Civil Engineering California’s Most Famous Burger Joint

McNeil Civil EngineeringWhen California’s favorite burger joint, In-N-Out announced that they would be opening a series of locations in Utah, hamburger fanatics from Draper to Sandy went nuts. The thought of animal style fries and delicious, thick milkshakes had everyone talking, including the civil engineering team here at McNeil Engineering.

Naturally, we were thrilled when the company reached out and asked us to assist with the civil engineering process. Now, a few years and nine locations later, we have a lot to be proud of. Here’s a peek behind-the-scenes of some of the civil engineering work we did for the good folks at In-N-Out.

Civil engineering – it starts with site layout

Before work can begin on a new structure, it’s important to design and plan the site layout. Since each In-N-Out was in a different location, our team had to account for things like:

  • Neighboring businesses
  • Natural land features (boulders, trees, etc.)
  • Roads
  • Sidewalks

Our scanning and land surveying team visited each site prior to breaking ground and documented everything from property lines to utility access points. With this information in hand, we were able to design a site layout that was both efficient and in-line with In-N-Out build standards.

Next step: roadway design

Anyone who has ever visited an In-N-Out during a lunch or dinner rush can attest to the tight quarters, lengthy drive-thru lines, and overflowing parking lot.

Our civil engineering team spent much of their early planning time with In-N-Out designing roadways and parking areas that were open, easy-to-navigate, and spacious enough for larger vehicles like trucks and vans to access the restaurants. We also made considerations for drive-thru entrances and exits, as well as the access and exit points to local streets and shopping areas.

Drainage and stormwater detention

After taking these items into account and formulating a plan, we moved onto stormwater detention and drainage.

Standing water isn’t just unattractive; it can lead to potholes, cracking, bubbling, and erosion of impacted asphalt.Since Utah springs and winters are relatively damp, it was important to create a stormwater detention system that could address weather events like flash flooding and snow run-off, without hampering access to the restaurant or drive-thru areas.

In addition to installing drains, gutters and run-off points, we also specifically designed the exterior landscaping to support environmental processes. By focusing on environmentally friendly design, we were also able to improve these restaurants’ energy efficiency through the recycling and reuse of natural water sources.

Utility design

Stormwater detention areas, parking, driveways, and landscaping features aren’t separate entities working individually of one another. They are all cogs that work together as part of a machine, or in this case, a civil engineering project.

To ensure all of our design work came together effectively for our clients at In-N-Out we also focused on utility design. This project ensures maximum quality is achieved throughout the entire course of a project, and that all of the various individual components can join with one another and work together. Put simply, a utility design ensures that every piece of the puzzle fits, creating a logical and easy-to-interpret final project.

How can we help you?

As you can see, we had a wonderful time working with the people at In-N-Out and couldn’t be happier with the results of our work on all nine Utah-area locations. It required lots of research, energy, and hard work, but we also get to say that we were a part of In-N-Out’s rich history.

Are you getting ready to start work on a new civil engineering project? We regularly provide engineering and design services for both public and private projects. No matter the size or scope, we’re here to help you get the job done.

Preserving history with laser scanning

Laser Scan BuildingLaser scanning technology might sound like something out of a science fiction film, but it’s a real-world tool that provides a non-intrusive means of gathering vast amounts of data about specific buildings and structures. With laser scanning technology, we can literally see through buildings, providing our clients with valuable visual insights.

In addition, laser scanning allows us to model virtual walkthroughs, interference detection, containment analysis and interactive 3D models, but it’s the technologies’ ability to literally understand foundational and structural challenges that make it a valuable tool in protecting historic buildings for years to come.

How do you X-ray a building? With laser scanning, of course

If you feel sick for longer than a few days, you visit a doctor, right? At your appointment, the nurse will take your temperature, and your blood pressure, they’ll ask you a series of questions and then look in your ears, eyes, nose and throat. Eventually, the doctor sees you, and if necessary, orders further tests including X-rays, PET scans, etc.

