Continuing the Journey

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CONTINUING THE JOURNEY Freese and Nichols, Inc. | 1995-2015


Continuing the Journey: Freese and Nichols, Inc. 1995-2015 Copyright Š 2016 Freese and Nichols, Inc. All rights reserved. Published by Freese and Nichols, Inc. 4055 International Plaza, Suite 200 Fort Worth, Texas 76109 Printed in the United States of America

On the cover: The award-winning Clearfork Main Street Bridge, which spans the Trinity River in Fort Worth, Texas, features a pedestrian crossing suspended beneath the split vehicular bridge. Read more on page 137.

In memory of Jim Nichols and Bob Nichols, whose lifelong dedication to service is an enduring example to us all. They left the woodpile higher than they found it.


Acknowledgments vii

Chapter 1: A Wake-Up Call


Chapter 2: ‘How We Do Our Business Every Day’


A Framework for Improvements The TAPE and Baldrige Pursuits

5 8

Chapter 3: The Very Best at Client Service


Supporting Long-Term Client Relationships Serving as Trusted Advisors

14 15

Sustained Growth: New Markets, New Services


An Environment of Innovation Sustainability and Stewardship

36 37

Chapter 4: Culture and Community


Becoming the Firm of Choice


FNU: Serving by Educating Integrated Service Delivery Educating Policymakers Baldrige Outreach for Clients

North Texas Central and South Texas Southeast Texas A Look Back: Venture into Mexico Strengthening Services in Urban Planning Expansion into Energy

Workplace Honors

17 19 21 21 25 26 28 30 33 34

44 v



Professional Development

Leaders in Their Professions



Community Involvement 49 Wellness 51

Chapter 5: On the Horizon


Emerging Markets and Services




Chapter 6: Featured Projects


West Texas 54 North Carolina 55 Oklahoma 56 Ports 56 Coastal Services 57 Water Reclamation and Reuse 58 Rail 58

Water Resources Planning 60 Water Resources Design 65 Water Resources Transmission 72 Water and Wastewater Master Planning 77 Water and Wastewater Treatment 82 Water and Wastewater Utilities 87 A Look Back: Solid Waste 92 Stormwater 93 Transportation 99 Program Management 105 Construction Services 110 Environmental Science 116 Architecture 121 Urban Planning + Design 126 Landscape Architecture 132 Structural 135 A Look Back: Telecommunications 140 Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing 142 Energy 146

Index of Organizations



Researched and written by Dan Purschwitz Additional research by Shannon Listorti Cover design by Bobby Nichols Oversight committee: Jim Nichols, Bob Herchert, Mike Nichols, Alfred Vidaurri, Will McDonald and Lindsey Kubes Photography by Freese and Nichols except where otherwise indicated Our team owes many thanks to the dozens of Freese and Nichols managers and employees who took the time to sit for interviews, share their recollections, track down old records and explain complex technical concepts in layman’s terms. They also took on the difficult task of narrowing down a vast field of deserving projects to the handful featured here. Their insights could fill many volumes, and this book wouldn’t be possible without them. Additional resources for this research were Freese and Nichols’ internal news outlets — known over the years as Field Notes,, Insider and the intranet news — which provided valuable glimpses into the story of Freese and Nichols as it unfolded. Also providing helpful context was A Century in the Works, the comprehensive account written by Simon Freese and Deborah Lightfoot Sizemore for the 1994 centennial. Thank you to Pam Fry and Viqui Litman, who had the vision to launch this effort and shepherded it through its early stages. Thank you to our Freese and Nichols PR/Communications colleagues, who went beyond the call of duty to keep the daily operations running while this book was in development, and to George Bowden, whose editing made it clearer and more precise. Above all, credit is due to all employees of Freese and Nichols, past and present. Their outstanding service to our clients and our communities is the foundation of everything described on these pages. vii




A Wake-Up Call

It only took one year for Freese and Nichols’ euphoria to come crashing down. 1994, the firm’s centennial, had been a year of celebration. A companywide party, a state historical marker, proclamations from the White House and Governor’s office, and a 435-page history book all commemorated Freese and Nichols’ place in rare company, its 100-year legacy of excellence and service. The firm had been instrumental in developing Texas’ water resources and continued to be one of the state’s most highly regarded firms. Over the course of 100 years, it had always been profitable. But after a century of continuous profitability, Freese and Nichols’ second century in business began with its worst year ever. In 1995, it sustained its first annual loss. The prospect of a sale loomed. It was just what Freese and Nichols needed.

External Pressures, Internal Problems The changing Texas landscape of the 1980s and 1990s brought significant external pressures to Freese and Nichols’ business. Dramatic population growth – the state added 4.7 million people from 1980 to 1995, growing 33.3 percent – necessitated more and more infrastructure work, which in turn attracted national engineering firms to the state. Freese and Nichols found itself facing greater competition for clients; instead of five firms pursuing a project, there would often be 50. Competition for employees also increased as the national firms sought local connections to the client base.




External pressures also came from other directions. Freese and Nichols’ clients started awarding work differently, many of them adopting policies of spreading work across multiple firms. Meanwhile, Freese and Nichols’ ways of doing business, although rooted in decades of success, were becoming increasingly unsuitable for the changing industry. The firm had acquired more business and increased its workforce, but its management approach hadn’t adapted.

Bob Herchert has been Chairman of the Freese and Nichols Board of Directors since 2002. He was the firm’s first non­ engineer President and CEO, serving from 1991 to 2002.

These systemic issues had been slowly simmering beneath the surface, and they weren’t fully revealed until 1995, as some profitable projects finished up and other projects encountered significant problems. “We lived for a long time with the benefit of some very large projects that had carried the company, and they masked a lot of other issues,” Bob Herchert says. “It was a combination of those good projects going away, plus a couple of bad projects on the other side of the equation, that really turned things from ‘Things are going pretty good’ to, all of a sudden, ‘This isn’t good.’ A lot of things came together at the same time.” “We just didn’t have enough work,” Mike Nichols says. “We had built up our staff for a big project, but we didn’t have the systems in place to keep the work coming in once we started winding down.”

Mike Nichols has been Chief Marketing Officer since 2002. He previously served as Client Development Manager and Infrastructure Group Manager.

A Wake-Up Call

“We had a lot of problems,” explains Bob Pence. “We were a very good engineering company that did very good engineering work, but we just weren’t managing our business like we should have been. 1995 was probably the best thing that ever could’ve happened to this company.”


Bob Pence has been President and CEO since 2002. He was Operations Manager from 1996 to 2002 after working nearly two decades in water and wastewater treatment.

Hovering over all of this was the prospect of a sale. Throughout the professional services industry, larger firms had been buying up midsize firms, and about a year earlier, the Woodward-Clyde Group had approached Freese and Nichols about an acquisition. The two companies decided to take a year to learn more about each other and work together, then revisit the sale offer. “So, we danced for a year,” Pence says, “and it kind of ground us down to a halt. It’s not that we shut down; it’s that there were no initiatives going on. People were saying, ‘Tell me when you’ve made a decision, then we’ll figure out what we’re doing.’ Meanwhile, we were losing money but ignoring the signs because we were sitting there waiting to decide whether to sell or not. This was just getting worse.” Freese and Nichols’ owners faced a pivotal decision as they convened for the annual planning retreat in September 1995. They could sell the company to Woodward-Clyde. Or they could make the radical changes necessary to survive. “Some people did want to sell,” Nichols recalls. “There was a pretty strong fear that with all these acquisitions happening, midsize firms like ours were going to die. And there was a fear that design-build [an alternative project delivery method] was around the corner and would swallow up the work we do.” Herchert: “There was some feeling that maybe we couldn’t do all that it would take to turn the ship around, and maybe the easier way out would



be to sell the company, take our money and move on. Some of the older owners felt that the younger guys really didn’t want to continue to operate the company and were ready to sell. It’s not what they wanted, but they were willing to go along if that was the prevailing sentiment.” Pence: “The facilitator we hired had us take a straw vote just to see where we stood. More people said ‘Don’t sell,’ and it was the younger people. And the minute we had that on the table, the older guys said, ‘You guys don’t want to do this?’ And we said, ‘No, we don’t want to do it.’ ‘Well, hell, we thought you wanted to do it. If you don’t want to do it, we don’t want to do it.’ So we took another vote, and it was unanimous not to sell.” Herchert: “It was an important and significant discussion, and it really bonded the group. I think what really happened was that people came to the realization that there’s no reason we can’t make this a positive opportunity for all of the owners, and if we determine that we’re going to do that and put our minds to it, we can do it. Now that we’d made this decision, we knew we needed to buckle down, get our act together and move forward as a team.” Nichols: “I really think it came down to a lot of us making the decision that we were going to suck it up and do what we had to do to make the company successful. A lot of people made changes in how they saw their roles. Part of it was me moving into sales, recognizing that I couldn’t assume someone else was going to bring the work in. If I wanted to make sure my people had work, I had to go out and get it.” Pence: “We’ve always had a focus on continuity of practice. We’d been in business for 100 years at the time, we’d been serving some clients for 100 years. We had to figure out, ‘How do we continue to serve these clients, continue to take care of these clients?’ That’s when the younger owners — Mike Nichols, myself, Ron Lemons, Cindy Milrany, several others — said, ‘We’ve got to do the right thing. It’s time. No more excuses.’ ”


‘How We Do Our Business Every Day’

Freese and Nichols needed new strategic direction and radical changes to survive. The firm had reputable work and good long-term goals, but it lacked implementation, strategy and measurement. “We were a very typical consulting firm, very collegial,” Pence says. “Everybody kind of had their own book of business. That’s when we had principals-in-charge — each principal had his or her own group of clients. We worked together, we all loved each other, but we just didn’t have the accountability in the firm. We had some parts that weren’t doing enough work and weren’t making money, and nobody was holding them accountable.” As the leaders examined how the firm managed its business and searched for a better way, they distilled the challenge to one question: “How do we optimize our response to the market with our limited resources?”

