New Landmark DFA Facility Designed and Engineered by Lumos.

[ Written by Steven G. Moon, P.E., Fallon Location ]

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It’s a good thing we were drinking our milk AND eating our Wheaties during this project. We needed all that energy to pull together six Lumos divisions working with three major entities including Big D Construction and the City of Fallon as well as the DFA, in addition to multiple design teams strung out from Nevada to Wisconsin to California to New Zealand. The project was two years in the making at a cost of $85 million. Lumos put the final touches on the DFA Milk Drying Plant in March of 2014 when the last of 181,000 square feet of landscaping was complete. But that’s just the beginning of the story.

Toward the end of 2011, the City of Fallon, Churchill County and the Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) began talks to locate a DFA Ingredient Plant in Churchill County. A 31.5 acre site was selected within the City’s New River Business Park, and the journey toward establishing a state of the art Milk Drying Facility was underway. From project’s inception, Lumos has been an integral part of not only the DFA Team, but has also partnered with the City of Fallon to assist them in establishing the necessary infrastructure to support the magnitude of such a project for both local and international communities, and has also provided construction services to the prime contractor, Big D Construction in order to facilitate final construction.

City of Fallon

Lumos’ initial work for the City of Fallon consisted of the boundary and topographic mapping of the site, prepared a Boundary Line Adjustment Map to establish the parcel to be developed and created the necessary roadway and utility easements to provide the footprint of the infrastructure backbone. The roadway and utility networks were determined through a collaborative process between the City and DFA; each stakeholder’s requirements were evaluated and incorporated into the final roadway and utility network.

Lumos prepared three separate design packages for the City to complete their portion of the project, based on their needs and to account for the staging of activities between the construction of the New River Parkway and the DFA Plant itself. Ultimately, 1,500 linear feet of New River Parkway was constructed from its previous terminus,extending along the east edge of the DFA property and connecting to the Wildes Road intersection to produce an efficient primary access to the DFA Plant and provide a vital roadway connection for the City. Within the New River Parkway construction limits, the City also constructed 1,400 linear feet of 8-inch deep sewer system and over 1,600 linear feet of 8-inch water line; which when looped with the existing system, can produce nearly 2,700 gpm to the DFA site. To wrap up the final site layout, Lumos produced cost effective landscaping and irrigation designs to enhance the appearance of the corridor and to tie into the landscaping pallet of the DFA facility.


The civil site design for the DFA Plant itself instituted a unique set of challenges, as one would expect with the development of an $85 million project. Some of the opportunities included working with an international design team, designing the utility network which was comprised of multiple sewer waste streams from the DFA Plant and the integration of pretreatment prior to discharge into the City’s sewer system.

Lumos worked with multiple design teams in locations which spanned from Milwaukee, to Oakland to New Zealand. Through effective communication and continual coordination, Lumos was able to seamlessly integrate the needs and goals of the design team.

The multiple waste streams were managed through a design of three separate gravity sewer systems which handle domestic sewage separately from the DFA Trade Waste stream and the overflow Cow Water Waste stream. The Trade Waste stream proved to be the most difficult to handle as the pH, temperature and discharge flows can substantially differ depending on the cycle of the plant. The pH and temperature were accounted for by specifying a polypropylene sewer pipe to withstand these variables, also the pipe size and slope were optimized to account for both the low and high flow conditions to be encountered.

The integration of pretreatment prior to discharge into the City’ sewer system was accomplished by isolating the DFA Trade Waste stream beginning at the building and installing a triplex sewer lift station with the capability of delivering waste flows through multiple connection points at the on-site Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP), as well as having the capacity to manage flow back from the WWTP in unbalanced or emergent situations.

Once above ground, Lumos provided a civil site design that accounts for a half a million square foot developed area. The plan effectively manages traffic through the site,establishes the security required by a food grade facility, allows for contingencies for future expansion and creates a drainage and landscaping concept that provides for low maintenance and sanitary conditions in and around the building. The developed site is comprised of 171,500 SF of PCC Paving, 2,500 LF of gravity sewer, 181,000 SF of landscaping and gravel mulch stabilized areas, 2,800 LF of 6, 8 and 10-inch waterline and 3,900 LF of 8′ chain link security fence.

