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Weekly Briefing: Feb. 19-23, 2024

Week of February 19, 2024

In honor of National Society of Professional Engineers’ EWeek, we are proud to celebrate all the ways engineers make a difference in our world! We are thankful for and support our engineer clients, partners, and friends who serve tirelessly to tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges. Happy Engineers Week!

NASA-Funded Study Highlights the Dangers of Subsidence to East Coast Infrastructure

  • A new study reveals that human-induced factors, such as groundwater extraction and urbanization, are contributing to sinking on the East Coast. Half of urban infrastructure in cities such as Boston and Norfolk are located in areas that experience higher sinking rates alongside global sea-level rise.

  • Subsidence, as indicated in the study, poses an immediate threat to critical infrastructure like roads and bridges. With subsidence rates varying across regions, engineers must consider differential settlement in their designs and construction methodologies to prevent structural damage and ensure the longevity of projects.

  • The research underscores the importance of integrating resilience strategies into coastal development projects. With sea-level rise exacerbating subsidence effects, innovative engineering solutions, such as elevated foundations and adaptive infrastructure design, are required to ensure the sustainability of developments along the vulnerable urban areas within the East Coast.

  • The study suggests policy interventions to regulate groundwater extraction and implement sustainable land-use practices, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive approach to address these complex challenges.


EPA Announces $5.8 Billion For Drinking Water and Wastewater Projects

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has allocated $5.8 billion to states for essential drinking water and wastewater projects. The allocation specifically targets projects enhancing water treatment, distribution systems, and wastewater management.

  • The EPA's funding is distributed to states based on need, allowing for localized decision-making on water projects. The states will provide a 20% match to federal dollars.

  • $3.2 billion has been allocated for drinking water investment in the IIJA's fiscal year 2024 total. California secures the highest funding at $248 million, with Texas, New York, and Florida following in ranking.

  • $2.6 billion has been designated for clean water investment targeting wastewater treatment and stormwater projects. New York takes the lead in clean water funding with $253.5 million, followed by California, Ohio, Texas, and Illinois in subsequent rankings.

February 19, 2024

Pape-Dawson Engineers, LLC (Pape-Dawson), a Georgia-based engineering firm, has acquired Maxwell-Reddick, a Georgia-based civil engineering, surveying, and land planning firm. Maxwell-Reddick is Pape-Dawson’s first acquisition in Georgia and supports Pape-Dawson’s long-term strategy to expand their markets and services through partnerships and acquisitions. Charles Maxwell, President at Maxwell-Reddick, commented on the acquisitions, “Maxwell-Reddick and Pape-Dawson share similar values, not only in our work but also in our people. Joining Pape-Dawson allows us to offer expanded resources for our clients and increased opportunity for our employees to grow with us.”


February 20, 2024

WSB & Associates (WSB), a Minnesota-based consulting and design firm providing engineering, planning, environmental, and construction services, backed by GHK Capital Partners, has acquired AE Engineering (AE), a Florida-based transportation infrastructure engineering firm. The addition of AE solidifies WSB’s presence and service offerings in the Southeastern United States. Bret Weiss, President and CEO of WSB, commented on the acquisition, “WSB is moving forward in building a national brand. The Southeast is an important market for transportation infrastructure engineering given the significant population growth and infrastructure investment present in the region. AE has an outstanding reputation, and their leaders match our culture with their approach and entrepreneurial spirit.”


February 20, 2024

Bowman Consulting (Bowman), a Virginia-based consulting firm offering real estate, energy, infrastructure, and environmental management solutions to public and private clients, has acquired Speece Lewis Engineers (Speece Lewis), a Nebraska-based transportation, bridge design, surveying, and hydraulics-focused engineering firm. The acquisition enhances Bowman’s bridge design, survey and geospatial, hydraulics engineering, and field oversight services. All Speece Lewis employees will join Bowman after closing. Gary Bowman, Chairman and CEO of Bowman, stated, “With Speece Lewis, we add a terrific team of skilled transportation and bridge design experts along with an impressive depth of clients. But we also add an extraordinary collection of hydraulics, surveying and geospatial, and field services experience that will create revenue synergies beyond transportation.”


February 21, 2024

DCCM, a Texas-based design, consulting, and program and construction management services firm, backed by White Wolf Capital Group, has acquired Chastain-Skillman, LLC (Chastain-Skillman), a Florida-based civil engineering and land surveying services firm serving the construction sector. Chastain-Skillman will retain its name post-closing and Jay Chastain will serve as CEO of the firm. James Thompson, Chairman and CEO of DCCM, said of the acquisition, “This strategic move enhances our infrastructure engineering capabilities in Florida and strengthens our presence in the regional market. Aligned in our commitment to excellence, the integration of Chastain-Skillman into DCCM promises mutual benefits for our clients and employees.”

SSOE hosted 21 high school students for the "Engineer for a Day" program, providing a unique, hands-on experience in the engineering field. The event aims to expose students to real-world projects, allowing them to engage with professionals and gain practical insights into the AEC industry. At the SSOE headquarters, they will participate in activities including, "Let's Build a Motor", "Construct a Building Frame", and "Popsicle Stick Catapult" alongside engineers. The students who attend are introduced to SSOE's internship program which promotes STEM education by providing college credits and invests in the future careers of engineering students. This initiative exemplifies the firm's commitment to fostering talent and community engagement in the AEC sector.


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