- City of Lawton Department Spotlight: Engineering
City of Lawton Department Spotlight: Engineering
Published September 9, 2022
Improving our City’s infrastructure - it’s the Engineering Department’s main priority. Driving on roads that are torn up may be frustrating, but it’s a sign of progress. The Engineering Department works on everything from water and sewer infrastructure to the construction of buildings, like the Public Safety Facility.
Headed up by Joe Painter, the Engineering Department focuses on Capital Improvement Projects.
"We manage and oversee the consultants that do the engineering design," Painter said.
A few examples of what the engineering department has contracted out include the Lee Boulevard Rehabilitation project, the Gore Boulevard Waterline and Sewerline Reconstruction and the sidewalk project on Gore, just to name a few.
What people may not realize is the time it takes for these projects to get underway. The design process can take anywhere from six months to two years.
"That’s why people sometimes get frustrated when they hear about a street getting improved or replaced, but it may not happen for three years," said Painter. " We have to get through the design process and then we have construction, which could take 12 months to 18 months. It’s not quick.”
Rest assured though, the City of Lawton has highly qualified engineers, which isn’t the easiest career field to join.
"To get our professional engineering license, which you have to have – it takes 9 years of your life," Painter said. "You got school and exams to pass to get that license. It’s a big deal. It’s a commitment.”
Civil Engineer Shivani Rani recently passed her Professional Engineering exam, which moves her one step closer to earning her license to sign and stamp design plans.
Rani has had a hand in several of the projects you’ll see across Lawton. For her, it’s about helping citizens and making Lawton the most infrastructurally sound place to live.
"When we have construction going on, it takes a long time so they always face issues," Rani said. "I’m thankful to them that they work with us. I know they go through a lot. If they have any issues, I’m always willing to talk to them and help them with their issues.”
The next time you see the roadways under construction, or if you’re wondering why on earth a project is taking so long – just take into consideration the many hoops the folks in the Engineering Department have to jump through and know they are always willing to answer any questions you may have.