Firm celebrates 40th anniversary of Houston office opening.
HOUSTON, Texas (Oct. 3, 2019) – HNTB Corporation is proud to mark the 40th anniversary of its Houston office opening in 1979, and traces roots in the region dating to 1915. That year, the firm helped build the Bray’s Bayou Bridge. HNTB would go on to help shape Houston’s transportation system through transformative projects such as several Houston Ship Channel crossings, San Luis Pass Toll Bridge, NASA Visitor Center (HVAC system design), numerous projects at George Bush Intercontinental Airport and complex highway and interchange reconstruction projects along every major freeway, including I-69 (North and South), I-10 (East and West), I-45 (North and South), US 290, SH 288, and major toll projects along the Sam Houston Tollway/Beltway 8, Hardy Toll Road, and SH 99 Grand Parkway.
Since its founding in 1914, HNTB has been nationally recognized for its bridge expertise. Record-setting bridges were the foundation of the firm’s early work in Texas, including the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin. The Houston Ship Channel Bridge (Jesse Jones Memorial Beltway 8) held the record as longest post-tensioned span box girder in the western hemisphere until 1997.
Today, HNTB is engaged in construction management services for Harris County Toll Road Authority, the current bridge owner, for replacement of the existing bridge with a twin cable-stayed structure to increase horizonal and vertical clearance while expanding roadway capacity.
“It’s been a privilege to work on so many iconic projects, like the Ship Channel Bridge, the SH 225/SH 146 Interchange, the IAH Terminal C West Parking Garage, US 290 Program Management, Galveston Trolley, SH 288 Toll Lanes Public-Private Partnership, and SH 99 Grand Parkway,” said Steve Hrncir, PE, HNTB associate fellow, senior vice president and one of the early employees of the Houston office. “For more than 35 years, I’ve had the distinct pleasure of helping shape the soon-to-be third largest city in our nation. As a native Houstonian, I’m dedicated to improving this region’s transportation infrastructure with solutions that are transformative and reflective of our city’s forward thinking.
“HNTB’s original office location was a construction trailer at the Ship Channel Bridge site,” remembered Hrncir. “It was practical, not fancy.” Within a year however, the firm added more staff and opened a permanent space in an office building at 515 W. Greens Road. Over the years, three other office locations were maintained in the Greenspoint area until 2009. Today, the firm occupies a large, modern office downtown, employing 80 professionals and counting. HNTB plans to fill upcoming positions in civil design, procurement engineering, construction inspection, traffic operations planning, aviation, environmental services and more.
Houston consistently ranks among the most heavily congested metro areas in the nation. HNTB’s expertise in aviation, tolling, transit planning, highways, bridges and railroads is helping transportation agencies address and better manage mobility issues as the metropolitan area is expected to top seven million people by 2020.
“During the past 40 years, HNTB has been privileged to contribute to Houston’s transportation infrastructure with highway, toll, transit, freight, municipal (city/county), aviation and bridge projects, clearly helping to improve the region’s mobility,” said Hrncir.
Notable recent HNTB projects in the region include the US 290 Program Management; TxDOT’s Green Ribbon Project Guidelines; I-45 North Houston Highway Improvement Project; and multiple projects at IAH, including runways, terminal parking garages and an aesthetic master plan to support more than 40 million passengers who use the airport.
“HNTB is incredibly proud of our long history in the region and state,” said Houston Office Leader and Vice President Mike Voinis, PE, “Our accomplished professionals are passionate about providing transportation solutions to our clients and giving back as active members of the communities where we live and work.”
HNTB’s employees support numerous local chapters of industry trade organizations, including the Women’s Transportation Seminar, Conference of Minority Transportation Officials, American Council of Engineering Companies, American Society of Civil Engineers, Texas Society of Professional Engineers, Society of American Military Engineers, Institute of Transportation Engineers, and the American Society of Highway Engineers. In addition, the firm actively supports and encourages employees to volunteer where their passions lie, and the office has actively supported organizations such as Making It Better literacy campaign, Operation Backpack for Downtown YMCA, Houston Hobby Fest, Fort Bend Fine Arts Festival, Shakespeare in the Shade, Houston Food Bank and many others.