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BURNS & McDONNELL also inside Refining the Process Aquifer Back from the Brink Surprises Old and New Burns & McDonnell 2006 No. 2 Better Cities Municipal infrastructure for cleaner water, safer roads, lower costs Better Lives

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B U R N S & M c D O N N E L Lalso inside Refining the Process Aquifer Back from the Brink Surprises Old and New

Burns & McDonnell

2006 No. 2

Better Cities

Municipal infrastructure for cleaner water, safer roads, lower costs

Better Lives

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2006 No. 2

[B E Y O N D T H E S C O P E ]


B U R N S & M c D O N N E L L

Global Practices Business Development Contacts

Aviation & FacilitiesRandy Pope, (816) 822-3231

Business & Technology ServicesJeff Greig, (816) 822-3392

Construction/Design-BuildDon Greenwood, (816) 822-3118

Electrical Transmission & DistributionWalt Womack, (816) 822-3056

EnergyDoug Riedel, (816) 822-3391

EnvironmentalDebbie Ballard, (816) 822-3440

Environmental Studies & PermittingBob Sholl, (816) 822-3154

InfrastructureJim Foil, (816) 822-3180

Process & IndustrialWarren Kennedy, (816) 822-3384

Regional Office Business Development Contacts

AtlantaArnold Olender(770) 587-4776

DenverPaul Fischer(303) 721-9292

HoustonJohn Lionberger(713) 622-0227

New YorkMartin Durney(973) 884-8701

PhoenixBob Schulz(602) 977-2623

San FranciscoGary Messerotes(650) 871-2926

Washington, D.C.Katherine Goudreau(703) 942-5715

World HeadquartersBurns & McDonnell9400 Ward ParkwayKansas City, MO 64114

[email protected]

Managing Editor Joe BathkeContributing Editors Margaret Puscheck Darla AmsteinCreative Services Manager Teri StegmannGraphic Designers Lee Orrison Cindy Reid

© 2006 Burns & McDonnellMarketing & Communications

Want to receive free copies of BenchMark by mail? Visit

Where We Work and LiveIn 1898, the partnership of Clinton Burns and Robert McDonnell got its “first good job” — bringing clean water and electric power to the town of Iola, Kan. Today, projects for municipal clients remain one of the most satisfying areas of our work.

Whether water, wastewater, transportation, aviation or power facilities, municipal infrastructure projects improve quality of life. We see the faces of people who will benefit on a daily basis: our own neighbors, families and friends. By tackling problems at the local level, we develop solutions with applications worldwide.

In Colorado, prolonged drought combined with rapid population growth has exacerbated water quality and supply problems. As engineers, we can’t strike a rock with a rod and cause water to flow. But we can do what we do best — apply engineering, technical and construction skills to create solutions that improve water quality and conserve precious water resources.

In this issue of BenchMark, you’ll read about the engineering solutions we’ve created for communities in Colorado, Arkansas, Illinois and other states — and about the ways we’re making life better in cities like yours.

Paul D. Fischer, P.E.Vice PresidentDenver Office

ChicagoSteve Linnemann(630) 724-3200

Fenton, Mo.Tom Zychinski(636) 305-0077

MiamiJames Kanter(305) 476-5820

O’Fallon, Ill.Mark Everett(618) 632-0354

San DiegoRoss Pritchard(858) 547-9869

St. LouisBob Berry(314) 821-9016

Wichita, Kan.Brian Meier(316) 941-3921

Printed on Recycled Paper

On the CoverA spruced-up historic square gives Harrisonville, Mo., a new look. See Page 14.

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[C O N T E N T S ]


5 7 9 15

On the Road, in the AirDave Hadel Hits the Pavement to Help Clients Soar

Burns & McDonnell’s director of general aviation services logs 25,000 miles a year visiting airports across the Midwest.

5 Back from the BrinkA Vital Water Resource Makes a Comeback

A coalition comes together at the right time to shore up the critical Sparta Aquifer.


A Better Life in the CityInfrastructure Projects Improve Quality of Life

From construction oversight to conserving water resources, Burns & McDonnell projects get it right.

9 Refining the ProcessProjects Expand Refiner’s Clean Fuels Capabilities

As a smaller, independent refiner, Sinclair Tulsa needed engineering and construction expertise to accomplish major modifications and additions.


[ I N A D D I T I O N ]

3 Start Up Tech Q&AHow It WorksSafety CornerNews in Brief

17 Need to Know 316(b): The Final Phase

13 Project RoundupBiogas Utilization SystemSecurity AssessmentHistoric Square ImprovementsPerformance Contracting

18 OfflineWho Knew? Project That Covers a Lot of Ground Turns Up Unusual Circumstances

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[S TA R T U P ]

Technical Q&A: Specialty DesignQ: What are the unique design features of control rooms?

How It Works Web-based Project Management

from chemicals stored nearby, such as ammonia or hydrogen sulfide. Refining facility control rooms are designed to be blast-proof and fireproof, so that operators can safely limit damage in an emergency. Many refineries are moving to a common control room with pods where units or areas of the plant are controlled.

Design involves decisions as to which controls will be “hard-wired”— direct buttons that bypass the control circuits. Control placement and ergonomics are also important. Shutdown has to be within arm’s reach.

