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Capstone Design Fall 2019

Project Sponsor: Nisus Corporation and UT Forestry Products Extension
Team Members: Westin Newton and Zach Stump

This project attempts to address the need for aesthetic improvements to the electrical distribution infrastructure in the form of a design of a power transmission structure for submission to the Aesthetic Competition Series (ACS). This project is a result of a collaborative effort between Nisus Corporation, UT’s Tickle College of Engineering, and UT’s Forestry Department. This year’s design was generated with the goal for the final product to blend into a wooded environment by incorporating natural elements into the design. For this project, each of the three major regions of Tennessee—West, Middle, and East—were analyzed for general tree types that are local to that region. It was determined from this analysis that a single generalized branch arrangement, that was based on trees found in that region, could be associated with each of the three regions of the state. The three branch arrangements were used to generate a design with modular branches that could be constructed on a site in each of the three regions.

This project is comprised of structural and geotechnical services focused on the development of an aesthetically driven concept for a transmission power pole. These services required engineering services in three major categories: structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, and construction management. The technical design of the structure was inclusive of ensuring the aesthetic and engineering efforts of design were both feasible and practical. Services were performed to develop a design concept including: material selection, aesthetic design, and treatment selection. Structural engineering services were rendered and include: identification of applicable loads, structural analysis to determine internal load conditions, and design of all structural members and connections. Geotechnical services were performed to evaluate soil conditions and characteristics to develop a suitable foundation for the structure. Construction management services were performed for this project to produce a construction schedule, a work breakdown structure, and a bill of quantities in order to determine the amount of time, resources, and cost required to complete the structure.

Project Sponsor: City of Calhoun, Cleveland MPO, LDA Engineering
Team Members: Kendra Jackson, Parker Pinnell, and Patrick Williams

Officials from Calhoun, Tennessee, have expressed an interest in making the city more accommodating to pedestrian transportation, as well as upgrading segments of the storm water drainage system. City officials have requested engineering services for a pedestrian sidewalk along State Route-163 to create a pathway that would safely connect Calhoun residents with the nearby Hiwassee Meadowlands Park.

The technical scope of work for this project includes the analysis and design of a closed drainage system, a pedestrian sidewalk and crosswalk, and the quantities and cost of all project items.

Project Sponsor: Chelaque Estates Marina Association
Team Members: Chase Allsup, Talecia Dyson, Paige Livingston, Jonathan Payne

This project focuses on infrastructure improvements of the Chelaque Estates Marina located on Cherokee Lake in Mooresburg, Tennessee. Chelaque Estates is a lakefront subdivision that maintains a community marina used to house and protect recreational boats, and is managed by the Homeowners Association for the community. The marina is surrounded by a system of floating debris containment booms anchored in place to protect the boats from debris, deter wake, and prevent theft. The debris containment booms are aging, and the elements are deteriorating. The boom system in place needs either an update or a full replacement. To address the need of the marina community, the team performed engineering services to address the aging infrastructure improvements paired with operational improvements for the boom system. The engineering services required included the following: compilation of water flow behavior and traits, characterization of debris, creation of an operator’s strategy, and specification of an “off-the-shelf” boom system modified to adapt to the conditions of the marina site.

To address the diminishing functionality issue of the debris containment boom system for the marina, the surface level water velocity behavior was estimated to determine the movement of debris floating in the reservoir. The most prominent factors influencing the surface level water velocity were identified to be wind direction and the effects of water flowing from the John Sevier Water Treatment Plant and the Cherokee Dam. Three years of wind data and water flows (from 2017 to present) were obtained from TVA, and the flow data was compiled and back calculated to the project site to determine the surface level water velocity vectors resulting from dam release flows. The wind speed data was collected from the two dams and the two closest airports to the project site (Bristol Airport and Knoxville Airport). The wind speeds were averaged and compiled to determine if prevalent wind patterns, based on the magnitude of speed and average direction, could be identified. Wind patterns were interpreted by creating a series of wind rose graphs to display the predominant wind direction during different seasons. Then, the surface level water velocity vectors, in relation to wind direction at the project site, were calculated. An operation strategy for the best boom orientation was developed based on the resultant vectors calculated by adding the magnitudes of wind direction vectors with water velocity vectors back calculated from the flows of the two dams. A boom was then selected that fit the operation strategy.

