutions to meet your needs. As a local leader with national experience, we serve a variety of markets and project types. See some of our work below.

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ODOT Research: Benefit Analysis of Barrier Screen Inlet

Ohio

ODOT Research: Benefit Analysis of Barrier
Screen Inlet
ODOT NEEDED ASSISTANCE DETERMINING THE BEST METHOD FOR PROVIDING A SAFE, EFFICIENT, AND COST-EFFECTIVE DEVICE TO KEEP LITTER AND DEBRIS FROM CLOGGING THE URBAN HIGHWAY DRAINAGE SYSTEM.
  • Data Analysis and Research
  • Highway Design
  • Hydrology and Hydraulics
  • Stormwater Flow Monitoring
  • Standards and Specifications
  • Project Management
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) roadside drainage features are imperative in assisting the stormwater collection systems to keep roads safe and dry. When small items, such as fine soil particles and grass clippings, and large items, such as tree branches and tires, block inlet openings on the roadways, they obstruct the gutter line and ultimately reduce the hydraulic capacity of the sewer system. Eventually, ponding on roadways and increased stormwater spread becomes a hazard to drivers.   Roadway barrier inlets are particularly vulnerable to these issues, given their close proximity to the travel lanes and the size of their openings.   ms facilitated roadway research and prepared a comprehensive report in which the team provided analysis and recommendations.
FIELD TESTING
The Ohio State University (OSU) performed field tests at various monitoring sites on interstate highways across the state of Ohio. By utilizing remote sensing technology, the team could analyze debris accumulation, water ponding depth, spread, etc. They also were able to compare devices based on installation, maintenance, and long-term durability so that ODOT may choose the most quality and cost-effective solution.   In addition to OSU measuring performance metrics, the University of Iowa performed full-scale physical modeling by constructing a full-scale 12-foot wide, 50-foot-long test channel to evaluate the hydraulic performance of the various devices. The university tested debris removal efficiency and the impacts of hydraulic capacity by utilizing simulated trash in the test channel.
THE COST-BENEFIT ANALYSIS
After analyzing inlet blockage and potential protection devices, ms will provide ODOT with a report detailing the findings and actionable recommendations. The report will address the following:   How clogging of the barrier inlet screens impacts hydraulic capacity and spreads into road lanes. The environmental and anthropogenic factors that impact litter and debris conveyance to an inlet. The efficacy of the various inlet protection devices at separating litter and debris from stormwater. The durability of the barrier inlet screen devices. Product/practice recommendations to alleviate ODOT’s barrier inlet litter problems and the anticipated required maintenance. Cost-benefit analysis of the product/practice recommendations, including maintenance, compared to current ODOT practices.   Due to ms’ facilitation and expertise, ODOT will be able to effectively manage roadside debris and litter, ultimately creating a safer roadway system for motorists. ms is proud to create efficient and innovative solutions for our clients so that communities can continue to develop and flourish.

