William Haight, vice president of construction services, presented at the 34th Annual Conference on U.S.-Turkey Relations, organized by the American-Turkish Council (ATC), held in Washington, D.C. on September 27-30. The presentation, part of a panel entitled “U.S. and Turkey Partnerships in West/Sub-Saharan Africa Infrastructure Projects,” represented a Louis Berger-wide collaboration drawing on the expertise of team members in the company’s International and Services operating companies. The presentation described Louis Berger’s experience with Turkish partners in Africa and highlighted opportunities for future collaboration in transportation, water, institutional development and power and energy market sectors. Haight cited as a case study the South Sudan Juba-Nimule Road project, a USAID-funded 192 kilometer, $228 million initiative successfully completed by Louis Berger and two Turkish firms that resulted in the country’s first paved highway. The annual conference is attended by many senior government officials and industry representatives from the U.S. and Turkey. Keynote speakers included U.S. Senator John McCain and U.S. Trade and Development director Leocadia Zak.
2015 Publications and Research
Abdulai Fofanah, principal engineer with the environmental disaster management services team, presented at the 2015 Watershed Management Symposium held in Reston, Virginia. His presentation was titled, “Modeling the potential impact of watershed development on reservoir watershed runoff and safe yield using GIS-based SWAT model." The conference, hosted by the American Society of Civil Engineers - Environmental and Water Resources Institute (ASCE-EWRI) marks the 50th anniversary of the Watershed Management Symposium, and brings together engineers, hydrologists, soil scientists, foresters, environmentalists and decision makers to discuss vital watershed issues.
Malek Al-Khatib, Daniel Deng and Timothy Polson of Louis Berger and Michael Ryan of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) presented a case study of the MBTA West Route Mainline bridges over the Shawsheen River in Andover, Massachusetts at the 2015 International Bridge Conference held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Constructed in 1847, the two historic stone arch bridges were in dire condition and required emergency stabilization. An innovative, award-winning design solution preserved the historic bridges and hid new steel structures within the old arches. The rehabilitation more than doubled the capacity of each bridge, lifted the speed restrictions, and provided scour countermeasures and bioengineering stabilization to the river embankments.
Louis Berger's Malek Al-Khatib, Daniel Deng and Timothy Polson with Elizabeth Ozhathil of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) presented a case study on Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) methods at the 2015 International Bridge Conference held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The MBTA Ashmont Red Line Bridge over Clayton Street in Boston, Massachusetts, was a 102-year-old structure in poor condition with insufficient bridge clearance for large trucks travelling the street below. Numerous site, constructability, operational, and communal constraints required extensive attention to detail and coordination between all stakeholders. This was the first MBTA bridge to be replaced with ABC methods, saving the system $2 million and paring construction time by 10 months.
Justin Baker, senior scientist with the environmental services team, spoke at the at the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) 2015 Annual Meeting held in Providence, Rhode Island. His presentation on using wetland banking to restore and preserve critical habitats featured a case study from the proposed Troy Meadows Wetland Mitigation Bank in Morris County, New Jersey. The event, themed “Changing Climate, Changing Wetlands” and attended by world-leading wetland scientists, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers, examined the role that wetlands play in the global carbon cycle, how they are affected by the changing climate and how they can provide adaptation services.
Sachin Apte, senior engineer with the environmental remediation and restoration team at Louis Berger, gave a presentation on the firm’s resiliency expertise at the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) 2015 Annual Meeting, held in Providence, Rhode Island. His presentation featured environmental mitigation at Jack’s Marina coastal resiliency project, highlighting the project’s focus on creating, enhancing and preserving former wetlands at an abandoned and degraded marina.
Ginny Snead, department manager of hydraulics, hydrology and drainage, published an article in "World Water: Stormwater Management." Snead reports on ways that cross-boundary collaborations are helping to improve water quality in the Baltic Sea by addressing excess nutrients and algal blooms. Despite differing national practices and policies, the Nordic, Central and Eastern European countries within the Baltic Sea watershed share responsibility for a water body with one of the largest dead zones in the world. Snead describes efforts to collectively reduce stormwater runoff and other vectors of nutrient pollution through a combination of public outreach, incentive policies, and increased regulation.
Louis Berger’s Bill Haight, vice president for contingency construction, and Ray Mardini, vice president in the power group, participated in a panel on contingency energy at the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Joint Engineer Training Conference & Expo 2015 in Houston, Texas. The panel covered topics such as contingency power initiatives, power resiliency, service programs, and included an open discussion on future power challenges. SAME is the premier professional engineering association in the United States that connects professionals in the architecture, engineering, construction, and environmental and facility management fields. This year’s conference and expo was attended by more than 1,600 participants.