Project Sponsor: City of Maryville and S&ME, Inc.
Team Members: Alec Bissell, Daryl Brown, Joey Davis, Katie Lance

This team worked to complete the design of the streambank stabilization. The scope of this project includes generation of hydrologic and hydraulic analyses for the current and proposed behavior of the stream, development of a streambank stabilization design according to applicable regulations and local requirements, and the planning of any necessary coordination between the municipality and nearby property owners.

The project proposes a streambank stabilization design for the unnamed tributary of Browns Creek. At present, streamflow continues to excessively erode sections of the streambanks. The client, the City of Maryville, looks to address the erosion soon, before the streambanks further deteriorate and compromise the surrounding property and infrastructure. The client indicated that a cost-effective design is critical to the implementation of the project. The client also expressed desire for said remedy to enhance the overall aesthetic appearance of the project site. In response, the team has worked to design a cost-effective, attractive, and resilient solution that should satisfy requirements for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) no-rise/no-impact certification.

The team was asked by the City of Maryville to generate hydrologic and hydraulic analyses for the current and proposed behavior of the stream, develop a streambank stabilization design according to applicable regulations and local requirements, and plan any necessary coordination between the municipality and nearby property owners. Beyond erosion control, the primary criterion for a successful design, the City of Maryville identified cost-effectiveness and appearance as secondary design criteria, desiring a solution costing less than $70,000 and improving the aesthetic quality of the site. To satisfy these criteria, the team selected a design approach prioritizing the restoration of a healthy riparian zone around the stream.

Project Sponsor: Natchez Trace Bridge Barrier Coalition, National Park Service
Team Members: Nancy Abdo, Joseph Allston, Connor Campbell, Meet Patel, Payne Susong, Jai Thota

The Natchez Trace Bridge Barrier Coalition was formed by Trish Merelo and Sarah Elmer in 2018 with the intent of preventing the loss of life due to suicide at the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge located in Williamson County, Tennessee. Thanks to the coalition, awareness of the mental health crisis at the bridge continues to grow, and Tennessee’s state government has offered financial support for suicide prevention on the bridge. Because of the established need for a barrier, the Natchez Trace Bridge Barrier Coalition reached out to the National Parks Service (NPS) and UT’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for aid in the design of a suicide prevention barrier for the bridge. The project was completed through a collaborative effort between this student team, the Natchez Trace Bridge Barrier Coalition, and NPS.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline deems that the most effective way to prevent bridge suicide attempts is to install barriers that inhibit the act entirely. Thus, the Natchez Trace Bridge Coalition insists that while signage and communication availability are necessary steps toward preventing suicide, the installation of a fall protection system is their goal. Given the significant historic value of the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and the NPS enforce laws and regulations including the National Register of Historic Places Guidelines and AASHTO LRFD Bridge Specifications. These guidelines and structural codes must be considered for the designs to successfully fulfill the purpose of the project. Unique barrier design solutions must satisfy both the Coalition’s concerns regarding public health and safety, as well as ensuring the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge’s historic infrastructure is preserved and compliant with federal regulations. In order to provide multiple barrier design options to be retrofitted to the bridge, RTE performed the following: review of suicide prevention barrier methods and materials used at other bridges where suicide rates are high, literature review of mandatory regulations that must be addressed, and a summary of multiple fall protection design options relevant to the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge.

The team was contracted by the Natchez Trace Bridge Barrier Coalition to explore a series of barrier additions to reduce suicide occurrence. The deliverables produced by the team express a detailed record for three different barrier design concepts. Initially, a site visit was completed to record key dimensions of the existing bridge rail and understand the bridge design. The team performed a feasibility study for three design concepts to ensure all proposed barriers are within the standards for modifications on historically registered structures. Based on these standards and additional construction considerations, a decision matrix tool was developed by the team to aid in evaluating design feasibility. Structural analysis and design were conducted on the three design options generated by the team. Software and hand calculations were used to assess the ability of these barriers to properly withstand forces experienced if an individual jumped from the bridge as well as typical environmental forces that would be exerted on the structure. Finally, the team has prepared a set of construction drawings for the bridge barriers and a cost estimation analysis.

