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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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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.

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.

Regional Lakefront Connectivity Study

Cleveland, Ohio

Regional Lakefront Connectivity Study
Regional Lakefront Connectivity Study
A NORTHEAST OHIO AGENCY WANTED TO CONNECT PEOPLE TO THE LAKE ERIE LAKEFRONT AND ALSO ENGAGE THEM WHEN THEY GET THERE.
  • Regional Planning
  • Community Engagement
  • Branding
  • Website Design
The Regional Lakefront Connectivity Study, taking place in Northeast Ohio, is working to find ways to connect people with Lake Erie and engage with them when they get to the lakefront. The effort is led by the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA).   The goals of the Regional Lakefront Connectivity Study include:   Present a plan to make it easier to walk, bike, or drive to lakefront destinations Provide support for economic development in Lake Erie lakefront communities Lay out strategies to turn lakefront destinations into places where communities can feel connected   ms is proud to be the primary consultant leading this multi-year planning effort and looks forward to seeing how the Lake Erie lakefront transforms after this study is complete.
MAKING IT LOCAL
ms is a firm believer that details matter, even in regional planning.   So whether the lakefront plan calls for addressing a 30-foot gap in a sidewalk or recommends a new cross-county trail, ms is ensuring that the connectivity recommendations are realistic and align with funding eligibility.   The team is also engaging local leaders and stakeholders throughout the entire study of the Lake Erie lakefront.
PROJECT GUIDED BY PRINCIPLES
The entire project team works around three guiding principles that will help ensure the final plan is connected, equitable, and sustainable.   The guiding principles include:   Planning by the People User-Centered Transportation Many Plans, One Lakefront   Planning by the people references the project team’s community engagement efforts in this study of the Lake Erie lakefront. The team is working closely with residents and business owners who live in the area to understand the needs and priorities of the lakefront region thoroughly.   User-centered transportation refers to the team’s understanding of how most people currently access the lakefront region. By understanding how people access the Lake Erie lakefront, the team will be able to provide equitable solutions for all.   For many plans, one lakefront refers to aligning with past and current planning efforts in the region. Aligning the lakefront plan is critical to its success and smooth implementation.
LEARN MORE
If you want to learn more about the Regional Lakefront Connectivity Study or to stay up to date on the study’s progress, visit lakeerieconnect.com.   You can also check out one of the spin-off projects from the Regional Lakefront Connectivity Study, Chagrin Connect. Chagrin Connect focuses on connecting Western Lake County communities to the Chagrin River and Lake Erie.

Pulte Homes: Residential Land Development

Ohio

Pulte Homes: Residential Land Development
Pulte Homes: Residential Land Development
As housing needs continue to grow in Central Ohio, one of America's largest home builders needed a partner to prepare multiple residential developments.
  • Land Development
  • Topographic Survey
  • Boundary Survey
  • ALTA/NSPS Land Title Survey
  • Traffic Impact Study
  • Zoning
  • Site Civil Construction Documents
  • Wetland + Stream Delineation
  • Endangered Species Study
Pulte Homes is a residential home construction company with homes located across the country. It’s one of the various brands of PulteGroup, one of the largest home construction companies in the United States.   As housing needs continue to increase in the growing central Ohio region, Pulte Homes partnered with ms consultants to meet the continued demands for multiple residential developments.
SLATE RIDGE SITE DEVELOPMENT
Pulte Homes enlisted ms consultants to assist with the development of its 100-acre site along Home Road in Orange Township, Ohio. The site, located just north of Columbus, is split into two sections including single-family residential and senior-living condominiums.   To begin the project, ms consultants conducted a detailed onsite wetland and stream delineation investigation. Following the investigation, ms worked with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE) and the Ohio EPA (OEPA) to address the site impacts and mitigation efforts required. These efforts include a detailed endangered species study to address tree clearing in compliance with U.S. Fish and Wildlife regulations.   Additionally, the ms team is providing full site civil construction documents for the single and multi-family residential development. These documents include, stormwater detention systems, private roadways, public water distribution, and sanitary sewer collection systems. ms consultants is also handling the site grading efforts and developing a cut/fill balance prior to construction.   Coordination between Delaware County Engineer, Delaware County Regional Sewer District, DLZ, HDR, and the adjacent property owners for easement access has been key for project development to provide site access and address current expansion of I-71. Site access to the condominium section of this residential development is via a public road extension. This road extension is currently being designed and installed and will be critical for construction.   The ms team has worked closely with Delaware County to coordinate the drive connection, stormwater detention, and landscape screening along the shared property lines.
EAGLE CREEK SITE DEVELOPMENT
Eagle Creek is a new housing development located in Delaware County, Ohio. This 85-acre property will include 483 residential lots and is led by Pulte Homes and Dove Field Partners.   The initial scope of services included topographic survey, preparation of a traffic impact study, and submission of the preliminary zoning application.   Currently, there are multiple elements of the project taking place. The design team is developing a 3,000 linear foot sanitary main extension with Dove Field Partners. Also, ms team is working with Pulte to provide full site civil construction documents for the residential development including, stormwater detention systems, private roadways, public water distribution, and sanitary sewer collection systems.   ms consultants is also handling the site grading efforts and developing a cut/fill balance prior to construction.   Throughout the project, ms consultants continues to coordinate closely with the Delaware County Engineer, Delaware County Regional Sewer District, Del-Co Water, the Village of Sunbury, and the Ohio EPA (OEPA). This coordination helps prevent schedule delays during the final permitting process. Reducing schedule delays is a key component in residential land development.   Once in construction, the ms survey team will provide layout staking for the development and set pins on 198 lots.  