That function demands special requirements for structural, HVAC and electrical design, space planning and equipment configuration.

For example, control rooms have separate, uninterruptible power supplies. Using fiber-optic cable for communications links avoids electrical interference. Grounded, anti-static flooring protects control equipment from electrical shocks.

Design variables have to be coordinated — if a raised floor providing access for maintenance is designed as an air return plenum, it affects the type of wiring required by code. Lighting must be 100 percent indirect, so there’s no glare on computer screens.

In some control rooms, specialty HVAC systems protect operators from smoke or

A: Control rooms are the command centers of power plants, manufacturing plants and other facilities.

A 15-minute meeting with five key project stakeholders just wrapped up. Everyone’s on board with updated equipment specs, a schedule adjustment and an ongoing plan for resolving a conflict.

Now everyone’s back to work – in five different cities and three time zones.

Web-based technologies made it possible. These tools increasingly are reshaping the design and construction industry. In the past, only the primary project manager’s staff had this kind of instant access. As all project participants obtain these common tools via the Web, efficiencies are gained in management of projects that decrease risk for owners, engineers and construction managers.

“Communication and critical information exchanges can now happen instantly and

automatically among project partners separated by miles, time zones and work loads,” says Ty Blackburn, Burns & McDonnell manager of project controls. “Everyone can view the same information, allowing better decision making. However, it is going to take a lot of training when dealing with partners and subcontractors. We are in the front line of this effort.”

My Primavera is an example of online Web-based project management software. It enables project managers to track schedules and costs by establishing a framework for all stakeholders to enter data at key junctures throughout the life of the project. Milestones enabling Web-based project management:

• The lead party assuming the most risk establishes the work breakdown structure.

• Different types of access are defined.

Tom Dean, P.E., is manager of the electrical instrumentation/controls department in Burns & McDonnell’s Process & Industrial Group. He has 15 years’ experience in refining and energy facilities.

• Efficient communications capability is set up at remote locations.

• The standardized procedures are deployed. • Smooth information exchange and

accurate documentation is created.• Fewer problems arise, and resolution is

reached more quickly.

The Burns & McDonnell project controls organization can lead and assist projects with deployment and shorten the learning curve with this new technology.

For more information, contact Ty Blackburn, (816) 822-3976.

For more information, contact Tom Dean, (816) 822-3873.

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[S TA R T U P ]

For more information about Burns & McDonnell, visit the “In the News” section of our Web site at

Safety CornerHours and Hours of Milestones

News in Brief

clean fuels job for ConocoPhillips in Lake Charles, La., without a recordable incident, a total of 1.2 million safe work hours.

Dewey Cook and Tony Carberry, site managers in Ponca City and Borger, credit an incentive program that rewards safe employees with gift cards and other giveaways, as well as a nonstop culture of safety. Regular meetings inform all contractors of the ever-changing environment around the project site.

“Establish the safety plan and goals early,” says Mike Clooney, site manager in Lake Charles. “Develop a safety culture that becomes who you are and what you stand for. Then last but not least, stay focused.”

When a culture of safety pervades a job site, it shows tangible results.

Burns & McDonnell has amassed more than 3 million safe work hours on three construction sites for ConocoPhillips.

• The ultra-low-sulfur diesel (ULSD) project in Ponca City, Okla., surpassed 1 million safe hours in January. The ULSD project follows a low-sulfur gasoline project that also had an excellent safety record.

• The ConocoPhillips refinery in Borger, Texas, exceeded 750,000 safe work hours in February, and is expected to reach the million mark in April. Burns & McDonnell employees are working on a two-year-long project performing outside battery limits (OSBL) work to upgrade the refinery.

• Burns & McDonnell completed an entire OSBL and inside battery limits (ISBL)

Illinois. The Taylorville Energy Center, a nominal 600-megawatt (net) IGCC plant fueled by Illinois basin coal, will utilize coal gasification technology to produce electric power and a commercial chemical feedstock. Burns & McDonnell is providing a portion of the front-end engineering design and overall project management. Construction is expected to begin in 2007.

Burns & McDonnell AwardedDesign of Iatan PlantBurns & McDonnell will provide detailed engineering design services for the Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) new Iatan Unit 2, an 850-megawatt coal-fired electricity plant near Weston, Mo. Construction will start in late 2006. The plant is a significant component of KCP&L’s long-term comprehensive energy plan to maintain an affordable and stable supply of electricity in

Runway Project EarnsNational Paving AwardThe National Asphalt Paving Association has awarded Burns & McDonnell its 2005 Airfield Paving Award in recognition of exceptional quality. The award is for Runway 18-36 at Johnson County (Kan.) New Century AirCenter. Burns & McDonnell reduced the width of the existing runway while matching existing grades of intersecting runways and taxiways. The project also required re-establishing runway cross slopes, milling off between 3 and 4 inches of existing asphalt and re-laying roughly 25,000 tons of new asphalt.

IGCC Project to BeginConstruction in 2007Burns & McDonnell is providing consulting engineering services for a state-of-the-art Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power generation facility in southern

the Kansas City region. Iatan Unit 2 will be a high-efficiency, coal-fired power plant featuring state-of-the-art emission control equipment designed to exceed current and future clean air requirements.