As structures like bridges and buildings get older, their integrity comes into question. Unfortunately, you can’t take a building to the doctor and have it examined, but with laser scanning technology, we can provide the next best thing: a clear picture of what’s going on within a buildings’ inner-workings. From piping and wiring to roofing and wall integrity, laser scanning can provide a clear and comprehensive picture of everything that’s going on.

Historic buildings that we have helped preserve

The laser scanning and survey team here at McNeil Engineering have had the pleasure of working to preserve a number of historic structures both here in Utah and around the world, including:

  • Masonic Temple – Salt Lake City, UT
  • Garfield School – Salt Lake City, UT
  • Casino Star Theater – Gunnison, UT
  • Capitol Theater – Salt Lake City, UT
  • Mumbai Mosques – India

Laser scanning case study: The Psycho Hotel in Phoenix, AZ

One of our most recent historical preservation projects involved the historical Barrister Place building in downtown Phoenix. This incredible building has a storied past and opened in 1915 as the Jefferson Hotel. At the time of its opening, The Jefferson Hotel was the tallest building in the state of Arizona, and became so famous that Alfred Hitchcock used it in the beginning of his classic horror movie “Psycho.”

We used 3D scanning to scan the exterior of the structure for our engineering partner in Phoenix, Hubbard Engineering who was retained by the City of Phoenix Economic Development Agency. Our use of 3D scanning created a highly accurate representation of existing conditions of the building for historical documentation prior to renovation work and future expansion.

Ultimately, our partners were able to use the information that we provided to make sound construction and safety decisions, a process that saved time and increased efficiency.

We’re here to help you

The 3D Laser Scan team at McNeil Engineering relies on our technical experience and specialized expertise to create personalized solutions for our clients. We use high definition laser scanners, total stations, as well as modeling and point cloud software to provide comprehensive, record surveys, 3D CAD models and detailed 2D isometric drawings.

Whether you’re the owner of a historic commercial building or operate your business out of an aging structure, laser scanning technology can provide you with necessary insights and information to improve safety, boost energy efficiency, and keep your building in tip-top shape for years to come. There’s no need to worry about damage or prep-time either. Our technicians are extremely skilled and can complete all scanning in a non-intrusive manner within just a few hours.

Celebrating 35 years of civil and structural engineering

McNeil 35 YearsTime really flies, doesn’t it? It seems like just yesterday we were taking the first steps to start our own engineering firm and now it’s 2018 and we’re celebrating our 35th anniversary. During the last three decades, we’ve had the pleasure of offering our clients the highest quality civil and structural engineering services; work that has taken us all over the country and the world.

In just the last year alone, our civil and structural engineering teams have fortified major bridges and road structures; laser scanned and earthquake-proofed aging buildings with amazing historical significance; and contributed to the new passenger bridge at Salt Lake City International Airport. In this blog, we’ll look back at some of our previous civil and structural engineering work and provide some thoughts on our future:

35 years of civil and structural engineering

A 2013 study by Bloomberg found that 8 out of 10 new businesses fail within the first 18 months. With odds like that, we feel incredibly blessed to have made it to our 35th birthday. While there have been many challenges and obstacles along the way, we’ve built a reputation on providing our civil and structural engineering clients with innovative and cutting-edge design options.

It’s through this hard work and dedication that we’ve been able to contribute our labor and design expertise to a wide range of projects. Here are a few of our favorites:

Past projects

  • Enos Wall Mansion (Former LDS Business College) – McNeil Engineering was part of the design team for the redevelopment of this historic home in downtown Salt Lake City. Working with CRSA architects, our Civil Engineering Department completed the paving and horizontal control plan. Site improvements were also added including curbs and gutters, pavement and sidewalks. To be able to preserve a piece of historic Utah was truly an honor!
  • UTA FrontRunner South – If you’ve ever spent time waiting for a light rail at a UTA terminal, you’ve experienced the work of our civil and structural engineering departments first hand. provided civil engineering for park-and-ride stations associated with the UTA FrontRunner project from Salt Lake to Provo. McNeil’s services include site layout, grading, drainage, stormwater detention system and design for parking areas, bus loop and pedestrian walkways.

