Restore the Roar

Sustaining a culture means protecting its artistry, customs, and treasured monuments.  The 2014 film The Monuments Men demonstrated the great lengths taken to preserve a culture.  Many civilizations have come and gone.  Cultures have evolved, been created and destroyed.  At Pfefferkorn Engineering and Environmental, we engineer restoration solutions for aging infrastructure.  Furthermore, we polish the cherished cornerstones that represent a culture. Hallmarks of a community.  Physical works of craftsmanship and skill are often adorned with symbolic art.  That space, that piece represents the technical achievement of a society for as long as it stands.

Pfefferkorn has served on several projects with special considerations for historically significant structures.  These can be buildings, bridges, schools, landmarks, banks, outposts, trails and burial grounds.  It takes a special approach to restore historical structures.  It is crucial to understand and appreciate the materials and techniques used at the time of the original construction.  On one such opportunity, Pfefferkorn engineered the restoration of a historic archway bridge servicing a major railroad in Jefferson City, Missouri.  The bridge not only has a substantial load, but creek which is spans is a consistent force acting upon the bridge footing.

It was quite an honor to serve on that particular design.  This archway bridge has been part of the community for decades.  And now it will continue serve the needs of the railway without compromising any of the rustic appeal.  – Gabe Pfefferkorn, P.E.

Pictured above is an archway stone bridge with temporary falsework supporting bridge restoration.  Contact PE2 to partner with a team who will preserve the hallmarks of your community.

The Only Article You Should Read Today

Put down the graphing calculator.  Lean back from the 4-monitor desktop computer.  Remove that tracking device showing you are 7,330 steps shy of your target.  And learn about the event that you will do one day.  You may have heard about it a year ago on the local news.  Your friend’s neighbor actually did it a few times.  Didn’t your dad send you a newspaper clipping of it?

The Missouri River 340 is more than a canoe and kayak race.  It is the most accessible, truly awakening adventure taking place in your backyard.  We’ve been waiting for something to rip us out of our ergonomically adjusted desk chairs and force our hand at primitive perseverance.  Inbox be damned.  Get in the boat and out of the nine-to-five shackles.  Or participate from the riverbanks and boat ramps, supporting warriors as they conquer the river one mile at a time.  Pilot a motor boat and lead your fellow brethren through the valley of darkness.

That muddy 5k you did last summer is a small fraction of what to expect.  Then again, your soul savors the prospect of doing something unexpected.  Starting August 8, 2017, 415 boats will launch from Kaw Point in Kansas City, Kansas.  They, along with thousands of groundcrew folks, volunteers and support boats, will race down the Missouri River to St. Charles, Missouri.  Finishers take two to four days to complete the course.  In the name of challenge.  The pursuit of adventure.  Honoring a loved one.  Reconnecting with a past self.  Creating a new, 340-mile facet of you.

We will see you out on the river soon.  Yes, you will one day compete in the Missouri American Water MR340.  Maybe alongside your buddy.  Maybe on a stand up paddleboard.  You are invited to check out the race next week as it unfolds.  Follow MR340 hashtags, news coverage and online postings.  After all, you’ll want to be prepared for when it’s your time.

PE2 is a proud sponsor of this once in a lifetime event, protecting our resources through participation.  and #MR340

Creating Flow

Intuition.  Following your gut.  Particularly when mere seconds matter.  This goes for our primal encounters and also driving.  When designing for roadway safety, engineers overwhelmingly look to make the driving experience intuitive. Is there flow?  What does the motorist expect?  What information do they need about upcoming conditions? When do they need that information?  What is the best medium to convey that information?  Multiple scenarios are envisioned.  Wet pavement.  Nighttime.  Large vehicles.  Centripetal force.  Local traffic norms.

Data is dissected, poured over. Equations and computations are performed.  But with every turn and curve, a human brain looks at each scenario.  The question is asked, “Is this intuitive?”  Does it create flow?  A flow that feels natural, aligns with motorist expectations.  THAT approach makes roadway travel safe.