Heating, Cooling PlantEarns ACEC AwardThe American Council of Engineering Companies honored Burns & McDonnell with the Illinois Engineering Excellence Award of Merit for Facility Design for the Wheaton College central heating and cooling plant in Wheaton, Ill. The project included expanding the college’s utility infrastructure to convey steam and chilled water from a new cooling and heating plant to academic buildings, dormitories and athletic facilities throughout the campus.

For more information, contact Scott Lynch, (816) 822-4207.

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[P R O F I L E ]

For a guy who spends his day hanging out at airports, Dave Hadel does a lot of driving.

Burns & McDonnell’s director of general aviation services logs 25,000 miles a year visiting general aviation airports in the Midwest. He doesn’t have to do it – business can be conducted just as well by phone or e-mail – but face-to-face contact with his clients is one of the things they like about him.

“One misconception smaller airports have of Burns & McDonnell is that we’re a big company and we only do big projects,” Hadel says. “Getting out to see the client and share our general aviation experience lets them see that our team is proven and we can help them with their airport needs no matter how big or small the project may be. Our commitment to the airport is for the long term.”

Dave Hadel hits the pavement to help airports soar

“It’s been very helpful to have Dave as our engineer and consultant,” says Charlie Tryban. “We can always count on Dave and his department to be very responsive to our needs.”

On the Road, in the Air

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[P R O F I L E ]

General aviation encompasses activities from recreational flights to a wide range of commercial services. Each year, 166 million passengers fly on the smaller planes of general aviation. In Missouri and Kansas there are more than 270 public use airports.

General aviation airports face the same challenges as larger commercial and international airports: aging infrastructure and the continuing need to generate revenue.

These are the clients Hadel logs all those miles to see. His diligence has paid off – from a client base of next to nothing, Hadel and the general aviation team now do work for dozens of general aviation airports in communities across Kansas and Missouri.

“It’s been very helpful to have Dave as our engineer and consultant,” says Charlie Tryban, city administrator for Marshall, Mo. “We can always count on Dave and his department to be very responsive to our needs.”

Hadel has made the 200-mile round trip to Marshall more times than he can count in the past seven years to help the Marshall

airport meet its needs for airport planning, construction of new taxiways, runway overlays, lighting upgrades and fueling services.

“Aviation has always been one of my passions, and Burns & Mac has given me the good fortune to let me spread my wings,” he says. “The work we do and the relationships we build often go far beyond the ‘let’s get the job done and move on’ approach. We want to be at their airports for the long haul.”

This philosophy has resulted in the successful completion of more than 100 projects in the past 15 years for Missouri and Kansas airports. Some of these projects include Clay County Regional Airport, Clay County, Mo.; Pratt Industrial Airport, Pratt, Kan.; Elton Hensley Memorial Airport, Fulton, Mo.; and Garden City Regional Airport, Garden City, Kan.

“Dave is one of the most dedicated individuals I’ve worked with,” says Mike Klein, director of administration/airport manager for Dodge City, Kan., which has worked with Hadel for six years. “I’ll call in the evening and Dave will be at his desk. That’s when I tell him he needs to go home.”

Dave Hadel (right) helps Bob Perry sort through his aviation issues at New Century AirCenter in Johnson County, Kan. One of Hadel’s projects at New Century (facing page) recently won a national award for excellence in paving.

“The work we do and the relationships we build often go far beyond the ‘let’s get the job done and move on’ approach.”

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[F E AT U R E ]

Restoring the Sparta Aquifer (clockwise from top left): A water metering station with Lion Oil Refinery in the background. Ouachita River intake pipe. Storage tank and booster pump station. Parallel plate settling basins.

Back from the Brink

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[F E AT U R E ]

A vital water source is making a comeback

For more information, contact Dave Oligschlaeger, (816) 822-3124.

• 14 miles of transmission pipeline• 3-million-gallon reservoir• 17-million-gallon-per-day pumping station

The first industrial customer, Lion Oil, converted in late 2004; two others, El Dorado Chemical and Chemtura Central Plant, converted in 2005.

Aquifer water consumption has decreased by roughly 6 MGD. Hydrogeologist Patrick Higgins’ team monitors the aquifer for signs of progress. “Our team records data from 16 wells. As the board’s program manager for the study, Burns & McDonnell also provides semiannual reports to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,” Higgins says.

The better-than-expected result led to a 1-cent sales tax to fund the plan being rescinded three years early. Throughout the project, Union County residents showed a willingness to take control of their future water needs.

“There were no negatives associated with this project – only positives,” says Robert Reynolds, president of the Union County Water Conservation Board. “There were no lawsuits, no controversies.”

Burns & McDonnell helped the project go smoother by integrating itself into the local community and presenting alternatives in a straightforward way.

“Burns & McDonnell identified the problem and said ‘Here are the choices. Tell us what you want, and that’s what we’ll do,’” Reynolds says. “They guided us through the process.

“We work with people who tell it to us straight.”

“Union County needed someone who had experience starting a large regional water supply project from ground zero,” says Dave Oligschlaeger, project manager.

Burns & McDonnell hydrogeologists looked at several options for reducing water use. “We realized from the beginning that any plan would probably involve taking large industrial users off the supply,” says Dave Stous, hydrogeology section chief.

