Our company founder, Walter Hanson, was an engineer who envisioned designs that could change the landscapes of communities through local and global projects. He was a creator, educator, entrepreneur, mentor and visionary. He built strong, enduring relationships with his colleagues, clients and community members — something we still strive to do today. Check out the timeline below to see details about the people, projects and progress that make up Hanson’s history and success.
Walt Hanson and two civil engineers form Walter E. Hanson and Associates. Headquarters are at 401 E. Capitol Ave. in Springfield, Ill.
The firm specializes in structural engineering with a focus on bridge design; its first job is the design of 56 bridges for the Kansas Turnpike for Wilson & Co. of Salina, Kan.
Walter E. Hanson and Associates changes its name to Hanson, Collins and Rice. The firm branches out, offering more broad-based civil engineering, foundation engineering and soil mechanics services.
In addition to bridge design for the Northern Illinois Toll Road and the Edsel Ford Expressway in Detroit, the firm consults on foundation problems for a bridge across the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., and at the Boeing airplane manufacturing facility in Wichita, Kan.
Hanson completes several dam site investigations for the Illinois Department of Conservation.
The company is awarded several highway bridge-design jobs in Illinois and performs foundation investigations for the interstate routes toward the Poplar Street Bridge across the Mississippi River in East St. Louis.
The firm adds hydrology and hydraulics to its roster of services.
The company is incorporated as Hanson, Collins and Rice Inc.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hires Hanson, Collins and Rice to investigate the foundation of the Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill.
AT&T hires Hanson to perform site foundation investigations across the country.
The partners in Hanson, Collins and Rice Inc. part ways. Walt Hanson dissolves the corporation and establishes Walter E. Hanson and Co. as a sole proprietorship.
Hanson performs major foundation and structural engineering work at the AT&T site in East Bench, Utah.
Geotechnical work begins for the North American Aerospace Defense Command’s Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker in Colorado.
Hanson designs a flood wall system protecting downtown St. Louis and conducts a foundation investigation for Point of America’s apartments in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Hanson opens its Peoria, Ill., office.
The Marriott Corp. hires Hanson to perform a hotel foundation investigation in Massachusetts, marking the start of a longstanding client relationship for the firm.
Hanson’s work includes such diverse projects as performing a tank investigation at Curaçao in the Dutch West Indies, designing bridges for the Red Mountain Expressway in Birmingham, Ala., and designing a brew kettle support system for the Pabst Brewing Co. in Peoria Heights, Ill.
Hanson provides design services for an underground, two-level municipal parking garage facility as part of the Old State Capitol reconstruction project.
Hanson investigates construction problems at the U.S. Capitol parking garages in Washington, D.C.
Foundation investigations continue for Marriott Corp. in Philadelphia, Honolulu, Dallas, Seattle, Baltimore and Newark, N.J.
Hanson works on a variety of projects in Illinois and around the world, including at the federal building in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Duck Creek Power Plant in Canton, Ill.; Prairie Capital Convention Center and Franklin Life Insurance Co. complex in Springfield, Ill.; and Sabaneta Dam in the Dominican Republic.
The firm is reorganized as Hanson Engineers Inc. and becomes an employee-owned company. Plans are made to expand the business and build new corporate headquarters.
Hanson works on construction problems in the Washington, D.C., subway as well as on the Rincon Dam in the Dominican Republic.
Hanson expands to include transportation engineering services.
Hanson embarks on another longstanding client relationship with Central Illinois Public Service Co., providing engineering services at the Newton Power Station.
Hanson expands its professional engineering staff and moves into new headquarters at 1525 S. Sixth St.
Design work begins on the McClugage Bridge across the Illinois River in Peoria, Ill., while engineers cope with tunneling problems in the Washington, D.C., subway and a landslide investigation for the Burlington Northern Railroad at Ottumwa, Iowa.
The firm works on the restoration of the nearly 300-year-old Fort de Chartres on the Mississippi River and participates in the first application of a vibrational beam slurry wall at the NIPSCo Generating Station in Wheatfield, Ind.
Lee Dondanville becomes president of Hanson.
Design work begins on the Ruck-a-Chucky Bridge in Auburn, Calif. Later, the bridge receives first prize in architectural design by Progressive Architecture magazine. The visually stunning bridge never was constructed.
Hanson is hired to design several bridges for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The firm works abroad designing bridges in Haiti and Saudi Arabia and investigating a landslide in Kuwait. At home, Hanson performs federal dam inspections in Illinois and Missouri; designs the underpinning for the Red Line subway project in Cambridge, Mass.; and investigates structural failures at a West Virginia coal mine.