A Framework for Improvements At the time, Herchert was serving on the board of the Harris Methodist Health System, which had recently hired Clayton Fitzhugh as Vice President overseeing quality improvement. Fitzhugh was known for his expertise in helping organizations strengthen their management systems, and he had served as an examiner for the Baldrige National Quality Program (now named the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program). Fitzhugh’s quality initiatives at Harris Methodist resonated with Herchert as solutions to help turn Freese and Nichols around. Fitzhugh joined the firm on a consulting basis and began assessing its operations. Fitzhugh’s framework for the improvements was a management system named Continuous Improvement, or CI. It revolved around planning, 5



measuring and analyzing everything the company does. It focused on improving processes and empowered employees on the ground to implement those improvements. “Continuous Improvement is a state of mind, an attitude,” Herchert says. “It’s a culture of saying that you never want to be satisfied with where you are, that you want to keep looking for ways to make things better.” “We have a lot of tools we use,” Nichols adds, “but the bottom line is when you’ve done something, you look back to see what worked and what didn’t work, and you make changes so it’s better the next time.” A key to CI’s lasting effectiveness was that from the beginning, company leaders did not position it as a program or initiative. Fitzhugh warned that history was littered with quality programs that were launched with much fanfare, but quickly lost momentum and were abandoned. Leaders committed to making CI the way Freese and Nichols does business. “What Clayton always emphasized is that we had to develop an unconscious expertise,” Pence says. “It’s like driving your car – you don’t think about every step of the way. CI had to be integrated into the company that way. We recognized that for this to work, it had to be how we do our business every day. We don’t need to be thinking about it; it’s just how we do it.” An early focus of CI was strategic planning, which Fitzhugh had identified as a significant gap at Freese and Nichols. “It’s not that we hadn’t done planning, it’s that we hadn’t executed that planning very well,” says Cindy Milrany. “Part of what had caused us to lose money is that things were changing around us, and we hadn’t seen it in time to react to it. We weren’t looking out to see what was changing and bringing it back to what we needed to be doing.”

Cindy Milrany became Freese and Nichols’ first Chief Financial Officer in 1994. She has led the firm’s perfor­mance excellence efforts, which resulted in the 2010 Baldrige Award.

‘How We D o Our Business Every Day’


Another key component of CI was the belief that failures to meet client expectations are largely rooted in processes, not people. Managers worked together with employees at every level to address problems by examining processes, not blaming individuals. “We started making people understand that everything is a process,” Milrany says. “If you look at what’s not working and fix the processes, you can improve the product.” That in turn required learning to manage data much more systematically. Freese and Nichols had been measuring many aspects of its work, but generally hadn’t analyzed the results to identify trends. “Instead of making assumptions,” Milrany explains, “we really started tracking the data to figure out why things happened the way they did — wrong fee, scope creep, other reasons.” Transparency became crucial to keeping employees informed and engaged in new processes. Each month, the leadership team reported the company’s financials and profitability to all employees, first through the monthly newsletter and now online. These reports detailed and explained performance indicators so that all employees knew where the company stood financially. This new style of reporting was one of many ways the CI efforts spread throughout the company; others included the gathering of feedback from employees and the prioritization of professional development. “As we started making changes, and people saw the benefit of those changes, CI blossomed,” Milrany says. “After doing this a number of years, with such strong results — and especially after we survived another economic downturn much better — it was very hard for people to not believe in it. It’s very hard to say that we were just lucky or that we rode the economy.” “The whole organization embraced CI,” Herchert adds. “I never really heard any pushback or negative reaction to it. This is a really rational place, and if you come up with a rational approach to solving a problem and making things better, there’s a willingness to buy into it and be part of it.” In the mid-2000s, Freese and Nichols University (read more on page 47) began conducting training courses on project management; employees were required to receive this certification before they could become project managers. Now that the firm was tracking data more systematically, leaders



soon began to notice trends in the financial performance of projects led by certified project managers. Peggy Freeby “After we’d had the PM was Freese and certification class for Nichols’ first a few years, we could Human Resources actually take that data Manager, a and see that people who position she has had gone through that held since 1990. class were more successful project managers from a financial standpoint than project managers who hadn’t,” Peggy Freeby says. “Many times, it’s hard to show your return on investment in training, but we were able to show the company the real bottom-line benefit of having PM certification.”

Other improvements came in client satisfaction. Freese and Nichols surveys clients once or twice per project, asking them to grade the company’s performance in areas such as schedule, budget and technical proficiency. Leaders noticed that over time, the scores for responsiveness had trended downward. One of their solutions to address the problem was the one-page report, a monthly briefing that project managers send to clients. “At that time, one-page reports were a tool, not a rule,” Milrany says. “So we made them a rule and automated them, and we saw our client satisfaction scores just go up. “The interesting thing is that the scores didn’t go up just for the responsiveness question – they went up on everything, even though the one-page reports were the only thing that we changed. I think it was just that hearing from us on a monthly basis made our clients satisfied.”

The TAPE and Baldrige Pursuits After nine years of Continuous Improvement, Freese and Nichols’ senior leadership decided in 2005 that it was the right time to begin pursuing the Texas Award for Performance Excellence (TAPE) and, eventually, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.

‘How We D o Our Business Every Day’

Whether it’s a local recognition for best workplace or a national performance excellence award, Freese and Nichols’ philosophy is that the value of pursuing an award lies not in the award itself but in the feedback. In some cases, that feedback is the result of a survey of employees; in others, it’s a report from a panel of experts. The TAPE and Baldrige, in particular, offered a great deal of feedback. “In the beginning of your journey, there’s so much to work on,” Milrany says. “But after you’ve been on that journey awhile, the next things aren’t as easy to identify. So we decided we needed to do these applications and get feedback reports to help us stay on the journey.” As Freese and Nichols dug into the TAPE and Baldrige criteria, one of the first tasks was documenting processes. Opportunities for efficiencies soon became apparent. For instance, after the Accounting Group documented and examined the billings process, they shortened the time it took to send out bills by six days. And as the technical groups started documenting their processes, an unexpected benefit emerged. “When young engineers came on board, managers could give them a process, and those kids would immediately hit the ground running doing productive stuff,” Pence says. “Suddenly our engineering groups started seeing the value in this process documentation.


About the Awards In the 1980s, U.S. leaders realized that American companies needed to focus on quality to compete in an expanding, demanding global market. Congress established the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program in 1987 to enhance businesses’ competitiveness and performance. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is the highest level of national recognition for performance excellence in the United States. To receive it, an organization must have an exemplary manage­ ment system that ensures continuous improvement in the delivery of products and services, demonstrates efficient and effective operations, and provides a way of engaging and responding to customers and employees. Baldrige applicants are evaluated in seven areas: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis and knowledge management; workforce focus; process (continued on next page)


“Down in Houston, one of our new engineers was catching up with her friends at other engineering companies,” Pence continues. “ ‘What are you doing now?’ ‘Well, I’ve been there three months, still kind of sitting around,’ they said. ‘Not me,’ she said — ‘I’m working my tail off.’ ” In 2006, Quality Texas Foundation examiners selected Freese and Nichols for a site visit. Although the firm fell short of the threshold for the award, the examiners provided valuable feedback on its strengths and its opportunities to improve. The examiners recommended more process measurement, especially in the area of customer focus. After implementing the recommendations, Freese and Nichols reapplied in 2007 and became the first engineering firm to win the TAPE. The firm harnessed that momentum and set its sights on the next level of improvements. In 2010, Freese and Nichols received the Baldrige Award, becoming the first — and, as of 2015, the only — architecture/engineering firm to do so.


(from previous page)

man­age­ment; and results. As of 2015, 102 organizations have received the Baldrige Award. The Baldrige Program is managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Texas Award for Performance Excellence has been presented by the Quality Texas Foundation since 1994. It is modeled on the same criteria as the Baldrige Award. As of 2015, 52 organizations have received the TAPE.

The Baldrige examiners recognized Freese and Nichols for: • Fiscal accountability and performance, including revenue growth, sustained profitability and minimal debt, all of which were better than the industry benchmarks • Strong leadership, including president’s reviews and multiple levels of leadership development • Strategic planning and the execution of those plans • Constant focus on client service, demonstrated by long-term client relationships

‘How We D o Our Business Every Day’


President and CEO Bob Pence, Chairman Emeritus Jim Nichols, Chief Financial Officer Cindy Milrany, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Vice President Lee Freese at the Baldrige ceremony in Washington, D.C., in April 2012.

