Hanson Professional Services Inc. celebrates 60th anniversary


Feb. 24, 2014

Contact: Darrel Berry, Marketing Communications Manager
Hanson Professional Services Inc.
(217) 747-9291

Hanson Professional Services Inc. celebrates 60th anniversary

Hanson 60th anniversary logoSPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Hanson Professional Services Inc. has entered its 60th year of operations.

In 1954, Walt Hanson founded the company as Walter E. Hanson and Associates in Springfield, Ill., in a partnership with two civil engineers. The trio worked at the company’s first office, located at 401 E. Capitol Ave., focusing on bridge design and structural engineering projects in the Midwest. In the 1960s, the firm opened its second office in Peoria, Ill., and expanded its services to include foundation engineering and more broad-based civil engineering projects.

Joint ventures were formed during the 1960s and 1970s that allowed Hanson to grow in the industry, entering into railroad, intermodal and transportation work. One venture, Hanson-Rodriguez S.A., took the company to the Dominican Republic and expanded the firm’s hydro services. In 1972, Hanson became employee-owned, which remains one of the company’s defining characteristics today. As Hanson’s staff grew, the company required larger headquarters and moved into a new building at 1525 S. Sixth St.

Hanson continued its growth during the past 35 years, opening multiple offices across the U.S. Environmental waste management services were added, and a joint venture in Seattle allowed the company to offer services for nuclear facility site characterization. As the use of computer technology increased in the industry, Hanson added computer-aided design and drafting services. With two acquisitions and a merger, the aviation and telecommunications divisions were formed and the firm’s consulting work entered the architectural, electrical and mechanical fields. A joint venture in Anchorage, Alaska, led to the creation of Hanson Alaska LLC. Hanson also has acquired four companies in the past 14 years including, most recently, Jacksonville, Fla.-based Bowen Civil Engineering.

Today, Hanson has more than 380 employees in offices across the U.S. Through the decades, the firm has been involved with many notable projects, including work across Illinois such as the underground parking complex under the Old State Capitol State Historic Site, the Lincoln Home restoration, the Capital City Railroad Relocation project and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, all in Springfield; the Clark Bridge on the Mississippi River near Alton, Ill.; the design of BNSF Railway Co.’s Willow Springs Intermodal Facility in Hodgkins, Ill.; two taxiway bridges at the MidAmerica St. Louis Airport at Scott Air Force Base near Belleville, Ill.; and environmental impact statements for the Illinois High-Speed Rail Chicago to St. Louis program.

Starting in the 1960s, Hanson was instrumental in the build-out of AT&T communications facilities throughout the U.S. Other projects in the U.S. include the design of the Ruck-a-Chucky Bridge in California; underpinning for the nuclear cogeneration plant in Midland, Mich., and for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority; the BNSF intermodal facility in Memphis, Tenn.; site investigations for the U.S. Department of Defense Ground Wave Emergency Network; the Paducah and Louisville Railroad bridge at the Kentucky Dam; Project Hoosier Safely Acting for Everyone Together (SAFE-T) in Indiana; the broadcast facilities at One World Trade Center in New York; the Alaska Railroad Corp. northern extension, which includes design of the Tanana River bridge in Salcha, Alaska; and the New York Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Emergency Radio Communications System.

The firm’s engineers not only have worked in the U.S., they also have supplied consulting services on dozens of projects in more than 50 countries around the globe, including projects such as the Sabaneta Dam and the Rincon Dam in the Dominican Republic; the Voice of America transmission facility on Sao Tome Island and other stations globally; and a wide variety of liquefied natural gas facilities internationally.

Hanson and its employee-owners have been recognized in the industry with corporate, project and leadership awards. For 26 consecutive years, Hanson has been named on the Engineering News-Record’s “Top 500 Design Firms” list. The company also has appeared several times on The Zweig Letter’s “Hot Firm List” as one of the fastest-growing architecture, engineering, planning and environmental consulting firms in the U.S. and Canada. In 2008, the firm was named on AARP’s “Top 50 U.S. Employers for Workers 50 and Over” list. Professional organizations such as the American Council of Engineering Companies, American Public Works Association, American Society of Civil Engineers, Illinois Engineering Council and National Society of Professional Engineers have honored Hanson and its employees, clients and projects with multiple awards.

In 2011, Hanson received the Secretary of Defense Freedom Award from the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. It is the federal government’s highest recognition of employers for the support of employees who serve in the National Guard and reserves.

As part of the anniversary celebration, Hanson has launched a special page on its website at http://bit.ly/Hanson60years.

Hanson is a national, employee-owned consulting firm providing engineering, planning and allied services. The firm’s corporate headquarters is located at 1525 S. Sixth St., Springfield, IL 62703. The office may be reached by phone: (217) 788-2450 or fax: (217) 788-2503.


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