The team proposed removing the new power plant and some large industrial users from the groundwater supply by building a network of transmission lines, pump stations and treatment facilities for water drawn from the nearby Ouachita River.

The first phase included construction of a 65 million-gallon-per-day (MGD) intake from the river, a pump station, settling facilities and five miles of transmission main to serve the new power plant. The second phase, designed to connect three industrial water users to the surface water supply, included construction of:

The situation in Union County, Ark., was critical.

The Sparta Aquifer, the county’s sole source of industrial, commercial and drinking water, was being rapidly depleted. And a 2,205-megawatt gas-fired power generating facility was scheduled to be built, roughly doubling the county’s water consumption.

A coalition of industry, government, public citizens and Burns & McDonnell came together to provide a creative solution to the county’s water dilemma.

Union County sits at the southern end of Arkansas, just north of the Louisiana border. The discovery of oil in the county seat, El Dorado, has helped make Union County attractive to industry.

The concentration of industry has contributed to heavy water usage. The Sparta Aquifer, an important source of underground water supply for southern Arkansas, was being depleted at the rate of more than 4 feet per year. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) determined that water use from the aquifer would need to be curtailed by 72 percent.

The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission gave Union County and four others a “critical groundwater designation” after monitoring the aquifer. The Arkansas Legislature followed suit by passing a law enabling creation of groundwater boards with authority to address aquifer depletion.

The Union County Water Conservation Board implemented a conservation surcharge on water users to fund a master plan to save the aquifer. The board retained Burns & McDonnell to devise the plan.

“Union County needed someone who had experience starting a large regional water supply project from ground zero.”

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[F R O M T H E C O V E R ]

Looking Out for LombardLivability, good highway access, and proximity to Chicago make the Village of Lombard a highly desirable neighborhood — something long-time residents have always known and new buyers are discovering. Residents are passionate about the quality of life in their village — and determined not to let construction disrupt it.

That’s where Burns & McDonnell resident engineer Colin Campbell comes in. The village has retained Campbell for three years, during a half-dozen major projects. Campbell describes his job as “looking after the village’s interests.” That can mean anything from “bird-dogging specs” to be sure contractors live up to contract requirements to explaining to residents that trucks hauling dirt through their neighborhoods will mean a new pond in a neighborhood park.

LifeA Midwestern metropolis … a growing Colorado suburb …a long-established Chicagoland community …

These are some of the places Americans call home — neighborhoods where Burns & McDonnell projects help improve quality of life.

Colin Campbell keeps an eagle eye on

projects for the Village of Lombard.

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[F R O M T H E C O V E R ]

“I’d spent most of my career working on large highway projects for the Illinois Department of Transportation,” Campbell says. “Working for the village put me in a role I hadn’t played before.”

Not “Just” a ShrubOne “typical” day, Campbell checked on contractors at a job site where heavy equipment was being used for sewer installation. Satisfied that things were going well, he was headed to his next destination when his cell phone rang with the message that he’d better get back there.

He returned to the job site to find a distraught woman yelling at the contractors, who were puzzled by the commotion. Sure, their equipment had backed into a bush, but it was a seemingly insignificant shrub that could be easily replaced.

Happy EndingCampbell found out that the bare, spindly-looking shrub was a lilac — in just a few months it would have been covered in fragrant blooms. What’s more, the woman’s father, now deceased, had planted it.

“It had a happy ending, though,” Campbell says. “The village went out of its way to find the exact same variety of lilac, same size and shape, and had it planted in the same spot. While we couldn’t replace the sentimental value of the bush, the resident was happy with the new one.”

Residents’ Praise Campbell also fields calls to a 24-hour project hotline. Village residents Cheryl and Michael Tenerelli wrote the village board of trustees to express their appreciation for Campbell’s role during reconstruction of North Broadway.

“First and foremost, we wanted to say how terrific Burns & McDonnell was,” the Tenerellis wrote. “Whenever we called the village with questions, Colin was quick to respond, and in a way that left us feeling confident. … Thank you again for a well-thought-out plan and completion of the North Broadway project.”

Campbell says the praise is welcome in a job that often involves complaints — some legitimate, some not. But while not every complaint has merit, he makes sure every complaint is fully investigated.

“There are a lot of people who don’t get to voice their opinion on anything,” Campbell says. “If someone comes out and listens, that interaction makes them feel better. At these construction sites, we’re maneuvering around people’s lives. That’s what’s so sensitive about these projects.”

Safe Water Thornton, Colo., like other cities west of Denver, was facing the hard facts of life in an alluring but semi-arid landscape. Its population was expanding at a rapid rate. Its water supplies weren’t — and the quality of the source water was deteriorating.

An extended drought worsened the situation. Thornton’s primary water source is the South Platte River. Lower river levels during the drought concentrated contaminants, further reducing the quality of source water. At times, source water was up to 70% treated effluent from plants upstream.

Record-Setting RetrofitThornton called on Burns & McDonnell to upgrade its existing Columbine Water Treatment Plant with new technology that would solve water quality problems — and ensure adequate capacity as the population continued to grow.

