WSP has shaped the transportation infrastructure and skylines of American cities with some of the nation’s tallest buildings and the public transit systems of New York, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle.
Having operated as WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff in the U.S. since the acquisition of Parsons Brinckerhoff by WSP in 2014, the year 2017 presented the opportunity to unify under the WSP name and move forward with the next chapter in the firm’s history.
“We were eager to share our story that we are the same company our clients have always known, offering the same technical excellence and commitment to service that has distinguished our firm for 132 years,” said Gregory A. Kelly, president and chief executive officer of WSP USA. “Under a unified brand, we now offer our clients the integrated resources and cross-disciplinary expertise to take on enduring and complex projects across markets—property and buildings, energy, transportation, water and environment.”
The name change was embraced by the firm’s employees, who saw great promise in moving forward under a singular brand.
“Unifying under the WSP name allows us to overcome brand confusion and solidify our reputation as a truly international consulting firm, while also providing a renewed opportunity to talk with our clients about the wide array of services we can offer them,” said Dale Helms, Central Florida area manager for water.
“Coming together under one name provides us with greater opportunities to increase our diversity in markets, projects and people,” said Tiffany Batac, asset management service area manager. “It also helps us gain a greater appreciation of our diversities, whether they be in the services we provide or the clients we serve.”
“Our company is growing and moving forward. We’re bigger, we have more specialties, we offer more services than ever before,” said Praveen Sharma, engineering manager for power delivery. “The new brand is a simple way to describe that strong organization.”
Ray Castelli, technical director for geotechnical engineering and a 40-year veteran of the firm, made the point that while the firm’s name has changed, its core values have not.
“The things that made us successful before are the things that will matter in the future—supporting our clients, maintaining a reputation for integrity, and consistently doing excellent work,” he said.
“In the end, we may have a new name, but we’re still the company clients trust,” added Nadine Chin-Santos, principal project manager, baseline condition assessment surveys.
The year 2017 got off to a promising start with the opening on New Year’s Day of phase 1 of New York City’s Second Avenue Subway, which extended the city’s subway to the Upper East Side. WSP served as construction manager for the new line, continuing a legacy of work on the city's transit system that began in the 1890s.
In February, the Sanford Medical Center in Fargo, North Dakota, was turned over to the owner, Sanford Health. WSP provided mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineering for the $500 million medical facility, the largest medical construction project to be completed in North Dakota.
San Francisco’s rapid transit system, BART, was extended 5.4 miles to Fremont in Alameda County, opening for service on March 25. WSP provided design and construction-phase services for the extension to the Warm Springs/South Fremont station. Subsequently, the firm won a program management contract to extend BART to Santa Clara in Silicon Valley, continuing six decades of work on the rapid transit system of the Bay Area.
The first span of the new Kosciuszko Bridge in New York City opened to traffic on April 27. The new Kosciuszko Bridge is the first cable-stayed roadway bridge in New York City and the first major bridge to be built in New York City since the Verrazano Bridge in 1964. A second span is being constructed under phase 2 of the project. WSP prepared the preliminary design and was owner’s engineer for phase 1 of the project and is engineer of record for phase 2.
A dedication ceremony was held on June 5 for the San Diego Central Courthouse, which consolidates San Diego County’s criminal, family and civil courts into one 22-story tower. WSP provided MEP engineering, as well as built ecology services and technology systems to the building’s architect, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
A tunnel boring machine completed excavation in July on the first of two tunnels for the Los Angeles Regional Connector, which will link three light rail lines and the city’s heavy rail subway. WSP has provided planning, environmental and engineering services on the project since 2008.
In August, a groundbreaking ceremony marked the start of construction on Maryland’s Purple Line light rail. WSP is part of a joint venture that serves as program management consultant for the Maryland Transit Administration project.
In 2017 WSP won new assignments that will continue the firm’s record of contributing to the planning, design and management of some of today’s the most exciting buildings and infrastructure projects. New contracts included:
The firm grew to more than 7,000 employees in 2017, partly because of strategic acquisitions.
Leggette, Brashears and Graham, a groundwater and environmental engineering services firm that joined WSP in August, increased the firm’s water and environment sector to 600 employees in 40 locations across the U.S.
WSP’s offering in built ecology expanded with the acquisition of YR&G, a group of professionals that specializes in sustainable consulting. The acquisition of Willoughby Engineering enhanced the firm’s respected MEP practice.
WSP USA prides itself on its contributions to the civic life of the cities and towns in which the firm is located.
WSP employees give back to the communities where they live and work through individual volunteer service as well as participation in group activities organized by the firm’s local “green teams” and its network of developing professionals.
The firm’s focus on delivering for clients, expanding service offerings and aggressively pursuing new work resulted in excellent financial performance in 2017.
“As we move forward into 2018, we will build on the success of the rebrand to position WSP as the leading engineering and professional services consultancy in the United States,” said Kelly. “I’m optimistic about our future as WSP USA.”
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