Discover Financial: Customer Care Center

Whitehall, Ohio

Discover Customer Care Center
DISCOVER NEEDED TO TRANSFORM AN EXISTING SPACE INTO A COMMUNITY-CENTRIC CUSTOMER CARE CENTER WITH INNOVATIVE DESIGN SOLUTIONS.
  • Facility Scan/Survey
  • Design Development
  • Construction Document Phase
  • Construction & Bid Administration
  • Renderings & Visualization
Discover Financial Services owns and operates Discover Bank, an online bank that offers checking and savings accounts, personal loans, home equity loans, student loans, and credit cards. Their new Customer Care Center, which will be located in Whitehall, Ohio, will be one of Discover’s five 100% U.S.-based centers and will include a public community center.   Since the beginning, ms has been working hand in hand with Discover to bring their vision of building a community-centric Customer Care Center to life. To keep the process organized and moving smoothly, we followed a specific set of steps to ensure nothing was overlooked.
FACILITY SCAN AND SURVEY
To begin the process, we started by helping Discover choose a location. After narrowing it down to three locations, Discover selected a building on Broad Street in Whitehall, Ohio. This center is a part of Discover’s strategic site selection approach, which “seeks to enhance high-quality employment opportunities and increase equity in the communities in which it operates.”   ms then completed a 3D scan of the 103,000-square-foot building using the Faro System. This unique system combines our advanced 3D targeting scanner with drones, modeling, and GIS technology. Using billions of points of light that quickly capture visible aspects of the space, ms provided Discover with a workable point cloud and realistic views of their future space. The resulting scan gave ms architects highly detailed images of all visible building elements, inside and outside, and the specific measurements they needed to begin the design process.
DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
Using the 3D scan and road maps provided by Discover, ms architects were able to create multiple layouts, working directly with the client until they landed on a design that fit the company’s needs and wants.   By utilizing the 3D scan, instead of the traditional surveying methods, like tape measures or laser distance meters, ms was able to save Discover a significant amount of time and money. Traditional surveying methods have a fair degree of uncertainty and error; Just being a few degrees from perpendicular to the measured surface could result in being several inches or even feet off on a large project.
CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENT PHASE
Once the client signed off on the layout, ms architects began to drill down specific details and finishes within the facility; This will provide the construction team with a clear and concise path, ensuring that the project will reach its budgeting and timeline goals.   The 3D scans taken by ms will also ensure these goals are met, as these scans can protect Discover from potential future errors. These scans allow architects to document all existing building elements, meaning fewer surprises during construction, more accurate bids, and fewer or no construction change orders.
CONSTRUCTION AND BID ADMINISTRATION
Currently, Discover is working to hire minority and women-owned construction companies to complete the renovations and design plan laid out by ms.   Although this is the final step in our process, ms’ involvement in this project is nowhere near done. We work directly with the construction crews hired to answer any questions that may arise, work out specifics, and sign off on completed work. Throughout the process, ms employs multiple check-ins to ensure the Discover’s vision of success aligns with standards. 
COMMITMENT TO COMMUNITY
Along with providing job opportunities for the City of Whitehall and surrounding communities, the new center aims to benefit the community.   With the influx of people living and working in the growing area, small businesses will see an increase in foot traffic and customers. Discover has also made a commitment to be a good neighbor to the city and supports various local nonprofits, both financially and through volunteerism.   By working with ms, Discover had a partner to assist them in bringing the new Customer Care Center to life. From the beginning stages of choosing a location to the construction of the building, ms was there to help Discover accomplish their goals in not only the construction of their facility but in positively impacting the surrounding community.

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Statewide Master Planning

Ohio

ODNR Statewide Master Planning
TO MODERNIZE EXISTING FACILITIES, PRESERVE THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT, ENHANCE THE VISITOR EXPERIENCE, AND SUSTAIN OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE.
  • Master Planning
  • Project Cost Estimation
  • Project Prioritization Criteria Creation 
  • Asset Management
  • Facility Assessments
  • Project Sequencing Database Creation

 

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Watercraft manages the facilities at all 75 state parks, nature preserves, and wildlife areas. The state parks include over 800,000 land acres and more than 7 million acres of streams, inland and coastal waters, and rivers.   ODNR’s Division of Parks and Watercraft collaborated with ms consultants to plan for the future of Ohio’s State Parks. The Statewide Master Planning project resulted in 12 park master plans, over 185 prospective projects, and a corresponding statewide database to track and prioritize investment dollars into park facility improvements.   To maintain the popularity of the state parks for the next generation, it was essential to address the various state park challenges. These challenges include aging facilities, changes in recreational trends, and staffing constraints.
EARLY PROJECT STEPS
To begin, our team went to each of the twelve selected parks to document the condition of every facility.   At the same time, the team facilitated two visioning workshops with management staff within the Division of Parks and Watercraft to develop statewide initiatives to be utilized at every state park.   Early project steps included:   Assessing over 1,500 individual facilities at 12 parks. Completing a two-part, in-person statewide goals visioning workshop, resulting in four “Critical Success Factors” to identify, refine, and prioritize project ideas.
MASTER PLAN DEVELOPMENT
Once the assessments and statewide visioning workshops were complete, the ms team initiated steps to create park master plans.   These plans would include location-specific project lists, general improvement recommendations/criteria, and an identity statement that would guide any future development.   These master plans included the following steps:   Conducting virtual workshops to identify the core services and distinctive offerings at each location to develop park-specific identity statements that reflect the unique characteristics of each state park. Identifying areas at a park that need improvement, that need to be developed into a park focal point, and areas that may need decommissioning or repurposed. Developing project scopes, costs, and anticipated design/construction durations.    
CAPITAL-PRIORITIZATION DATABASE TOOL
The ms team created a capital improvement project prioritization tool. This database tool sequences projects and prioritizes them across all applicable state parks based on a numerical score.   The plan is to eventually incorporate all 75 parks into the tool to provide ODNR with a statewide priority project list that can be utilized for capital improvement plan refinement.   To help guide ODNR’s future capital budgeting, the tool scores each project according to:   Statewide visioning goals Individual state park priorities and identities Current camping and outdoor activity trends An asset’s remaining useful life and current condition
THE FUTURE OF OHIO’S STATE PARKS
This statewide project compiled technical guidance on a vast array of Ohio State Park features like campgrounds, cabins, marinas, lodges, trails, operations, roadways, water and wastewater facilities, and utilities.   Ultimately, these plans and the statewide database will be used to improve facilities and guide future investments in the Ohio State Park system. This project is a large undertaking and is resulting in a deeper understanding of each park’s potential and unique benefit to all Ohioans and Ohio State Park patrons.