Recent projects

  • Passenger Bridgeway for Salt Lake City International Airport Expansion – We’ve been hard at work assisting on the expansion at Salt Lake City International Aiport, including the new passenger bridgeway. Our civil department has been providing BIM for the underground infrastructure since the project began. At the same time, our structural department has been providing BIM for the steel stud framing on the terminal construction.
  • Euclid Corners Townhomes – It’s official: Neighborworks Salt Lake, is moving forward with the design of Euclid Corners Townhomes, a 16-unit development in Salt Lake City. As part of these efforts, our landscape architecture team, led by principal Landscape Architect Scott Schoonover, partnered with Carpenter Stringham Architects to develop the landscape design, entire-site irrigation design, and rooftop garden design.

To learn more about both of these projects, we invite you to check out our Winter 2018 Newsletter.

Thank You to our team members

Now that we’ve reviewed a handful of our favorite projects, we would like to take the time to think all of our amazing team members who have allowed us to thrive for 35 years. The men and women who regularly contribute to our efforts are some of the best and brightest around and it’s their enthusiasm, dedication, and support that take us to new heights on a regular basis. Each and every department, from our civil and structural engineering team to landscape design, BIM, and surveying make our company truly great. Thank you!

A look toward the future

In closing, know that we look forward to serving you (our clients) for another 35 years to come. We remain mindful that the world is an ever-changing place, and if anything, we must accelerate, not relax. As new technologies, challenges and opportunities arise, you can count on McNeil Engineering to lead the pack. Ready to get started on your next big project? Call us today: (801) 255-7700

Structural engineering can help prepare your business for the ‘big one’

Structural engineering is a specialization that focuses on designing, creating, and building modern structures. Our structural engineering team regularly works on everything from bridges and commercial structures to medical and even government buildings, but it’s their knowledge of seismic analysis that truly stands out.

Here at McNeil Engineering, the structural engineering team utilizes the latest in software innovation for analysis, design and drawing production. Our access to these state-of-the-art technologies ensures our professionals can quickly evaluate and investigate alternative structural systems while taking steps to fortify a project against natural disasters prior to completion.

Structural engineering to combat earthquakes

Have you ever wondered why some earthquakes do more damage than others, even if they register at a similar number on the seismic scale? Usually, this has a lot to do with the structural integrity of the buildings near an earthquake’s epicenter.

For example, structures that are made out of mud, stucco or bricks are far more likely to tumble and collapse under duress, whereas buildings that have been fortified with support elements are much more likely to withstand even serious earthquakes.

Significant earthquakes in California history

11575537_MThe entire West Coast of the United States is known for seismic activity, but it’s California that has the most renown.

In fact, according to the USGS, the state of California experiences an average of 10,000 earthquakes each year.

The majority of these are non-destructive, but some have registered as high as 7.9 on the richter scale. Here’s a closer look at four of California’s most legendary earthquakes:

January 1857 – 7.9, Fort Tejon
April 1906 – 7.9, San Francisco
March 1872 – 7.8, Owens Valley
July 1952 – 7.5, Kearn County

Not even geologists can predict when the next earthquake will occur, but most experts agree that California is due for a significant seismic event within the coming decade.

Many business owners don’t have earthquake insurance

Even with that information available, a majority of California home and business owners are without earthquake insurance.

A recent study by KPIX found that only “about 10 percent of insured homeowners also have earthquake coverage.” That means the other 90{ffa1fb9a833dbe70b91c2563ca2a54067368c324c18ffac54b9412388222efff} of Californians are uninsured and just hoping for the best.

To be clear, earthquake insurance does not guarantee that the government will rebuild your home or business, but it does provide for engineering modifications to a damaged structure. According to KPIX, the California Earthquake Authority has some “$15 billion in reserves,” so it makes sense to invest.

Do options exist outside of earthquake insurance?