Jamey Barbas, Louis Berger global practice leader for major structures and Women at Louis Berger steering committee member, moderated a panel discussion about the ongoing challenges faced by women in the construction industry at this year’s Engineering News-Record (ENR) Groundbreaking Women in Construction Conference (GWIC) in New York City.
Tom Lewis, president for the Louis Berger Group operating company, was a keynote speaker at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Transportation Diversity Council (TDC) Transportation & Infrastructure Summit in New York. Lewis’ speech introduced the roundtable discussion on technical, financial, and human resources solutions for resiliency and livability. The conference, titled Transportation for our Future City, included topics such as the challenges of ensuring a safe and resilient transportation and power infrastructure, improving existing infrastructure and facilities and the emerging trends in contract delivery methods. The one-day event brought together transportation and infrastructure engineering and construction industry professionals, financial managers, community leaders, and academia.
Tim Gaul, vice president of power and energy at Louis Berger, and Pete Sparhawk, director of transmission services for the power and energy group at Louis Berger, spoke at the 2015 WIRES Spring Meeting. Their presentation focused on how regional and state differences in siting, permitting, and regulatory requirements and policy can affect the development of interstate transmission lines, and emphasized how local preferences, land use concerns, and public perceptions have a significant influence on such projects. WIRES is a trade association that promotes investment in North America’s electric transmission system and represents electric transmission owners, investors and customers. Hosted by Louis Berger in its Washington, D.C., offices, the policy meeting featured experts from the government and industry sectors.
Niek Veraart, vice president for Louis Berger’s environmental planning and resilience practice, was a keynote speaker at the 13th annual Western South Dakota Hydrology Meeting. His presentation shared examples from resilience initiatives and ways that short-term recovery projects can be used as important building blocks to developing long-term resilience solutions. The annual event highlighted key flooding, water-quality, groundwater, surface water and geology issues in South Dakota, and drew more than 270 attendees.
Jennifer Gonzalez, senior environmental planner at Louis Berger, presented on green infrastructure at the American Planning Association New Jersey chapter’s Annual Planning Conference. The event hosted more than 40 workshops focused on resiliency planning, the challenges of a changing energy future, and redevelopment. Gonzalez also shared a case study of the Hoboken Green Infrastructure Strategic Plan, an award-winning project that is helping build a stronger, more resilient New Jersey. The New Jersey chapter of the American Planning Association's mission is to support the development of vital communities by advocating for community planning, citizen empowerment, and the tools to meet the challenges of growth and change.
Malek Al-Khatib, vice president for Northeast transportation, discussed Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) with the Maine section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Al-Khatib condensed his vast experience on the subject into a one-hour discussion focused on the replacement of the 104-year-old, three-span Clayton Street Transit Bridge. Louis Berger provided engineering and design services for the Clayton Street Transit Bridge project, which was the first Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority transit bridge to be replaced using ABC techniques. Completed in a 56-hour window, the short timeline was made possible by ABC techniques, cutting construction by 10 months and costs by $2 million.
Deborah Matherly, principal planner at Louis Berger, presided over two sessions at the Transportation Research Board 94th Annual Meeting. The first session, entitled “Intermodal Passenger Facilities: Design and Modeling,” featured research on access features, design considerations, and efficiency of passenger intermodal facilities. Transportation professionals from around the world presented their research at this poster session. Matherly also presided over a lectern session entitled “Location, Location, Location: Safety, Access and Placement Features of Intermodal Passenger Facilities.” During this session, research papers were presented highlighting various safety aspects of transit as well as the ridership implications of transit-oriented development.
Kyeongsu Kim, transportation planner and statistician at Louis Berger, discussed the implementation of an innovative transportation demand management (TDM) approach in South Korea at the Transportation Research Board 94th Annual Meeting. Kim's presentation, entitled “Experience in a Company-Wide Long Distance Carpool Program in South Korea,” was part of a lectern session on “Implementing TDM Strategies – International Perspective.”
At the Transportation Research Board 94th Annual Meeting, Camilla Deiber, senior architectural historian at Louis Berger, presented on program comment mitigation activities at a lectern session entitled “Post-1945 Common Bridges: Federal Highway Administration’s Program Comment.” The session discussed the Federal Highway Administration’s recently adopted program comment that would eliminate individual historic review requirements for common post-1945 concrete and steel bridges and culverts. The program comment would ensure that more unique historic bridges receive the attention they deserve in the midst of a process that is substantially streamlined for common bridges that would be unlikely to be historic and need preservation.
Niek Veraart, vice president of environmental planning at Louis Berger, participated in the Critical Infrastructure Protection Committee and the Risk and Resilience Assessment and Planning Subcommittee meetings at the Transportation Research Board (TRB) 94th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. The meetings covered a variety of resiliency topics, including cost-benefit analysis and the incorporation of climate change risk assessment in infrastructure asset management and operations planning.