Big D Construction

In its consummate role of team player, Lumos worked with Big D Construction through the life of the project. From consultation on design concepts to final construction staking, Lumos was also a key partner on the Big D team. Lumos provided building staking for the 100,000 SF DFA Plant and the 500,000 SF of developed site, as well as specialty services such as plumbness verification of the 150 foot tall drying tower, anchor assembly confirmation for the tank gallery and imbedded anchor as-built surveys to assist in the fabrication of the multiple suspended metal platforms.

In total, Lumos provided a wide array of services encompassing nearly all of Lumos’ capabilities: Boundary and Topographic Surveying, Geotechnical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Construction Surveying,Materials Testing and Special Inspection. These services were offered and delivered in light of the unique opportunities in which Lumos was willingly challenged, namely, working with numerous local agencies and several contractors, as well as collaborating with multiple engineering and architectural firms, of which some were local, and some were halfway around the world. Ultimately Lumos was able to deliver a quality project for our clients -the City of Fallon, Dairy Farmers of America,and Big D Construction.

35 years and still ticking…

[ Written by Craig L. Wesner, P.E., CEO ]

35 years ago, Paul Lumos undertook his greatest career achievement. He started his own engineering firm. At the time he was the City Engineer for Carson City, and he knew the importance of a proper foundation. He also had a vision for sustainability. Paul did it right. And the company is now celebrating 35 years of progress and excellence.

35 years and still building…

In 1978 when Paul was getting started, I graduated from high school. I had no premonition that Paul was putting a plan into place to grow leaders in his company that would one day carry on its future and include myself as CEO.

Carl Cavolick, one of Paul’s first employees, joined the firm in 1980 and was Paul’s right hand. Carl was responsible for managing the Carson City office and bringing the geotechnical and lab services capabilities to the firm.

Buzz Fitzpatrick joined the firm in 1987 starting the Fallon office as a survey outpost, which later developed into a small full-service location with a lab and engineering services. Buzz continued on to become the company’s Chief Financial Officer and retired in 2011 making his death in 2013 all the more somber.

Chas Macquarie was hired in 1988 and was eventually given the task of building the Reno office which has become the company’s largest producing office. Upon Paul’s retirement, Chas became our Chief Executive Officer and then stepped down from the position in 2012 to focus on what he really enjoys…designing trails and bike paths.

Paul, Carl and Chas made key hires that have now been with the company 15 plus years and have taken the reigns as a third generation of leadership.

35 years and still competing.

Since day one, it has been important for Lumos & Associates to enjoy working together, playing together, often enjoying friendly competition as well as maintaining ongoing community involvement.

We’re a quality firm; recognized by our peers as a firm that produces outstanding projects and provides personal service to our clients. This year we were recognized by the Nevada Chapter of the American Public Works Association for the work we have done on the Eureka Airport Project, and we will move into the next round to compete nationally.

We are socially responsible and active in our communities. Many of our employees volunteer to sit on Boards and Commissions or serve in civic or community service organizations. We also serve our community through involvement in professional and service organizations. And in our 35th year, we received recognition from the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce as the Healthiest Place to Work in northern Nevada, which is a testament to our active workforce and our work-life balance culture. We do many things together, including our annual Reno Tahoe Odyssey Relay Race and many enjoy our annual Flume Trail Ride which also contributes to our healthy work environment.

The future is bright; we have an energized leadership team, an excellent group of employees and a great group of clients. Our vision is to focus on company growth in order to maintain our long term sustainability. We have recognized that our greatest opportunity for company growth will come from expansions into new geographical areas and as such, we are actively searching for these new opportunities.

With the hard work of our employees and our leadership team I have no doubt that in another 35 years some fortunate CEO will be able to write about Lumos’ 70-year history.

