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September 27, 2018

Survey: Shannon & Wilson

Image provided by Shannon & Wilson
Shannon & Wilson is working on a seepage reduction project at Lower Baker Dam.

Specialty: Geotechnical and environmental engineering

Management: Gerard Buechel, president

Founded: 1954

Headquarters: Seattle

2017 revenues: $61.5 million

Projected 2018 revenues: $65 million

Projects: Lower Dungeness River floodplain restoration and levee realignment, Sequim; Lower Baker Dam seepage reduction, Concrete; Lower Duwamish Waterway allocation support

Katie Walter and Meg Strong, both vice presidents at Shannon & Wilson, discussed what’s new and what’s ahead for the company. Answers have been edited for length and clarity.

Q: Where do you see growth in the next five years?

A: Infrastructure-related projects continue to be a strong market for our firm. Shannon & Wilson’s strengths in transportation (road, bridges, transit, railroad, tunneling), water/wastewater, dams/levees and design-build means that we are well positioned to realize growth through these opportunities and provide our staff interesting and challenging work. ?

Q: What are some ways your industry is changing?

A: Consolidation of consulting engineering companies through acquisitions and mergers has created threats and opportunities for Shannon & Wilson.

While some teaming opportunities have decreased, our long-term clients continue to rely on us to solve large and difficult challenges. Our firm is a mid-size organization, so we are nimble enough to adapt to market changes as they emerge.

Q: How well are you meeting your staffing needs?

A: Recruiting quality staff is an industrywide challenge and has become more difficult in recent years, especially in this strong economy. However, both our natural resources and remediation groups have doubled in size over the last year. This reflects the strong market and our ability to win interesting projects that attract talented staff.

Q: What’s a cool or innovative project you’re working on?

A: The Baker River project consists of Upper and Lower Baker Dam — two concrete hydroelectric dams — and West Pass Dike, a large earthfill dam.

Shannon & Wilson is working with Puget Sound Energy at Lower Baker Dam to design and develop permit applications and documentation for seepage reduction. The project proposes to construct a grout curtain upstream of the Lower Baker Dam to significantly reduce seepage through the dam foundation and along the contact of the dam structure with the foundation bedrock.

Permitting this project is complicated by significant in-water construction over a long period in a difficult environment. To facilitate the grouting operations, we are assisting with the acquisition of property in the area of the dam, including site investigation work.

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