Structural engineeringIf purchasing earthquake insurance isn’t an option, what steps can you take to protect your business? According to the California Earthquake Authority, you should:

Determine how close your home or business is to a fault
Familiarize yourself with what kind of foundation each structure has
Decide if you can mitigate damage via a retrofit

Retrofitting and seismic engineering

The process of retrofitting involves taking an already completed structure and adding additional components in an effort to fortify it. You regularly access retrofitted structures, you probably just didn’t realize it.

Following the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, a number of interstate overpasses and bridges were retrofitted with steel girders. notes that in most cases, size and weight were also added to bridge footings, a process that firmly secured these structures to the ground.

Seismic retrofits are one of our specialties

Our structural engineering team has worked on multiple projects where we were able to fortify and strengthen structures in earthquake-prone areas. In fact, we regularly assist clients with:

Seismic analysis
Force protection blast analysis and design
Repair, restrengthening and retrofitting of structures
Structural damage and failure analysis
Structural investigation and reports

As a California-based business owner, it’s critical that you protect your assets. Taking preventative measures in preparation for an upcoming earthquake is an easy way to ensure your building can handle whatever comes your way. To learn more about our capabilities, or to get in touch, we invite you to visit our website.

5 prerequisites to starting a new paving consulting project

PavingAre the parking lots or driveways at your business starting to look worse-for-wear? Do potholes, cracks or bubbles prevent your clients and employees from arriving at or leaving your premises comfortably? If so, it may be time to pursue a new paving consulting project.

While you might think paving consulting is just a matter of finding the cheapest quote, hiring a construction crew and repaving your lot, the process actually requires patience, research, and attention to detail. Before any paving consulting project begins, it’s important to get important prerequisites out of the way. Taking action now can save you money and energy while ensuring the project wraps up in a timely fashion.

Consider the scope of your paving consulting project

What are you trying to accomplish with your current project? Do you just want to update your facility, or are there structural issues that need to be addressed? How large is your commercial property? Is there one parking lot, or multiple lots? If the main lot is shut down for a period of weeks or longer, where will your clients and employees park then? Determining the answers to questions like these will ensure you have a good grasp of what you want to accomplish. It will also make communicating with a paving team that much easier.

Speak with colleagues and other professionals

If you’ve never invested in a paving consulting project before, you’re probably feeling somewhat overwhelmed. This is perfectly understandable. There are a lot of things to think about, and you want to make sure you make the right investment. Set aside some time to reach out to fellow business owners and colleagues who have already gone through the re-paving process. What did they learn? Were there any setbacks? Do they have any advice to offer? People love helping one another out, so you’re sure to get some helpful advice.

Determine your budget

Before you can start any project, you need to determine how much it’s going to cost. The price of paving your parking lots and drive ways can vary significantly depending on the size and scope of your property. Set a budget that is larger than what you expect to pay. This can help protect your livelihood if a project goes over budget or if delays take place due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

Determine the project length

You can’t predict the future, but you can estimate how long a project will take. For example, if you will be hosting a convention or networking event in a few months, it’s important that construction is completed prior to that event taking place. Remember that projects take place in various phases. There is a planning period, a work period, and then a final overview. Determine how much time you require for these various tasks. An estimate is better than no plan at all.

Find a paving consulting team with a proven track record

Once you’ve determined your budget, the size of your project, and how long you expect it to take, it’s time to move on to finding a paving consulting team that you can trust. While it might be tempting to just search Google for the best deal, it’s far better to partner with an organization that has experience in this particular area. Not only will this provide you peace of mine, it also will ensure that your project is completed in a timely fashion and without any hiccups.

As a full-service Pavement Consulting Firm, we specialize in all aspects of concrete, asphalt, recycled materials, and other pavement systems. We can provide all of your pavement design needs, from existing condition evaluations and estimates for recommended repairs, to complete replacement design, documentation, and project management. Our years of experience and unmatched expertise in the industry place McNeil Engineering apart from all other consultants.