Photo: The Lumos Leadership Team (L to R).
Brian E. McRae, P.E., Tahoe Location Principal; Michael D. Bennett, P.E., W.R.S., Carson City Location Principal; Craig L. Wesner, P.E., Chief Executive Officer; Steven G. Moon, P.E., Fallon Location Principal;
Randall M. Long, P.E., Chief Operating Officer; and, Thomas W. Young, P.E., Reno Location Principal.

Click here to read more about our Leadership Team >>

Eureka Airport Wins Two Prestigious Awards: APWA and ENR.

Eureka Airport Runway 18/36 Reconstruction
Eureka County, NV

Watch The Video: Landing at the Eureka Nevada Airport

The awards are adding up for this groundbreaking project. In August 2013 we received the American Public Works Association (APWA) Transportation Project of the Year Award. In November 2013 we received the Engineering News-Record (ENR) award. What is next? We say more great projects like this one!

Eureka County’s short construction season forces some aggressive schedules on their engineers and contractors. The County’s demand for quality and accuracy requires everyone involved to be operating at the highest level. However, last summer brought a project whose schedule was so aggressive that it demanded an extraordinary effort from all involved.

Utilizing a grant from the FAA, the County set forth on a project, designed and bid by Lumos, to re-construct/re-profile the full runway, apron, and approach taxiways of the County Airport. All work activities had to be started after Memorial Day weekend and completed before the start of the wildfire season. In other words, the County gave Lumos 21 days to construct the $3.23 million project

Eureka County owns and operates the county airport located in Diamond Valley, about 7 miles north of the Town of Eureka, Nevada. The airport serves as a transportation link for the remote county by regularly receiving mining executives, refueling stops by aircraft passing through, and support for air operations for the local ranches. However, its most important function is serving MedFLIGHT and supporting air attack crews battling local wildfires. It is these last two that drove the requirement for minimizing the airport closure. Even with the closure, the airport construction operations were on constant alert for the potential of incoming aircraft. The readiness paid off because through the team’s preparation and constant communication, the closed airport was fully operable is less than five minutes of an incoming emergency call. In addition to two medical emergencies, the town of Eureka was also threatened by a nearby wildfire. The 2,800 acre Pinto Fire required multiple air attack operations with two type II helicopter crews and one fixed wing air command; all of which required multiple fuel cycles, staging of aircraft, and housing of crews at the airport during active construction operations.

This project included reconstruction of Runway 18/36, a 7,300 foot long by 60 foot wide ribbon of asphalt, connecting taxiways, and 73,500 square foot of apron. Construction specifications included pulverization of existing improvements, 7% cement treatment, and all covered with 3″ of FAA specification asphalt. The project progressed with pre-demolition and demolition operations taking place on one end of the runway, as the continuation of Cement Treated Base (CTB) and paving operations took place on the other. Pulverization and CTB operations of the runway allowed for nearly 100,000 square feet of demolition and prepared runway sub structure per day. Such vast quantities were accomplished by the utilization of three pulverization/CTB crews, two grade setting and grading crews.

In addition to providing the project design and bidding services, Lumos was also contracted by Eureka County Public Works, headed by Ronald Damele, to manage the construction phase of the project. The Lumos team consisted of Thomas Young, P.E. (Project Manager), Michael Bennett, P.E. (Construction Manager), Mitch Burns, P.E. (Geotechnical Engineer);Greg Phillips, PLS (Survey Manager). The construction contractor was Road and Highway Builders (RHB) and their key project leaders were Steve Blakely (Vice President) and Clint Madsen (Superintendent).

With constant oversight by key Lumos and RHB staff, construction operations ran like clockwork. With an average daily cost of approximately $150,000 and nearly 70 personnel working at the peak of the project, the final striping was applied and dry twelve hours prior to the required opening. In the end, RHB moved nearly 20,000 cubic yards of earth, mixed 1,400 tons of cement, placed 11,000 tons of asphalt, and hauled half a million gallons of construction water. As planned, the Eureka County Airport was opened on time, with zero safety incidents, zero change orders, and within budget!