Fifth Avenue Safety Upgrade + Rehabilitation

Youngstown, Ohio

Fifth Avenue Rehabilitation
Fifth Avenue Rehabilitation
Fifth Avenue Rehabilitation
Fifth Avenue Rehabilitation
CHANGES IN DOWNTOWN YOUNGSTOWN CREATED A NEED FOR MORE PEDESTRIAN-FRIENDLY SPACES ALONG A CENTRAL CORRIDOR.
  • Roadway Design
  • Grants + Funding
  • Waterline Replacement
  • Survey
  • Utility Coordination
  • Drainage
Fifth Avenue, a central corridor through downtown Youngstown, Ohio, connects major destinations from Mercy Health Center to Youngstown State University (YSU) to the business district. Previously, Fifth Avenue’s infrastructure was developed for a vehicle-centric city with different transit needs than the Youngstown of today. In recent years, Fifth Avenue has seen a significant decrease in vehicle traffic, which led to this six-lane road being a great candidate for a “road diet.”   A road diet is just another phrase used to describe a lane reduction. This technique removes travel lanes and uses the spaces for other uses and travel modes. Incorporating this process translates into improving safety for a pedestrian and bicycle friendly environment.
A SMART2 PROJECT
ms consultants kicked off the project with a campus-wide pedestrian safety and mobility study at YSU. Following the study, the ms team partnered with AECOM to develop the infrastructure prioritization plan. The plan and subsequent funding resulted in the project being dubbed a SMART2 project.   SMART2 stands for strategic and sustainable, medical and manufacturing, academic and arts, residential and recreational, and technology and training. Additionally, SMART2-designated projects have goals to improve safety, enhance mobility, and integrate technology.   The Fifth Avenue road diet reduced the number of lanes to one through lane in each direction and turn lanes in intersections. The through lanes will also be shared with bicyclists and are indicated through pavement markings. The remainder of the existing lanes were repurposed to increase pedestrian safety and enhance the overall aesthetic. Additionally, bus pull-off lanes and a 10-foot, shared-use path were added.   The award-winning Fifth Avenue project became phase 1 of the SMART2 enhancements project. SMART2 projects create a modern and multimodal system that is responsive and adaptive to current and future times. Fifth Avenue set the design parameters for the remainder of these enhancements, including six other street designs for downtown Youngstown. Phase 1 was completed in November of 2021.
GRANT AND FUNDING ASSISTANCE
Project funding was sought after by all project partners for the Fifth Avenue rehabilitation and safety upgrades.   Thanks to a successful U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) grant application, the project received a $10.85 million BUILD Grant. The application was centered on improving transportation connections in the downtown Youngstown area.   This $27.6 million dollar project was funding through the BUILD Grant, committed federal funds, a non-federal match, and locally committed funds. An investment in downtown Youngstown and keeping its pedestrians safe.
2022 OUTSTANDING HIGHWAY PROJECT AWARD

