Jeff Stephenson, P.E., is the Team Leader of [...]
How would I describe the current economic climate in relation to civil engineering as 2015 ends and we start 2016? Pretty solid. It’s not what it once was, and we may never see things that good again, but overall things are continuing to improve. Most people we hear from are pretty optimistic about having a good year.
For Sain Associates, we had several highlights: winning a National Recognition Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), completing the Cahaba Road project and starting work on a North Alabama horizontal curve project with ALDOT, which will be the largest project in Sain’s history are some of the first that come to mind.
The industrial market has done well this year, and we’ve been involved on some big projects including Kamtek and Oxford Pharmaceuticals. We also worked with a VW supplier in Chattanooga on a large project. All of these industrial projects involved several of our services, such as civil, traffic and transportation.
In 2015, we also really expanded our work for municipalities and counties, such as the City of Birmingham, City of Prattville, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills, Irondale, St. Clair County, Shelby County, Elmore County and others. These have all been great clients we love to work with. We also continue to grow our Construction, Engineering and Inspection work (CE&I) and our Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) work.
We put a lot of effort last year into rebranding, so that everyone knows about the services we offer and what Sain is all about. Rebranding was a big focus of our strategic plan, and we did a lot of work updating all of our materials, our website, imagery, etc. While we have already seen positive feedback and results, we expect to really see the fruit of that labor this year.
Overall, I think most people seem optimistic about 2016 and have a positive outlook about the year. One thing that continues to be a concern is the future of transportation funding. There was a federal bill passed recently, but there still needs to be more money to fund infrastructure projects at an appropriate level. States are starting to come up with their own additional funding sources, and the Alabama legislative transportation committee is holding five public hearings around the state. I think this is a topic the committee does need to hear from the public and business community about. It’s very important that we discuss our infrastructure needs, and that is something we will support as a company. I also think we will see a lot of support from the business community and organizations like ACEC that will support those efforts.
Regardless of what happens for transportation funding, Sain Associates will continue to grow and diversify our work. We are optimistic about 2016 and looking forward to continuing work for all of our clients and making relationships with new ones.