Tim Hortons Expansion

Nationwide

Tim Hortons Expansion
Tim Hortons Expansion
Tim Hortons, a Canadian icon, wanted to expand its U.S. presence.
  • Architecture
  • Prototype Management
  • Survey
  • Schematic Design
  • Prototype Design
  • Prototype Management
  • Site Civil
  • MEP Engineering
  • Permitting
  • Structural Engineering
Tim Hortons—a quick-service restaurant serving coffee, donuts, and other breakfast and lunch items—has over 5,300 stores worldwide but is best known in Canada, where it has become an icon of Canadian culture and history. Compared to the 3,500+ stores in Canada, Tim Hortons has over 600 stores throughout the United States. Recently, Tim Hortons has made a push to expand its brand and physical presence within the states. Providing the strength behind the push is the rollout of a redesigned restaurant aesthetic and branding.   During this time of brand growth, ms consultants is providing full-service design solutions for various franchisees and Tim Hortons.
Prototype Management + Drive-Thru Only Design
As part of the new brand expansion, Tim Hortons released a brand new drive-thru only (DTO) prototype, designed by ms consultants. The approximately 900 square-foot building is a space designed exclusively for product production and service, as there is no customer seating inside the store. The efficient building footprint is intended to streamline the drive-thru customer experience while also providing a walk-up window for customers ordering online.   In addition to the development of the DTO prototype, ms consultants has been contracted by Tim Hortons to manage the updates for an additional prototype throughout 2023. Update management for the DTO prototype will be a continual effort to refine the prototype design and functionality.
Full Service Solutions
The Tim Hortons projects vary from ground-up prototype restaurants to convenience-store end caps to major remodels.   A typical Tim Hortons project process:   Project begins with a building and/or site survey of the existing space. Upon completion of the survey(s), ms works with the franchisee and Tim Hortons to develop a concept site plan and a schematic floor plan. After approval of the concept plan and schematic floor plan, ms consultants provides complete architectural, site civil, MEP, and structural design services. The finished product is a set of construction documents that can be submitted for permit and/or used for construction.   ms consultants has worked on multiple Tim Hortons projects throughout the United States, including Ohio, Georgia, Michigan, New York, and West Virginia.   In addition to design services, ms consultants offers permitting coordination and construction management services. The ms permitting team works with local jurisdictions on requirements and regulations so there are no surprises, and Tim Hortons locations can open when expected.
Design Solutions For Fuel + Convenience Stores
In addition to standalone locations, some Tim Hortons locations are paired with fuel and convenience stores. These projects offer a number of unique challenges in environmental compliance, fire and life safety, and traffic circulation.   ms consultants works with the franchisee and Tim Hortons to identify service priorities and to develop an effective customer flow throughout the site and the store.
A Preferred Design Consultant
Tim Hortons has identified ms consultants as a Preferred Design Consultant in their rollout program.   The Preferred Design Consultant classification allows franchisees to come to ms consultants first, knowing they are getting a full-service consultant who understands the program and the expectations of the Tim Hortons team.   By partnering with ms consultants, the franchisee benefits from a reduced project delivery timeframe, a simplified process, and a strong partnership throughout the project.   Photo Credit: Blake Tarana, Tim Hortons Franchisee