“The plant could only be taken out of service for six months, so the team led by project engineer Mark Lichtwardt had to meet an extremely tight construction schedule,” says Burns & McDonnell Vice President Paul Fischer of the Denver office. “We designed the retrofit with innovation and constructability as key considerations.”

Lowering Costs, Saving TimeTo develop accurate design criteria and cost estimates, Burns & McDonnell conducted a comprehensive pilot testing program of various membrane systems. As a result, the City of Thornton was able to confidently pre-purchase ultrafiltration membranes and ancillary equipment at less than half the originally anticipated cost — a savings of more than $6 million.

Thornton’s water treatment plant boasts one of the largest ultrafiltration membrane

systems in the United States.

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[F R O M T H E C O V E R ]

To avoid piping conflicts and meet deadlines, the project team used three-dimensional CAD to create the membrane piping layout and calculated a complex schedule of lead times and phasing.

The strategy to save time during construction worked. The project was accomplished on time and well under budget.

“This project was one of the best efforts in design and construction that I’ve ever had the privilege of working on,” says City of Thornton support services director Jerry Dye, who interfaced with Burns & McDonnell throughout the project.

Double Capacity, 99% RecoveryImprovements included enhanced pretreatment facilities, new storage, clearwell, and 60-million-gallons-per-day (MGD) pump station, membrane ultrafiltration and UV disinfection, and a new, safer chemical disinfection system featuring liquid instead of gaseous chlorine.

The retrofit more than doubled treatment capacity at Columbine to 50 MGD. Thanks to a secondary water recovery system that treats membrane backwash water, the plant recovers more than 99% of source water entering the plant.

Engineering Excellence“The City of Thornton, including the plant operation and maintenance staff, is extremely pleased with the expanded facility and the excellent expertise, innovation and guidance that Burns & McDonnell provided throughout the completion of the projects,” says Thornton water supply, treatment and quality manager Bud Hart.

The Columbine Water Treatment Plant won a 2006 Engineering Excellence Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies. The plant remains one of the largest ultrafiltration membrane plants in the country and the largest membrane retrofit in the world.

Metropolitan Renewal: Changing the SystemWith tree-lined boulevards, affordable homes and outstanding cultural amenities, the City of Kansas City, Mo., was poised for a business and population boom. But the city had a problem — a backlog of hundreds of public works projects. Many were small projects, but frustrating to citizens — neighborhood improvements promised and long delayed.

Part of the solution was a new Capital Improvements Management Office (CIMO), created to apply proven, successful techniques to transportation, stormwater, building construction and other infrastructure projects. “We were initially hired to help clear the

backlog,” says Burns & McDonnell program manager Ron Coker. “Our role quickly evolved. The goal became to re-evaluate the city’s project management process, and to train and develop city staff so that they could handle the volume of projects in the future.”

Burns & McDonnell consultants helped introduce a professional project management culture. “We tried to establish basic fundamentals — learning to live by schedules, budgets and expectations,” Coker says.

Communication Is KeyCoker and other members of the CIMO development team identified “silo-ing” as one of the roadblocks to project completion.

“Someone would finish their part of the project, and ‘throw it over the wall’ to the next person,” Coker says. “Projects were getting stalled.”

To overcome silo-ing and other problems, the CIMO team developed an integrated project control system that includes documentation protocols. A project controls specialist assigned to each project monitors progress against the established schedule and budget. Project status reports are accessible to all team members via the Internet.

CIMO also developed a communications network for citizens affected by the projects. The network includes an online Public Access Link (PAL), where citizens can access project information by clicking on areas of a map of the city. A communications specialist assigned to each project answers citizens’ questions.

Keeping PromisesBurns & McDonnell project managers teamed with city staff to begin to clear the backlog of old projects — developing the new process and providing hands-on training as they went.

“Some of the projects were funded eight to 10 years ago. With bond issues being proposed for major renovation projects, the city needed to rebuild credibility,” Coker says.

Constructing a long-anticipated interceptor sewer to replace an outdated septic tank system in a South Kansas City neighborhood

The Columbine Water Treatment Plant in

Thornton, Colo., won a 2006 Engineering

Excellence Award.

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was one of the tasks Burns & McDonnell project managers helped the city tackle — and a laboratory for teaching better project management techniques.

“The city staff was just overwhelmed with the number of projects,” says Burns & McDonnell project manager Jerry Sonderegger, who helped the city clear the backlog. “As we worked with city staff, there was a lot of technology transfer — how to best document change orders, for example.”

Award-Winning ResultsIn less than two years, Burns & McDonnell helped CIMO clear more than 175 pending projects. The new process Burns & McDonnell helped develop is yielding dramatic improvements in project performance.

Project delivery time has accelerated from an average three years to less than 18 months. Costs to manage and deliver a project are down from around 18 percent of total project value to about 8 percent. The time from bid to notice to proceed has been cut by 30 percent and for payment of contractors, by 50 percent. CIMO is on track to finish the backlog list by the end of 2006.

Kansas City received a U.S. Conference of Mayors Excellence Award in public/private partnerships for developing the CIMO.