American Society of Highway Engineers (ASHE) Cuyahoga Valley Section

Montreat Comprehensive Plan

Montreat, North Carolina

Montreat Comprehensive Plan
AS A WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA TOWN GREW, IT FACED ISSUES WITH BALANCING PROPERTY RIGHTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHALLENGES COMMON TO THE REGION.
  • Comprehensive Planning
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Branding + Marketing
The Town of Montreat is nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina in Eastern Buncombe County. It is just north of Black Mountain and is a short drive from Asheville. The charming character of the community has continued to attract new homeowners and seasonal cottages over the past decade.   Home to Montreat College and the Montreat Conference Center, the town is known for its long history as a Presbyterian retreat and is appreciated for its classic cottages and forested trails. The updated Montreat Comprehensive Plan will help the town balance property owner rights with the high landslide, erosion, and wildfire risk common in western North Carolina communities.
The Importance of Stakeholder Engagement
Partnering with the Steering Committee, the ms team is leading significant public engagement backing the Montreat Comprehensive Plan. The team developed a plan for an effective and productive steering committee, including:   Workbooks Virtual sessions Mini-meetings hosted by various committee members   Each stakeholder engagement activity is thoughtfully planned to ensure the comprehensive plan reflects the community’s aspirations and gathers detailed feedback.   Additionally, this highly-contextual engagement creates a rich learning opportunity for residents while also empowering them to influence the final comprehensive plan.
Branding + Marketing
The ms team created distinct branding for the Montreat Comprehensive Plan, along with a wide range of printed marketing and informational materials.   To integrate the comprehensive plan with other Montreat initiatives, the team created a page on the existing town website versus a standalone project website to integrate seamlessly with current initiatives.
The Path to Successful Implementation
As the steering committee vets and edits the action strategies, our planning team is creating a robust matrix of implementable steps for the future. The objectives in the plan are flexible yet targeted, offering a clear path forward.   This approach creates a comprehensive plan that does not sit on the shelf, but is used daily as a workbook for staff and guides Montreat towards the community’s desired vision.

Euclid Avenue Redevelopment Plan

Wickliffe, Ohio

Euclid Avenue Redevelopment Plan
Euclid Avenue Redevelopment Plan
A CITY UNDERGOING A RE-ENVISIONING WANTED ITS MAIN GATEWAY TO BE A PLACE OF COMMUNITY PRIDE AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.
  • Zoning
  • Urban Design
  • Urban Planning
  • Branding
  • Website Design
Located in western Lake County, the City of Wickliffe underwent a re-envisioning process to ensure its main gateway and commercial corridor, Euclid Avenue, became a place of community pride and economic investment. The Euclid Avenue Redevelopment Plan wove economic development, zoning, land use, and transportation strategies into a unified vision to facilitate new development.   The project included a market analysis, zoning and planning, priority development sites, and more.
THE MARKET ANALYSIS
To kick off the project, a traditional market analysis was conducted on Euclid Avenue in the city of Wickliffe, Ohio. This analysis helped uncover the potential for office, retail, residential, and industrial real estate development in the northeast Ohio city.   The opportunities from the market analysis provided turned into square-footage needs and compared to the vacant land available in Wickliffe.
ZONING AND PLANNING
Following the market analysis, it was time to better understand the area’s requirements. ms stepped in with a team of zoning experts, urban designers, and planners, providing a comprehensive review of current zoning requirements and design standards. In doing so, ms identified areas of improvement and how to make these improvements.   Improvements for the Euclid Avenue Redevelopment Plan included:   Enhancement of the existing historic buildings Improvement of the character of Wickliffe’s Euclid Avenue Improved walkability of Euclid Avenue Preparing Wickliffe for a new wave of investment in the city
EUCLID AVENUE REDEVELPOMENT RECOMMENDATIONS
After the market, zoning, and land use analyses were completed, three development sites were deemed priority sites. The priority sites included:   Old Wickliffe Middle School Site Italian-American Club site Town Square Shopping Plaza   Each priority site received its own set of redevelopment recommendations. The old Wickliffe Middle School site recommendation included a pedestrian plaza on either side of Euclid Avenue. The recommendation also included a dedicated green space to encourage consistent use throughout the year. This site was also recommended to feature parking behind the pedestrian plaza and a crosswalk connecting the two sides of Euclid Avenue.   The Italian-American Club site was proposed to be developed into a mixed-use town center. With plenty of outdoor space, the Italian-American Club would still be able to host activities and events. The recommendation also called for off-street parking behind Wickliffe’s city center. In addition, a green space buffer was recommended to provide a clear distinction and beautifying element between the nearby industrial and residential areas and the new development.   The Town Square Shopping Plaza site recommendation included adding a patio and greenspace area, a central walkway, and an outdoor dining plaza. By implementing these recommendations, the city of Wickliffe would create a more controlled environment with safer pedestrian access. With the addition of outdoor dining and greenspace, the overall experience of residents, shoppers, and visitors would be significantly improved. 
ADDITIONAL IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS
ms provided additional improvement recommendations to the city of Wickliffe. These additional improvements would not only make the area more visually appealing but also make it safer.   Additional improvement recommendations include:   Enhanced public space Improved sidewalks Upgraded crosswalks Relocated parking Reduction of excessive driveways Improved transit stops Adequate lighting Improved bike infrastructure   Read more on the We Plan Wickliffe website.

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