Today’s #ISGEngineers are Will Kratt PE, Associate Principal and Practice Group Leader, Evan Del Val PE, CFM, LEED AP BD+C Civil Engineer, and Mat Thibert PE, Civil Engineer. Let’s go to work!
WILL KRATT PE
Q: You frequently collaborate with communities and state transportation organizations – what are the biggest challenges facing these partners today?
A: One thing that is really challenging today’s communities is that with current transportation system budget constraints and priorities, we all have to be smarter about how we spend money, time, and resources. Overbuilding transportation systems is not only uneconomical, it’s unsustainable long-term. Forward thinking planners and engineers are shifting focus toward helping partners recognize the practical and economical benefits to enhancing the experience of pedestrians, bicyclists, transit riders, motorists, and freight carriers by right-sizing roads, actively managing parking systems, and implementing other infrastructure solutions that maximize livability and mobility for all. These important transportation system decisions can’t be made arbitrarily, which is why ISG helps communities by providing clarity to regional and local data, community engagement, and forward thinking.
FUN FACT: Will is a University of Wisconsin – Madison graduate and die-hard Badger fan. In fact, he brought a giant blow-up Bucky the Badger to ISG’s college-themed company party. It was not well-received by the Hawkeye and Gopher fans in the room…
Will leads ISG’s Public Works Transportation Group from the firm’s La Crosse office.
MAT THIBERT PE
Q: Can you describe an example of how community engagement is shaping modern transportation infrastructure?
A: The CSAH 1 project in Rice County started as a pretty straightforward reconstruction project, but evolved based on community feedback. After engaging with area stakeholders and residents, the County decided to expand the project’s initial scope to include construction of a roundabout, as well as a bike trail to provide connection to the local trail system for residents along the route. This included the construction of a pedestrian underpass to allow for safe crossing of CSAH 1. Pairing the efforts helped increase pedestrian connectivity in the area while simultaneously addressing concerns regarding the intersection, creating a win-win for all involved. The project team’s efforts to engage the community from the onset have really helped maintain project momentum and inspired solutions that will serve a more dynamic range of travelers.
FUN FACT: Mat is a graduate of Minnesota State University, Mankato, and has always been interested in the unique terrain of the Mankato area. With a background in Geotechnical Engineering, he truly appreciates a stable slope, particularly if it can be used for boarding in the winter.
Mat spearheads ISG’s transportation work in southern Minnesota from the Mankato headquarters.
EVAN DEL VAL PE, CFM, LEED AP BD+C
Q: How are shifts in ecotourism and water recreation reshaping community development?
A: Many Midwest towns and cities got their start along our region’s iconic rivers, and today communities are beginning to return to these lifelines that played a key role in settling the area. Individual cities and towns are looking to partners like ISG to help them connect downtown and urban cores to riverfront amenities, while larger county and regional partnership initiatives are collaborating to develop water trail systems along miles of riverways. The trick is finding ways to reintroduce populations to our rivers while protecting water quality, which makes engaging partners with urban, recreation, and environmental planning expertise an advantage.
FUN FACT: Evan served in the U.S. Navy, and has since traded the big ocean vessels for a smaller ride – his kayak. When he’s not in the office, chances are Evan’s exploring rivers and creeks in the Des Moines area.
Working from ISG’s Des Moines office, Evan leads ISG’s water quality and recreation projects across Iowa.