If you’re ready to get to work on your next project, contact Rodney Davis, our Paving Consultant, and Project Manager at (801) 255 – 7700 Ext. 113 or send him an email at

Civil engineering and the importance of drainage plans

Civil engineering is defined as an engineer who “designs and maintains roads, bridges, dams, and similar structures,” but the job requirements and responsibilities are far more complex. Our civil engineering team regularly provides site engineering and design services for both public and private projects, a process which includes designing and implementing drainage plans and water detention systems.

Designing water systems might seem like an afterthought, but in reality, it’s critical that the civil engineering team considers this aspect of a project before getting to work. This process varies from project to project but generally includes drainage analysis, stormwater detention system design, and even sewer system designs. Let’s break things down a bit further:

Civil engineering and drainage analysis

A civil engineering team has to consider every aspect of the building process. In addition to the integrity of the structure itself, engineers also need to think about a piece of land’s ability to manage water flow in the event of a major storm or flooding. Even ancient builders realized this. In fact, according to, the first roads appeared some 3500 years ago, and even these early predecessors to the modern highway took drainage into account.

Water might be the planet’s life force, but it can cause plenty of problems if allowed to sit on sidewalks or roadways. Without proper drainage analysis, a structure runs the risk of flooding, foundational damage, and in worst-case scenarios erosion and even sinkholes.

Stormwater detention system analysis and design

Utah is the nation’s second dryest state, but it still averages 13 inches of annual precipitation. Winter snow storms and spring showers can quickly appear and leave inches and sometimes feet of moisture in their wake. Because Mother Nature is unpredictable, it’s critical that all structures (and their accompanying parking areas) are prepared to handle stormwater runoff.

Civil engineering and drainage analysisWhen starting work on a drainage project, our civil engineering team considers things like:

  • The altitude at which we’re building
  • The lay of the land (ie: hills, gullies, flat land, etc.)
  • Local vegetation
  • Population size
  • Traffic patterns

Based on the information that is gathered, we are then able to design an effective stormwater detention system that meets a site’s specific needs.

How does poor drainage impact paving?

Standing water probably doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? Even with adequate drainage systems, snow melt-off and heavy rainstorms often leave large puddles of water on the side of the road. While water does collect in stormy scenarios, adequate drainage design can:

  • Keep clients and employees safe – When water is left to stand, employees, run the risk of hydroplaning or slipping on patches of frozen ice. Standing water can also impact the tread on tires, leading to accidents or spinouts.
  • Prevent erosion – standing water seeps into the cracks and pours of concrete and asphalt, expanding the substance and leading to cracks and potholes.
  • Prevent warping – Asphalt absorbs a percentage of stormwater which can lead to bubbles or deformations. Over time, this impacts the integrity of roads and driveways.

Don’t forget about sanitary sewer system design

If the threat of warped and damaged driveways and parking areas doesn’t convince you of the importance of drain system design, consider your businesses’ sewage needs. Everyone has to use the restroom, and inevitably your commercial building needs a way to handle this without broken pipes or septic issues.

Our civil engineering team can assist you in designing an adequate and sanitary sewer system that will ensure your building stays smell and toxin-free while providing you with adequate and eco-friendly wastewater management.

We’ll be happy to assist you with drainage analysis

For over 30-years our civil engineering team has helped customers with everything from small residential projects to regional shopping centers. Our experience includes retail, office, restaurant, industrial and residential projects.

If you’re looking to start work on a new project, contact the team here at McNeil Engineering. We’ll ensure your drainage system is top of the line!

Case study: Landscape architecture at Weber State University

Here at McNeil Engineering, sustainable landscape architecture is one of our specialties. Since we first opened our doors over 30-years ago, we’ve had the pleasure of contributing to dozens of landscape architecture projects in and around Utah. As part of a new blog series, we plan on featuring some of our various work.

In this post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the landscape architecture work we’ve performed at Weber State University in Ogden. Let’s dive in!