“CIMO is a unique private/public partnership in Kansas City, Mo.,” says assistant city manager John Franklin. “Ron Coker’s caliber of leadership was inspirational to the city staff. Under Burns & Mac leadership, CIMO was able to clear the original $250 million project backlog in two years instead of three — and take on additional projects in the third year. You can’t get any better than that.”

Environmental ExcellenceToday, CIMO is coordinating infrastructure improvements for multiple private and public projects. A key development is an 18,500-seat downtown arena. In 2004, voters approved bond issues for the arena and for citywide infrastructure improvement.

Burns & McDonnell helped the city negotiate purchase of the arena site and coordinate

demolition and clearing. Phase I and II site assessments and remediation oversight yielded an environmentally acceptable site.

“With 150 years of industrial activities concentrated in this small area, potential environmental issues were numerous,” says Bill Halliburton, Burns & McDonnell environmental project manager. “Through foresight and planning, the project team was able to avoid delays and keep the project on schedule and within budget.”

The effort won the city’s internal environmental excellence award. City staff accepting the award credited their private project partners.

“This success could only have been possible with the professional, timely and excellent work each of you provided on these challenging projects,” said Andrew Bracker, Department of City Planning and Development Brownfields Coordinator.

Neighborhood PriorityBurns & McDonnell project managers remain part of CIMO projects, including storm water and street improvements in neighborhoods surrounding the city’s historic jazz entertainment district at 18th and Vine, and sanitary and storm sewer upgrades throughout the city — basic infrastructure that supports urban life.

For more information, contact Joel Cerwick, (816) 822-3008.

Construction overview

of downtown Kansas City.

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[F E AT U R E P R O J E C T S ]

Project: Biogas Utilization SystemLocation: Richland, Wash.Client: Penford Food Ingredients

Project: Security AssessmentLocation: San Antonio, TexasClient: CPS Energy

Burns & McDonnell’s Critical Infrastructure Protection team is performing a detailed security assessment of more than 20 substations in the San Antonio area for CPS Energy. The assessment began by identifying the most critical substations in the CPS network and organizing them into three tiers by level of critical importance. “We focused on grid reliability issues, and then critical load,” says Benjamin Church, Burns & McDonnell senior network analyst. Then the team performed site assessments for each substation, making decisions about what sort of protection each needed. Burns & McDonnell designed security measures for the substations ranging from security cameras to motion sensors to card readers. In the next phase, the team will integrate the measures with a security operations center to determine what procedures should be followed in the event of a security breach.

For more information, contact Benjamin Church, (314) 821-9016.

A first-of-its-kind biogas utilization system is saving Penford Food thousands in utility costs. The system at a Penford food processing plant in Richland, Wash., uses biogas produced at the plant’s wastewater pretreatment facility as fuel for a dual-fuel boiler. The boiler produces plant steam primarily for wastewater heating. Biogas utilization systems are attractive because they save significant fuel costs. But the Penford system is unique because its controls allow the gas to be burned in the boiler at the widely variable rate that the gas is produced from the treatment facility. This eliminated the need for an expensive biogas storage and compression system, as Penford’s particular digester design did not have any biogas storage volume. “Eliminating the need for biogas storage and compression greatly reduces the initial capital cost required and opens the door for many small and midsized ‘green’ energy projects that did not previously exhibit favorable economics,” says Chris Snider, Burns & McDonnell lead engineer.

For more information, contact Pat Worthington or Chris Snider, (816) 333-9400.

Converting Biogas to Fuel

Protecting Critical Infrastructure

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[F E AT U R E P R O J E C T S ]

Fresno County, Calif., will save $1.3 million annually in energy costs, receive $1.5 million in rebates and self-fund $750,000 of long-needed capital improvements as the result of an energy service performance contact. The Burns & McDonnell Energy Services Group performed a detailed energy analysis of seven buildings totaling more than 1 million square feet. Project implementation included design, installation and performance verification of selected energy-saving measures. These include:

A new 1.25-megawatt combined heat and power facilityHigh-efficiency lighting modificationsUpgrade and optimization of energy management systemConversion of air handling systemsNew high-efficiency boilersNew low-flow plumbing systems in detention areas

The 15-year performance contract will save Fresno County a total of $23 million.

For more information, contact John Kelsh, (816) 822-3388.


Project: Performance ContractingLocation: Fresno, Calif.Client: Fresno County

Project: Historic Square ImprovementsLocation: Harrisonville, Mo.Client: City of Harrisonville

The Harrisonville, Mo., town square received a new look that combines the historic and the practical. The four-block square that includes the Cass County Courthouse was spruced up with decorative streetlights, planters, waste receptacles and benches. Burns & McDonnell designed the new look and helped the town of 8,000 people secure a Transportation Enhancement grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation. Other improvements included converting the square’s overhead lines to underground, extending curbs to give pedestrians crossing the street a better view of oncoming traffic, and improving the square’s electrical system. “Harrisonville holds a fall festival every year, and now they can provide power to street vendors and others in a safe and convenient manner,” says Craig Koenig, Burns & McDonnell project manager.

For more information, contact Craig Koenig, (816) 822-3149.

New Look in Historic Square

Saving Millions in Energy Costs

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2006 No. 2 15

Refining the ProcessSeries of projects expands independent refiner’s clean fuels capabilities

[O N S I T E ]

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“We have all the capabilities they were looking for–refi nery experience, process expertise, construction capabilities–all in one package.”