• A culture of Continuous Improvement facilitated by a structure of teams, processes and data • High employee satisfaction rooted in a supportive workplace atmosphere and a commitment to professional development • Exemplary ethics and community service This was not the culmination of the CI journey. “The congratulations and well wishes were gratifying, but the most significant benefit of receiving the Baldrige was the feedback itself,” Pence says. “That’s the reason we pursue corporate awards, to gain feedback.” The 53-page Baldrige report was Freese and Nichols’ most tangible benefit, providing a specific blueprint for the CI process. The report identified ways for the firm to move to the next level by keeping core competencies competitive, leveraging a systems perspective, better managing suppliers and subconsultants, and driving innovation across the company. Freese and Nichols has since implemented many of these recommendations.


The Very Best at Client Service

In the bestselling management book Good to Great, Jim Collins tells a story of a fox and hedgehog. Although the fox repeatedly attacks the hedgehog various ways, the hedgehog survives, even thrives, by doing one thing really well: rolling up into a ball of spikes. Collins uses this tale to illustrate that companies become successful by focusing on the one thing that guides all their decisions — their Hedgehog Concept. Companies find it by determining three factors: what they are passionate about, what enables them to prosper and what they can do better than any other company. Freese and Nichols leaders decided to identify the firm’s Hedgehog Concept. After debating a number of ideas related to technical expertise, they realized that they could be the very best at client service, which would result in longterm, mutually beneficial relationships. Herchert: “We knew that other firms would probably be bigger, have more resources, maybe have more people who are technically qualified. But what we do better than anyone else is client service.” Pence: “People like to think quality of work is a differentiator, but it’s not. If you don’t have quality of work, you don’t even get to play the game. Our focus on client service — putting the client first and being trusted advisors — is what makes us unique.” Milrany: “The one thing that really solidified client service is that it works both for external clients and internal clients. We wanted it to be something that our corporate side of our world was as passionate about as the technical side.” Client service has been a constant throughout Freese and Nichols’ history, a legacy of its patriarchs’ dedication to cultivating personal relationships. Simon Freese literally went the extra mile for his face-to-face visits to clients, and by the end of his career, he had completed 18 full circuits of Texas’ 254 12

The Very Best at Client Service


counties. Marvin Nichols was known for mailing clients celebratory cards; in an era before Outlook calendars or Facebook notifications, he seldom forgot a birthday or anniversary. Generations later, client service had become the formalized priority – and something for the company to rally around. “I think it was a real ‘aha’ moment that brought people together with that focus,” Herchert says. “It recognizes that it isn’t just the people on the front lines with the clients, it’s everybody in the organization who has an impact on client service. “It’s not as though client service wasn’t important before. The Hedgehog Concept raised it to a new level around here, with people recognizing that it’s really important to think about all the ways we can make client service happen.” The success of Freese and Nichols’ quality initiatives is also reflected in its long-term relationships. It has retained 61 percent of key accounts for more than 10 years and 32 percent for more than 20 years.

Chairman Emeritus Jim Nichols, Chief Financial Officer Cindy Milrany and Vice President Lee Freese with toy hedgehogs in 2010. As Freese and Nichols embraced the Hedgehog Concept of client service, the hedgehog became an unofficial company mascot.



Supporting Long-Term Client Relationships For much of Freese and Nichols’ history, business development was conducted in the context of the owners’ relationships with clients. Each owner had his own client base and worked on developing business in whichever way he thought was best. Formal advertising and marketing were minimal; such activities weren’t even legal for Texas professional services firms until the early 1980s. “That owner-based arrangement worked fairly well for years, back when there were only nine owners,” Mike Nichols says. “Over time, we realized that we needed a companywide sales and marketing approach, and we had to spread out the service to those clients.” “At the time, Freese and Nichols functioned as a group of small businesses connected together under the same name,” says Will McDonald, a Vice President/Principal in the Sales Group. “That does not lend itself to good client service or sales — there’s too much disconnect.” Starting in the early 1990s, Freese and Nichols incrementally built up its sales and marketing operations to increase the focus on long-term client relationships. That involved the hiring of full-time salespeople. Maj. Gen. George H. Akin (ret.) came on board in 1992 to focus on opportunities with military clients; Akin’s efforts led to Freese and Nichols providing environmental services at Fort Polk, Louisiana, for more than 20 years (read more on page 116). In 1998, Freese and Nichols hired McDonald as its first professionally trained salesperson, in contrast to the technically trained engineers performing sales duties. Now, the firm has a Sales staff of 16 dedicated to interacting with clients and providing Freese and Nichols’ hedgehog level of service. “Historically we’d been the seller-doer type,” Nichols says. “Whoever got the work had to do the work, and as long as you were busy, you didn’t go get more work. We’d get busy and quit selling, then, ‘Oops, we ran out of work – we’d better start selling again.’ Now, we continue focusing on selling, and we’re not encumbered by whether anyone else is busy.” The system of principals-in-charge evolved into one of client representatives, with Freese and Nichols matching each client organization with an individual employee responsible for developing and strengthening the relationship. The firm now has more than 100 client representatives, most of them technical professionals.

The Very Best at Client Service


“The client rep understands the larger picture of the client’s needs, more than just a specific project or service area,” McDonald says. “It’s their job to know the organization, the politics, the community, the financial wherewithal, so they can communicate the client’s needs back to the different groups at Freese and Nichols.” The client rep structure was made even more robust with the implementation of Miller Heiman Strategic Selling, a system that enables employees to develop client relationships and pursue sales opportunities. This helped Freese and Nichols focus its plans on the client’s needs from the client perspective, largely through building multiple peer-to-peer relationships with every client. “Historically, our client relationships were one person at Freese and Nichols with one person on the client side,” Nichols says. “One of our biggest changes was understanding that those relationships could be strengthened a great deal by having multiple people on both sides linked together.” Miller Heiman provided the framework that supports those relationships. Now, for a municipal client, a Freese and Nichols client representative might work with the city manager or public works director; a Freese and Nichols senior project manager with a purchasing agent; and a Freese and Nichols engineer with a city engineer. “Clients have different trusted advisors for different things,” Nichols says. “For one client, I’ll be an advisor for organizational issues, and for technical solutions, they’ll turn to one of our most experienced engineers. Freese and Nichols as a firm is never really the trusted advisor; it’s individuals within Freese and Nichols who are trusted advisors.”

Serving as Trusted Advisors Trusted advisor relationships are Freese and Nichols’ ultimate goal. In this capacity, clients consider the firm an extension of their organizations, assisting and counseling them on issues far beyond current projects. “When you’re a trusted advisor, you’re contributing to the success of the client’s organization, not just doing projects for them,” Milrany says. The trusted advisor role means being there for the client in good times and bad, and answering the call when a crisis happens. That happened for the



City of Fort Worth in June 2004, when four out-of-town visitors drowned in the active pool at the Fort Worth Water Gardens. Needing “a firm that could withstand the fire,” the City called on Freese and Nichols to investigate. The Water Gardens, designed by architect Philip Johnson in the 1970s, is a popular downtown attraction known for angular walkways, recirculating water pools and refreshing atmosphere. Witness accounts indicated that the active pool’s unusual depth and underwater suction contributed to the drownings.

The City of Fort Worth called on Freese and Nichols in 2004 after four people drowned in the Fort Worth Water Gardens’ active pool, pictured. The firm investigated the pool and designed improvements that made it safer and easier to maintain.

The Very Best at Client Service


The Freese and Nichols team toured the facility, reviewed original construction documents, interviewed operations staff and conducted extensive field testing to understand conditions in the pool at the time of the drownings. The team concluded that reduced maintenance and loss of institutional knowledge had contributed to the problems at the active pool, and identified potential risks to resuming the pool’s operation. Due to the high public profile of this project, Freese and Nichols, at the City’s direction, conducted a news conference to present the team’s findings and proposed modifications. The City hired Freese and Nichols to design the $3.2 million renovation of the Water Gardens. The improvements made the park safer, easier to maintain and more efficient to operate, while still respecting the highly regarded architectural design. The project received an Engineering Excellence Silver Medal from the Texas Council of Engineering Companies (TCEC, now ACEC Texas) in 2007 and the Award of Merit in the Built Category from the American Institute of Architects, Fort Worth Chapter, in 2008.

FNU: Serving by Educating Another way Freese and Nichols serves clients as trusted advisors is by offering seminars through Freese and Nichols University (FNU). In the early 2000s, the Texas Board of Professional Engineers began requiring continuing education in order for engineers to renew their licenses — 15 hours of professional development per year, with at least one hour devoted to ethics. Freese and Nichols was already holding FNU ethics seminars for employees and opened them up to clients as well. They soon became a popular way for the clients to maintain their licenses and for Freese and Nichols to strengthen relationships. Bob Nichols and Jim Nichols, at the time President Emeritus and Chairman Emeritus, respectively, helped teach the seminars well into the 2010s. “When FNU started, we really didn’t focus on client seminars,” Mike Nichols says. “Over time, as clients started participating, we found out that they find it a huge value. It provides them a place they can go that’s fairly economical where they can get their continuing education hours. “It gives us credibility as experts, whether it’s ethics — we were already seen as a very ethical firm, and the credentials of Jim and Bob just reinforced that — or the technical side, and our clients continue to see value in that.”



