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Weekly Briefing: Dec. 11-15, 2023

Week of December 11, 2023

DOT Announces Funding for High-Speed Rail and Improved Passenger Rail Nationwide

  • The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced that it will award $8.2 billion to 10 passenger rail projects across the country, touching every region of the United States.

  • Projects through the Federal State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail include two new high-speed railway paths in California's central valley and a route connecting Las Vegas to Southern California.

  • Other projects will service metropolitan and rural areas in the Southeast, Mid Atlantic, Midwest, and Northeast regions.

  • At the same time, the Corridor Identification and Development (Corridor ID) Program will expand passenger rail across 44 states, including high speed rail in the Pacific Northwest and Texas.


DOT Announces $817M in Road Safety Grants

  • The Department of Transportation announced it will be awarding $817 million in road safety grants after nearly 43,000 people died in crashes on American roads and streets last year.

  • The grants aim to help local communities identify their infrastructural shortcomings and provide tailored solutions to their population, with 337 grants being allocated for planning and demonstration and 48 grants for implementation.

  • The New York City DOT received the largest award of $29.8M for the Queen's Boulevard Great Streets Transformation which will "add elevated crosswalks, pedestrian malls, enhanced medians, pedestrian refuge islands, and elevated protected bike lanes".

  • Additionally, grants have been awarded to Detroit, MI; Lexington, KY; and Riverside, CA to improve passenger and pedestrian safety.

December 11, 2023

UNICO Engineering (UNICO), a California-based construction management, land surveying, and systems integration services firm, acquired Idyllwild Land Surveying (Idyllwild), a California-based land surveying firm that offers boundary survey, topographic survey, drone topography, A.L.T.A survey, and construction surveying services. The acquisition increases UNICO’s surveying capacity in Southern California and adds four experienced survey staff to the team.


December 12, 2023

AECOM, a Texas-based infrastructure consulting firm, acquired Environmental Management and Planning Solutions, Inc. (EMPSi), a Colorado-based environmental consulting firm with expertise in environmental analysis, assessments, and permitting, particularly with U.S. federal clients. EMPSi will join AECOM's Environment practice and help expand its environment permitting capabilities in the federal sector.


December 13, 2023

Norda Stelo Inc. (Norda Stelo), a Quebec-based engineering consulting services firm, acquired CWA Engineers Inc. (CWA), a Vancouver-based engineering and project management firm. CWA’s bulk material handling experience complements Norda Stelo’s automation, port and rail infrastructure design, and liquid/gas material handling services. The new entity will operate under the Norda Stela brand after the 6-month transition period concludes.


December 13, 2023

Bowman Consulting Group Ltd. (Bowman), a Virginia-based engineering services firm, acquired Hess-Rountree, Inc. (Hess-Roundtree), an Arizona-based full-service engineering firm. The acquisition expands Bowman’s Arizona operations and areas of expertise. Gary Bowman, chairman and CEO of Bowman, said of the acquisition, “When we first met Doug and his team, we were aware of their extensive portfolio of projects throughout the Arizona educational market. The more we got to know their business it became apparent to us just how entrenched they are in their markets and how they have earned their impressive reputation. We see many opportunities for synergy in this acquisition and are excited to get started with integration”.


December 14, 2023

Verdantas, an Ohio-based environmental consulting, sustainable engineering, modeling, and digital technology services firm backed by RTC Partners, acquired GRP Engineering, Inc. (GRP), a Michigan-based power utility consulting and electrical engineering firm delivering electrical design and construction administration services. The acquisition expands Verdantas’ electrical engineering team and service offerings, including Overhead and Underground Power Line Engineering, Planning and Route Selection, System Modeling and Planning, Load Flow Analysis, Right-of Way Procurement, Maintenance, and Reliability System Upgrade Design.  


December 14, 2023

RMA Companies (RMA), a California-based provider of environmental consulting, geosciences, and materials testing and inspection services firm backed by OceanSound Partners, acquired Rone Engineering (Rone), a Texas-based geotechnical engineering, materials testing, and environmental services firm. The addition of Rone will enhance RMA's current services, while also serving as RMA’s primary presence in the South-Central region of the US.


The HDR Foundation, driven by its employees, has allocated $1.32 million across 23 grants, each endorsed by an HDR employee with a personal tie to the beneficiary nonprofit. This includes a notable grant for Oklahoma Connections Academy’s mobile STEM lab project. Other grants reflect the professional interests of HDR employees, such as a water and sanitation project in Uganda. The foundation, prioritizing education, community health, and environmental stewardship, often supports organizations in areas where HDR employees live. Since its establishment, the HDR Foundation has contributed over $9 million in grants to more than 350 organizations, demonstrating its ongoing commitment to making a difference.


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