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Weekly Briefing: March 11-15, 2024

Week of March 11, 2024

President Biden’s 2025 Budget Proposal Prioritizes Infrastructure Spending

  • The budget request for the U.S. Department of Transportation adheres to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) levels for the core highway and transit formula categories, including $62.1 billion for the highway obligation limit and $14.3 billion for transit formula funding.

  • The Federal Transit Administration would receive $2.4 billion for the Capital Investment Grants program, which funds new rail and bus rapid transit development. The largest award is $700 million for the proposed Hudson Tunnel Project, a rail megaproject to link New York and New Jersey.

  • A new five-year, $8 billion program is proposed to upgrade Federal Aviation Administration towers, other facilities, and radar systems. The 2025 share of the envisioned program is $1 billion.

  • The budget proposes $7.22 billion for the Corps of Engineers civil works program, which includes funding for 20 construction projects.

  • For General Services Administration federal buildings, the budget has zero for construction and acquisition of facilities, prioritizing repair and alteration projects instead, with a request of $1.6 billion.


Texas Central High-Speed Rail Project Progresses Despite Setbacks

  • The Texas Central high-speed rail project, which aims to connect Dallas and Houston, is progressing after years of setbacks. The project has selected a general contractor, settled several legal issues, and is exploring a deeper relationship with Amtrak.

  • The high-speed train is expected to travel at more than 200 mph and complete the 236-mile trip in 90 minutes. The developer, Texas Central Partners, estimates 1.3 million riders daily by 2050.

  • The project’s cost has increased from an initial estimate of $10 billion in 2012 to $33.4 billion, and could potentially exceed $40 billion.

  • Texas Central entered a $16 billion heavy construction contract with Italy-based contractor WeBuild and its U.S. subsidiary, Lane Construction Corp, in 2021. The contract includes designing and constructing all 236 miles of the alignment, and the entire track system.

  • Texas Central and Amtrak have submitted applications to several federal programs for further study and design work for the potential Dallas to Houston segment.

March 4, 2024

AKRF, Inc. (AKRF), a New York-based multi-disciplinary consulting firm, has acquired Engineering & Land Planning Associates, Inc. (E&LP), a New Jersey-based multidisciplinary engineering firm providing professional consulting services in civil, site, environmental, surveying, landscape architecture, and water resources. The acquisition expands AKRF's footprint in New Jersey and Philadelphia and bolsters its team of civil, water resources, and environmental engineers, urban planners, and landscape designers. Karen Franz, President and CEO of AKRF, and Eric Raes, President and CEO of E&LP, released a joint statement, commenting on the transaction, "This is an exciting day for both organizations. The employees of AKRF and E&LP share common values, a selfless commitment to collaboration, and a genuine enthusiasm for improving the built and natural environments for future generations. Our professionals, clients, and communities all stand to benefit from this partnership."


March 11, 2024

The HFW Companies (HFW), a Missouri-based professional services firm that seeks to invest in the infrastructure, civil/site development, water/wastewater, transportation, aviation, and environmental sectors, has acquired Kuo & Associates (KUO), a Texas-based civil engineering and surveying firm. The acquisition supports HFW's long-term strategy to build a network of Architecture and Engineering partners across a national footprint. Michael Hein, CEO of HFW, commented, "Over the years, KUO has built a strong and reputable legacy as a go-to civil engineering and surveying firm all over Houston and the surrounding areas, positioning itself for even greater potential growth ahead. As the most populous area in Texas - and one of the five most populous regions in the country, Houston continues to demonstrate a tremendous need for new infrastructure and a great opportunity for KUO."


March 11, 2024

Verdantas, an Ohio-based environmental consulting, sustainable engineering, modeling and digital technology firm, backed by RTC Partners, has acquired Lewandowski Engineers (Lewandowski), an Ohio-based civil engineering and surveying services firm. The acquisition expands Verdantas' geographic reach and reinforces its position as a leader in environmental and engineering services. Jesse Kropelnicki, CEO of Verdantas, commented, "The integration of Lewandowski Engineers into our Great Lakes Area represents a partnership spanning multiple decades, now coming to fruition. Their expertise and commitment align seamlessly with Verdantas' values and their niche services align with our sustainable and technology integrated approach. Together, we are poised to deliver exceptional services to our clients."


