Mizzou civil engineering students redesign road and water systems for senior capstone project

May 21, 2024

civil engineering capstone group
From left, Chloe Groner, Zach Cockrill, Abby Watts and Amoni Madison 

The Project

Civil engineering students Chloe Groner, Zach Cockrill, Abby Watts and Amoni Madison took on a two-part capstone project to redesign a roadway in St. Louis, Missouri, and analyze the drainage system of that road.

“We were tasked with assessing the current configuration of Route DD and improving the safety and the level of service of that roadway,” Cockrill said. “We also worked on extending the roadway configuration to add a lane in each direction and a pedestrian bike path.”

The team chose this project because of their interest in transportation coursework and their background in transportation-related internships.

“We decided it would be best if we put our collective skills toward a transportation-related project,” Watts said.

Groner, who completed undergraduate research investigating water quality, led the hydrology aspect of the project.

“The purpose of the hydraulic element of this project was to analyze the drainage system going underneath Route DD, by means of a culvert, to make sure that the increased development happening doesn’t increase runoff and possibly flood Route DD,” she said.

The Process

The project required the students to learn new software to analyze the road and water drainage configurations. Safety was also top of mind throughout the project as the road the group was tasked with redesigning ran next to a local middle school and the area was prone to heavy traffic at drop-off and pick-up times.

“With all of the project requirements and safety in mind, we had to make sure we didn’t go super high in budgetary costs so that it could be a reasonable solution to produce,” Cockrill said.

The Outcome

The group’s proposed configuration to redesign Route DD and resolve traffic issues was to add a roundabout at a crossroad near the school.

“We also expanded to a four-lane configuration to ensure that the roads can hold those new developments that will be occurring in the area,” Madison said. “We also reduced the speed limit in school zones along the road from 40 mph to 20 mph and added mid-block crossings to ensure that pedestrians can safely cross the street to and from school.”

To solve the drainage issues along the route, Groner said they proposed increasing the length of the culvert to allow for more water to run underneath the roadway instead of overtopping it and flooding the road.

Learn more about civil engineering at Mizzou!

Read about other capstone projects here.