What does a Municipal Engineer do?

Brandon Movall, Graduate Engineer, WSB

Creating a livable city space for residents to enjoy is no easy feat.

Civil engineers who dedicate their careers to supporting a specific city or municipality are known as municipal engineers. You may only know of one main city engineer in your community. However, there is likely a team of municipal engineers working behind the scenes to ensure all city operations are running smoothly.

Here are five things that municipal engineers do to support your community.

1. Design

One of the most noticeable things that municipal engineers do is design the public infrastructure in a community. Local streets are designed to get you around town. Public utilities are designed to provide drinking water and indoor restrooms to homes and businesses. Trails are designed for recreational enjoyment. Storm sewer systems are designed to properly manage storm water runoff and prevent flooding. All the above and more are designed by municipal engineers.

2. Review

Developers and residents rely on municipal engineers to review developments within their city. Large-scale developments, usually done by a developer for a residential, commercial or industrial area, take thorough reviewing by municipal engineers to ensure the development is compliant with city rules and regulations and adds value to the community. Similarly, residents with plans to modify their land seek approval from municipal engineers to ensure their design and modifications meet community standards and avoid potential issues for neighbors or future residents.

3. Plan

Municipal engineers are always looking to the future. They develop Capital Improvement Plans (CIPs) to identify the most crucial needs of the city and plan for future projects. These plans typically project 5-10 years into the future. Additionally, municipal engineers work with city planners and regulatory agencies to establish comprehensive plans for the community. Most comprehensive city plans typically project 10-20 years into the future.

4. Budget

Managing a city’s infrastructure budget is an essential part of being a municipal engineer. Cities often operate on a limited budget so they must think carefully about where to allocate their spending. Likewise, municipal engineers assist cities with applying for state, regional, and federal funding.

5. Collaborate

Municipal engineers collaborate with invested stakeholders to improve their communities. Through public engagement and speaking with residents, city officials, regional and state agencies, they gather input and analyze the best course of action to create a viable city that works for everyone.

Brandon Movall is a Graduate Engineer on our municipal team with experience in project design and bringing creative solutions to community problems. Learn more about our civil engineering services and recent community projects.

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