FNU now offers seminars to clients in Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and across the nation. The courses are customized to clients’ needs, covering topics ranging from roundabout design to coastal restoration funding to time management. In 2015, FNU supported more than 65 seminars with more than 3,500 attendees. The FNU seminars for clients have also proven to be instrumental as Freese and Nichols puts down roots in new markets. In the mid-2000s, a training seminar for municipal wastewater engineers led to Freese and Nichols’ first work for the City of Houston, an analysis of possible energy-efficiency improvements for a treatment plant. In Freese and Nichols’ first two years in North Carolina, FNU held 20 seminars for clients in the Raleigh and Hickory areas. (Read more about FNU and its professional development opportunities for employees on page 47.)

Above: Organizational Development Manager Gina Smith teaches an FNU engineering ethics seminar for City of Fort Worth employees in 2012. At right: Project Manager Bryan Jann leads a tour of the Influent Pump Station site (page 89) as part of a technical seminar for City of Dallas employees in 2013.

The Very Best at Client Service


Integrated Service Delivery Freese and Nichols fulfills the role of trusted advisor to clients by offering integrated service delivery — assistance with every step of the project cycle. By taking the time to understand clients’ needs, Freese and Nichols helps them formulate a vision, develop the planning study, conduct the design, manage the construction, and give recommendations on operation and maintenance. One element in this service that emerged in the mid-2000s was funding assistance. Funding had become a critical issue for clients; many had needs for drainage or roadway improvements but lacked the resources to pay for them. Freese and Nichols now has a funding team to help clients find the financial support they need. This work includes developing bond programs or navigating the grant and loan application process at regional, state and federal levels. Freese and Nichols has now helped clients secure more than $500 million in federal and state funding for projects. One great example of Freese and Nichols’ integrated project delivery is the Parker County Transportation Bond Program. In Parker County, on the western edge of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, the population is expected to double by 2025. Freese and Nichols helped equip Parker County to accommodate this growth by leading them through every phase of a sixyear bond program with more than 30 projects.

As the primary route in southeast Parker County, Farm to Market Road 1187 north of Aledo was one of the area’s most congested corridors. The Transportation Bond Program reconstructed it as a modern, four-lane highway, increasing safety and capacity.



The Freese and Nichols team assisted in the planning phase by helping Parker County identify and prioritize projects and build grassroots support. In 2008, voters approved issuing $80 million in bonds; since then, Freese and Nichols has helped the County work with local communities, the North Central Texas Council of Governments and the Texas Department of Transportation to secure an additional $80 million. This funding, combined with savings from projects that finished under budget, enabled the County to stretch its investment further by adding enhancements and projects to the program. As program manager, Freese and Nichols oversaw design and construction of all projects, which included new roads and bridges; road widenings; enhancements to intersections and railroad crossings; and drainage improvements (read more on page 107). The team used a customized version of e-Builder® program management software to integrate budgets, schedules and other aspects of the project, and to give Parker County transparent, realtime access to project data. The bond program was substantially completed in late 2014 and has become a model for other counties that anticipate growth spilling over from neighboring metropolitan areas. Freese and Nichols is now supporting Kaufman County, east of Dallas, with its own transportation bond program.

Parker County officials and the Williamson family celebrate the completion of the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway/Interstate 20 interchange in April 2014. Extensive public involvement was a key component of the bond program’s success.

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Educating Policymakers Starting in the mid-2000s, Freese and Nichols increased its efforts to engage legislators and policymakers on state and federal levels. “We basically want to offer up our long history of knowledge and expertise to legislators so that they can make sound long-term policy decisions in areas like water resources, energy and transportation,” says Stan Lynch, an Account Director who leads Freese and Nichols’ efforts in this area. “We see it as an Gordon Wells is North Texas Water/ important part of our Environmental business to educate Division Manager. clients on key issues A retired U.S. Army that we’re experts on Colonel, he was as professionals in the District Engineer for engineering and water the U.S. Army Corps business,” adds Gordon of Engineers before Wells, North Texas joining Freese and Water/Environmental Nichols in 2003. Division Manager. “Because of that, we’ve developed a strong standing with our clients with regard to understanding those higher-level policy issues.” Those efforts contributed to successes such as Texas’ passage of Proposition 6 in 2013, which invested $2 billion into a permanent fund that provides revolving loans to local entities for water supply projects, and Proposition 1 in 2014 and Proposition 7 in 2015, both of which dedicate billions of dollars in tax revenue toward new funding for Texas roads. Related organizations with whom Freese and Nichols is involved include the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) of Texas, H2O4Texas, the National Waterways Conference and the Texas Water Conservation Association.

Baldrige Outreach for Clients Freese and Nichols also reaches out to the community to help organizations benefit from using the Baldrige criteria. “Part of the obligation of being a TAPE and Baldrige recipient is to help others on the journey,” Herchert says. “We believe that it’s a purpose even higher than being a trusted advisor.”



“We’ve recognized that every client we have has the same corporate functions and issues that we do,” Pence says. “Not only can we do engineering and technical projects for them, we can also help them in other areas, and Baldrige is one of those.” Freese and Nichols’ Baldrige outreach now extends to a broad group of organi­zations, including the Cities of Dallas, Edmond, Fort Worth, Irving and Tyler, and the Fort Worth, Hurst-Euless-Bedford, Keller and Weatherford independent school districts. Leaders regularly meet with other clients to identify opportunities to help them pursue performance excellence. “A lot of what we do, we do for free, just trying to help our clients’ organizations be better,” Milrany says. “Part of what we like to do is get in and give them a taste of what performance excellence is like, and hope that then they take off on their own. We’ve worked with the City of Fort Worth, and now they’re working on performance excellence across the city. We’re trying to embed the idea that performance excellence is going to be a really huge benefit, and we’re glad to help along the way.” For one client that Freese and Nichols mentored, the City of Irving, the journey led to the TAPE in 2011 and the Baldrige Award in 2012. Freese and Nichols helped review Irving’s initial TAPE application, helped it practice for site visits and provided other guidance during the process. As Baldrige recipients, their relationship continues in a mutual sharing of best practices.

Sustained Growth: New Markets, New Services Over the past 20 years, Freese and Nichols has experienced dramatic growth by a number of measures. Its workforce has grown from 198 employees to 539. Its geographic service area has expanded from three offices in Texas to 15 offices in three states. The changing industry landscape also led Freese and Nichols to add several disciplines and expand others. “The growth was a conscious decision,” Mike Nichols says. “There was a time when some owners believed we should be a boutique firm, a small firm with strong specialty areas. But most people came to see the reality that you can’t sustain the company long-term without growth. Otherwise you’re basically telling people that their only opportunity to advance happens when somebody in front of them retires. In other firms, you might get away with it because a lot more people come and go. But here, where so many of us have

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been here 20, 30 years, waiting for someone to go away is probably not a good career plan.” With a renewed emphasis on client service, Freese and Nichols worked to strengthen relationships by establishing more than a dozen offices closer to clients. This expanded presence enables Freese and Nichols to provide local capabilities and faster responses. “Almost all clients prefer to be served by someone nearby,” Nichols says. “It strengthens relationships when the people at the working level in client organizations have someone close they can call to get an immediate response.” In addition to expanding local capabilities, opening regional offices also enabled local management of those capabilities. “It’s important that decisions can be made locally, by people who are familiar with the client, their needs, their political situation, their personalities,” Nichols says. “They appreciate having direct access to a decision maker, and our service is better.” “The best decisions are made as close to the client as possible,” Ron Lemons adds. “It’s much easier to have a close working relationship with a client if you can call somebody up and go to lunch with them. It’s ‘Hey, I thought of something — let’s have lunch,’ instead of ‘Hey, I thought of something — let’s get together when I’m in town in two weeks.’ ”

Ron Lemons was Chief Operating Officer from 2002 to 2015. A widely recognized water resources expert, he is a committee chair for the International Commission on Large Dams.

The following pages follow Freese and Nichols’ growth as it unfolded within its core geographic markets, as well as the acquisitions that positioned the firm to succeed in new service areas. (Read more about Freese and Nichols’ emerging markets — including West Texas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast — on pages 54-56.)



Freese and Nichols Offices, 2015

Oklahoma City Lubbock

Established 2014

Established 2008


Established 2007

Fort Worth

Established 1894

El Paso

Established 2014


Established 2014


Established 2012


Established 1995



Established 1968

Established 2004

San Marcos

Established 2012

San Antonio Established 2003


Established 2000

Corpus Christi Established 2007


Established 2013

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North Texas Freese and Nichols’ history in Dallas goes back to the early 1900s, when the area grappled with a long drought and water supply crisis. John Hawley was consulting engineer for design of White Rock Lake and also served on a 1910 committee to recommend emergency measures for drought relief. For decades, Freese and Nichols did not pursue work in Dallas, but in 1995, its leaders decided that the timing was right to return. That year, the firm began building relationships with Trammell Crow Co., the City of Dallas and Dallas Water Utilities, and it secured a small, borrowed office space in Dallas. Employees in Fort Worth supported these relationships and projects, which at first primarily involved site development for Trammell Crow’s industrial and office buildings. In 1996, the City of Dallas hired the team to design its Throckmorton and Reagan Street Drainage Improvements project; that client relationship has continued ever since.

