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.