Hanson devises a permanent underpinning system for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority.
The company builds an addition to its Springfield headquarters to accommodate new personnel.
The Rockford, Ill., office opens.
Hanson works on the Moa River project in the Dominican Republic and the underpinning design for the Midland, Mich., nuclear cogeneration plant.
Hanson works on subway construction in Boston, a highway soils study in Saudi Arabia and the underpinning for a new science building at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
The Illinois Department of Transportation hires Hanson to design the new Clark Bridge across the Mississippi River near Alton, Ill.
Hanson adds environmental and waste management services and begins environmental cleanup projects at U.S. Air Force bases near Minneapolis and Champaign, Ill.
The company performs 50 geotechnical investigations at AT&T sites nationwide; designs a railroad relocation involving the Norfolk & Western Pacific railroads in Springfield, Ill.; performs structural work at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago; and begins work on automated storage and retrieval systems for industrial clients in Alabama and Utah.
Hanson performs structural rehabilitation of Black Rock Lock on the Niagara River near Buffalo, N.Y., for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and begins a nationwide underground storage tank removal and replacement program for AT&T.
Hanson, in association with Battelle Memorial Institute, is selected to provide siting and site characterization services for a low-level nuclear waste disposal facility in Illinois.
For the first time, Hanson makes Engineering News-Record magazine’s list of the top 500 design firms in the United States.
The joint-venture association of Hanson Shannon & Wilson Inc. is formed to pursue nuclear and other special multidiscipline projects.
The Lincoln Home in Springfield, Ill., reopens after its restoration. Hanson was responsible for its architectural renovation.
Another addition to the headquarters building in Springfield, Ill., begins.
Hanson has exceptional growth in earnings and staff.
Work begins on the Santa Fe Railway-UPS Willow Springs intermodal facility in Hodgkins, Ill.
Gene Wilkinson becomes president of Hanson.
Hanson begins to perform civil engineering services at 40 U.S. Air Force ground wave emergency communication network sites throughout the country and upgrades 24 miles of railroad at Hanford Site, a high-level nuclear storage facility near Richmond, Wash.
The firm’s transportation department begins several studies for Illinois highways in Carbondale, Ill., and in Adams and Hancock counties in Illinois.
Hanson spearheads an award-winning structural renovation project at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Memorial Stadium.
The company begins a location-design study and environmental impact statement for the proposed U.S. 67 bypass between Alton and Jacksonville, Ill.; signs a systemwide contract to perform work for the Santa Fe and Burlington Northern railroads; and begins construction observation at the $180 million State Farm insurance company’s corporate office complex in Bloomington, Ill.
Hanson acquires Murray and Associates, a Springfield airport-design firm, which becomes the new airport services division.
Hanson opens a branch office in Kansas City, Mo.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awards Hanson a contract to provide worldwide railroad engineering services to the Corps.
The Illinois Department of Nuclear Safety selects Hanson to conduct license application review and construction oversight and remediation activities at a low-level radioactive waste site owned by Kerr-McGee Inc. in West Chicago, Ill. The cleanup cost is estimated at $148 million.
Hanson opens a Chicago-area office.
Hanson is assigned as airport consultant for the St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton, Ill., and performs a site development and feasibility study for dams and reservoirs at the Illinois Department of Conservation’s Site M in Cass County in Illinois.
Hanson establishes a formal partnership with AT&T to administer the five-year national fuel storage tank program.
Hanson completes the Capital City Railroad Relocation project in Springfield, Ill., improving safety and simplifying traffic patterns.
The company provides civil engineering services to Ross & Baruzzini Inc. for the replacement of artificial turf with grass at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
Hanson completes design services for the Voice of America transmission facility on São Tomé Island.
The acquisition of the BARC Group in Wayne, N.J., expands Hanson’s telecommunications capabilities. Hanson also merges with Springfield, Ill.-based Ralph Hahn and Associates, adding architectural, mechanical and electrical engineering services and office locations in the Orlando region and West Palm Beach, Fla.
The company opens an office in Bellevue, Wash., to serve the Pacific Northwest.
Working for Motorola Inc., Hanson designs a grounding network to protect the Chicago Transit Authority's communications towers from lightning surges.
Hanson provides the final design plan for two taxiway bridges connecting Scott Air Force Base and MidAmerica Airport near Belleville, Ill.
Hanson designs the $2.1 million, 1,000-foot-long Juno Beach pier in Juno Beach, Fla.
Hanson opens an office in Indianapolis.
Sergio “Satch” Pecori is elected president of Hanson.
