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September 29, 2016

Survey: Shannon & Wilson

Photo by Jay Dotson Photography [enlarge]
Shannon & Wilson performed work on the Elliott Bay Seawall replacement project for the city of Seattle.

Specialty: Geotechnical and environmental engineering

Management: Gerard Buechel, president

Founded: 1954

Headquarters: Seattle

2015 revenues: $58 million

Projected 2016 revenues: $62 million

Projects: Elliott Bay Seawall (city of Seattle); Interstate 5/Joint Base Lewis-McChord interchanges (WSDOT); 200 Occidental (Urban Visions), Pioneer Square

Katie Walter and Meg Strong, both vice presidents at Shannon & Wilson, shared the latest on their company’s plans and what’s new in the local market.

Q: You opened your 12th office last year. What other growth plans are in store?

A: We are excited to have opened our Washington, D.C., office, expanding our service area in the mid-Atlantic and East Coast region.

We are actively looking for teaming opportunities with both our existing teaming partners as well as expanding our network of clients and partners in the area.

We hired Axel Nitschke, a national tunneling expert, to manage this office and build our East Coast business.

Q: The majority of your work is for public-sector clients. How has funding held up?

A: The recent passing of the state transportation budget injected much-needed capital into the marketplace, which is generating new project work.

In addition, should the pending vote on the Sound Transit 3 funding be approved, public-sector opportunities will significantly increase.

Q: How do you see the local market evolving?

A: Infrastructure-related work is growing and we are well positioned for this type of work.

We are seeing local agencies hiring again, and this has decreased opportunities to provide consulting services to these agencies.

Q: Describe an interesting or challenging project you’ve started in the past year.

A: Shannon & Wilson is excited to have recently won and begin work on design and engineering of the Lower Dungeness River Floodplain Restoration and Levee Realignment Project for Clallam County. This project taps many of Shannon & Wilson’s strengths in the geotechnical and environmental sides of the firm, and involves levee setback design, floodplain habitat restoration, rural roadway design, permitting and construction.

The project challenges include a large number of stakeholders and property owners, the expedited design and permit schedule and regulatory review, as well as the constraints in managing significant grant funding deadlines.?

Q: What’s something you wish more people knew about Shannon & Wilson?

A: Shannon & Wilson is well known as a local geotechnical engineering firm, but we’d like to let people know we have deep resources in many other fields and locations. Our clients’ projects are often complicated and require a multidisciplinary approach to solve their issues.

We can give them one-stop, integrated services for environmental, natural resources, surface water, permitting, instrumentation, data management, construction management, tunneling, laboratory testing, groundwater, arctic engineering and construction materials testing.

We’re also a 300-person firm located in 12 offices around the United States.

In addition, our environmental capabilities are valued highly by our clients. For example, Sound Transit staff recently lauded one of our environmental engineers for reducing their project environmental risk and saving them significant sums of money.

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