City of Hoover


Hoover, AL


Civil Engineering, Wastewater Engineering, Water Engineering

For nearly 20 years, Gresham Smith’s Water + Environment team has partnered with the City of Hoover to deliver smart infrastructure solutions. So, when the city began receiving complaints about sewage backing up in a shopping center one Saturday afternoon, they called on the firm to quickly analyze and identify underlying cause.

Coordinating with multiple utilities and utility contractors, we discovered that a water main leak was the ultimate source of the problem. The leak had caused a complete structural failure in a sewer manhole, and debris was blocking the gravity sewer main. The cherry on top? It was located beneath U.S. Highway 280, one of the busiest highways in the Birmingham Metropolitan Area. Using our strong network of local contacts and quickly mobilizing Gresham Smith’s engineering team, we completed the emergency repairs in just three weeks, quickly getting the City of Hoover and the surrounding communities flowing again.

foot deep manhole
week accelerated repair timeline
year client relationship
Section of U.S. Highway 280 under repair with U.S. flag in background.

A Trusted Advisor

Gresham Smith has completed nearly three dozen projects for the City of Hoover, including water, wastewater, stormwater, transportation and master planning projects. As a result, our firm has developed a strong relationship with the City. When the City received reports of sewage backing up, they immediately called on our team and we wasted no time utilizing our network of contacts to get a crew out on site to diagnose the problem and identified a reliable contractor for the emergency repairs.

Section of U.S. Highway 280 under repair featuring orange- and white-striped traffic drums, ladder and cable.

A Multimarket Effort

For the repairs to be made, lanes of Highway 280—one of the busiest highways in the Birmingham area—needed to be closed, requiring changes to the traffic pattern. Due to the severe congestion, plans to alter the traffic pattern needs approval from the Alabama Department of Transportation. Gresham Smith’s Transportation engineers quickly jumped in to help, using markers, signage and the correct length of road taper to shift traffic.

A group of workers in safety vests and helmets carry out repairs to Highway 280.

As Efficient as Possible

To repair the infrastructure with minimal interruption, a temporary manhole was constructed to allow for bypass pumping. Construction crews were able to replace the original sewer manhole and fix the water main break while controlling the flow of debris into the gravity sewer main, protecting the system from further disruptions in the future.

Cars on Highway 280.

The Right Repair

Because of Highway 280’s prominence and the high volume of traffic, the backfill from the subgrade to the paving needed to be immaculate. Eighteen vertical feet of backfill was compacted, sloped and filled to exact specifications, creating a smooth roadway with no sign of sewer repairs in sight. Thanks to quick action and a strong network, our team helped safeguard the City of Hoover’s essential infrastructure.