The first two employees in the Dallas office in the mid1990s were Alan Greer and Tricia Hatley. They are pictured when Hatley was named 2010 Engineer of the Year by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, Preston Trail Chapter. Greer is now West Texas Division Manager and Transportation Practice Leader, and Hatley is now Oklahoma Regional Manager.

The Dallas office grew at a steady but deliberate pace, designing and developing transportation, stormwater and utilities projects for Dallas and nearby cities. By the mid-2000s, it had three groups of its own, specializing in transportation and infrastructure; water and wastewater transmission;



and water and wastewater treatment. The 2007 acquisition of Dunkin Sefko & Associates (read more on page 33) added an Urban Planning Group, and the Oil and Natural Gas Group moved there from Richardson in 2015. Today, the Dallas office, now housed in The Tower at Cityplace, has become Freese and Nichols’ second-largest office, with nearly 90 employees. To be closer to clients in the fast-growing counties north of Dallas, Freese and Nichols opened offices in the cities of Denton in 2007 and Frisco in 2012.

Central and South Texas Freese and Nichols has been active in Central and South Texas for nearly a century. In the 1920s, the firm designed the Thomas C. Green Water Treatment Plant, Austin’s first water filtration plant; designed the Great Bend Cutoff Channel of the San Antonio River, now at the center of the San Antonio River Walk; and helped plan the port and harbor in Corpus Christi. An office in Austin opened in 1968 to provide a liaison with state agencies and legislators, and for the next few decades the office remained small. Then,

Engineers and construction managers from the Corpus Christi, Austin and San Antonio offices played key roles in the Mary Rhodes Phase 2 Pipeline project for the City of Corpus Christi. Pictured at the groundbreaking ceremony in 2014 are Richard Provolt, Allen Bowles, Ron Guzman, Anne Carrel and John New.

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in the mid-1990s, Freese and Nichols’ presence in the area flourished as it started work on the Lower Colorado River Authority’s Dam Modernization Program. Staffing ramped up for the program, which involved upgrades to five of the Highlands Lakes dams northwest of Austin (read more on page 66). Then, in the early 2000s, the Austin office managed the Dam Modernization Program for the Upper Brushy Creek Water Control & Improvement District in fast-growing Williamson County (read more on page 67) and the City of Austin’s Stormwater Pond Safety Program. “Central Texas is growing fast,” John Wolfhope says. “A lot of these cities were once little ranching communities of 500 people that suddenly got major developments, and now they’re going to exceed 40,000 residents in the next 10 or 20 years. “Our clients recognize that Freese and Nichols can help them think through their long-term vision and plan for meeting the demands of this fast growth. We’ve had the fortune to play a significant role in building better communities throughout the region.”

John Wolfhope, Central Division Manager, has been helping grow Freese and Nichols’ presence in the region since 1997. He is President of the United States Society on Dams for 2015-16.

In 2003, Freese and Nichols opened an office in San Antonio, bringing a closer presence to longtime clients such as the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Water System. Similarly, the addition of a Corpus Christi office in 2007 further established Freese and Nichols in an area where it had been active for decades. Water projects that had started in the Austin office, such as the design and rehabilitation of Wesley Seale Dam (read more on page 65) and delivery of water supplies from the Lower Colorado River, could now be handled locally from Corpus Christi. The staff there had experience in transportation and coastal infrastructure projects, which helped expand Freese and Nichols’ resources for more municipal and port authority work. The Central Division expanded again in 2012 with an office in San Marcos, which that year was the fastest-growing American city with a population of 50,000 or more. Today, the Division has nearly 100 employees, with fullservice teams dedicated to water resources; treatment, transmission and utilities; stormwater; transportation; urban planning; water and wastewater master planning; environmental science; and construction services.



Southeast Texas The last 20 years also saw Freese and Nichols return to the Southeast Texas market. From 1946 to 1959, Freese and Nichols had a partner firm in Houston known as Freese, Nichols and Turner. After the partners separated, they agreed not to compete with each other. The Houston firm, which eventually took the name Turner Collie & Braden, would not pursue work in North Texas, and Freese and Nichols would not pursue work in Southeast Texas. Several decades passed under this unofficial arrangement. By the late 1990s, as Freese and Nichols was looking to grow within Texas, the landscape had changed, and Turner Collie & Braden had been acquired by a national firm. Freese and Nichols leaders began researching firms that could expand its local capabilities in Southeast Texas, and Walsh Engineering caught their attention. The 12-person firm in Pearland, south of Houston, had a strong reputation built on 49 years of service to munici­ palities, the Texas Department of Transportation and industrial clients. Freese and Nichols acquired Walsh in spring 2000. Over the next few years, as the team steadily grew its work in Pearland and other midsize cities, more opportunities with the City of Houston and Harris County became apparent. To position itself to serve those clients, the firm opened an office in Houston in spring 2004; in 2008, Jeff Taylor came on board as Southeast Division

Freese and Nichols expanded into the Southeast Texas market with its acquisition of Walsh Engineering. Pictured in April 2000 are Rodney Slaton; Hassan Moghaddam; Leslie Valdez; Darrell Arrant; Lynette Wilson; Forouz Bavarian; Judy Blair; Ron Bavarian, manager of the new Pearland office; Patty Paxton; Rick Lane; and Bill Walsh.

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Manager. Taylor, previously Deputy Director of the City of Houston’s Public Utilities Division, had been instrumental in water resources policy development in Texas on municipal and statewide levels. “I always knew that Freese and Nichols was strong in water,” Taylor says. “I didn’t realize how strong we were until I got to the firm. The internal processes that we’ve built – from sales to project execution to client service – absolutely distinguish us from the lion’s share of our competitors.” Taylor expanded the staff Jeff Taylor has been Freese and in both Houston and Nichols’ Southeast Pearland, bringing in a Division Manager number of experienced since 2008. He professionals from inside served as President and outside of Freese of the Texas Water and Nichols. A 10-year Conservation water supply program Association in implemented by the San 2009-10. Jacinto River Authority led to many projects. In 2011, the team also became lead consultant on two major planning projects: the 2016 Region H Water Plan, which provided the opportunity to interface with all their water resources clients on a monthly basis, and the Regional Groundwater Update Project (read more on pages 62-63). Today, the Southeast Division has 60 employees performing services in all of Freese and Nichols’ business lines. “What has surprised me,” Taylor says, “is not that our growth is occurring, but that it’s occurred so quickly. It’s been a sight to see it come together so fast.”

Additional Locations Other expansion efforts focused on underutilized areas of Texas, and Freese and Nichols opened offices in midsize cities. But the firm found that such an approach wasn’t sustainable, and it adjusted its growth strategy to focus on larger metropolitan areas. Additional Freese and Nichols offices during the past 20 years (all in Texas): Longview, open from 1993 to 2003; Temple, 1999 to 2003; Waco, 2000 to 2005; McKinney, 2000 to 2012; Garland, 2005 to 2014; Tyler, 2007 to 2015; Richardson, 2011 to 2015; and Decatur, 2012 to 2014. In McAllen, the venture of Perez/Freese and Nichols, LLC, existed from 1994 to 2001.



A Look Back: Venture into Mexico Over the years, Freese and Nichols had worked on occasional projects in Mexico. In 1909, founder Hawley served as consulting engineer on an irrigation project near Torreón; in the 1950s, the firm did reservoir, conveyance and treatment work near Monterrey. More international opportunities came in Freese and Nichols’ second century. Starting in the mid-1990s, the firm stepped up its efforts to pursue opportunities across the border. Mexico was growing and needed to improve its infrastructure, specifically for water and wastewater. Freese and Nichols’ experience in helping Texas utilities with similar needs was sought after by Mexican utilities. In Ciudad Juárez, Freese and Nichols helped the water utility prepare to construct treatment plants. The firm developed contract documents, evaluated proposals and bids, and helped select consultants and contractors. Similar projects followed in Tampico on the Gulf Coast and Ensenada on the Pacific Coast. Freese and Nichols’ next assignments included a wastewater facilities master plan for the state of Chihuahua for the U.S. Trade and Development Agency; an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract for the International Boundary and Water Commission, including wastewater collection and treatment work in Piedras Negras and Ciudad Acuña; and a comprehensive water supply study for the Saltillo area. Also during this time, the firm partnered with the University of Texas at Arlington to offer Mexican graduate students practical experience in engineering and environmental science. Every semester, students attended classes at UTA and worked part-time at Freese and Nichols; several went on to become full-time employees. As Freese and Nichols’ work in Mexico increased, the firm decided to establish a permanent presence there. Two engineers, both Monterrey natives, transferred from Fort Worth, and the Monterrey office opened in September 1998. In 1999, Freese and Nichols was recognized as Fort Worth’s leading exporter of services, receiving the inaugural Fort Worth Mayor’s Exporter Award.

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Freese and Nichols’ projects in Mexico included the City of Tijuana’s Punta Bandera Wastewater Treatment Plant, overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Rosarito; its aerobic lagoons are pictured above. At right is the Influent Pump Station at the original South Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant, owned by the International Boundary and Water Commission. It treats Tijuana’s wastewater and is located on the U.S. side of the border; at the time, it provided only primary treatment.