Scioto Darby Road Roundabouts

Hilliard, Ohio

Scioto
Darby Road Roundabouts
Scioto
Darby Road Roundabouts
As multiple intersections became roundabouts, the City of Hilliard needed a construction services consultant for this safety improvement project.
  • Construction Administration
  • Construction Inspection
  • Materials Testing
  • Contract Administration
  • Public Liaison
  • Public Outreach + Social Media Messaging
ms consultants provided the City of Hilliard, Ohio, with construction administration and construction inspection (CA/CI) services for reconfiguring the two intersections on Scioto Darby Road into roundabouts. This included intersections at Leppert Road and Veteran’s Memorial Drive.   The reconfiguration of the intersections included multiple components:   New shared-use path, over 10,000 feet long Two new roundabouts Traffic calming devices Raised crosswalks Two retaining walls 8 new street lights 6,000+ feet of new storm sewer 1,500 feet of new waterline   ms provided full-time, on-site project inspection to observe compliance with the contract documents, plans, and appropriate construction and material specifications.   The ms team also coordinated and documented all required materials testing results.
Keeping Residents in Mind
A critical aspect of the construction inspection duties was maintaining and safely protecting pedestrian access and facilities due to the proximity to schools, neighborhoods, and parkland.   Also important was maintaining communication with property owners and businesses in the area. This included explaining the project phasing and project impacts to driveways or operations, which served as a positive foundation for two-way communication throughout the life of the project.   The team also provided updated project information to the City to post project notifications and information on its website and on social media channels to keep residents updated. Construction was completed and roads were open in December 2019. Landscaping was completed in Spring 2020.
Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Services
To document construction, the ms team leveraged its in-house unmanned aerial system (UAS), or drone, services.   ms used the DJI Inspire 2 unmanned aerial system to produce 20-mp camera photos and 4K video of the site. The team completed several flights throughout construction, including a final flight at construction completion.

Upper Tuscarawas Wastewater Treatment Plant

Summit County, Ohio

Upper Tuscarawas Wastewater Treatment Plant
A DATED WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT WITH FAILING RBCS AND MULTIPLE NPDES VIOLATIONS NEEDED INNOVATIVE AND EFFECTIVE UPGRADES.
  • Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR)
  • Construction Cost Estimating
  • Detailed Design
  • Survey
  • Utility Investigation
  • Geotechnical Report
  • Life-cycle Cost Analysis
  • Permitting
  • Sewage Collection
  • Structural Design
The Summit County Department of Sanitary Sewer Services (DSSS) operates and maintains the Upper Tuscarawas Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) #36, a tertiary treatment facility located in Springfield Township.   Over the years, the Upper Tusc WWTP experienced up to 50 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit violations per year, most of which were caused by an excess of ammonia and phosphorous. Because of these violations, DSSS had an urgent need to make changes to its existing system.
THE HISTORY OF THE ORIGINAL UPPER TUSC WWTP
Before getting into the solution, it’s important to understand the journey of the Upper Tusc WWTP. Constructed in the late 1970s, the original WWTP treated the wastewater using technology common for the time and consisted of the following:   Fine screening Aerated grit removal Primary clarification Rotating biological contactors (RBCs) Secondary and chemical clarification Tertiary filtration prior to UV disinfection   The treated effluent was then discharged to the Tuscarawas River.   Over the years, RBCs have fallen out of favor due to excessive equipment failure and increasingly stricter NPDES permit limits. Prior to improvements, the WWTP’s 32 RBCs were almost 50 years old and had reached the end of useful service life. Of these RBCs, seven had failed.   It was clear a solution was needed to improve the Upper Tusc WWTP today and prepare it for the future. That’s when ms consultants came into the picture.
REVAMPING THE UPPER TUSC WWTP
DSSS had a vision for upgrading the Upper Tusc WWTP including:   Using new biological process that provided biological nutrient removal (BNR) A solution that more easily meets existing NPDES limit for phosphorous and ammonia Ability to handle a flow of 5.0 MGD (instead of the WWTP’s rated capacity of 4.0 MGD) for future growth and flexibility Flexibility to meet potentially stricter NPDES permit limits   ms consultants evaluated several treatment configurations during preliminary design to determine which would provide the most cost-effective means of replacing the RBCs and providing BNR for the WWTP.   Final design consisted of a Modified University of Capetown (MUCT) biological treatment process in conjunction with a variation of the Virginia Initiative Plant (VIP) process comprised of new three-phase BNR tanks, secondary clarifiers, sludge pump stations, and a chemical/operations building. Additionally, ms designed a solid waste receiving station to accept the contents of the County’s sewer maintenance vehicles.
PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
There are a number of successes in the Upper Tusc WWTP project, from innovative cost savings to vast environmental improvements. Some highlights include:   Significant improvement to the local environment. This will have long-standing effects on the river basin and the local community that uses it for recreational purposes. Removal rates for both ammonia and phosphorus have increased to a level of 99%. Removal rates for these parameters far exceed the current permit requirements. Cost savings via repurposing an existing building. The RBC building was also repurposed as a storage building. The large footprint of over 18,000 square feet provides the County with a flexible, high-bay storage facility—essentially a new building for their use. This facility was repurposed at a cost under $500,000 which, if constructed new, would have easily cost over $4 million in today’s market—a potential cost savings of over $3.5 million. One of a kind, hybrid biological nutrient removal process. The Modified University of Cape Town (MUCT) process enhances biological phosphorus removal under optimal conditions, and the Virginia Initiative Plant (VIP) process provides greater ammonia removal efficiencies. Using these two processes together yields the greatest overall nutrient removal capability, and provides process flexibility for continuously changing influent characteristics. Less land disturbance. The bioreactors used provide secondary wastewater treatment. They are known throughout the industry for providing exceptional high-quality effluent in a very small footprint, thus disturbing less land. Beneficial water conservation. Sustainable water reclamation for use in the plant processes is a key theme in the facility’s overall plan. The effluent produced is treated to meet the industry reclaimed water standard and will be used in the plant. This beneficial reuse will conserve and reduce the use of potable water for plant purposes.