Hanson is named a Top 20 Telecom design firm by Engineering News-Record.
Hanson acquires Kenneth Balk & Associates, giving Hanson a St. Louis regional office, expanding the company’s transportation services in the St. Louis metro area and Missouri and adding specialized hydrographic surveying capability.
Construction begins on the new $532 million Kentucky Dam lock addition on the Tennessee River, and Hanson is responsible for the railroad relocation of the Paducah and Louisville railway.
Hanson Engineers Inc. changes its name to Hanson Professional Services Inc.
The company is named one of the “Best Civil Engineering Firms to Work For” by CE News and one of the 100 fastest-growing U.S. architectural and engineering firms by The Zweig Letter.
The Indiana Department of Transportation hires Hanson to assist in completing an inventory of more than 10,000 at-grade and grade-separated rail-highway intersections.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources hires Hanson to provide design, construction engineering and site surveying services at the Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area in Cass County, Illinois.
The Illinois Tollway selects Hanson to widen and rebuild the Interstate 294 Tri-State Tollway in Chicago.
Chicago Bridge and Iron Co. selects Hanson to provide geotechnical consulting services for the design and construction of a 22-million-gallon liquefied natural gas tank on Bonny Island off the coast of Nigeria.
The Orlando Chapter of Architects honors Hanson, the architect of record, with an AIA Award of Excellence for the firm’s work on the Broward Community College’s student services center.
The U.S. Department of Energy selects Hanson to provide architectural, civil, electrical, geotechnical, structural and mechanical design as well as construction administration services for the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill.
Thales Broadcast & Multimedia Inc. selects Hanson as the facilities architect/engineer for the expansion of an existing Kuwait medium-wave broadcasting station. The project includes installation of surplus U.S. government-owned transmitter equipment and the construction of new shortwave antennas, facilitating long-range broadcasting in the region.
Hanson designs the roadway rehabilitation and reconstruction along the 3.7-mile stretch of Missouri’s Interstate 255 and the replacement roadway lighting on the Jefferson Barracks Bridge.
Harris Broadcast and Hanson complete a reconnaissance survey of an existing war-damaged facility in Afghanistan, providing rehabilitation design and construction support services.
Fluor Corp. selects Hanson to provide engineering and environmental services to the Federal Emergency Management Agency under a $100 million technical assistance contract.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum project is completed. Hanson provided services including civil, structural and geotechnical engineering.
Hanson provides preliminary and environmental engineering for the Beltway Corridor as part of the $1.5 billion Chicago Regional Environmental and Transportation Efficiency program, a public-private partnership with the state of Illinois, city of Chicago, Metra and freight railroads to benefit the region’s rail infrastructure.
The Illinois Tollway selects Hanson to provide design services for the $28 million reconstruction and reconfiguration of the interchange at interstates 39 and 90 near Rockford, Ill.
Through a contract with Fluor Corp. and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Hanson mobilizes employees to aid in disaster relief and recovery efforts for areas hardest hit by hurricanes.
Hanson and Tryck Nyman & Hayes Inc. form TNH-Hanson to accommodate work for a $20 million realignment project for Alaska Railroad Corp.
The Union Pacific Railroad opens its new $83 million, 260-acre intermodal terminal in Salt Lake City. Hanson, in a joint venture with Wilson & Company Inc., provided design engineering services for the facility.
City Water, Light and Power in Springfield, Ill., selects Hanson to provide construction management and construction observation services for the $478 million Dallman 4 power-generation unit.
Walter Hanson is inducted into the Illinois Engineering Hall of Fame.
Hanson acquires MEA Group Inc. in Sarasota, Fla., to expand its aviation market, as well as promote its other services in other geographic areas.
Design begins on a multilane roundabout at the intersection of Main and Auburn streets in Rockford, Ill. This improvement serves as a centerpiece for urban redevelopment in the Rockford area and is the first dual-lane roundabout in Rockford and on a state highway in Illinois.
As a consultant to PBS&J, Hanson conducts surveying services for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ National Levee Database.
The Alaska Railroad Corp. selects TNH-Hanson LLC to complete the Port MacKenzie Rail Extension project.
“From Kansas Farm to Engineering Hall of Fame: The Legacy of Walter E. Hanson, P.E., S.E., Hon. M.ASCE,” by Janice Petterchak is published.
Hanson Alaska LLC formed.
Hanson works with Broward College in Pembroke Pines, Fla., serving as the architect and engineer of record for the remodeling of its 60,000-square-foot Learning Resource Center.
The Missouri Department of Transportation selects Hanson to provide engineering design services for the new Daniel Boone Bridge carrying Interstate 64 traffic over the Missouri River in St. Louis.