Spring 2013 – Weber State University contacts McNeil Engineering about landscape architecture

Located in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains, Weber State University is a picturesque 500-acre campus just 30-miles north of Salt Lake City. The university is home to over 26,000 students and dozens of majors including criminal justice, computer engineering, and accounting.

We were first contacted by the WSU Campus Planning and Construction team during the spring of 2013. At that time, we were asked to lead the planning and design efforts for a proposed landscape remodel at the north entrance of the Student Services Center (SSC).

Weber State LandscapeSince the main entrance of the SSC is often the first look prospective students get of Weber State University, it was important to the administration and campus planning and construction team that the landscaping near the entrance was designed in an inviting, attractive and sustainable way. They say you only get one chance to make a good first impression, and this is especially true of prospective students.We worked one-on-one with the decision makers at Weber State University to find a design and aesthetic that met their needs and desires. The picture to the right is what we came up with.

Summer 2013 – Spring 2014 – Remodel of landscape architecture at the Shepherd Union Building

Following the successful completion of our work on the Weber State SSC, we were again asked to partner with the WSU SPC and its staff in order to complete a handful of additional landscape and site upgrade projects throughout the campus. The work started in the summer of 2013, but in some cases lasted until spring of 2014.

These projects included:

  • Remodeling and redesigning the outdated and overgrown landscape at the Shepherd Union Building.
  • Site and irrigation improvements south of the Science Lab.
  • A complete renovation of the campus pump house and filtration system.

Our landscape architecture team was involved throughout the entire construction process, ensuring that the design was implemented properly beginning from the initial pre-bid meeting, all the way through the completion of construction and the final inspection.

On both McNeil Engineering was involved throughout the construction process to ensure that the design was implemented properly beginning from the initial pre-bid meeting clear to the final inspection.

Winter 2015 – Spring 2016 – Landscape and Irrigation Remodeling

Our partnership with the folks at Weber State University continued in the winter of 2015 when we were contracted to work on two landscape and irrigation remodeling projects.

These projects included:

  • Landscaping and irrigation redesign at the Wattis Business Building
  • Landscaping and irrigation improvements at the Lindquist Plaza

Work began in the spring of 2016 and lasted for a few months thereafter. The next time you visit Weber State University, walk around the campus and see if you can’t spot some of our handiwork. We’re proud of the results and think you’ll like them too!

Ready to get to work on your next landscape architecture project?

Whether you’re a campus administrator, municipal planner or commercial building owner, upgrading the landscaping at your facility is a cost-effective way to save water, improve efficiency and upgrade the building’s overall aesthetics.

From small roof gardens to large-scale planning and design we work responsively with our clients, project team and contractors to develop relationships that create sustainable sensitive design solutions. Visit our website to learn more:

Our construction administration team can make your next project a breeze

As a property owner who is investing in a new project, it’s your responsibility to ensure construction stays on-time and on-budget, but without a reliable contractor at your side, anything can happen. To address these needs, we regularly provide construction administration services for our clients.

Construction administration is an effective way to manage your next construction project, from the bidding process all the way to the final build. Our construction administration professionals will organize and manage your building documents, provide on-site inspections and ensure your contractor is following all rules, regulations, and protocols guaranteeing a finished product that exceeds your expectations.

Construction administration and the bidding process

Construction AdministrationThe bidding process on any new structure is often long and complicated. If you are unfamiliar with selecting a contractor, you run the risk of working with a partner who is inexperienced at best and a liability at worst. Whether you’re investing in a roofing, paving, or commercial construction project the costs are enormous.

If a potential contractor senses that you have little experience, or aren’t familiar with industry knowledge, they may charge you for fees or work that is completely unnecessary. With one of our construction administrators at your side, you can feel confident knowing that your best interests in mind. We oversee the bidding process and will help you enter into an agreement with a reputable contractor for a competitive price.

Project document management

No matter where you end up building, paperwork is a part of every construction job. From blueprints and contracts to city and state permits, it’s critical that you know where all of the necessary documentation is at all times. One missed signature or misplaced permit can mean lengthy construction delays and additional building costs. Our construction administration process takes all of these items into account and organizes them for easy access. In addition to regular process reports, we will monitor these documents and alert you to any issues that need to be addressed.

