Mike Mendenhall, P.E., S.E., a structural engineer, and Kevin Seals, Hanson’s chief environmental scientist, gave an overview of the Springfield Rail Improvements Project during the Illinois Transportation and Highway Engineering Conference at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Mike and Kevin, both from Hanson’s Springfield, Illinois, office, talked about each segment of the rail project in Illinois’ capital and the challenges that have arisen during its process, including the discovery of the foundations of homes burned down during the 1908 Race Riot.
They also covered the Grow Our Own Minority Participation Program in their March 2 presentation. Grow Our Own, which is sponsored by the city of Springfield, Sangamon County and Hanson, with support from the Illinois Department of Transportation, was launched in 2013 in response to community desires for an increased involvement of minority and disadvantaged businesses in the rail project. It offers mentoring, education and training opportunities to Springfield’s minority youth to foster interest in careers involving science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics, or STEAM. Kevin is Hanson’s STEAM outreach coordinator.
More than 1,100 people registered for this year’s two-day conference, and hundreds attended Mike and Kevin’s presentation.