Project Sponsor: City of Oak Ridge
Team Members: Brooke Bane, Meredith Frost, Ana Koumtcheva, Logan Madden, Kyle Price

This project focused on designing improvements to be performed at the intersection of North Tulane Road and Pennsylvania Avenue located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The purpose of the intersection improvements is to increase the safety of the intersection to minimize the number of crashes. The scope of this project entails the evaluation of three intersection alternatives, a design that meets roadway standards, utility upgrades and relocations, cost estimate, and accompanying calculations.

The City of Oak Ridge requested the team evaluate potential improvements to the intersection of Providence Road, Tulane Avenue, Pasadena Road, and Pennsylvania Avenue. The design services rendered for this project include: traffic analysis, geometric design with appropriate pavement markings and signage, waterline upgrade and relocation, catch basin and manhole relocation, and an estimate of probable cost. The team evaluated three alternatives for the intersection: retrofit the existing intersection by adding additional signage and pavement markings, a roundabout, or a 4-way stop intersecting at 90 degrees. Full design work, utility upgrade and relocation, and an estimate of probable cost was performed on the single preferred solution identified by the client.

Project Sponsor: City of Sevierville and Cannon & Cannon, Inc.
Team Members: Stephen Anderson, Benjamin Jambour, Bruce Lynn, Taylor Viera

Constructed in the early 1900s, the intersection of High Street and Eastgate Road is one of the oldest intersections in the city of Sevierville, Tennessee, and the City of Sevierville Public Works believes that the city’s traffic volume has surpassed the capacity of the intersection. This project provided a potential engineered solution to address the capacity needs for the intersection and includes transportation engineering, construction engineering, and water resources engineering services.

The city of Sevierville requires a solution that will reduce traffic congestion and total traffic delay of the project area while increasing the safety of pedestrian traffic and efficiently diverting stormwater to the West Prong Little Pigeon River. Traffic study and analysis will be performed to inform the selection of an intersection configuration that best services the traffic volume. Geometric design calculations will be performed to ensure proposed roadway geometry complies with appropriate criteria. A hydrologic analysis of the new intersection configuration will be performed to determine where the flow of stormwater will be directed, how the permeable area of the project site will change, and to inform the design of new stormwater infrastructure. Civil site design will be performed to determine the earthwork quantity takeoffs for the proposed configuration. Multi-modal design will be performed to ensure safe pedestrian passage through the proposed site. Finally, a cost estimate will be performed to determine the viability of using City of Sevierville funding to construct the design.

Project Sponsor: TDOT
Team Members: Nicholas Barnard, Jameion Blakely, Logan Kelley, Mandy Marshall, Tyler Peterson, Patrick Thoele

The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) tasked this team with providing engineering services for the State Route (SR)-33 Renovation and Bridge Replacement project between Piney Grove and Snake Hollow Road in Claiborne County, Tennessee. This project includes a soil assessment at the project location, a realignment of a roadway, a design of the pavement along the length of the project, design of new drainage infrastructure, and a design analysis of a bridge.

The purpose of the project is to renovate a structurally deficient bridge and to realign a sub-standard horizontal curve to improve spot safety and rideability of the road. The existing span bridge is deficient in meeting the US Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration criteria for bridge stability. The span bridge was rated at 48.3 based on a Bridge Inspection Report (BIR) from June 8, 2016, and more recently a rating of 47.2 from July 27, 2018 (TDOT 2018a). Since this rating was below 50, this bridge is eligible for complete replacement to remediate structural concerns. The solution will have to take into consideration heavy vehicle traffic due to the roadway being a state route and safe passage through an active flood zone.

The second component of this project is to remediate a sub-standard horizontal spiral curve near Snake Hollow Road. The current posted speed of SR-33 is 45 miles per hour (mph), while the design speed of the existing curve is 20 mph. Having this drastic difference between posted and design speed creates unsafe driving conditions. A resolution must be implemented to remedy this issue before there are any adverse consequences due to the speed differential.