Construction observation and reports

Once you’ve selected a contracting team to work with, it’s important that they stay on task. You might be the property manager, but you have other responsibilities to take care of outside of any ongoing construction projects. Our construction administration team will act as a mediator between you and your contracting team. We will regularly visit the job site and provide detailed reports on the progress of your construction project. If we notice that anything is amiss, you can count on us to alert you quickly and to take steps in order to correct them. With access to regular reports, you can feel confident knowing that the work you are paying for is on time and of the highest quality.

Quality control and final inspection

In addition to providing regular progress reports, our construction administration team will also ensure the structure you are building meets all building codes, as well as city, county and state regulations. That’s only scratching the surface, though, as our quality control team investigates every aspect of the final structure from the foundation and support structure to the roof, parking lot and even drainage and landscaping design.

Our quality control inspections leave no stone unturned and can alert you to any final issues that need to be corrected before you officially complete construction and open your new facility.

Contact McNeil Engineering for all of your construction administration needs

We have provided administrative assistance on a number of projects, including the Kimball Plaza Parking Lot Replacement and the 515 Tower Parking Structure Repair and we can do the same for you. Our goal is to provide enough construction oversight to bring in a finished roofing, paving or landscape project on budget and at the level of quality specified in the construction documents. To find out more, or to get started on your next project, we invite you to get in touch with Carl Greene, our principal consulting manager. He can be reached at (801) 255 – 7700 Ext. 118.

Civil engineering and site engineering for private and public projects

Civil EngineeringHere at McNeil Engineering, we take great pride in our civil engineering capabilities. Our civil engineering experts have worked on everything from subdivisions and shopping centers to restaurants and manufacturing facilities. Whether you’re planning to start work on a new subdivision or are a state or city agency looking to update your drains and roads, our civil engineering team has the knowledge and expertise to get the job done.

When it comes to big jobs like these, you need to know you are partnering with a firm you can rely on. Fortunately, reliability, customer service, and commitment stand at the core of what we do. But so do our skills. What are they?

Civil engineering capabilities

We regularly assist our clients with services that include:

  • Land development
  • Site feasibility and due diligence analysis
  • Site layout
  • Road design
  • Grading design and earthwork analysis
  • Drainage analysis and storm drain system design
  • Erosion control measures
  • Subdivision design
  • 3D models
  • UDOT access and encroachment permits
  • Permitting and entitlement assistance

Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the projects that we’ve worked on.

Gateway Salt Lake

The Gateway in Salt Lake City is one of the premier shopping, dining and entertainment destinations in the state of Utah and our civil engineering team had a major role in contributing to various aspects of the project. In addition to surveying, we helped design and construct Fidelity Office Tower, Gateway 5, Gateway 6 and the Hyatt Hotel. We worked hand-in-hand with the developer from day one, providing site layout services, roadway design, grading, drainage, a stormwater detention system and even below-grade dewatering design.

In-N-Out Burger

When this California-based burger joint announced that they would be expanding into Utah we jumped at the opportunity to assist them. Our civil engineering team worked on each of the restaurants in Draper, Riverton, West Jordan, Midvale, West Valley, American Fork, Orem, Centerville and Riverdale. We assisted with site layout, roadway design, grading, drainage, a stormwater detention system and even site utility design. The next time you pick up a double-double or animal style fries via the drive through, make sure to take a few moments to view our handiwork.

Millrock Technology Park

When the Millrock Technology Park was first being considered in the mid-2000s, we knew that we were in for quite the challenge. Our civil engineering team was retained to assist with a daunting 21-acre site in the foothills of Holladay City. Featuring five parking lots, the technology park also includes some 500,000 square feet of office space, and four massive buildings terraced across 150 feet of slopes.

