HARRISBURG, PA. — Gannett Fleming, an international planning, design, and construction management firm, celebrates its 95th anniversary this year. Founded on Aug. 1, 1915, the firm has grown from a two-person office in Harrisburg, Pa., that specialized in water resources to an international, ISO 9001:2008-certified company with more than 2,100 professionals.
The firm’s planners, engineers, designers, information technology specialists, program managers, construction managers, and other professionals furnish professional services from more than 60 offices worldwide. During the last 95 years, the firm has completed projects in every U.S. state and more than 50 countries.
“Our projects are like a tapestry that defines us, but to say which threads are the most remarkable is nearly impossible,” said William M. Stout, P.E., chairman and CEO. “Yet one aspect remains constant for all of our work – the privilege to partner with clients who trust our abilities and inspire us to define new horizons.”
The early years
The firm’s first assignment was to visit Erie, Pa., on Aug. 4, 1915, and write an article about the disastrous flood that swept through the heart of town the previous day. This job marked the successful beginning of Gannett Fleming because it led to the firm’s work in designing and supervising construction of a new $2-million dam.
Another early assignment was the design and construction of the Caneadea Dam in western New York. Completed in 1928, the dam is believed to have been the second of its kind in the eastern United States at the time it was built. Since then, the firm has completed more than 1,000 water supply projects and has assisted communities in finding new sources of water, maintaining the quality of present sources, treating water for safe human consumption, and providing the means to transmit water from sources to consumers.
Also in the firm’s early years, it designed and provided construction supervision of several military bases, including Fort Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County, Pa., and in later years performed a site assessment, traffic study, and on-call engineering services at Andrews Air Force Base, which is based in Prince George’s County, Md., and home of Air Force One. Gannett Fleming also designed major portions of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, a highway that became the model for many toll roads in the Interstate Highway System.
Client-focused and diverse
Today, Gannett Fleming has more than 25 lines of business, and it remains committed to making its clients successful. It provides civil, transportation, geotechnical, water, environmental, infrastructure, industrial/commercial, structural, geospatial technology, intelligent transportation systems, mechanical/electrical, and construction management services. Recent and current projects include:
•principal subcontractor to the Parsons-Harza Joint Venture for the Olivenhain Dam in San Diego
•engineer of record on the Interstate 80 Widening Project at Meander Reservoir in Austintown, Ohio
•lead consulting engineer for the Muni Metro East Light Rail Maintenance and Operations Facility in San Francisco
•lead designer of the Grass Island Wastewater Treatment Plant in Greenwich, Conn.
•engineer of record and chief designer for the $215 million Route 18 corridor safety improvement and revitalization project in New Brunswick, N.J., which involved the replacement of the George Street Bridge. This new bridge has earned national recognition and awards, including the prestigious Eugene C. Figg, Jr., Medal for Signature Bridges
•lead designer for the PHX Sky Train at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Ariz.
Advancing mass transit
One of Gannett Fleming’s key contributions has been the design of many transit systems constructed in the United States, including the Lindenwold Line in New Jersey, the Detroit People Mover in Michigan, and the Market Street Elevated line for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Throughout the firm’s history, it has worked with the majority of transit agencies and freight rail companies in the U.S. to plan, design, and build a variety of systems that help move people and goods.
Today, the firm’s Transit & Rail Practice is working on projects such as the NJ TRANSIT Portal Bridge Capacity Enhancement project in New Jersey, the Greater Richmond Transit Company bus operations and maintenance facility in Richmond, Va., the Pittsburgh North Shore Connector project in Pittsburgh, Pa., the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Rowlett Extension project in Dallas, the New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter rail line extension in New Mexico, and new assignments implementing positive train control for several clients. In addition, the firm is positioned to help further enhance the nation’s mobility with the integration of high-speed rail systems throughout the country.
Pioneers in our fields
Cultivating innovation and advancing a learning culture has led Gannett Fleming to push the boundaries and develop new technology. The firm is a patent holder for IntelliGrout technology, which enables grouting work to be performed more quickly, at reduced oversight cost, and with better quality. Among many projects, IntelliGrout was used for the rehabilitation of the Center Hill Dam in Tennessee, Wolf Creek Dam in Kentucky, and Clearwater Dam in Missouri.
The firm also holds a patent for IRRIS, a web-based application that transformed the way the U.S. military manages logistics for surface cargo worldwide. IRRIS is a web portal that provides military planners with the access, knowledge, and visibility to effectively view, analyze, and track military assets and cargo.
The firm continues to expand its international footprint through strategic partnerships with international universities, clients, and partners. Its international work has included such services as geographic information systems, intelligent transportation systems, and environmental remediation. Most recently, the firm opened an office in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Its international assignments have included designing major infrastructure improvements to the Afghanistan National Logistics Compound. This fast-track, design-build assignment includes more than 22 buildings with an estimated construction cost of $40 million.
A culture of giving back
Gannett Fleming continues to honor a tradition of community service. Employees donate extraordinary amounts of energy and talents to communities around the world. Among many public service projects, employees rallied to assist in the global relief efforts in Haiti in response to the devastating earthquake in January 2010. With the firm’s match, Gannett Fleming employees donated $153,796 to the American Red Cross Haiti Relief and Development fund.
“We have been able to grow from a two-person shop in 1915 to a nationally recognized force in the industry because we have held true to our mission: Amaze our clients with our responsiveness and innovation,” said Robert M. Scaer, P.E., president and chief operating officer. “We have had amazing clients and amazing employees whose talents, vision, energy, and inspiration have continually propelled our firm forward decade after decade. Their collective efforts have enabled us to achieve new levels of innovation, make dreams reality, and, in some cases, literally change the world. Here’s to an amazing future!”