For more information, contact Dave Nispel, (816) 822-3421.

Sinclair Tulsa Refining is developing clean fuels operations at its Tulsa, Okla., refinery to meet gasoline and diesel sulfur reduction mandates from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Burns & McDonnell was tapped for seven different projects beginning in January 2004 and now in various stages of completion.

ChallengesSinclair turned to Burns & McDonnell for the engineering and construction expertise to accomplish major refinery modifications.

“We couldn’t pull off this $140 million-plus project on our own,” says Randy Barker,

program director for Sinclair, formerly known as Sinclair Oil. “Big refiners could throw 40 people at this. I think we have five or six working on it.”

Because of its size, Sinclair needed a partner with engineering and construction expertise.

“Sinclair hasn’t completed a lot of large capital projects recently. That’s what we do,” says Wayne Kuska, project manager in Burns & McDonnell’s Process & Industrial Group. “These projects were essential elements for the refinery to meet ultra-low-sulfur diesel requirements.”

SolutionsManagement of the overall effort was complicated because the projects were initiated separately.

“Sinclair could have faced working with seven different contractors, which would have meant higher costs,” says Steve Campbell, senior construction manager in Burns & McDonnell’s Construction Group. “Success hinged on the people working together to make it happen – part of the Burns & Mac culture.”

Tight and concurrent deadlines further complicated the process.

“It would have been a nightmare if we’d have had to work with three or four contractors,” Sinclair’s Barker says. “With Burns & McDonnell, we have one go-to guy on site, Dave Kirby. With multiple contractors, you have an opportunity to point fingers. We avoided that.”

Burns & McDonnell’s experience with other refining and construction projects provided Sinclair with the confidence to award these projects to Burns & McDonnell.

“The process engineering effort for the new naphtha hydrodesulfurizer unit and the revamped hydrotreating unit was critical in demonstrating our technical capabilities,” says Dominic Varraveto, Burns & McDonnell refinery process manager.

Outcome A major part of the projects’ successes so far is attributable to the compatibility of the two companies’ cultures.

“We brought a very similar culture and attitude on how to do business. They knew Burns & McDonnell would have a true desire to get them the best competitive advantage,” says Dave Nispel, refining business development manager. “We had all the capabilities they were looking for – refinery experience, process expertise, construction capabilities – all in one package.”

But the final product is the determining factor of success.

“When we finish, Sinclair’s Tulsa refinery will be able to meet upcoming clean fuels regulations by producing ultra-low-sulfur diesel,” Kuska says. “It keeps them competitive and keeps revenues flowing.”

PROJECTS• Front-end loading (FEL) and engineer-procure-construct (EPC) work to convert the existing hydrotreating unit from a combination naphtha and diesel treater producing low-sulfur diesel (500 parts per million) to a 24,000 barrel per day (BPD) diesel hydrotreater producing ultra-low-sulfur diesel (15 ppm). The revamped design allows for expansion to 29,000 BPD.

• FEL and EPC of a new 22,000 BPD naphtha hydrodesulfurizer (NHDS) unit reducing treated product sulfur to less than 0.5 ppm.

• Construction of a new 23.4 long tons per day sulfur recovery unit. This project also included FEL and EPC for revamping the existing sour water stripper.

• FEL and EPC for outside battery limits work, connecting process lines and utility systems in the new and revamped units with the existing plant.

• EPC for conversion of an existing catalytic reformer unit to a continuous catalyst regeneration (CCR) reformer with a capacity of 22,000 BPD.

• FEL and EPC for benzene removal from wastewater to comply with National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants.

• Installation of a new electronic distributed controls system (DCS) for the NHDS, the sulfur recovery unit and the CCR, and upgrade of the existing pneumatic control system to electronic DCS in existing units. This project also included a new blast-resistant control room to house the DCS system.

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[N E E D T O K N O W ]

The last phase of Clean Water Act rules governing cooling water intakes is approaching.

Final rules for Phase III of the implementation of Section 316(b) are expected by June 1, 2006. This stage covers existing industrial facilities not covered in previous phases, as well as new offshore oil and gas extraction facilities.

The final rules become effective 60 days after publication, and compliance documentation will typically be required when applying for a new or reissued National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit.

What is Section 316(b)?This portion of the Clean Water Act is designed to minimize impingement and entrainment of fish and shellfish at cooling water intakes. Impingement is when larger fish become trapped against intake screens. Entrainment refers to eggs, larvae and other life stages passing through screens and entering the plant’s cooling system.

Facilities subject to the 316(b) rule:Are point sources.Use or propose to use one or more cooling water intake structures.Are designed to withdraw water above a certain threshold from certain waters of the U.S. The flow threshold differs depending on the final rule issued.Use at least 25 percent of water withdrawn exclusively for cooling.


The Phase I rules established design criteria and impingement and entrainment reduction standards for new, stand-alone, greenfield facilities with cooling water intakes of 2 million gallons per day (MGD) or more. Phase II applies only to existing power plants with design intake rates of 50 MGD or more. An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ruling on the intake threshold/water source is expected for Phase III by June 1, 2006.

