Practice: Civil and structural engineering

Founded: 1960

Leadership: Jeff Asher, president, Ralph Iboshi, vice president

KPFF: Seattle City Hall (Bohlin Cywinski Jackson)
KPFF: Seattle City Hall (Bohlin Cywinski Jackson)

Competition in the engineering marketplace has grown fierce, according to Ralph Iboshi, vice president of Seattle-based KPFF. "This region has a wealth of talented engineering firms. With the economy such as it is, the stakes are high."

KPFF provides seismic, transportation and waterfront engineering for architects, developers and public agencies. The firm's 550 employees are located in Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Irvine, San Diego, Phoenix and St. Louis.

Over the last year, KPFF has maintained its staff size. The Tacoma office, established in May 2001, has grown to 10 people. During the summer KPFF acquired new staff, creating an office in St. Louis. Despite a soft market, KPFF's business in the Seattle office over the past year has been in line with levels of previous years. Last year's gross fees were $16 million; this year's gross fees are expected to remain the same.

KPFF: I-405  Bellevue
KPFF: I-405 Bellevue

Referendum 51's defeat has compounded the uncertainty already felt by many firms about how quickly the economy is capable of rebounding, according to Iboshi. "We have a great place for business and a great environment," said Iboshi. "We need to balance these two so we also have a great business environment. All of these efforts translate into keeping our state a viable economic force."

The firm is at work on the Bellevue Downtown Access project to ease congestion and improve access to downtown Bellevue from Interstate 405. Other transportation-related projects include the recently opened 100th Street Bridge in Kirkland for pedestrians over Interstate 405 and the Eastgate Park-and-Ride.

KPFF is providing services for branch campuses of the University of Washington in Bothell and Tacoma; the Shock Physics Institute for Washington State University; seismic upgrade and addition to Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver; and Seattle City Hall, now under construction.

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