Trends Summer 2017 | Page 2

Clients value Ayres’ assistance with permitting process By Wendy Kinderman W ithout permits, projects don’t happen. Whether you want to fix a road or build a new office, fly a drone or dredge a lake, you’ll need permission from some regulatory agency – local, state, or federal – and often all three. But for years, the site was a fenced-off grassy field. When a developer backed off on planned improvements, the City of Tampa took over and brought in Ayres Associates to handle civil engineering and scientific and environmental permitting for the project. This isn’t a bad thing. Permits guide – and sometimes change – project designs, making sure they’re a good fit with the environment, surrounding infrastructure, and community. It’s not always easy, though. Here’s how regulators, clients, and Ayres Associates’ staff have worked together to meet permitting challenges. “Water Works Park was the most challenging environmental project I’ve ever permitted in my 30 years of engineering,” said Jan Ash, Ayres Associates’ project manager. Challenges ranged from contaminated soil to protected manatees and – the most unusual of all – a suspected shipwreck. The Shipwreck That Wasn’t A shipwreck discovered on the river bottom in 2009 was presumed to be the Scottish Chief, a Civil War blockade runner that sank in 1863. Preservationists worried additional boat traffic generated by the park’s dock and boat slips would damage the historic shipwreck. Water Works Park in Tampa, Florida, is the northern anchor of the City’s Riverwalk along the Hillsborough River. It boasts a splashpad, playgrounds, gardens, shoreline enhancements, a public docking facility, and more. 2│ TRENDS