U.S. Route 6 Development Plan

Lorain County, Ohio

U.S. Route 6 Development Plan
A PLAN WAS NEEDED TO ATTRACT INVESTMENT ALONG U.S. ROUTE 6 IN LORAIN COUNTY.
  • Regional Planning
  • Transportation Planning
  • Zoning
The U.S. 6 Development Study took Lorain County’s Lakefront Connectivity Transportation for Livable Communities Initiative (TLCI) Plan and built upon the data and concepts. By doing this ms developed a plan to attract investment in Lorain County, Ohio, along U.S. Route 6.   This plan for Lorain County provided recommendations not only that aim to attract and stimulate investment, but also to complement previous redevelopment sites. Such sites include the IRG Lorain LLC redevelopment site, where an automobile salvage yard was turned into green infrastructure.
Developable Parcels
The area of study ran from the west Lorain County line at Salem Drive to Beumhart Road in the City of Vermilion. Through studying this area, ms worked with the county of Lorain and the City of Vermilion to layout a development plan.   The development plan identifies parcels of land along the corridor that can become development ready. This gives the Lorain County and Vermilion an easy-to-read map that shows key areas for development.
Study Recommendations
In the proposed U.S. Route 6 Development Study, the following recommendations were made:   Zoning changes Utility extensions Site-specific remediation   The team also took inspiration from the Regional Lakefront Connectivity Study, also known as Lake Eire Connect, by recommending plans for multimodal amenities. These amenities would promote and complement economic development.   Such recommendations included:   Shared use path Sidewalks Bike lanes   Additional recommendations from the study to enhance the area included the use of street furniture, decorative lighting and signals, and enhanced crosswalks.
The Impact
The U.S. Route 6 Development Study improved the aesthetics of the corridor, attracted additional investments, and provided Lorain County and the City of Vermilion with current and future recommendations.   All of the plan components work together to ensure citizens and visitors continue to experience the high quality of life provided by this small lakeside community.

Great Stone Viaduct Trail

Bellaire, Ohio

Great Stone Viaduct Trail
Great Stone Viaduct Trail
Great Stone Viaduct Trail
Great Stone Viaduct Trail
AN ICONIC LANDMARK IN NEED OF RESTORATION WAS REPURPOSED TO AN ATTRACTIVE RECREATION SPACE.
  • Civil Engineering
  • Trail Design
  • Environmental Permitting
  • Ecological Survey
  • Environmental Site Assessment
  • ODOT Categorical Exclusion (NEPA approval)
  • Cultural Resource Coordination
  • Public Involvement
  • Bridge Design
  • Retaining Wall Design
  • Water Resource Engineering
  • Cost Estimation
The Great Stone Viaduct Historical Education Society (GSVHES) collaborated with ms consultants to reinvigorate a historic railroad viaduct. The viaduct is a pillar of the community in Bellaire, Ohio, but it remained unused for decades.   Now, this rail-to-trail project not only preserves the iconic landmark but has also transformed the area into a walking path and plaza. After 10 years of work and planning, GSVHES was able to bring its dream of restoration into reality.
THE TRANSFORMATION
Once a railroad bridge, the Great Stone Viaduct and the surrounding area are now home to a shared-use trail and plaza.   The new, shared-use path trail is approximately 2,000 feet long and includes a new, 11-space parking lot at the trailhead. The trail provides access along the abandoned CSX right-of-way to the historic Great Stone Viaduct.   The Great Stone Viaduct, a multi-span stone arch bridge constructed in the 1870s, was repurposed as a shared-use path and trail. The prominence of the bridge walkway also creates a space for pedestrians to stroll and view the nearby sights, including the Ohio River valley.
THE HISTORY
The Great Stone Viaduct was built in 1871 by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to carry north and eastbound rail service across the Ohio River. The 43-stone arch viaduct is reminiscent of a Roman aqueduct.   In 1996, the 20-arch portion of the Great Stone Viaduct was abandoned. In 2015, GSVHES raised local funds to purchase the abandoned viaduct and several surrounding acres. The dream? Development and preservation of this iconic local landmark. Thanks to the dedication of GSVHES, an Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) grant, ODOT District 11, the ms team, and other dedicated groups, the Great Stone Viaduct is now a local destination.
PROJECT CHALLENGES + DETAILS
Contaminated soil management was a significant component of the Great Stone Viaduct project. CSX established a soil management plan protocol as part of the agreement when GSVHES acquired the property. All excavated soil on the project must remain on site, and all surfaces accessible to pedestrians must either be capped or signage and fencing provided to ensure that pedestrians do not encounter the existing soil.   ms also performed the following tasks for the project:   Environmental services, including ecological survey Environmental site assessment and soil management plan Cultural resources, including SHPO coordination ODOT Categorical Exclusion (NEPA approval) Permitting Field survey Trail design and trailhead/parking lot design Drainage design, including best management practices Landscaping plan, including park plaza beneath the viaduct Bridge design, including new concrete deck and ornamental railing Retaining wall design Stakeholder and public involvement coordination CSX railroad coordination Final construction plans Cost estimates and ongoing services during construction   The Great Stone Viaduct project is an excellent example of realizing a vision to improve and provide a valuable and attractive resource to a part of Ohio that has limited access to outdoor resources. The project opened in the fall of 2022.
Historic Bridge Award

