DLZ Digest

DLZ Michigan’s Official Newsletter!

Check out the previous issue!

DLZ Digest – Vol. 1 Issue 1

USPS National Program Management

DLZ has partnered with the United States Postal Service (USPS) under a national program management service contract to provide design and construction services for projects throughout Michigan and other locations nationwide. The program is being managed by staff based in DLZ’s Michigan operation.  Currently, DLZ is providing Investigative Studies, Design Services, Construction Administration, and Survey Services to support renovations and capital improvement projects of all sizes, ranging from less than $500K to over $50M in construction value.  

In conjunction with its USPS Program Management contract, DLZ has undertaken a lead role on Design-Build teams for turnkey project delivery.  In this role, DLZ is acting as the Design-Builder and/or Construction Manager (CM) for various renovation and capital improvement projects. We have partnered with other CMs and Contractors to complete projects throughout the Midwest under budget and ahead of schedule. DLZ’s Charles Barber is instrumental in coordinating our construction management efforts. 

Contact: Eric Beaulieu, AIA

Mini-Roundabouts – Safety Measure Implementation in Michigan

Most if not all people are now familiar with roundabouts designed and constructed for the last 20 years throughout the Midwest. A roundabout is quite flexible in its implementation and can take many shapes and sizes to accommodate different transportation needs. Mini-roundabouts are a lesser-known and utilized version. DLZ’s first experience with mini-roundabouts occurred in the early 2000s with the installation of a mini-roundabout in Dimondale, Michigan. This was one of the first mini-roundabouts in the country and is often featured in roundabout manuals and guides. A standard roundabout has a single-lane operation and an inscribed diameter (ICD), or distance between the outer edge of the circulating lanes, of 150-165 feet and is designed to provide speed control while accommodating up to a 67-foot-long semi-truck.  Traditional single and multi-lane roundabouts are designed to improve safety (reducing crashes and injury) and to accommodate high traffic volumes. Mini-roundabouts are much smaller with an ICD of approximately 90 feet. The central island of a mini roundabout is fully paved so that large vehicles can drive straight through the central island, as necessary. Mini-roundabouts are utilized in situations where traffic volumes are not an issue, and improving safety and reducing serious crashes is the overarching goal.

Mini-roundabouts, like the one in Dimondale, have been a low-cost alternative for a 4-way stop or signalized intersection in a low-speed urban environment. Over the last several years, the mini-roundabout concept has evolved into a solution that can be applied to higher-speed rural locations. The Washtenaw County Road Commission (WCRC) in Michigan began testing applications for mini-roundabouts within and around Ann Arbor, Michigan. They started by simply adding small, raised islands in the center of major residential streets, along with yield signs and pavement markings. These applications provided great benefit-cost solutions in terms of realized safety benefits. They then looked at other opportunities for mini-roundabouts, including high-speed rural locations. The WCRC found that mini-roundabouts can be utilized in these locations with proper high-speed approach design following what is typically done at standard high-speed roundabouts throughout the country (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfLY8xvvm2E).

DLZ is currently looking at two locations in Ingham County, Michigan for high-speed rural mini-roundabout designs, following the lessons learned in Washtenaw County. The county has several intersections with 2-way stops that are experiencing elevated levels of injury crashes. These intersections do not meet warrants for a 4-way stop or for a traffic signal. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has acknowledged the benefits of mini-roundabouts, and the county was granted safety funds from MDOT to build mini-roundabouts. DLZ now has a new tool for lower-traffic volume intersections where safety needs to be improved, funding is limited, and right-of-way impacts need to be avoided.

Contact: Sean Riley, P.E.

Project Funding Spotlight

Charging and Fueling Infrastructure Grant: Through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act, the new competitive Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) Grant Program will award $700 million in grants this year across the U.S. to build publicly accessible electric vehicle charging and alternative fueling stations in communities and along highway corridors, especially in underserved and disadvantaged communities. The deadline to apply is May 30, 2023

2024 Planning Assistance Program: The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG) has just announced the fiscal year 2024 Planning Assistance Program, which provides funding for local planning that moves regional plans and priorities forward. For FY 2024, SEMCOG has approximately $500,000 available and is prioritizing multi-community and regionally impactful planning projects related to the following key topics of regional significance:

  • Transportation Equity Planning
  • Complete Streets and Corridor Planning
  • Trails and Greenways Planning
  • Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Planning
  • Broadband Planning
  • Stormwater Management Planning

The maximum grant request is $50,000 (including a local match of approximately $9,075). Projects can be submitted now through May 15, 2023, at 5 p.m.

Source Water Protection Grants: Each May, EGLE announces funding available through its Source Water Protection Program. These grants are provided to assist communities with a public water supply in developing, initiating, and maintaining source water protection programs. Both groundwater and surface water-supplied systems are eligible to apply. The DLZ team has several years of experience in applying for and administering this grant program for our communities. The minimum application requirements include:

  • a 50 percent local match that must be provided through local funds equal to the amount of grant assistance requested,
  • a source water protection team consisting of at least three people, including representation from the water supply superintendent and the municipality, and
  • a minimum score of ten on the application.

MDNR Spark Grants: Last year, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) awarded over $14 Million to 21 cities, villages, and counties for parks and recreation improvements. Applications for the next round of funding will be made available later this spring. The grant program was developed to provide safe, accessible public recreation facilities and spaces to improve people’s health, introduce new recreation experiences, build on existing park infrastructure, and make it easier for people to enjoy both indoor and outdoor recreation. This grant opportunity is possible because of the Building Michigan Together Plan, signed in March 2022, which included a historic fusion of federal funding in our state and local parks. There is NO match requirement to apply.  Applicants need to register through the MiGrants portal. 

