Watertown, Mass. — VHB acquired GT Hill Planners, Corp. (GTHP), an Atlanta-based firm providing environmental and transportation planning services for public agencies, private clients, and municipalities in Georgia. The two privately owned firms have complementary services, geographic markets, and work cultures. By joining together, the two firms offer a greater depth of services to meet the evolving needs of clients and communities in the region. GTHP and VHB will do business as VHB in Georgia.

GTHP Atlanta leadership from left: Pat Smeeton, Senior Project Manager; Todd Hill, P.P., AICP, Environmental Services Manager – Atlanta; Erin Murphy, MHP, Managing Director – Atlanta; Grady Smith, Transportation Systems Director; and Dave Mulholland, P.E., Regional Transportation Director.


“The future holds exciting opportunities for Georgia,” said VHB President Michael J. Carragher. “Our clients in urban and metro areas like Atlanta are facing increasingly complex challenges as the trend toward growth in these areas continues. This acquisition builds upon our existing practice in Atlanta and strengthens our ability to solve these challenges by helping to improve mobility while balancing development needs with environmental stewardship.”

Founded in 2006, GTHP delivers environmental and planning solutions for the rail and transit, road and highway, structures, and water industries. The company employs 12 planners, historians, archaeologists, ecologists, public involvement specialists, and environmental planners. During its tenure, GTHP has completed more than 200 projects in Georgia. GTHP is dedicated to providing responsive, quality service, and technical excellence, evidenced by its longstanding client relationships with the Georgia Department of Transportation, local governments throughout the state, and engineering firm partners.

VHB has served the southeast region for 30 years and established its location in Atlanta earlier in 2015 as part of its merger with GMB.  Since 2012, MPE, a division of GMB, served the Atlanta market working extensively with MARTA, Atlanta Regional Commission, GDOT, GRTA, numerous municipalities, metropolitan planning organizations, and the private sector. Together, VHB and GTHP are strategically poised to provide a full array of services to the Atlanta metro-region.

“Like GT Hill, VHB’s leadership team in the region has a legacy of working in Atlanta and we have developed a long-term collaborative relationship,” said Erin Murphy, President of GTHP, who joins VHB as Managing Director of the Atlanta office. “We’re thrilled to continue to work with our clients and partners—they will see the same local faces that consistently deliver quality products and service. By joining with VHB we have expanded capabilities and more resources to serve them even better.”

GTHP founder Todd Hill said, “Joining forces with VHB works on many different levels and creates a firm to be a single resource for public agencies, private clients, and municipalities facing complex planning, engineering, environmental, and transportation challenges. And, the timing couldn’t be better with the Governor’s approval of the 2015 Transportation Funding Act—we can make a real impact helping the state advance its transportation priorities. By merging our cultures and capabilities, we create an even stronger firm to better meet our clients’ needs and put Georgia on the map for its quality of life and economic vitality.”

“With GTHP, it was a perfect match to expand the breadth of our current transportation planning practice and offer environmental services from VHB’s Atlanta office,” said Grady Smith, Transportation Systems Manager. “And, with a rich history of our firms’ leadership teams working together, we already have earned the trust and confidence of our employees. We firmly believe that the skills and character of our people is the real value we provide.”

Murphy added, “We’re enthusiastic about collaborating with our new colleagues. With the earned reputation of outperforming expectations, coupled with the boots on the ground historical knowledge, I’m confident we will achieve even greater success for our clients, our employees, and the Atlanta community as a whole.”

Erin Murphy, Todd Hill, and Pat Smeeton will join VHB as Managing Director – Atlanta, Environmental Services Manager – Atlanta, and Senior Project Manager, respectively. Both firms will remain in their current office locations.

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