A Message from the President:
Reflecting on a busy 2017, I’m inspired daily by the passionate teamwork, community spirit, and the collective determination of our employees to produce quality work. The firm reveled in many achievements this year, including:
- B&L was recognized as a Hot Firm by Zweig Group in their listing of the 100 fastest-growing firms in architecture, engineering, and environmental consulting.
- The Albany Times Union included us on their Top Workplaces list.
- B&L’s ranking in the ENR Top 500 Design Firms list came in at 346, up 13 spots from last year.
- Our Rochester office staff outgrew their space and we expanded downstairs to accommodate even more growth.
- A hard-working group of volunteers from B&L designed and installed a new patio at our Syracuse office, giving employees expanded outdoor lunchtime space.
- We brought on 35 new employees, adding new skill sets to our ever-expanding repertoire.
- B&L helped our clients obtain over $7.5 million in funding for their important infrastructure and capital improvements projects.
- B&L launched the Bright Lights Program, as a way to foster innovation firm wide.
B&L and our employees can often be found giving back to the community through such worthy efforts such as peer advisors and judges for Future City Competitions, a FIRST LEGO League Competition Hydrodynamics Challenge, participation in Earth Day trash pickups, Save the Rain Clean Water Fair, Foodlink Play Space in Rochester, American Heart Walk, and United Way Annual Campaigns. B&L and our employees also raised over $9,000 for 2017 hurricane relief efforts.
We value the knowledge and experience our employees bring to the firm, and we embrace the on-going career development program known as “B&L University.” These ongoing educational courses allow employees to share their knowledge with other staff members, and stay up-to-date on innovations, new technologies, and best practices. In addition, technical presentations by outside professionals and B&L staff continue to grow, bringing fresh ideas and expertise to the clients and communities we serve.
B&L professionals have worked diligently on hundreds of projects, and are excited to share with you highlights from just a sampling of our projects firm-wide. Additionally, some of these projects have been recognized by key industry groups such as: American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)/NY’s Platinum Award for the Ithaca Falls Overlook Environmental Restoration and Brownfield Cleanup Project; American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Upstate Chapter’s Honor Award for Excellence in Research & Communication for the Regional Green Infrastructure Showcase at the Rochester Museum & Science Center; Project of the Year awards from several branches of the American Public Works Association (APWA); and APWA’s Technical and Management Innovation award for our work on the Onondaga County Water Authority’s Hydrant Inspection Program.
B&L teams have created a multitude of things that make a difference in people’s lives. We’ve designed parks, trails, and splash pads; improved safety for bicyclists and pedestrians; brought clean water to communities and helped them improve wastewater treatment. In addition, we’ve assisted communities as they address challenges involving the environment, solid waste, stormwater, and hazardous materials. Our planners have developed roadmaps to help communities build consensus and achieve a unique, shared vision. The coming year will bring an expanded presence of firm services in new markets to support our growing client base, along with a focus on making our employees better trained to embrace new technologies in a changing world while continuing to be productive members of the community in which we live. Most importantly, we look forward to nurturing our relationships with those we serve, providing the best service possible as we tackle projects that make us all proud to be a part of the B&L team.
- John F. Brusa, Jr., President and CEO
Waste Water Treatment Plant Improvements
Village of Malone
B&L provided the design, bidding/construction services as well as startup and operations assistance services for improvements of the plant, which had many aging components that were near the end of their useful life in addition to a 50-year old anaerobic digester system. The upgrades included replacement and refurbishment of various process components.
Waste Water Treatment Plant Improvements
Village of Monticello
B&L assisted the Village with planning, grantsmanship, design, bidding and construction phase services for a complete upgrade to the plant. A substantial grant/loan package of $20,000,000 was received from USDA-Rural Development, to complete the upgrades that were otherwise not affordable. B&L assisted the Village in securing zero interest/low interest interim financing from NYSEFC in order to complete the project. This project began construction in the fall of 2014 and was completed in May 2017.
Watch a video snippet of the Monticello Waste Water Treatment Plant above.
Erie Boulevard-Nott Street Reconstruction
City of Schenectady
APWA Capital District Branch, Transportation Project of the Year
A two-lane roundabout was constructed to improve both the function and safety of an intersection with a history of a high volume of accidents. A roundabout in this location reduced Carbon Monoxide Emissions by 29% and Nitrogen Oxide emissions by 21%. Other benefits to being realized include improved pedestrian and bicyclist safety, improved intersection drainage, reduced traffic congestion along Erie Boulevard, traffic calming, and an aesthetically pleasing alternative to a standard four-way intersection. The City's first roundabout has helped to spark the transformation of the northern entrance to the City of Schenectady in coordination with the adjacent Rivers Casino and Mohawk Harbor Development as the City's long range plan continues to be implemented.
Factory Street Reconstruction
City of Watertown
APWA Central New York Branch, Transportation Project of the Year
B&L served as construction managers on this project to create a multimodal gateway into the City of Watertown as part of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. In addition to new road pavement, sidewalks, relocation of gas and overhead utilities, improved storm and sewer overflow, there were reconstruction challenges involving hazardous materials, deep rock excavation for large diameter utilities and underground vault reconstruction and an old railroad bed.
Watch a video snippet of the Factory Street area in Watertown, NY.
Water System Improvements
Town of Rosendale
B&L evaluated the Town’s treatment plant and distribution system and prepared a Preliminary Engineering Report identifying the system weaknesses and providing prioritized recommendations with associated capital costs. B&L also assisted the Town with submission of a DWSRF Hardship application for financing through the New York State Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC) which led to $2,000,000 in grant funding and a $1,048,800 interest-free loan. We then completed field services, final design services, necessary permits, and regulatory approvals for the recommended improvements.
