Ackerman Estvold: A New Name To Know In The Fargo-Moorhead Area

Written by: Brady Drake

There’s a new name in town for engineering, architecture, and environmental services, Ackerman-Estvold.

Founded in 2003 as a civil engineering firm, Ackerman-Estvold was started with the mission to serve the residents of northwestern North Dakota.
They have done just that and more.

Ackerman-Estvold has evolved into an 11 discipline firm with 60 employees serving the entire state of North Dakota and beyond.

A Fargo location was added at the end of 2020. While you may not know the name or work yet, you will soon!

What have they done already?

Ackerman-Estvold is responsible for a large number of public projects in the western half of North Dakota and will soon be contributing the same quality of work to our beautiful communities! Look at some of the projects their dedicated teams have created from design to completion.

4 Bears Water Park – New Town, ND

4 Bears Water Park

Starting in 2016, Ackerman-Estvold provided architectural and site civil design for a water park containing a splash pad, lazy river, and water slide at the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge.

Centennial Pond/Perkett Ditch – Minot, ND

Centennial Pond/Perkett Ditch

As part of the interior drainage analysis for the Mouse River Enhanced Flood Protection Project, Ackerman-Estvold determined the City of Minot needed additional stormwater storage capacity. This to reduced the stormwater pump station size needed to handle runoff from a large rain during a flooding event. Through an in-depth alternatives analysis (and some outside-the-box thinking), Ackerman identified the opportunity, to convert Centennial Forest into Centennial Pond to create additional stormwater storage capacity. Ackerman-Estvold saw this conversion of Centennial Forest as an opportunity to not only serve as stormwater detention and retention pond, but also to create an amenity for the City of Minot.

NE Truck Reliever Route and Main Street Reconstruction – New Town, ND

NE Truck Reliever Route and Main Street Reconstruction

The Ackerman-Estvold team began work on this project in 2006 and was intimately involved in the New Town Main Street and NE Truck Reliever Route Projects until the completion of both projects in 2014/2015. During the preliminary design of the Main Street project, western North Dakota exploded with oil activity and New Town found itself in the heart of the Bakken oil field development. Main Street in New Town quickly became the main thoroughfare connecting ND Highway 23 to both ND highway 1804 and the Four Bears Bridge crossing Lake Sakakawea. There was an imperative need to reduce traffic on Main Street, and the New Town NE Truck Reliever Bypass project was advanced ahead of the Main Street project

Ackerman-Estvold’s role included the traffic operations study, noise analysis, environmental permitting, righ-of-way design, roadway design, hydraulic analysis and drainage design, public involvement coordination included conducting public meetings, and overall project coordination of the design and environmental assessment of both projects.

Williams County Road 42 Bridge Replacement – Williams County, ND

Williams County Road 42 Bridge Replacement

In 2015, Williams County engaged Ackerman- Estvold to evaluate the replacement of the existing bridge on County Road 42 located 1.25 miles south of Epping, ND.

Ackerman-Estvold designed this project to NDDOT standards and specifications and performed the construction engineering for this project. This $1.25 million bridge replacement project was completed in 2016.

Pedesphere Elevated Storage Tank – Mohall, ND

Pedeshpere Elevated Storage Tank

Ackerman-Estvold has designed and administered the construction of several pedesphere style elevated storage tank for communities throughout the region. The pedesphere style tanks are popular

due to the interior placement of ladders and piping, which help shield piping from weather, allow for pipe insulation, and protect against vandalism. The pedesphere design is sleek and simplistic with a smooth continuous exterior surface and was chosen for construction by the cities of Kenmare, Westhope, and Mohall.

The three communities all faced a similar challenge of an aging water tower that was undersized for today’s standards. These cities all had existing water towers with an approximate volume of 50,000 gallons that were replaced with new elevated steel tanks with volumes ranging from 200,000 to 300,000 gallons. The capacity for these towers was driven by fire flow requirements that were determined during the design process. The design for these projects all required the existing tower to be operational until the new tower could be brought

online. Once it was determined the newly constructed tower was functioning properly, the existing tower was demolished.

Get to know the Ackerman Estvold team: Tim Arens, Vice President/Senior Transportation Engineer

Tim Arens

An experienced Ackerman-Estvold employee since 2011, Arens has relocated back to Fargo, his old college stomping ground, to help serve the eastern half of the state.

What do you enjoy when away from work?

I am a huge sports fan in general and a fan of NDSU. I try to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible and love getting involved in the community.

After graduating from NDSU in 2003 this is your first real “return” to the area, how have you and your family adjusted to the new surroundings?

It has been a bit of a struggle for our family with the COVID 19 pandemic. However, as things started to open back up, we have really found ourselves enjoying the parks around town and the activities in downtown. Getting involved in the community and participating in activities has been really great for our family.

What do you like about working for Ackerman-Estvold?

I like smaller company size. It allows me to be more involved in the day- to-day operations of the company. I get to know my co-workers and it feels like a family organization.

I understand the municipality projects are a big part of what Ackerman-Estvold does, correct?

Absolutely, we serve a number of city clients. There is always a need for engineers in those smaller cities which might not have them on staff. We want to partner with those communities, get to know them and help answer their questions. We want to assist them with their concerns and issues they run into on a day-to-day basis. Whether their issues are water, sewer items or transportation, we can help them because we are a well-rounded engineering firm.

Why do you think it’s important to help those smaller communities?

There is always a need, in those communities to replace deteriorating infrastructure. Commonly, the necessary funding isn’t always available in smaller cities. We can help those communities find those funding sources and help guide them from ideation to project completion.

Why are those efforts personally important to you?

One of my largest sources of pride is seeing improvements I helped develop at work in the community.

Get to know the Ackerman-Estvold team: Steve Eberle, Senior Civil Engineer and Chief Operating Officer

Steve Eberle
Steve Eberle has been with Ackerman-Estvold since the beginning in 2003 and is the company’s first employee!

I have to imagine, being the first employee, you have worked at multiple levels of the company, correct?

I have. I started with Ackerman-Estvold as a graduate engineer and worked my way through all aspects of the company including construction, design, municipal engineering, land development and transportation. As the organization grew, I was able to touch all of the pieces we acquired up along the way which was exciting. The experience allowed me to become a very well-rounded engineer and a valuable member of our team.

What do you do in your current role with Ackerman-Estvold?

In my current role, I am more of a firefighter, for lack of a better term, meaning I pitch in when needed. Much of what I do is working through the day-to-day operations and overseeing all of our various teams. We serve 11 different disciplines in the organization.

Making sure both of those disciplines have the appropriate resources, personnel and tools needed to run effectively is critical. I am also available to step in when someone needs assistance or help.

Why do you continue to stay with Ackerman-Estvold?

They have provided me with a lot of great opportunities. Now, It is time for me to help provide those opportunities to others.

How do you see Ackerman’s municipality work impacting the Fargo-Moorhead area?

Municipal engineering was one of the founding sectors of the company. It is
such a part of our company; our founders had a deep desire to help our area rural communities who may not be able to staff a full-time public works department or engineer. A lot of the infrastructure in those smaller cities have run their course and are ready for replacement; we want to be an advocate for them in maintaining and growing their city.

Share This Article
Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.