The Federal Highway Administration, The Ohio Department of Transportation, The State Historic Preservation Office, and The County Engineers Association of Ohio

I-680 and SR 164 New Interchange

Mahoning County, Ohio

I-680 AND SR 164 NEW INTERCHANGE
I-680 AND SR 164 NEW INTERCHANGE
AS TRAFFIC INCREASED ON LOCAL ROADS, A SOLUTION TO REDUCE TRAFFIC CONGESTION WAS NEEDED.
  • Traffic Engineering
  • Roadway Design
  • Tower Lighting Design
  • Drainage Design
  • Culvert Design
  • Survey
  • Right-of-Way Plans
  • Best Management Practices (BMP) Design
Southern Mahoning County, located in Ohio, experienced significant residential and commercial growth. This placed high-traffic demands on local roadways that were not meant for higher traffic levels. Ultimately, this caused increased traffic congestion and crashes where the I-680 interchange connects with Western Reserve Road/SR 164.   Additionally, the portion of I-680 between Western Reserve Road and the Ohio Turnpike was significantly under-used, functioning as a long ramp to/from the Turnpike Toll Plaza. Realizing this missed opportunity, Eastgate Regional Council of Governments wanted to explore the addition of a new interchange at the SR 164 overpass. The goal was to encourage more local traffic to use I-680 via an interchange two miles south and relieving traffic congestion at Western Reserve Road.
I-680 CORRIDOR STUDY
Eastgate, in cooperation with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), first hired ms consultants, inc. in 2007 to study and evaluate the traffic congestion and safety problems within the southern I-680 corridor. The corridor limits included I-680 from just north of the Western Reserve Road interchange to the south of the Ohio Turnpike (I-76) interchange.   ms completed the study, which involved considering: The feasibility of constructing a new interchange at SR 164 and I-680 to help alleviate the traffic demands on Western Reserve Road by encouraging more vehicles to stay on I-680 Parallel routes within the corridor to understand how to better use I-680 south of Western Reserve Road Improvements to commuter safety, which included modifying the Western Reserve Road interchange and improving sight distance at the SR 626 intersection   ms also completed traffic studies and evaluated current and future traffic volumes, accident rates and locations, and the existing roadway network’s capacity.
PRELIMINARY AND FINAL DESIGN
Upon restarting the project in 2016, the selected alternative included the addition of:   New I-680 interchange at SR 164, including full-access ramps Southbound lane on SR 164 between I-680 and SR 626 Northbound, left-turn lane on SR 164 between I-680 and the northbound on-ramp New roundabout at the SR 164 and SR 626 northern junction and replacing the bridge over the Ohio Turnpike, both designed my JM   The ms team designed and prepared the construction plans for the new interchange, including the widening of SR 164. ms also provided:   Management and oversight, including coordinating the work with OTIC and other consultants Roadway and traffic plans Drainage design and interchange grading BMP design Culvert design Survey Right-of-way plans   Additionally, the project required avoiding impacts to the adjacent Ohio Turnpike Toll Plaza, and an existing pond and consideration of abandoned mines.
A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT
The project’s unique funding led to a successful project. To fund the entire project, there were multiple funding sources and agencies, including ODOT Preservation, ODOT Safety, Transportation Review Advisory Council (TRAC), Eastgate, and Ohio Turnpike and Infrastructure Commission (OTIC).   Included with the construction of the interchange is a new park and ride lot (Part 3), encouraging commuters to use public transport or ride share, which further reduces roadway traffic and improves safety. The lot was designed by ODOT.   Through the addition of the interchange, lanes, a roundabout and bridge (designed by JMT), area traffic congestion is reduced and public safety is increased.
2020 Outstanding Highway Project Award Over $5M

