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Feature Story - October 2005
Top Design Firms

Design Firm of the Year:
Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc.

By K. Robert Wendel

Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc. (PB) has enjoyed more than 120 years of operation as one of the largest engineering firms in the world. PB provides environmental, planning, management consulting, design, program and construction management, and operations and maintenance services for major infrastructure and development projects. It has 9,000 employees and more than 150 offices in every major region of the globe.


PB's southwest operations include offices in Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. Its Arizona offices are located in Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson and are staffed with 85 planning and engineering professionals and technicians, as well as discipline experts in environmental document preparation and public involvement. PB has been active in Arizona for 25 years. Much of this work is related to roadways, freeways, and transit systems and ranges from small transportation studies to the design of multimillion-dollar highway and bridge improvements. Clients include the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), Valley Metro Rail, Maricopa County, Pima County, City of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport and local jurisdictions throughout the state.

Recent award winning projects include the $90-million, fast-track, SR 51 HOV Lanes Design/Build Project from I-10 to Shea Boulevard and the design of improvements to SR 95 and a new multi-use path in Lake Havasu City. PB is General Engineering Consultant for the Phoenix-East Valley Light Rail Transit project, a $1.3-billion, 20-mile starter line linking downtown Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. Other noteworthy Arizona design projects include the I-10/Santan Freeway-to-Freeway System Interchange, the Santan Freeway from Dobson Road to Arizona Avenue, the Fourth Street Railroad Crossing in Flagstaff, and the Barraza Aviation Parkway in Tucson. In addition, ADOT recently selected PB to serve as the Management Consultant for the I-17 and Loop 303 freeway corridors, which comprise $2.8 billion of the 20-year, $9.0-billion Phoenix area's Regional Transportation Plan Freeway Program.

PB's New Mexico operation is a multidiscipline engineering consulting office with the main focal point being civil engineering and transportation planning. The firm's project experience ranges from projects for local governments and municipalities to very large transportation projects that provide the infrastructure backbone for the state, such as US 550, US 285, Interstate 40, Interstate 25, and US 70.

PB began operating in New Mexico in 1998, and has 48 staff members located in offices in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Rio Rancho. Local staff offers the full range of planning and engineering expertise with services spanning from the planning and design of rural farm-to-market roads to urban transportation systems with multi-level interchanges and transit facilities.

Notable projects in New Mexico include the reconstruction of NM 14, a National Scenic Byway, from Madrid to Cerrillos for the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT); the Paseo del Volcan Corridor Location Study and Environmental Impact Statement for the NMDOT and the City of Rio Rancho; US 84/285 north of Santa Fe to the Santa Fe Opera for the NMDOT (winner of a Best of '04 Award in the Transportation Category from Southwest Contractor); Gibson Boulevard Reconstruction/Rehabilitation Project for the City of Albuquerque; and the Pennsylvania Boulevard/I-40 Overpass Reconstruction Project for the NMDOT. Additional projects include the Events Center and City Centre for the City of Rio Rancho; Golf Course Road Reconstruction Project for Bernalillo County; US 70 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Preliminary Design through Hondo Valley in southern New Mexico for the NMDOT; and US 70, I-25 east to NASA Road

Reconstruction project in Las Cruces for the NMDOT (winner of Best of '04 Award in the Transportation Category from Southwest Contractor).

PB's Nevada operations are centered in Las Vegas. This office was established in 1992, and has 30 employees who specialize in providing civil design, structures, traffic engineering, transportation and transit planning, water resources, environmental services, and construction management services.

Major clients include the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT), Clark County, and the City of Las Vegas. Notable projects in Nevada include the I-515/Beltway Interchange; the Metropolitan Area Express Engineering Design for the Downtown Connector; I-15 North Preliminary Engineering; the U.S. 95 Widening project; and the award-winning I-15/U.S. 95 "Spaghetti Bowl" Interchange.

PB is ISO 9000 certified and maintains a comprehensive quality control process that covers all aspects of its project delivery and operations. The firm strives towards a sustainable development approach while it continues to deliver a best practice solution to its clients. Parsons Brinckerhoff has established a strong reputation for developing innovative and cost-effective solutions to difficult transportation challenges while meeting or exceeding quality and schedule requirements.

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