Engineering oversight contract will support the Texas General Land Office in developing and implementing $4.3 billion in grant-funded disaster risk mitigation projects.  

AUSTIN, Texas — WSP USA, a leading engineering and professional services consultancy, has been selected by the State of Texas General Land Office (GLO) as the prime contractor to provide engineering oversight for resilient infrastructure projects.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD’s) newly formed Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) program provided Texas GLO with $4.3 billion in funding. The agency has earmarked 70 percent of that funding for resilient water, transportation, environment, and facility infrastructure in communities hardest hit by the 2015/2016 floods and Hurricane Harvey. Like other HUD CDBG programs, a core focus will be on helping low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities with an identified urgency.

WSP will serve as prime contractor — partnering with numerous team subcontractors and stakeholders throughout the 12-year contract with a ceiling value of over $50 million — to provide engineering oversight for the large and growing program of infrastructure projects. WSP brings specific value to this ground-breaking program by integrating and cross-leveraging its leading resilience and sustainability capabilities, and deep multi-disciplinary resources and expertise in engineering and program management for water, transportation, property/buildings, power/energy and all other infrastructure asset types and natural resources.

Enabled by the newly created CDBG-MIT grant funding source, the program prioritizes building back better, faster and mitigating future impacts of severe weather events and climate-related stressors. It will enhance the resilience and reliability of infrastructure to protect lifelines to communities impacted by natural and man-made disasters. More than half of the funds will be focused on LMI areas and on socially vulnerable communities.

“Having personally lived through a debilitating hurricane, I have witnessed the devastation that engulf families and communities after a significant natural disaster,” said Maria Watt, WSP program manager. “Being able to use my engineering and program management abilities to minimize these impacts on other communities in the future has been a passion of mine that WSP has allowed me to fulfill on a nationwide scale.”

Multiple stakeholders will be involved, with over 80 resilient infrastructure projects being designed concurrently during the first tranche of funding.

“A sustainable and resilient future requires ongoing collaboration between the public and private sectors to enable the successful development and delivery of innovative, Future Ready® infrastructure projects with climate trends in mind,” said Tom Lewis, Climate, Resilience & Sustainability national business line executive for WSP USA. “The goals of the Texas GLO and its many stakeholders — to build climate adaptation and resilience into the fabric of Texas’ communities — is aligned with WSP’s core values and we are thrilled to have this partnership opportunity.”