Throughout the entire project we worked closely with the Utah Department of Transportation to design an intersection for access to the office complex. Due to the unique location of the structures, we planned and prepared a complex retaining wall system in coordination with the help of neighboring cities. To circumvent the steep slopes, we also designed a series of underground storage systems for storm water detention underneath the parking structures. This extra effort made it possible for our team to maximize the space and meet our client’s expectations. While challenging, the project was a tremendous success. In fact, it won a number of industry awards including the “Best of State Project” in 2009.

Contact the civil engineering team at McNeil Engineering

This is by no means a comprehensive list of our project portfolio, but we hope that it provides you some insight into what our professional, knowledgeable and talented staff members are capable of. No matter the size or scope of your next project, we have the tools, expertise, and experience to assist you in taking your idea from a sketch to a finished, operating structure. To find out more about our civil engineering capabilities gives us a call today at (888) 303.7700 or send us an email at If you’re interested in seeing more of our work, we invite you to browse our entire project portfolio at this link.

An introduction to Building Information Modeling

Building information modeling or BIM is becoming increasingly popular in today’s AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) environment. The combination of improved workflows and associated software programs has made designing everything from bridges and highways to skyscrapers and government structures far more efficient and cost-effective. Building information modeling has a number of benefits, but according to, many business leaders are still hesitant to take advantage.

Here at McNeil Engineering, we firmly believe in building information modeling and its capabilities, that’s why we’re using this blog post to provide you with an overview of what BIM is and how it can positively benefit your next project:

Building information modeling isn’t new

If you aren’t familiar with BIM, you might be under the impression that it’s a relatively new invention. Surprisingly, that isn’t the case. says the technology was first mentioned in a 1962 paper written by Douglas Engelbart. Titled “Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework” Englebart imagined a future where engineers and architects could plug various measurements and data into a computer and ultimately have software model a structure based off of that information. Engelbart was undoubtedly ahead of his time, but by the early 90s, the forefathers of modern BIM software were being utilized on construction projects.

Now that you know a little bit about BIM’s background, let’s look at some of its many benefits.

BIM allows for better design decisions

BIMBefore the introduction of building information modeling, project managers, contractors and construction leads had to rely on 2D designs based off of blueprints. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with a flat image, it does not provide a comprehensive view of how a structure will ultimately look once it’s built. In addition, a blueprint doesn’t account for challenges that may arise later like building codes, municipal regulations or cost-saving measures.

Before BIM, mistakes often weren’t caught until far along in the construction process. Not only was this frustrating for investors and building crews, it often led to lengthy delays and costly repairs, placing dozens of projects over budget.

BIM improves mechanical, electrical and plumbing design quality

Contractors and construction crews might not come equipped with x-ray vision, but building information modeling provides the next best thing. Because the plumbing, electrical and mechanical aspects of a building are often placed beneath the floors or within a structure’s walls, it’s often difficult to make final decisions until the construction process is already started. After all, one wrong measurement could lead to an entire re-design of a particular system.

With BIM software, a designer can input all of the necessary data and information and then determine where plumbing, wiring and other mechanical features (ie: ducts, HVAC piping) will best fit. BIM software can also provide a comprehensive, detailed overview of potential issues that may arise during the construction process.

Saving money with BIM

Thanks to both the accuracy of the software associated with the BIM process and the formula it provides for our team to follow, we regularly realize incredible savings for our clients through BIM. Change orders have been part of the design process for years, but they’re often costly and time-intensive. BIM eliminates this step altogether providing our customers an average savings of 10{ffa1fb9a833dbe70b91c2563ca2a54067368c324c18ffac54b9412388222efff} to 50{ffa1fb9a833dbe70b91c2563ca2a54067368c324c18ffac54b9412388222efff}.

How can we help you?

At McNeil Engineering our goal is to aid contractors, owners and architects in meeting the requirements of the BIM process as prescribed in their contracts. We provide 3-D modeling for conflict coordination between building systems; architectural components; structural framing; and even site work.

Give us a call today to discuss what we can do to help you succeed using the BIM process. (801) 255-7700

We look forward to assisting you however we can!