Over the next few years, a combination of circumstances brought about a decline in the Mexico venture. The Monterrey office hired a few employees and took on a few assignments, but it never gained traction in the market. In Mexicali, in northwest Mexico, a municipal sewer project encountered problems when there was a change in the City administration; Freese and Nichols and local partner Tecnyco del Norte sought all legitimate means to resolve them, but eventually Freese and Nichols stepped away, having sustained a significant financial loss. Finally, as company leaders charted out the long-term direction for Freese and Nichols, they decided to narrow their focus. International operations were no longer part of the firm’s strategic plan, and the Monterrey office closed in the early 2000s. “They have talented engineers in Mexico, and our anticipation all along was that after a few years, they weren’t going to need as much assistance,” says Ray Longoria, who oversaw Freese and Nichols’ operations in Mexico. “These were true consulting services — we didn’t do any of the designing or building — and they quickly developed an understanding of how to proceed forward on their own. “I view our time in Mexico as a very positive experience. The Mexicali project was disappointing, but otherwise the projects were profitable and well-received. We added a lot of diversity and variety to our résumé, and we developed a lot of good relationships. Some of those employees and even some clients we still stay in contact with, and they’ve helped us quite a bit.”

The staff of Freese and Nichols’ office in Monterrey, Mexico: Fernando Ortiz, Guillermo Charles, Hector Soto Cervantes, Elizabeth Elizondo Lozano and Luis Felipe Gonzalez.

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Strengthening Services in Urban Planning In the early 2000s, Freese and Nichols’ urban planning efforts were part of the Architecture Group, led by Alfred Vidaurri. He identified that although the firm was seen as a leader in higher education planning, it had a weak position in municipal planning. So, the architects and planners began pursuing ways to grow Freese and Nichols’ expertise in this area.

Alfred Vidaurri became Marketing Manager in 2012 after 30 years in architecture. He was elected to the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows in 2015.

Another factor at this time that led to Freese and Nichols’ diversification into planning was the Texas Legislature’s consideration of allowing designbuild public works projects. With this alternative project delivery method, a client hires the same firm to both design and construct a project. The Futures Committee (read more on page 53) examined the ramifications of designbuild and its potential to weaken Freese and Nichols’ core business, design. “Most projects in our business have three phases: planning, design and construction,” Lemons says. “We felt that because of alternative project delivery methods, we may not be able to hang onto design phase work, but there would still be a need for the planning phase and the construction phase. We already had a well-regarded Construction Services Group, probably the best in the state. We had good expertise in water resources planning and utilities planning, but not city planning. So we decided to shore up our planning side.” Freese and Nichols did so by acquiring Dunkin Sefko & Associates in 2007. The Dallas-based urban planning consulting firm had been in business since 1973, had served more than 60 municipalities across Texas and had had a successful working relationship with Freese and Nichols before the acquisition. Its services included municipal, economic development and land use plans; fiscal impact modeling; capital improvement programming; and demographic studies. With this acquisition, Freese and Nichols’ planning capabilities quickly expanded.



After acquiring Dunkin Sefko & Associates, Freese and Nichols expanded its Dallas office to make room for its new urban planners. At an open house in September 2008 are Chairman Bob Herchert (second from left), East Region Manager Alan Greer, Chairman Emeritus Jim Nichols, CEO Bob Pence, Planning Group Manager Dan Sefko and Chief Operating Officer Ron Lemons, joined by Dallas Regional Chamber representatives.

Meanwhile, the Legislature ultimately decided to allow design-build in phases; limits on how many design-build projects that a municipality may initiate each year are based on population. “One end result for us was that we got into design-build,” Pence says. “We developed our alternative delivery capabilities to a much greater level because CMAR is now becoming a very popular way to do things, and it’s a good process.” (CMAR, or Construction Manager at Risk, is a delivery method that allows a project’s construction manager to assist the owner and engineer during the design phase.) “The other result was that we developed a strength of planning in all our areas, and now we’re much stronger planning-wise.”

Expansion into Energy In 2006, Chesapeake Energy, the largest independent gas producer in the United States, was preparing to extract natural gas at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. The company retained Freese and Nichols to provide engineering support for development of 270 gas wells. The team designed gas-gathering pipelines,

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freshwater pipelines and the gas compressor station, as well as overseeing permitting, construction, materials handling and project coordination. As the relationship with Chesapeake advanced, Chesapeake involved Freese and Nichols in development of more than $1 billion in gas-gathering infrastructure in the Barnett Shale, the gas-rich sedimentary rock formation beneath much of North Texas. The Barnett program served as a model for other Chesapeake divisions throughout the United States. In 2007, Chesapeake hired Freese and Nichols to help organize its staff of several hundred to execute more than 300 separate pipeline and compression facilities projects (read more on page 147). “The Chesapeake project was a game-changer for us,” Lemons says. “Over a period of time, Chesapeake started hiring us as program managers to start coordinating all these other consultants, even internal work efforts, and we got more and more into program management because of that. We realized there was a niche for us, and we needed somebody that had oil and gas pipeline experience to really take full advantage of this.” The services to Chesapeake and other energy companies introduced Freese and Nichols to Nicol & Associates in Richardson, Texas. The 23-person firm had built a strong reputation for reliable service in the midstream energy industry, which involves transportation and storage of oil and gas and other stages between the well and refinery. In 2011, Freese and Nichols acquired the firm and quickly expanded to 40 people working almost exclusively in oil and gas engineering.

Mark Lane, owner of Nicol & Associates, signs paperwork for the firm’s acquisition by Freese and Nichols in April 2011. Looking on are Kendall King, left, Freese and Nichols Energy Group Manager, and Bob Pence, Freese and Nichols President and CEO.



An Environment of Innovation Freese and Nichols has taken numerous steps to enable the innovative solutions at the core of its client service. In 2005, it launched the Technical Excellence Program (TEP) to foster companywide collaboration and technical development among employees within each discipline. The two dozen TEP teams meet six to eight times per year to improve their processes and share best practices. They create tools, checklists and references to reduce project time and improve quality. Because each project is different, the procedures are designed and documented as discrete tasks that are assembled as needed. “Before, we didn’t really have a system in place to foster technical excellence,” Pence says. “Plus, as we expanded, our disciplines were spread across all these locations. TEP teams link them all together to make sure we have technical competence across the company, that we’re all on the same sheet of music.” Each TEP team monitors technological advancements, new regulations and other trends in its discipline that could affect clients. For example, the Stormwater Management TEP team studied how to incorporate wetland mitigation into stormwater master planning, which helps protect clients’ marshes and streams from runoff from new development. TEP teams also serve as Freese and Nichols’ vehicle for sharing innovations. An internal awards program encourages teams to develop and share the innovative solutions that exemplify excellent customer service. “Engineers are problem-solvers — once we solve the problem, it doesn’t seem innovative anymore, and we move on to a new problem,” Pence says. “Our people were doing innovative work, but if we’d ask what was innovative, they wouldn’t know. So, we created the innovation awards through the TEPs. Now that we have that recognition, we have a good, steady flow of innovative projects and a real enthusiasm behind it. Our employees love to innovate, and they see that the company values innovation.” To further enable innovation, Freese and Nichols began a research and development (R&D) fund in 2012. This program — itself an idea submitted by an employee — allocates budget for employees to pursue ideas that could benefit clients but are not within the scope of a specific project. In the program’s first three years, a number of employee initiatives have received the attention and funding to come to fruition. They include low-impact roadway design (read more on page 39), total nitrogen removal for Gulf Coast treatment plants and submerged jet testing for spillway materials.

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Sustainability and Stewardship Simon Freese frequently shared his engineering philosophy: “Save the client his fee in project costs, and design things right the first time.” Freese and Nichols has continued to follow his lead and added more tools to emphasize the principles of sustainability and stewardship. Recognizing that most clients are grappling with a number of worsening challenges — population growth, diminishing resources, aging infra­structure and financial restrictions among them — Freese and Nichols added new emphasis on integrating sustainable practices into its services. By evaluating the “triple bottom line” of economic, social and environmental impacts over a project’s life cycle, Freese and Nichols helps clients make the best use of their resources without compromising the resources that future generations will need. Freese and Nichols addresses the wellbeing of environmental systems on a daily basis by incorporating environmentally sound solutions into clients’ plans and designs. On a more strategic level, the firm educates clients and the public about conserving, reusing and sustaining natural resources. Project teams regularly seek out opportunities to conserve resources without increasing the cost for the client. For example, on one pipeline design project, Freese and Nichols’ assignment did not involve review of the pipeline route. However, the project team identified several environmental issues along the route and recommended changes to avoid them, saving the client $100,000 in

Sustainable design practices Water transmission approach to value engineering (WAVE): Balancing initial construction cost and long-term energy usage during the design of largediameter pipelines Recycled materials in roadways: Recycling material for road pavements and specifying the substitution of fly ash (a waste product from generating electricity using coal) for part of the cement in concrete Stormwater system retrofits: Design modifications to existing stormwater infrastructure to provide additional water quantity and quality benefits Environmental flows: Maintaining the amount of water necessary for healthy ecosystems in designs


construction costs and the environment from unnecessary encroachment. Freese and Nichols has pursued sustainability by following LEED® guidelines for facilities projects and Envision® guidelines for infrastructure projects. LEED, or Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design, is a certification program administered by the U.S. Green Building Council that recognizes sustainable practices for the design and construction of buildings. Freese and Nichols became a member of the Council in 2008 and now has more than 20 employees who are LEED Green Associates or LEED-Accredited Professionals. Similarly, the Envision rating system provides a framework for evaluating the sustainability of infrastructure projects. Envision helps engineers and clients go beyond projects’ initial costs and their life-cycle and collateral costs. Envision is administered by the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, which was founded by the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Public Works Association and American Council of Engineering Companies. As a charter member of the Institute, Freese and Nichols was represented on its Board of Directors, Advisory Council and Executive Infrastructure Forum, and four employees have served on national committees. The firm now has more than two dozen certified Envision Sustainability Professionals.