Hanson receives an award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois for its structural design renovations to Union Station in Springfield, Ill. This project transformed an 1898 train station into an accessible visitor’s center for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies in Port St. Lucie, Fla., selects Hanson to provide building commissioning services.
PBS Guam becomes one of the first of nearly 1,000 full-power television stations to transition to a digital-only broadcast. Hanson provides planning, design, construction administration and system commissioning for its new broadcasting facility.
The Indiana National Guard selects Hanson to provide engineering consulting services for its Muscatatuck Urban Training Center.
ACEC Missouri honors Hanson’s work on the BNSF Railway Co.’s intermodal facility in Memphis, Tenn.
The Capitol Avenue reconstruction project in Springfield, Ill., receives the 2010 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) Central Illinois Section.
ACEC Illinois honors Hanson for its work on the Lewis University Airport runway extension.
Hanson’s founder, Walter E. Hanson, passes away April 4, 2010, at the age of 93.
The Illinois Department of Transportation selects Hanson to operate its outdoor advertising sign control efforts. It also selects the Hanson-Parsons joint venture to perform a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement for the Chicago to St. Louis High-Speed Rail corridor.
ACEC Illinois recognizes Hanson with Honor Awards for two projects: the Illinois Tollway’s Cherry Valley interchange near Cherry Valley, Ill., and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ relocation of the Paducah and Louisville railway in Grand Rivers, Ky.
Hanson receives 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.
Hanson receives Special Achievement Awards from ACEC Illinois for its work on City Water, Light and Power’s Spaulding Dam gated spillway in Springfield, Ill., and Ameren Energy Resources’ power plant water supply project in Coffeen, Ill.
Hanson’s marketing communications department receives two 2012 Communicator Awards from the International Academy of the Visual Arts.
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Overseas Building Office selects Hanson to provide building systems commissioning services for U.S. embassy projects worldwide.
Bowen Civil Engineering Inc. joins Hanson, expanding the company’s civil and transportation engineering services and establishing an office in Jacksonville, Fla.
Hanson receives an Honor Award from ACEC Illinois for its work on the Illinois High-Speed Rail Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement.
The city of Springfield, Ill., selects Hanson to provide design, land acquisition, construction engineering and project management services for the $315 million Springfield Rail Improvements Project. During the first stage of the project, Hanson submits preliminary plans for the design of the Carpenter Street underpass.
Hanson celebrates its 60th year in business.
Hanson opens an office in Tallahassee, Fla., and a Twin Cities office in St. Louis Park, Minn.
ACEC Illinois recognizes Hanson with an Honor Award for its work on a roundabout project in Rockford, Ill.
Hanson is ranked second out of 30 companies in the large-company category on the “Best Companies to Work for in Florida” list by Best Companies Group and Florida Trend magazine.
Hanson Alaska LLC receives a Col. Frederick Mears Award of Excellence from the Alaska Railroad Corp. for its work on the Tanana River Bridge in Salcha, Alaska.
Hanson is recognized by ACEC Illinois with an Honor Award for a geothermal energy project at Camp Lincoln in Springfield, Ill., and by ACEC Indiana with a Merit Award for a sinkhole mitigation and runway rehabilitation project in Bloomington, Ind.
ACEC’s Engineering Inc. magazine features Springfield, Ill.’s Grow Our Own Minority Participation Program. Hanson manages the program, which encourages minority students to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by providing mentoring, education and job training opportunities.
As part of its Florida expansion efforts, Hanson opens offices in Miami and Chipley, Fla.
Hanson receives an exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration that allows the firm to operate unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, to collect data as part of its services.
The Tanana River Bridge in Salcha, Alaska, is selected as a finalist for ASCE’s Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award. Hanson designed the 3,300-foot-long bridge.
Hanson and POWER Engineers Inc. are recognized by ACEC Missouri with a Grand Award for the CapX2020 Mississippi River transmission line crossing near Alma, Wis. Hanson also received a National Silver Award in the environmental category from ACEC Washington for work on a BNSF Railway Co. bridge in Chelan County, Washington, that reconnected Nason Creek with a floodplain to restore endangered fish populations.
Hanson’s board of directors elects CEO Sergio “Satch” Pecori as chairman of the board and Markets Leader Jeff Ball as president.
The Tanana River Bridge in Salcha, Alaska, wins the category for best project of more than $150 million by the Structural Engineers Association of Illinois during its annual Excellence in Structural Engineering Awards.
Hanson received the Outstanding Civic Involvement – Business Owner of the Year award from the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce for its involvement with the Grow Our Own Minority Participation Program.
