ASPIRE is a quarterly magazine published by PCI in cooperation with the associations of the National Concrete Bridge Council. The editorial content focuses on the latest technology and key issues in the Concrete Bridge Industry.
Issue link: http://www.aspiremagazinebyengineers.com/i/296997
F O C U S 6 | ASPIRE , Winter 2013 Burns & McDonnellÕs 114-year history shows the firm has staying power. It owes that longevity in large measure to its diversification of services and markets, which not only helps it weather economic storms, but allows it to apply new ideas and best practices to other fields. 'Some of our competitors have retrenched in the last few years, but we've invested and grown.' Ò O u r d i v e r s i f i c a t i o n a c ro s s m a n y m a r k e t s Ñ t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , e n e r g y, industrial processes, transmission and distribution, federal, and aviation, a m o n g o t h e r s Ñ e n s u re s t h a t w e can retain a stable base and create steady growth even as individual markets go up and down,Ó says Ben Biller, general manager of the firmÕs Transportation Global Practice. ÒSome of our competitors have retrenched in the last few years, but weÕve invested and grown. That allows us to always have the resources at hand to serve our customers, and that gives them confidence in us.Ó Two Additions Recent growth has been solidified by two additions: the July 2010 merger with bridge-design firm Harrington & Cortelyou Inc. (H&C) and the addition of Steve Hague, formerly with HNTB in Kansas City, as chief bridge engineer. ÒBurns & McDonnell has traditionally not pursued acquisitions as a growth strategy,Ó says Greg Graves, chairman/ CEO. ÒBut this opportunity to merge with a highly respected firm with historic roots in Kansas City was too good to pass up.Ó Its background with design-build projects made it especially attractive, says Biller. ÒDesign-build is increasingly the contracting method of choice.Ó Formed in 1907, H&C had worked as a subconsultant to Burns & McDonnell, explains Kevin Eisenbeis, who was principal at H&C prior to the acquisition. ÒWe had experience with design-build projects but were too small to compete for many larger projects,Ó he says. ÒWe also had design capabilities for bridge types they did not, such as major river crossings and movable structures. It created an outstanding strategic mix.Ó The company cultures also were similar, as both are employee-owned. Diversiﬁcation Brings Growth, Innovation by Craig A. Shutt Burns & McDonnell's engineering construction allows it to incorporate best practices that create innovative bridges The I-470/Route 50 Interchange in Lee's Summit, Mo., features two horizontally curved 1200-ft-long viaducts and two horizontally curved 1500-ft-long flyovers. Some 25 spans of prestressed concrete NU girders were used, saving more than $6 million over a steel alternative. All photos: Burns & McDonnell. AspireBook_Win13.indb 6 12/28/12 11:39 AM