Park and trail design: Using holistic planning and design concepts to deliver projects that meet infrastructure development needs and enhance the community Conjunctive use of ground- and surface water: Using both sources to optimize water demand/supply balance Water reuse: Using treated effluent for nonpotable purposes, such as irrigation, and as drinking water where needed (read more on page 58) Water and energy audits: Determining inefficiencies to provide conservation guidance Water system optimization: Saving clients energy and money and helping them reduce their carbon footprint

The following pages present highlights of Freese and Nichols’ sustainable projects. Many others are presented in Chapter 6 (beginning on page 60).

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Advanced Imaging Center · All Saints Health System · Completed 1999

Freese and Nichols designed this 8,000-square-foot center with a focus on efficiency and sustainability before many of today’s rating systems were developed. Interior and exterior elements, including ceiling tiles, flooring and various finish materials, were manufactured from recycled materials. The mechanical, electrical, plumbing and lighting systems were all designed with a leading-edge energy-efficiency approach.

South Lamar Street Rehabilitation

City of Dallas, Texas · Expected completion 2016

This project is transforming a Dallas corridor in environmentally and socially sustain­­able ways. Pocket bioretention cells filter pollutants from stormwater and add aesthetic appeal; the narrower roadway design opens up space for bus shelters and shared-use pathways for pedestrians and cyclists. Freese and Nichols was selected as consultant after winning the North Texas Land and Water Sustainability Forum design contest; the team’s entry was made possible by R&D funding (read more on page 36).



Fort Hood Classroom Building and James R. Anderson Campus Center Central Texas College · Completed 2009 and 2011

Freese and Nichols’ first LEED®-certified project was a classroom building (above) that houses Central Texas College’s continuing-education programs for Army personnel stationed at Fort Hood. The architecture team incorporated sustainable features within an economical design: extensive use of locally produced materials, a heat-reflective roof, low-flow water fixtures, light-pollution-reducing illumination, and native landscaping. The 26,000- square-foot building is on the former site of a parking lot; debris from the lot was recovered and used for filler material in other projects. The building was LEED Silver certified in 2010. Freese and Nichols has since designed Central Texas College’s James R. Anderson Campus Center (right), which was LEED Silver certified in 2013; and the Nursing Science Building, which was LEED Certified in 2012.

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Line J, Section 1 Pipeline

Tarrant Regional Water District 路 Completed 2014

Line J, a 2-mile, 108-inch-diameter raw water pipeline, was the first-ever pipeline project to receive Envision庐 recognition. In implementing a sustainable design, Freese and Nichols estimated the triple bottom line (read more on page 37) for three key processes: pipe manufacturing, pipe transportation and selection of embedment materials. Then, by laying out different design combinations, the team helped the Tarrant Regional Water District select the design that best fit its priorities. The Line J team also partnered with the University of Texas at Arlington. Civil engineering graduate students evaluated the use of native soils (at top) to produce controlled low-strength material for embedment, which provided environmental benefits by reducing gravel mining and hauling.



Culture and Community

Becoming the Firm of Choice During his first decade in leadership, a priority of Herchert’s was making Freese and Nichols the best firm to work for in the industry. “Peggy Freeby and I and others concluded that if we could create the very best environment for people to work in, we would do great in recruiting, we would have happy, productive employees, and we would have happy clients,” he says. “We spent a whole lot of time and effort attempting — and I believe succeeding — in creating that kind of environment.” That meant placing a strong emphasis on competitive compensation, benefits, training and heavy employee involvement in making the company a better place. Numerous workplace awards indicate that those efforts have been successful. (View a list on page 44.) “If I have a legacy here at Freese and Nichols,” Herchert says, “it is this strong effort to create the very best place for people to work.” A critical part of that is the Freese and Nichols culture. “We take our culture very seriously because we feel like it is a real driver in who we are and how we serve both our clients and our employees,” Freeby says. “If you have employees who are engaged in their jobs and careers, they understand the importance of serving the client and giving the client a quality product. They go that extra mile.” “One of the things that has made this a special place to work is that there is a sense that people care for one another, look out for one another and do things to help and protect one another,” Herchert says. “I think that has contributed to people feeling good about being here, being part of that family.” The company culture has not come about by accident. Freese and Nichols has put great effort into shaping and maintaining it. Starting in the early 42

Culture and Community


2000s, the firm surveyed employees to assess the culture and determine what the ideal culture would be from a management perspective. From there, actions were put in place to adjust it. “It’s never been that we don’t like the culture we have,” Freeby says, “but how we can be more successful if we tweak the culture.” Freese and Nichols uses the Competing Values Framework to assess its culture in four areas: clan, which reflects internal focus; market, which reflects external focus; hierarchy, which reflects processes and controls; and adhocracy, which reflects creativity and flexibility. Increasing one value decreases the opposite value, so the firm aimed to achieve a balance. “We’ve always been a very strong clan or family-oriented culture, which we’ve never wanted to deviate from, but if you’re too family-focused, there would be no goals and no one would be held accountable,” Freeby says. “Likewise, you need hierarchy, but if the hierarchy is too rigid, then everything would have to be approved at the very top of the organization and it just becomes a bottleneck.” An important aspect of the Freese and Nichols culture is transparency, starting from the top. As a privately held company, Freese and Nichols is not obligated to disclose financial information, but leaders see the value in keeping employees informed, and they do so every month (read more on page 7). That transparency also extends to the annual operating plans, which the president rolls out in person at most offices in January and updates in the summer. “As we set individual goals, we want employees to see how their goals roll up into their group’s goals, their division’s goals and the company’s goals,” Freeby says. “That’s so important for engagement — if you know what you’re expected to do and how that’s going to contribute not just to your success but to the entire company’s success, it really gives people a lot of incentive.” Employees are also involved in making the company a better place. They have input in many areas – CI teams, roundtable discussions with the president, regular lunches with principals, and a suggestion system known as CIdeas. “We really involve employees in how the company is managed,” Freeby says. “That’s the Baldrige philosophy of running a business. When a process needs to be created or improved, we pull together the employees who are engaged



in that area. It’s not the top management — who’s not involved day to day in doing that process — saying ‘Here’s how it’s going to be done.’ ” Freese and Nichols has found that an engaging and satisfying workplace pays dividends in retaining employees throughout their career. Over the past 10 years, the firm’s annual turnover rate has averaged 9.3 percent, well below the industry average of 13.8 percent over the same period. Of the 198 employees who worked at Freese and Nichols in 1995, 63 still worked there in 2015. “Just like when you go to a store or restaurant and the people there know you, it’s so important that our clients have consistent people they’re working with – a consistent project manager, project staff, senior leadership,” Freeby says. “In some cases, our employees have worked with a client so long that they have more institutional knowledge of the client organization than their client counterpart does.”

Workplace Honors Freese and Nichols has received numerous awards for its commitment to professionalism, ethics and its employees: • Austin’s Best Places to Work, seventh among midsize companies, Austin Business Journal, 2015 • Best Companies to Work For in Texas, fourth among large companies, Texas Monthly magazine and Texas Association of Business, 2013 • Top Workplaces in the Houston Area, fifth among small companies, Houston Chronicle, 2013 • Best Civil Engineering Firms to Work For, first among large firms and fifth overall, CE News, 2011 • Best Places to Work in the Coastal Bend, first among large companies, Corpus Christi Human Resources Management Association, 2011 • DFW’s Top Places to Work, first among midsize companies, The Dallas Morning News, 2010 • Employer Recognition Award, American Society of Civil Engineers Committee on Younger Members, 2010, 2005 • Employer of the Year, Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter of Women’s Transportation Seminar, 2010, 2007 • Best Place to Work for Young Professionals, Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, 2010

Culture and Community


• Best Civil Engineering Firms to Work For, seventh place, CE News, 2009 • Best Environmental Services Firms to Work For, second place, CE News and Environmental Business Journal, 2009 • Private Practice Professional Development Award, National Society of Professional Engineers, 2009 • Best Medium Companies to Work For in America, seventh place, Society for Human Resource Management and Great Place to Work Institute, 2009 • Patriot Award, National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, 2009 • American Business Ethics Award, first among midsize companies, Foundation for Financial Service Professionals, 2007 • Greater Tarrant Business Ethics Award, Fort Worth Chapter of Society of Financial Service Professionals and TCU Neeley School of Business, 2007 • Exemplary Employer Award, Water Environment Association of Texas, 2007 • Best Place to Learn, Dallas Chapter of American Society for Training and Development, 2006 • Best Places to Work in Central Texas, fourth place, Austin Business Journal, 2005 • Best Places to Work in Dallas-Fort Worth, sixth place, Dallas Business Journal, 2005 • Best Civil Engineering Firms to Work For, second place, CE News, 2001 • Tarrant Enterprise Award for Motivating and Retaining Employees, 1997

Laurence O’Neil of the Society for Human Resource Management presents a Best Medium Companies to Work For in America award to Freese and Nichols Human Resources Manager Peggy Freeby and Staffing Specialist Amy Caster in 2009.