Hanson acquires Corpus Christi, Texas-based Naismith Engineering Inc. and forms a strategic alliance with Engineered Rail Solutions LLC, a McHenry, Ill.-based firm.
Hanson and Maurer-Stutz Inc. are recognized by ACEC Illinois with an Honor Award for a water control system at Emiquon Preserve near Havana, Ill.
Hanson’s Chairman and CEO, Sergio “Satch” Pecori, becomes chairman of ACEC.
The American Public Works Association’s Illinois Chapter recognized Hanson with two Public Works Project of the Year awards in the transportation category for its work on the Carpenter Street underpass in Springfield, Ill., and the Bowman Avenue improvements in Danville, Ill.
Hanson acquires Engineered Rail Solutions LLC, a McHenry, Ill.-based firm that provides logistical and market analysis, engineering design services and operational optimization, especially in the rail and material handling industries nationwide.
Ameren Transmission Co. of Illinois and Hanson were honored with the Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award by ASCE’s Central Illinois Section for the 1.56-mile Herleman-Maywood Mississippi River crossing in Quincy, Ill.
The Association of Conservation Engineers’ Carl V. Anderson Conservation Project Awards gives Hanson and Maurer-Stutz Inc. the Award of Excellence — the organization’s highest honor — for the Emiquon project.
Hanson is recognized by ACEC Illinois with a Special Achievement Award and a Best in Category Award for the Ameren Herleman-Maywood Transmission Line Mississippi River Crossing in Quincy, Ill.
ASCE’s Central Illinois Section honors The Nature Conservancy, Hanson and Maurer-Stutz Inc. with the Project of the Year Award for a water control system at Emiquon Preserve near Havana, Ill.
Hanson is recognized by ACEC Florida with an Honor Award for the commissioning of Orlando International Airport’s new South Airport Automated People Mover Complex and Intermodal Terminal Facility.
Hanson receives a Distinguished Service Award from ACEC Missouri.
Hanson’s marketing department wins four awards of distinction in the 25th Communicator Awards.
Vault ranks Hanson’s internship program 36th on a list of 100 best internships in the U.S., ninth on a list of best technology and engineering internship programs and 25th on a list of best internships for compensation and benefits.
The Illinois Senate congratulates Hanson for its 65th anniversary with a certificate of recognition offered by Sens. William Brady and Steve McClure.
The Champaign-Urbana Area Multimodal Corridor Enhancement project receives an Honor Award from ACEC Illinois, a Public Works Project of the Year award in the transportation category from the American Public Works Association Illinois Chapter and an Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award in the large project category from ASCE’s Central Illinois Section.
Hanson receives the Dr. William W. Hay Award for Excellence from the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance-of-Way Association, two awards of merit in Engineering News-Record Midwest’s Best Projects Awards and an Honor Award from ACEC Illinois for its work on the emergency repair of Norfolk Southern Corp.’s collapsed bridge over the Grand River near Brunswick, Missouri.
Most of Hanson’s employees become remote workers as the COVID-19 pandemic takes hold. The company’s annual shareholder meeting is held virtually because of the pandemic.
For the first time, Hanson breaks the $100 million gross revenue threshold, with $100.6 million in 2020.
Hanson acquires Amherst Consulting Co. LLC, a full-service engineering consulting firm in Maitland, Fla., that focuses on aviation planning, programming, design and construction services.
The Grow Our Own Minority Participation Program adds arts to its program, expanding the focus to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.
Hanson enters a U.S.-based partnership called Decision Optimization Technology–United States (DOT–US) with Ontario, Canada-based Infrastructure Solutions Inc. to deliver the DOT™ government asset management and capital planning software.
ACEC Florida recognizes Hanson with an Honor Award for its work on the SR 26/West Newberry Road Corridor PD&E Study.
Hanson employees return to the company’s offices nationwide or adopt remote-work schedules.
Hanson ranks No. 2 in the medium-employer category as a Best Places to Work in Illinois and No. 4 in the large-employer category for Best Companies to Work for in Florida.
Norfolk Southern’s Grand River Bridge emergency repairs receives a National Recognition Award from ACEC, an Honor Award from ACEC Illinois and is named to RT&S magazine’s 2021 Top Projects list.
Hanson’s internship program ranks No. 3 for engineering internships, No. 10 for tech and engineering internships and in the Top 50 for internships by Vault.
Lee Dondanville, former Hanson president and CEO, dies Nov. 22, 2021. Lee joined Hanson in 1956 at the invitation of company founder Walter Hanson and retired in 1995.