Smooth Move

Traffic impact studies and curve analysis are works for science.  Well-documented science with multitudes of data. Put it all together in way that makes the motorist not only feel safe, but a part of a fluid vehicular orchestra.  Flow that comes natural.  In driving, seconds matter.  Design for intuition.  Not constraint.  Contact PE2 today for traffic impact studies or roadway safety improvements.

Mound Discussions


The tension is building.  The pressure is on.  The ball team gathers at the pitcher’s mound to discuss clutch strategy.  If you find yourself upon a mound, take a note from the ball diamond defense.  If you do not know what is under the mound, find out.  Stop the operations.  Huddle the team.  Get a plan.

Mountain out of Mole Hill

Mounds are artificial hills, seemingly random against the landscape.  Mounds can be harmless piles of dirt, compiled from an offsite development.  They can also be historically sensitive burial grounds.  Do not proceed with purchase or operations involving the mound until further review.  This activity now requires a permit and approval.  See your local or state historical society for information.  And if you are really unlucky, mounds can be covered piles of waste from a bygone factory, read: hazardous material.  We simply cannot make this up.  So who has the liability of said mound?  The material generator?  Nope.  The prior owner?  Wrong.  If you guessed the owner, you are correct.  Owner as in the current owner.  At best this waste is a pollutant or contamination.  At worst, it is leaching toxic compounds into the groundwater and onto the neighbor’s property or waterway.

Let’s Huddle

Do not proceed with purchase or operations involving a mound unless you are confident of what (or who) is buried there.  Hopefully nothing but dirt.  Though if you do not know, ask a city official with access to historical records or knowledge.  Try the state agencies if necessary.  If all else fails, try an environmental engineer who can decipher historical occupancy records.  Up until modern regulations, guess where waste went?  In. the. GROUND.  Yup.  Quite commonly, too.   Want to know another red flag?  Beware of any property whose value is SIGNIFICANTLY lower than other comparable properties.  Contact PEto huddle up with you on the mound.

Heat Island: No Vacation


An urban heat island is a populated area than is warmer than its surrounding less congested areas.   Think of all the heat energy ricocheting from pavement and structures, structures to pavement.  This effect is noticed more on calm days with less wind.  Furthermore, the temperature difference usually is larger at night.  Heat islands are also more apparent during the extreme hot or cold periods.  Heat waves are highly covered by local media as a safety precaution.


Heat islands can technically occur anywhere when conditions are ripe for it.   Think about a dry, bowl-shaped piece of geography.  Go there to get your sweat on or film a sports drink commercial.  Interestingly, rainfall is typically greater downwind of cities, partially due to the urban heat.  However, not all heavily populated areas have a distinct urban heat island.

 Don’t Touch My Grass

Large stretches of vegetation and water offset some of the heat energy though this is not always possible to incorporate in some urban areas.  Further development and improvement, however, provides a great opportunity to vegetate and exploit water resources.  Urban planners are actively incorporating and preserving vegetation.   Heat mitigation is one of the many benefits of natural vegetation in urban areas.  Stay safe this summer as the temperature rises.  Seek out your local waterway or oasis.

Building of the Year


Pfefferkorn Engineering & Environmental is the engineer of choice for nationally recognized post-frame builders.  PE2 provided the engineering and structural oversight for a masterpiece structure in beautiful eastern Kansas.  The building went on to receive national recognition from the National Frame Builders Association for Building of the Year.  This building took the top honor in the hobby shop category of the Masters Division.  The Masters division is reserved for elite builders at the top of their game.  This recognition comes at a time when landowners and business owners are capitalizing on the versatility of post frame structures.  Furthermore they are creating aesthetic structures to compliment impressive estates and campuses.   Contact PE2 today to partner with an engineering firm experienced in taking design to a nationally recognized level.