Is the hyperloop really a feasible transportation method?

Hyperloop TransportationWhen you imagine futuristic transportation, chances are good you envision flying cars, teleportation devices and artificially intelligent aircraft, but if billionaire inventor Elon Musk has his way, making a trip from New York to Los Angeles could involve being shot through a plastic tube at 800-miles-per-hour.

The hyperloop transportation system takes pneumatic piping to an entirely new level, where human passengers blast through tunnels that are true marvels of engineering. Commuters could travel to major cities for work, their private residences nestled into the woods hundreds of miles away.

As you can imagine, constructing the infrastructure for something like this is a massive undertaking with a price range in the hundreds of billions of dollars. To get world renowned engineers and architects on board, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) offered the science field’s best equity shares, instead of literal pay, for 10 hours or more work per week.

Dozens of inventors, futurists, architects and designers are working on the first phase of the project, in the hopes of launching a full-size test track sometime in 2018.

Unsurprisingly, there is still plenty of research that needs to take place. The effects on the human body of being shot through a tube at ridiculously high speeds are still unknown, and the challenges of raising funds, much less creating sound, realistic blueprints for a massive infrastructure re-haul are massive.

It will be interesting to see how this project moves ahead over the next few months. This article goes further in-depth, covering cost estimates and other crucial planning factors.

Here’s how to keep your parking lot and sidewalks in great shape this winter

Snow Parking LotBefore you know it, the temperatures will drop and our roads and parking lots will be covered in ice and snow. To help you prepare for the winter ahead, we thought it would be a good idea to cover the best parking lot prep practices. Here are some easy, yet efficient things that you can do at your own place of work.


Identify important areas. Before the snow and ice hit, it’s a great idea to identify important landmarks in and around your parking areas. Create signage for fire hydrants, mail boxes, handicapped parking spots and fire lanes. If an emergency happens in the dead of winter, you’ll be ready to go.


Train employees on snow and ice removal. Depending on the size of your company, you might do some of your own ice and snow removal. If you’re using ice and chemicals, or even just plain old snow shovels, it’s a great idea to remind your employees the proper safety practices. Are they trying to lift too much wet, heavy snow? Maybe they’re not equipped with proper snow boots. It’s never too early to cover these important safety issues.


Don’t obscure drains or manholes. When snow and ice start melting, there’s plenty of opportunity for water to collect. To avoid the potential for flooding near or in your office space, make sure you always shovel snow and ice away from these areas, and prevent them becoming clogged.


By following these three simple suggestions, you’ll be prepared to handle whatever winter throws your parking lot’s way. Good luck and stay safe.

Let our civil engineering team get you prepped for the winter

Winter ConstructionIt’s hard to believe, but the holiday season is right around the corner, and with it the freezing temperatures, wet weather and biting winds. Before the winter sets in, now is a great time to have our civil engineering team out to your home or place of business to make sure everything is in tip top shape. Here’s a brief overview of a few of our services.


Storm water detention. With it being an El Nino year, this winter is supposed to be even colder and snowier than usual. Is your parking lot equipped to handle the increased amount of snow melt off?  Even with snow blowers doing their job, chances are good you’ll have to deal with increased ice pack and extra sludge. Better to have a working storm water detention system than a flooded lot.


Erosion Control. Snow, ice, sleet and wind take their toll on your parking lot, sidewalks and building walls overtime. Maybe you’ve been putting off getting necessary repairs, or were thinking about waiting one more winter before you make a big investment. Don’t risk not taking preventative measures. You never know what size of storm is right around the corner.


Grading design/earthwork analysis. Have you started a project, but don’t think it’ll be finished by the time the first snows hit? Let our civil engineering team take over and get your project back on track. We’re experts in grading design and earthwork analysis and know exactly what it takes to finish the job. Don’t be left with a half finished construction project buried under half a foot of snow.


These are only a few of the services our civil engineering team can offer you. Contact us today in order to start prepping for winter. The cold will be here before you know it.

What can our civil engineering department do for you?

McNeil Civil EngineeringNow that spring is here and temperatures are starting to rise, there’s no better time to start work on the projects you’ve been holding off on. Before you wade into the depths of the Internet trying to find the right team for the job, take a few moments to see what the civil engineering team at McNeil Engineering has to offer. We’d love the opportunity to work with you!


Site feasibility studies and due diligent analysis. Have a new project in mind? Maybe even a location that you’re thinking about? Our civil engineering team will do a thorough and in-depth job surveying the area, ensuring it’s perfect for what you have in mind. We don’t cut corners or try to speed our way through things. What’s important to you is equally important to us, and we guarantee we’ll keep you in the loop during every step of the planning process.


Sanitary sewer system design. Need an update or complete override of your existing sewer system? Or maybe you’re the owner of a new plot of land and want to know your facility will meet plumbing codes and save on water costs. The civil engineers at McNeil Engineering have years of experience and knowledge regarding sewer design. We’ll do our part to research every aspect of your property, always keeping sanitation requirements and employee safety in mind.


Subdivision design. Are you a developer or property owner looking to build a new subdivision? Don’t risk selecting a civil engineering partner that’s new to the area or willy nilly with their project designs. We’ve assisted in a number of subdivision and housing complex projects. In addition to design, we also provide 3D modeling and will assist you in attaining the permits, paperwork and approval needed from city and state agencies.


For more information on what the civil engineering team at McNeil Engineering can do for you, just click here. We look forward to hearing from you!

Drones make all the difference

Drones for EngineeringWe’ve all heard about the use of drones for military applications, news gathering purposes, even package delivery, but did you know we regularly utilize them at McNeil Engineering, too? Here’s a quick look at how the DJI Phantom Quadracopter (with a mounted GoPro camera) has made our work easier.


Our goal has always been to give customers a comprehensive view of each and every work site. We know their time is valuable and it isn’t always feasible to keep tabs on ongoing construction. Utilizing a drone has enabled us to take an entire work site and upload it digitally to a client’s computer. By combining aerial videos with our 3D Laser scanning capabilities, engineers and architects can make accurate measurements and decisions, while company owners can view entire projects from the comfort of their own office or home.


The process is relatively simple. We mount a GoPro camera to our quadracopter drone and then make a circular pass of the work area. This takes place during the survey phase of the project and documents everything on the ground. Video recording gives our customers a unique perspective that they wouldn’t receive from 2D renderings, and is great for providing visual answers to questions.


Want to see our quadracopter in action? Check out this video of a recent ALTA survey we completed. If you think our drone would be a great fit for your company’s next project, contact our knowledgable team! Whether you need land surveying, laser scanning, Civil and Structural Engineering, or have a roofing or paving project in the pipeline, we’re here to assist you.