Step by Step

by Lynn M. Mayo, P.E., Sr. Proj. Engr.; Woodward-Clyde Fed. Services, Gaithersburg, MD,
Dale A. Lehman, P.E., Sr. Consultant; Woodward-Clyde Fed. Services, Gaithersburg, MD,
Daniel Harper, Sr. Engr.; Montgomery County Dept. of Environmental Protection, Rockville, MD,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1998, Vol. 68, Issue 8, Pg. 65-67

Document Type: Feature article


A small townhouse community in suburban Maryland experienced repeated flooding from a nearby stream, which had eroded as the community grew from rural to suburban. By involving the affected homeowners and interested government agencies in the decision-making process from the very beginning, engineers discovered an effective and inexpensive solution that pleased everyone. This article examines the many steps leading to the final decision, including several public meetings and the use of weighted criteria to evaluate up to 13 options. The description of the team approach illustrates how groups with disparate concerns can work together to reach a common goal.

Subject Headings: Suburbs | Residential buildings | Floods | Rivers and streams | Erosion | Rural areas | Government | Decision making | Maryland | United States

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