Bowerman Road Bridge over Oatka Creek
APWA Monroe-Genesee Valley Branch, Structural Project of the Year
The Monroe County Department of Transportation launched this project in response to specific bridge elements rating poorly on the original structure. Upon completion of an in-depth inspection and review of the bridge's conditions, B&L recommended rehabilitation. Detailed condition assessment, well designed plans, careful oversight from an experienced Resident Engineer, and the hard work from a diligent, knowledgeable Contractor allowed this project to be completed on time and within budget. The Genesee Valley American Public Works Association awarded this the 2017 "Project of the Year" in the Structural Category for projects less than $5 million.
Pine Tree Trail
APWA Central New York Branch, Transportation Project of the Year
Tompkins County retained B&L to design a multi-modal trail along Pine Tree Road, and to connect existing municipal trails to the existing multi-modal trails on the Cornell University campus, and provide pedestrian linkages to a rapidly developing multi-use area. The APWA Central New York Branch awarded this the 2017 "Transportation Project of the Year"
Brownfield Remediation Project
Maxon ALCO Holdings, LLC
ACEC-NY Engineering Excellence Platinum Award, Environmental Category
B&L was retained by Maxon ALCO Holdings, LLC to remediate the 56 acre site under the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) Brownfield Cleanup Program. With approval from the NYSDEC, a safe and cost-effective solution was implemented to remediate ground contaminants to clear the way for redevelopment of the site, construction of a harbor, mixed-use development, a casino and open public space, making this a 2017 Platinum Award winner in the Environmental Category of the Engineering Excellence Awards from the American Council of Engineering Companies of New York (ACEC NY).
Natural Stream Channel Restoration
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (CLDS)
B&L provided environmental design to the Church’s land, which straddled Pennsylvania State Highway 171 and the Susquehanna Historic Site. We worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resource to permit, design and construct a new stream channel location and associated wetland areas, to allow completion of the historic restoration site.
Hydrant Maintenance Inspection Program
Onondaga County Water Authority (OCWA)
APWA Central New York Branch, Technical and Management Innovation
Onondaga County Water Authority worked with B&L to develop a new Hydrant Maintenance Inspection Program for the 14,000 fire hydrants in their service area. The system combined OCWA’s existing asset management and GIS systems. B&L created a computer-based system to track and report all collected data through a user friendly, streamline process using a GIS-based application from ESRI, Collector. This project was awarded the 2017 “Technical & Management Innovation Award” from the APWA Central New York branch.
For a more detailed look into this project, watch the video case study above.
Leachate Storage and Loadout Facility and Administrative Building Addition
Development Authority of the North Country (DANC)
B&L provided permitting, design, and construction administration services for the installation of two 1.1 million gallon glass lined steel leachate storage tanks, secondary containment, and leachate loadout infrastructure. A stormwater removal system, leachate pump station and a 1440 SF addition to the office building was included.
Watch a video snippet of the DANC Rodman Solid Waste Management Facility above.
Phillips Hall Indoor Electrical Substation Upgrade
Cornell retained B&L to provide engineering and construction administration services for Phillips Hall, which is the building that houses the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering on campus. The University identified several deficiencies with the existing main electrical systems (primary and secondary) in Phillips Hall, requiring completely new electrical substation service.
Regional Green Infrastructure Showcase
Rochester Museum and Science Center
ASLA New York Upstate Chapter, Honor Award of Excellence, Research and Communication Category
The Showcase was developed collaboratively with RMSC staff and the Rochester Institute of Technology. The project demonstrates the educational power of landscape architecture. Green Infrastructure solutions are infused into the RMSC campus, simultaneously enhancing the visitor experience and exposing guests to the many services that natural systems can provide. Permanent indoor exhibits are fed real-time performance data collected from the outdoor green infrastructure installations.
Green Infrastructure Retrofit Design Manual
City of Rochester, Monroe County
A collaborative approach with multiple municipalities to develop a manual to guide the proper use and installation of green infrastructure technologies. Implementation of the design recommendations, guidelines and maintenance protocols in the manual will result in increased community resiliency, a reduction in nuisance flooding, mitigation of phosphorous, pathogen and sediment loading into impaired water bodies, improved quality of life, elevated property values, enhanced streetscape appearance and better community design, and opportunities for interaction with natural systems in urban settings.
Municipal Asset Management Pilot Program
NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) has launched an innovative three-year pilot program to help municipalities learn to run their wastewater systems like a business and protect their most expensive municipal asset. B&L is the lead consultant working on the project. The pilot is taking place in ten select municipalities across the state and by the end, the municipalities will have an asset management plan for their wastewater treatment systems. Key aspects of asset management include asset inventories, informed decision-making, and long-term funding strategies. The information gathered to answer these questions will be the basis of asset management plan templates and will be used to improve NYSDEC’s Municipal Sewage System Asset Management Guide.
Meter Test Facility
Onondaga County Water Authority (OCWA)
Design of new water meter testing equipment for simultaneously testing multi-sized meters using a gravimetric scale system, water tanks, pumping system, meter testing software, and a full water recirculation system to conserve water usage during testing procedures. The design also included renovations to the testing room and associated offices.
Landfill Cell Expansion
Fulton County Landfill
B&L completed the final design, prepared bid documents and provided construction administration, resident engineering, on-site inspection and certification for the 9.3 acre expansion projection. In addition to the extensive landfill liner system, this project included two leachate metering structures, pump station upgrades and significant site improvements.