Regulatory hurdles

We are still in the throes of trying to get our first three houses permitted in Summit Place, my new single-family subdivision in Fayetteville, Ark. And for the first time ever – since I started building more than 30 years ago – I am getting increasingly frustrated with the construction permitting process.

The problem now seems to be one of not being able to give the city what it needs in the form of identifying every tree on every site (or hanging over the sites). Just one more hurdle to jump through. Thank God for my civil engineer and his staff. They’ll get it done fast.

I think this kind of thing is typical. There’s always another hoop to jump through or problem to solve (quickly, please!). I find it interesting when design professionals complain about regulations when, in fact, it is these same regulations that drive a lot of the work civil engineers do. Without it, clients wouldn’t always see the need to get a civil engineer involved, even if it would be the smart thing to do for dozens of other reasons.

The needs for civil engineering aren’t going away. With rising ocean levels, there will be more work than ever in designing flood protection for coastal areas. Our transportation networks are jamming, our clean water dwindling, and our water and sewer systems, treatment plants, and roads need rebuilding.

Now, more than ever, is a great time for a young person to consider becoming a civil engineer. So do us a favor and pass this October issue of CE News along to someone you think may have an interest in this field. Start ’em out young and get ’em hooked – the world may depend on it!

Meanwhile, read October’s CE News yourself first. And as always, we welcome your comments, criticisms, suggestions, and feedback. Drop me a line at

Mark C. Zweig

Posted in Uncategorized | January 29th, 2014 by

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