American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) Cuyahoga Valley Section

Chagrin River Access Plan

Willoughby, Ohio

Chagrin River Access Plan
AN UNTAPPED RESOURCE ALONG LAKE ERIE’S SHORELINE NEEDED A TEAM TO ENHANCE PUBLIC ACCESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
  • Planning
  • Land Use Analysis
  • Public Engagement
  • Comprehensive Planning
  • Public Access Plan
  • Mapping
  • Data Visualization
  • Branding
The Chagrin River Watershed Partners is leading the way in securing a sustainable, resilient future for the Chagrin River while encouraging responsible development.   Located in northeast Ohio, this planning project will create a comprehensive regional trail and public access plan starting at Lake Erie and following along the Chagrin River in Lake County.
COHESIVE VISION THROUGH ENGAGEMENT
Engaged, diverse stakeholders are crucial partners in any planning process.   With ten municipalities to engage, each with different needs and contexts, the team began the planning process by forming a diverse steering committee and visiting the Chagrin River sites in-person with the members.   This fun, interactive day gave the project a cohesive vision from the start and set the stage for more creativity and collaboration as the project progressed.
PRIORITY SITE CONSIDERATIONS
Our team is determining priority sites for future waterfront access opportunities and improvements for existing sites.   Responsible development must account for environmental areas of concern along the Chagrin River. This study included protecting high-risk erosion areas which impact water quality, public access, and private properties along the Chagrin Riverfront.
ENHANCING ECONOMIC POTENTIAL
Economic potential abounds for Lake County’s Chagrin Riverfront communities.   The Chagrin River Access Plan lays the groundwork for Lake County to capitalize on recreational tourism by creating continuous recreational trail connections that connect riverfront communities and to the river. These trail connections include water, bike, and pedestrian traffic access.   Priority areas will be assessed on how they can serve community members and how they can be a regional and international draw for recreational boaters and Steelhead trout fishermen. This approach capitalizes on the existing benefits of the Chagrin River area.
MAPPING + DATA VISUALIZATION
Rivers meander across communities and roads and can go unseen in the residents’ daily experience. The Chagrin River is no exception.   A simple way to improve public awareness of the river and build support for the planning process is to provide new maps and data to the public in a visually pleasing, easy-to-understand format. With the highly-skilled project team, we are providing new maps and resources that will spur discussions for years to come.   The goal is not only to drive awareness of the many benefits of the Chagrin River, but also to provide information for future use.
LAKE ERIE CONNECT BRANDING
The Chagrin Connect project is part of a larger project with Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA). The project, Lake Erie Connect, has many coordinating efforts along Lake Erie’s shoreline.   For public engagement and information, the team created a project web page dedicated to Chagrin Connect and a designated logo, both as part of the larger Lake Erie Connect website.   Photo credit: Vince Reinhart, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Onyx + East: The Greenery

Berlin Township, Ohio

ONYX+EAST: THE GREENERY
Looking to expand into the Ohio market, Onyx+East needed a partner for a new residential development.
  • Site Layout
  • Topographic Survey
  • Wetland + Stream Delineation
  • Zoning + Permitting
  • Construction Documents
  • Water + Wastewater
  • Site Grading
  • Stormwater Drainage + Detention
  • Landscape Planning
ms consultants is engaged with Onyx+East on the development of more than 120 residential units on 40 acres of property in Berlin Township, Ohio.   Onyx+East is one of the fastest-growing homebuilders in Indianapolis that focuses on creating places designed for modern living that are connected within growing cities and suburbs. This new development is part of Onyx+East’s recent multi-market expansion in the Ohio.
About The Greenery
The Greenery is a residential development featuring build-to-to rent housing. This community will appeal to residents who seek the convenience of renting, while also desiring a high-quality home near top-rated schools, recreation, services and employment.   The Greenery is one of the several communities being developed by Onyx+East in the Columbus, Ohio market. Construction on the Greenery is slated to begin in 2023 with leasing beginning later in the year.
Preparing the Site
As with any residential development, The Greenery site needed a partner to prepare the site for the new homes.   The initial scope of services included topographic survey, wetland and stream delineation, and submission of the zoning application.   ms is developing detailed construction documents including stormwater detention systems, private roadways, public water distribution, and sanitary sewer collection systems. The team is also handling the site grading efforts and developing a cut/fill balance prior to construction.
Close Coordination
For a seamless residential development project, close coordination with many entities is essential.   Through The Greenery site development, ms is working closely with the Delaware County Engineer, Delaware County Regional Sewer District, Del-Co Water Company, the Ohio EPA, and Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) throughout the design process.   This careful coordination ensures the project is delivered as efficiently and economically as possible.   

