HNTB’s Chicago planning group continues growth by expanding team

Increasing headcount deepens team’s expertise to support five projects in the Chicagoland area

CHICAGO (May 17, 2023) – HNTB, a leading infrastructure solutions firm, announces the addition of several new professionals to its planning group in Chicago. This comes as the firm’s Chicago team continues to bring more mobility choices to communities across the region, increase transit and electric vehicle accessibility, as well as deliver innovative, sustainable solutions to improve the connectivity and efficiency of the area’s transportation systems.

Joshua Alexander Woods joined HNTB in late April 2023 as a transportation planner in the transit planning section. He brings experience from another Chicago consulting firm, where he supported projects such as the Bay Area Transportation Authority Next Wave Transit Master Plan and the Duluth Transit Authority Better Bus Blueprint system redesign. He also served as the transit planning and operations analyst at CityBus of Greater Lafayette, where he led an initiative to identify underperforming and poorly spaced stops for consolidation or elimination along the city’s 6A Fourth Street route.

Kaci Crowley comes to HNTB as a transportation planner in the urban mobility section. She brings experience in urban planning, as she most recently served as the county bicycle/pedestrian ADA coordinator, regional planning liaison for the Division of Transportation in Kane County, Illinois. In this role, she developed a Surface Transportation Program for Kane and Kendall counties. Previously, Crowley served as the Statewide Pedestrian Volume Model project assistant for the Department of Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Ashton Drake joins HNTB as transportation planner in the urban mobility section, bringing well-rounded experience in urban planning and a passion for creating more equitable cities through data analysis and user-centered design. Most recently, Drake developed scopes of work, schedules and project management documentation for the construction of safety-critical public transit infrastructure in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

“We are very pleased to have Joshua, Kaci and Ashton join our planning group at HNTB,” said Albert Sosa, PE, vice president and HNTB Chicago office leader. “These individuals bring unique expertise that will be instrumental in driving our team’s progress and delivering impactful projects for our clients.”

All three new hires are coming on board during an exciting time for HNTB as the firm manages multiple major projects in the Chicagoland area. HNTB currently supports two major initiatives alongside Cook County. In partnership with the County and other key stakeholders, HNTB is spearheading the next phase in the planning, design and implementation of the countywide Bicycle Plan. Covering over 34 square miles, HNTB is leading efforts to identify and address gaps in the bike network. The firm is also working with Cook County to launch an initiative to address EV charging deserts throughout suburban communities, with a heightened focus on disadvantaged neighborhoods.

The firm also provides consulting support services to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning for the Plan of Action for Regional Transit. HNTB is leading the research and development of recommendations on fare integration, improving bus speed and reliability, and evolving the regional commuter rail service model in response to changing travel patterns. These findings will be repurposed into a report of legislative recommendations for the governor and General Assembly of the State of Illinois.

HNTB has also been working with two of Chicagoland’s key transit services, Metra and Pace. The firm is leading two projects for Metra: the Route Restoration Study, a market and operational assessment of Metra’s current travel markets and services, and the Systemwide Network Plan, the largest re-imagining of Metra’s approach to providing service since the agency’s founding. For Pace, HNTB has partnered with the agency for over 10 years to deliver the Pulse bus rapid transit program. To date, one Pulse line is open, a second will open in 2023, and two additional lines are in design.

“These new hires are helping HNTB meet the needs of our communities and our clients, and to foster the important dialogue about how mobility can help improve quality of life and access to essential services across the Chicagoland area,” said Peter Costa AICP, PTP, urban mobility group leader and principal planner at HNTB. “Integrated community planning is paramount; HNTB is only getting stronger and better equipped to tackle plans for the future, and I look forward to working closely with Joshua, Kaci and Ashton as part of our larger team, to support mobility solutions across Chicagoland.”