Merriam Supports Neighborhood and Local Businesses with Recent Improvements

Posted on Wednesday, January 31st, 2018 by
In Stormwater, Transportation Engineering, tagged in Tags: , ,

The City of Merriam regularly makes improvements to its infrastructure, but one recent project supported local commerce and increased safety for residents.

The Residential Streets Group V – Street and Drainage Improvements project included the redesign of two, distinct areas. The first was a commercial and industrial setting at Merriam Lane. The second was a residential section on 51st Street between Switzer and Knox.

For the commercial area, the city wanted to do a full reconstruction. They planned to remove existing pavement and add curb, gutter, and a storm drainage system to get rid of ponding areas. An important component of Affinis’s design was the addition of a cul-de-sac. The area didn’t have a defined road into businesses. In fact, there was no delineation between parking lot and street.


Because there wasn’t an existing road here, the buildings had zero set back leaving narrow space constraints for the project. Business owners wanted to have the same functionality as they did prior to the improvements, adding to the complexity of the design. The city and engineering team had to be flexible to maintain those areas. For example, to improve drainage, Affinis used a Nyloplast drain, which has a smaller footprint than traditional solutions.


The work on Merriam Lane invested in not only the city’s infrastructure, but also an existing business area. These improvements helped make this area more appealing for companies to stay in the community and invest in their properties.

When it came to the residential section, the city had also planned to do a full reconstruction. One portion of 51st Street had been improved, but the other had not. They wanted to complete the section, removing the ditch and replacing it with curb and gutter throughout. This improvement helps keeps water out from under the pavement structure and is easier for residents and the city to maintain.


Before doing a complete reconstruction, Affinis worked with a geotechnical firm to analyze the pavement. They used ground penetrating radar to determine the street’s thickness. This non-destructive tool caused minimal disruptions to residents and did not compromise the integrity of the street. After analyzing the results, it became clear that one section would not require a full reconstruction. A mill and overlay would suffice, saving the city $100,000.

The city also wanted to add sidewalk to fill gaps on both sides of the street and repair existing sidewalk to provide better pedestrian connections. In addition to the street repairs on 51st Street, Affinis had underdrains installed to take care of pavement seepage. These removed nuisance drainage issues and helped preserve the pavement.


The Residential Streets Group V improvements not only improved neighborhoods for residents they also supported economic growth within the community. By implementing these designs with an innovative approach, Affinis was able to help bring streets and stormwater facilities up to the city’s standard, while saving them valuable dollars.

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