March 12, 2024

CHA Consulting (CHA), a New York-based design, engineering, and consulting services firm, backed by H.I.G. Capital, has acquired D'Huy Engineering, Inc. (DEI), a Pennsylvania-based engineering and project management firm serving educational, municipal, commercial, and industrial clients. This is CHA's third acquisition in Pennsylvania in the last twelve months and brings their staff count to over 1,800 in 55 offices. DEI will be rebranded as D'Huy Engineering, A CHA Company, effective immediately. Jim Stephenson, CEO of CHA, commented, "D'Huy Engineering is a great addition to CHA, bringing exceptional talent and long-tenured clients... this is an incredibly exciting opportunity to combine the strengths of our two firms, leverage our synergies, and enhance our ability to deliver exceptional value to our clients, while providing greater opportunities for our employees".


March 12, 2024

SAM, a Texas-based geospatial and construction services firm, has acquired GdB Geospatial (GdB), a New York-based geomatics, GIS, and spatial data management firm. The merger strengthens SAM's Managed Geospatial Services business and infrastructure mapping. The merged entity is a 100% owned-subsidiary of SAM. Sam Shakir, CEO of SAM, commented, "We're excited to bring GdB Geospatial and their talented team into the SAM family of companies. As SAM expands its footprint and enhances its capabilities in geomatics, spatial data management, and infrastructure mapping, the integration of GdB and advanced technology will further strengthen SAM's position as a trusted partner for clients seeking Managed Geospatial Services."


March 12, 2024

True Environmental, Inc. (True), a New York-based diversified environmental services platform, backed by Halle Capital, has acquired Sundance Consulting, Inc. (Sundance), an Idaho-based full-service environmental consulting firm. The acquisition further enhances True's mission of building a best-in-class environmental services platform in the consulting and engineering industry. Jim Stamatis, CEO of True, said of the acquisition, "Sundance has built a terrific company centered on deep employee engagement and exceptional client services within the federal sector. We look forward to working with the Sundance team to continue delivering best-in-class solutions to solve their client's complex environmental challenges."


March 12, 2024

Salas O'Brien, a California-based engineering and technical consulting firm, has acquired I.C. Thomasson Associates (ICT), a Tennessee-based firm that provides mechanical, electrical, controls, plumbing, fire protection, information technology, energy efficiency, and environmental services. The ICT team will continue to lead their five current office locations. John Wimberly, Chairman and CEO of ICT, commented, "We are incredibly proud of and humbled by our 80-plus-year legacy and everything our team has achieved. Alignment of values, character, and approach to clients and team members was a requirement for us when deciding to merge. We couldn’t be more excited about our future. We are stronger together,”.


March 14, 2024

NV5 Global, Inc. (NV5), a Florida-based provider of technology, conformity assessment, and consulting solutions, has acquired Fluhrer Reed, a North Carolina-based provider of structural engineering and forensics engineering services. The acquisition strengthens NV5's existing structural engineering group and provides additional expert witness resources to their growing forensics engineering business. Dickerson Wright, Executive Chairman of NV5, commented, "NV5 has become a leader in forensics engineering and structural services in the Southeast, and we have built these key growth areas through strong organic growth and acquisitions. Fluhrer Reed's talented engineers and leadership team will expand our offerings in these high-margin service areas and strengthen our position for accelerated organic growth."

EFCG Managing Partner, Rebecca Zofnass, Receives 40 Under 40 Award

Congratulations to EFCG Managing Partner, Rebecca Zofnass, on being a recipient of the Denver Business Journal’s 2024 40 Under 40 award honoring young professionals leaving their mark on the Denver-area business scene.


The award is presented annually by the Denver Business Journal to celebrate 40 outstanding local professionals under age 40 for their business success and community contributions. Nominees for the awards are judged on their leadership, contributions and innovations within their organization, industry, and community. This year, close to 300 nominations were submitted, reviewed, and scored by DBJ judges.


Rebecca has been an EFCG Managing Partner for 5 years and leads EFCG’s Strategy and Corporate Finance Team, working with clients on company valuations, strategic planning, post-merger integration, internal ownership transitions, and peer benchmarking analyses. Rebecca has not only excelled professionally, leading the firm to double in size and substantially increase its revenues and profitability since she purchased the firm, but she has also made a great impact on the Denver community. Rebecca is actively involved in the Denver Zoo, The Park People, Protect Our Winters, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and KIPP Colorado.


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