What Next?Owners of industrial facilities must first determine whether their plants are subject to the rule at all. If the answer is yes, there’s work to be done.

“Compliance options vary, and determining the most appropriate course of action can require extensive studies of aquatic populations and impingement and entrainment rates,” says Greg Howick, Burns & McDonnell senior aquatic specialist. “Documentation to support an NPDES permit application is a substantial part of the compliance process. Finding the lowest cost alternative is imperative.”

In helping numerous Midwestern power plant owners with Phase II compliance, Burns & McDonnell is finding compliance through inexpensive means is possible. In one case, an existing barrier net had a through-screen velocity of less than 0.5 feet per second, putting the plant into compliance without changes.

In other cases, Burns & McDonnell believes the most cost-effective solution will be fish stocking to counter relatively low impingement of valuable species. Restoration measures are under review by courts, with a ruling expected this fall. If restoration is disallowed, facility owners may find the remaining available compliance options very costly. Owners then may demonstrate that the cost of compliance is significantly greater than the environmental benefit or EPA’s estimation of the compliance cost for that facility. In that case, site-specific (i.e., reduced) impingement and entrainment performance standards and compliance technology would be justified and could result in no action being required. However, the cost/benefit and cost/cost justifications for a site-specific determination of Best Available Technology are also being challenged in court.

“Retrofitting a plant with a cooling tower or building a new, low-velocity intake could bring a facility into compliance, but these options can cost tens of millions of dollars,” says Terry Larson, senior civil engineer. “We have yet to see a facility where a more cost-effective alternative could not be used.”

For more information, contact Greg Howick, (816) 822-3845, or Terry Larson, (816) 822-3337.


Electrical generating facilities such as the Nearman Creek Power Station,

Kansas City, Kan., were subject to Phase II of 316(b) regulations.

For more information on 316(b) compliance at power plants, visit

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When a transmission line project traverses nearly 1,000 miles, you’re bound to encounter unusual situations. Diligence can unearth potential pitfalls in proposed corridors.

Looking AheadTri-State Generation and Transmission Association Inc., which provides wholesale power to 44 electric cooperatives and public power districts in the western United States, is working with Sunflower Electric and the Western Area Power Administration to expand its power supply and delivery network. Tri-State is leading a two-unit expansion at Sunflower’s coal-based power plant in Holcomb, Kan.

To accommodate this growth, Tri-State contracted with Burns & McDonnell to identify potential transmission corridors from the plant to its service area in eastern Colorado. Historical SitesDuring an investigative flyover of a potential corridor along Sand Creek, the team spotted a historical marker designating the site of the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site. Research revealed that the National Park Service is in the process of developing thesite pending further investigation and federal land acquisition.

Located east of Eads, Colo., the site commemorates the massacre of more than 150 Cheyenne and Arapaho people by U.S. Army soldiers on Nov. 29, 1864. The attack was later condemned after three federal investigations.

“We initially had a corridor going over Big Sandy Creek in southeastern Colorado near the historic site, but the marker alerted us to an area where there could be a visibility impact in the future,” says Kristi Wise, project manager in Burns & McDonnell’s Environmental Studies & Permitting (ES&P) Group. “Providing another option meant we could avoid the site altogether, even though the boundaries of the historical site along the river bed have not been determined.”

Another potential corridor skirts the former Amache Relocation Center, a World War II-era Japanese internment camp. While the bulk of the camp has been dismantled, foundations and streets remain, and a marker honors the camp’s WWII veterans and residents.

A New PerspectiveIn the course of researching potential transmission line corridors, Burns & McDonnell experts are accustomed to local resistance. But in this rural, sparsely populated region, some city and county officials have a different take on things.

“The presence of a transmission line represents one of the elements you must have to generate economic development: readily available power,” says Cyril Welter, senior project manager in ES&P. “By itself, it won’t cause growth, but a transmission line can make an area attractive to industry. In this case, the ability to connect wind farms is of particular interest.”

For example, several county officials in western Kansas expressed a desire to have

the route cross their boundaries to make it appealing to wind farm developers, in addition to the modest tax revenue generated by the facilities.

“Ironically, the potential attractiveness to industry is a chief reason many other areas fight transmission line development,” Welter says. “The jury is still out, of course, on how landowners and the general public might feel about the project. The next phase for Tri-State will be generating an Environmental Impact Statement, which will include public involvement.”

Tri-State, as it prepares for the next phase, is cautiously optimistic based on its conversations with people in areas likely to be affected by construction of the new lines.

“Typically, no one is very interested in a project like this. But overall, the initial response has been very favorable,” says Mike Barningham, Tri-State’s environmental planning project manager. “We’re going to do everything we can to engage the public and the local authorities and try to maintain the attitude we’ve encountered so far.”

For more information, contact Cyril Welter, (816) 822-3445.


[O F F L I N E ]

Project that covers a lot of ground turns up unusual circumstances

“A transmission line can make an area attractive to industry.”

Who Knew?

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B U R N S & M c D O N N E L L

Joan GonzalezProject ManagerHometown: Summit, IL

Peter KrauseArchitectHometown: Monsey, NY

Leslie DukeCivil EngineerHometown: El Paso, Texas

Gary MesserotesRegional Office ManagerHometown: Pasadena, CA

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