Contact: Laura Gruzwalski, (248) 836-4053

Take Your Business to New Heights with DLZ’s Innovative Drone Services

In today’s fast-paced business world, it’s more important than ever to stay ahead of the competition. To do this, you need to make sure that every aspect of your business is working at peak performance–and one area where this can happen is with drone services. DLZ offers expert team members who are ready to raise your company to new altitudes by providing innovative drone services like:

3D Mapping
Jobsite Inspection
Aerial Site Planning 




Enhanced Safety and Efficiency: As a business owner, you want to keep your employees safe and your customers happy. The right drone can help you do both. Drones are fast and efficient at inspecting roofs, bridges, and other structures that would otherwise be too dangerous or difficult to access in person. They also allow you to inspect areas where it would be unsafe or impractical for humans (like over water) without putting anyone at risk of injury or damage from falling debris.

High-Quality Aerial Imagery and Video: DLZ’s drones are equipped with advanced cameras that capture high-resolution images and video. These can be invaluable for a variety of industries, including construction, real estate sales, marketing, agriculture, insurance claims assessment, and more.

Improved Data Collection and Analysis: When it comes to data collection and analysis, drones are a game changer. They can provide you with an entirely new perspective on your business, allowing you to collect data quickly and accurately. This will allow you to identify patterns and trends that were previously unknown or difficult to see and provide valuable insights into how best to improve operations.

Stock Pile Volumes: Our team also uses drones as part of assessing Stock Pile Volumes. If you’re looking to measure stockpile volumes, drone services can help. With our innovative drone technology and advanced software, we can quickly and accurately measure your stockpile volume. This information aids in the planning stages of any project that involves stockpiling materials or products. Our team will work with you to develop a plan for measuring your stockpiles that best suits your needs. Our experience allows us to provide detailed analysis of stockpile volumes so that you can make informed decisions about how much material will be needed for each phase of construction or other job site activity.

For more information on our drone services, get in touch with us. We’d love to help you come up with a solution and plan.

Contact: Tim Weir, PS

Employee Spotlight: Natalie Dingledine

Q: How long have you worked for DLZ and what do you do there? A: I’ve been with DLZ for 22 years. I’m an Environmental Scientist- Ecologist who works on ecological surveys, permitting, and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance.

Q: What is the most interesting project you were part of? A: I love to sample for aquatic insects, so I would have to say being able to survey for a federally endangered Hungerford’s crawling water beetle is right up there! Having worked throughout Camp Grayling, I knew there were a couple of streams that would be candidates for the presence of the beetle. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) funded the efforts at the base to identify whether the species was present. Knowing this information would assist in balancing their military mission with natural resource conservation. The best part was that I found a population in a stream and watershed that it hadn’t been previously known to inhabit!

Q: What is your greatest work accomplishment? A: I would say the Thunder Bay Reef Restoration Project, mainly because it was a 9-year project. Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) had an idea for mitigating damage to a reef in Thunder Bay, Lake Huron, and asked DLZ to assist them. From the very start, I was fortunate enough to be part of the project, where we reached out to several stakeholder groups to decide on a design and location; it was decided to bring in limestone rock to build new reefs that would attract lake trout for spawning. I helped coordinate stakeholder activities, secured grant funding, assisted with 5 years of reef monitoring, and am a co-author on two published journal articles.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your career? A: The variety! From many clients in local, state, and federal agencies to the variety of projects that I’ve been able to take part in (sea lamprey barrier plans, water quality sampling, stream habitat assessments, protected species surveys, etc.). My days are never the same since I might be in the field collecting samples or in the office managing projects or writing reports.

Q: What is something people don’t know about you? A: They probably don’t know that I have lived in 5 states (well, 6 if you count being born in Florida), including Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Michigan in my adult life.

Q: What’s your secret talent no one knows about? A:  I can take nearly any ingredient and make an awesome soup.

Q: Who has been the most influential person in your life? A: Besides my husband (who is my biggest advocate), it would be my undergraduate advisor, Dr. Tom Burton. He encouraged me to assist his team with working on a research project in the Upper Peninsula for one summer (I went there for 2 summers). The experience contributed to what I do today. We kept in touch for many years until his passing; he always treated me like one of his graduate student family.

Employee Achievements: Michigan’s Architecture Department

DLZ Michigan recognizes the achievements of our staff!

Congratulations to Daniel Dettwiler of DLZ’s Detroit office – Dan recently completed the Architecture Registration Exam and is now a Registered Architect!  DLZ now has 5 Registered Architects based in the growing Detroit office.   

Congratulations to Stacy Domino of DLZ’s Lansing office – Stacy recently became a WELL Accredited Professional through the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI).  The IWBI takes a people-first approach to buildings, organizations, and communities using the WELL Building Standard, which is a roadmap for creating and certifying spaces that advance human health and well-being.

Masonry Camp: Xin Chen, AIA, LEED AP recently spent a week at Masonry Camp with the International Masonry Institute, which is a nationally recognized program to gain hands-on instruction related to masonry materials, details, and installation methods for various types of masonry and tile.  Xin will use this valuable learning experience when preparing designs and reviewing construction installations in the field.

DLZ Panel Discusses DE&I with NOMA Student Chapter: Mikehl Hafner, Valentina Glover, and Xin Chen of DLZ’s Detroit office presented and led a guided discussion as part of a lecture series for the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) Student Chapter at the University of Oklahoma College of Architecture. Discussion topics included challenges and opportunities regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the A/E industry and within our office culture. The panel also shared case studies of how DLZ conducts design charrettes which focus on identifying opportunities for improvement in the way our designs respond to DEI issues, as we strive to consider every perspective in our design solutions.