Mahoning River Corridor Revitalization Plan

Mahoning & Trumbull Counties, Ohio

Mahoning River Corridor Revitalization Plan
Mahoning River Corridor Revitalization Plan
Mahoning River Corridor Revitalization Plan
An Ohio region wanted a plan to bring collective economic opportunities and shared prosperity, connecting 13 distinct communities.
  • Comprehensive Planning
  • Urban Planning
  • Public Engagement
  • Water Resources
  • Land Use Analysis
  • Data Analysis
  • Branding & Marketing
In northeast Ohio, the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments is leading the Mahoning Valley’s effort to revitalize its river corridor by removing industrialization-era low-head dams and planning for the region’s future.   As industry in the area declined, it burdened the Mahoning Valley region with a polluted river and weakened economy—resulting in the underuse of the river as a regional asset and prosperity driver. Dam removal has begun, along with planning for how the river corridor can be better used in the future.   ms consultants coordinated the creation of a Mahoning River Corridor Revitalization Plan that will bring collective economic opportunities and shared prosperity to the Mahoning Valley.
A PLAN FOR MANY COMMUNITIES
The plan rebranded the Mahoning River as the “River of Opportunity,” setting the stage for economic prosperity through regional connection and environmental protection. Thirteen diverse communities were included in the study area, ranging from rural farmland to downtown urban cores and active industrial complexes.   The 13 communities included in the planning:   Newton Township, Ohio Newton Falls, Ohio Braceville Township, Ohio Leavittsburg, Ohio Warren, Ohio Warren Township, Ohio Niles, Ohio McDonald, Ohio Girard, Ohio Youngstown, Ohio Campbell, Ohio Struthers, Ohio Lowellville, Ohio   Each riverfront community has a unique character and identity, as well as specific wants and needs.   To accommodate for each community’s unique attributes, the project strategy included working with each community to create individualized implementation plans. These community-specific plans gave each locale concrete action steps and funding recommendations for projects and initiatives to implement as part of the Mahoning Valley regional vision.
LAND USE ANALYSIS
The planning process began with a comprehensive analysis of existing conditions within the Mahoning River study area.   Land use constituted a large portion of the discovery period and included identification and analysis of vacant parcels, brownfield sites, publicly-owned land, desirable privately owned land, public right-of-ways, and rail line ownership.
PRIORITY OPPORTUNITY SITES
Data from the discovery period was compiled and analyzed to identify potential priority redevelopment areas within all thirteen riverfront communities. These developable areas were further scrutinized to determine the most desirable parcel assemblies and best uses, resulting in one priority opportunity site per community (13 total).   Throughout priority sites and all plans, the Mahoning River Corridor Revitalization Plan focuses on three pillars: connect, protect, and prosper. These three principles set a precedence for a unified vision that includes each community’s individual success to allow for the entire corridor to become successful.   Connect: a focus on recreation. Restoring the free-flowing Mahoning river and implementing a continuous greenway network that connects the local communities and boosts tourism through recreation. Protect: a focus on wildlife and water. Preserving land along the river improves water quality while providing habitat for wildlife, recreational space for people, and flood protection for communities. Prosper: a focus on the local economy. By coming together, the Mahoning Valley can build on its legacy, strengthen its industry and business community, and provide ample opportunity for future investment.   By connecting and protecting the Mahoning River corridor communities, the plan aims to build a resilient region that can offer new economic opportunities while providing a foundation for a better way of life.
BRANDING AND MARKETING
Branding the Mahoning River Corridor Revitalization plan and creating distributable material was a key piece of the project.   Branding and marketing efforts included:   Logo development Community education and outreach Video product to highlight the beauty and potential of the Mahoning River Online engagement tools Development of a project information website, MyMahoningRiver.com   The thoughtful marketing and branding allowed the team to efficiently market the initiative to bring prosperity to the future of the Mahoning River Corridor region.

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