Professional Development As Continuous Improvement was implemented, leaders understood that it had to be built on a foundation of education. “It just seemed pretty obvious to me when I came into this situation that our most important asset was our employees,” Herchert says. “If we have people who are really good at what they do and really enjoy what they are doing, the company is going to do a whole lot better. “Peggy Freeby was very helpful as we thought through what all that meant. We tried to think about it pretty broadly, not just in terms of salary and benefits. Something many surveys have said is that people in this business are much more concerned about their professional growth and development, and their ability to grow in their job, than they are about what they get paid and what their benefits are. So we put an emphasis on training.” Every year for decades, the Employee Opinion Survey has given everyone at Freese and Nichols an opportunity to provide anonymous feedback. Employees consistently identified professional development as a top personal priority. This sparked conversations among leaders about finding opportunities to support professional development of employees, and in 2000, they hired Jim Cross, an independent professional development consultant, to create an employee development program. “Many organizations pay great lip service to training, but it’s generally the last thing to be budgeted and the first thing to be cut,” Cross says. “I sensed right off that Bob Herchert was a different kind of person, a truly professional manager, and Peggy was a professional HR person. I could sense their commitment from the top.” This was an area that Freese and Nichols had long supported, dating to the early 1900s when founder Hawley endorsed scholarships and encouraged technical training and involvement in professional organizations. As the CI process revealed, those efforts would have to grow in a way that would position the company as an industry leader, supporting professionals who continued to learn and develop in their fields. “A company does not have any continuous improvement, much less good continuous improvement, without educating and training their employees,” Cross says.

Culture and Community


Working with Freeby, Cross created a process to strengthen Individual Development Plans (IDPs), which provide a framework for employees’ personal career paths, including identifying courses to support career growth. Cross developed and taught 20 courses to teach soft skills recommended by the IDPs, such as technical writing, presentations, time management and software. Any employee was free to attend and benefit from the courses. These courses evolved into Freese and Nichols University (FNU), which opened in fall 2000 with its own staff in Human Resources. FNU thrived, and course offerings became more advanced, expanding to include technical training and client seminars. (Read more about FNU for clients on page 17.)

Blaine Laechelin, Spencer Schnier, Micah Hargrave, Juan Moya and Rikki Anderson work on an accounting exercise during FNU’s project manager training in February 2015. (Read more about the certification course on page 7.)

Freese and Nichols’ commitment to employee development was put to the test in FNU’s first year. After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the economy grew unstable and company revenue declined. At a companywide meeting, Herchert asked for ideas of ways to cut costs without resorting to layoffs. “Someone in the back asked, ‘If we have to cut costs, we’ve just started this Freese and Nichols University and it’s pretty expensive, why don’t we just postpone it until the crisis is over?’ ” Cross recalls. “That made me think that this might be the end of my project. “Bob’s response was, ‘Training is not part of the problem — training is part of the solution.’ With less business on our plate, this was a good opportunity to get more training and education without jeopardizing deadlines.” Executives and managers instead implemented a “share the pain” program after 9-11 to enable Freese and Nichols to keep serving clients while still honoring its commitment to employees. For 90 days, principals (owners) took a 10 percent pay cut; associates took a 5 percent pay cut. All principals



worked one day per month for no pay. All other employees were asked to take one day off per month without pay, if they could afford it. Overall, 70 percent of the workforce participated. Additionally, employees in many groups took two days without pay to make up for co-workers who could not. Although revenues and profits dipped, Freese and Nichols managed to continue serving its clients well, retain most employees (six were laid off), and sustain FNU.

Leaders in Their Professions In 1913, Hawley co-founded the Texas Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and that love of learning and furthering one’s profession is still ingrained in the company he founded. Freese and Nichols encourages outreach to the professions by paying for employees’ memberships in professional organizations. Over the years, this has led to countless local, state, national and international board appointments, as well as speaking engagements at conferences across Texas and the nation. Most of Freese and Nichols’ markets and disciplines are tight-knit communities, and the firm’s involvement in industry organizations often means that employees and clients are serving side by side. “Because we have these relationships that are so long-term, it’s a natural outgrowth to be involved in professional activities or community activities that they’re involved in,” Herchert says. Senior leaders and technical staff frequently lead industry associations and regulatory committees. Below are presidencies and chairmanships at the national and state levels held by Freese and Nichols employees since 1995; many others have served as local chapter officers, as regional directors, on national committees and in other leadership roles. • American Planning Association, Texas Chapter: Wendy Shabay, President, 2013-15 • American Public Works Association, Texas Chapter: Ron Harper, President, 2005 • American Society of Civil Engineers, Texas Section: Anthony Reid, President, 1995-96; Ron Lemons, President, 1999-2000

Culture and Community


• Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Texas Section: Stephanie Coffman, President, 2015-17 • Texas Board of Architectural Examiners: Alfred Vidaurri, Chairman, 2009-15 • Texas Board of Professional Engineers: Joe Paul Jones, Chairman-Elect, 1999*; Jim Nichols, Chairman, 2003-06 • Texas Society of Professional Engineers: Tricia Hatley, President, 2013-14 • Texas Water Conservation Association: Jim Nichols, President, 1997-98; Jeff Taylor, President, 2009-10 • United States Society on Dams: Ron Lemons, President, 2005-07; John Wolfhope, President, 2015-16 • Urban and Regional Information Systems Association, Texas Chapter: Brian King, President, 2012-16 • Water Environment Association of Texas: Ray Longoria, President, 2004; David Jackson, President-Elect, 2015 * Jones died in July 1999, two months before he was to assume the Board chairmanship.

Community Involvement In addition to the professions, Freese and Nichols has long felt a responsibility to give back to its communities as well. “In engineering, especially in civil engineering, I always hear people talk about how they like to see what they’re doing to improve the communities where they live,” Freeby says. “I think it’s almost a philosophy of the profession we’re in: How do we improve the roadways? How do we improve the drinking water? How do we improve the safety of the community? I think that just has always permeated Freese and Nichols, and as we think about how one generation leaves the legacy for the next and how we train senior leaders, I think that’s an important piece that’s just been passed down.” This involvement is built upon the recognition that Freese and Nichols is an important part of the communities it works in, Herchert adds. “We believe that we have a responsibility from a civic standpoint to give back, to be involved,” he says. “It just seems like it’s something that our folks have never shown any reluctance to do.



Top left: Ron Lemons, Cindy Milrany and Bob Pence in costume for a piratethemed United Way campaign in 2006. Top right: Corpus Christi employees lay sod for Habitat for Humanity in 2012. Center: Fort Worth employees visit senior citizens at the James L. West Alzheimer’s Center in 1997. Bottom: Austin employees hauled out metal beams and furniture during their quarterly cleanup of Bull Creek in 2008.

Culture and Community


“It’s not just Fort Worth — all the offices have different things they’re involved in,” Herchert continues. “Our business is related to the communities so often, the people who we volunteer with are people we know on a professional level. We work for communities, we work for river authorities, and they all have opportunities for being involved from a civic standpoint. The company has really embraced that over the years.” Freese and Nichols directly supports community organizations as a company, through sponsorships and donations, and it also encourages and enables employees to give back to causes they’re passionate about. In 2004, as part of 110th anniversary celebrations, the company challenged employees to log 110 hours of volunteer service. They enthusiastically embraced the challenge, serving 8,837 hours in their communities in 2004. In keeping with the tradition of giving, the 36 who reached the 110-hour mark asked that Freese and Nichols donate the $110 that would have served as their reward to the organizations of their choice. Building on that success, the company has reissued the challenge every year since then, increasing the donations to match the anniversary. Since the program started, Freese and Nichols employees have volunteered more than 85,000 hours, or the equivalent of 41 years of 40-hour work weeks.

Wellness As the Freese and Nichols workforce grew, Human Resources, led by Freeby, worked to strengthen programs that served employees. After employee health assessments revealed concerns such as weight, stress and inactivity, the firm collaborated with insurer UnitedHealthcare to begin a wellness program in 2005. The program, named LiveWell, encouraged employees to achieve a healthier lifestyle by providing free biometric health screenings, brown-bag seminars about wellness, incentives for reaching milestones, and access to coaching and tracking tools. The program was well-received, and as it progressed, new elements were added, including healthy snacks in break rooms, reimbursement for fitness activities, and office pedometer competitions. When the company’s Intranet expanded to include an employee forum, employees began trading health and fitness tips, sharing their testimonials and encouraging one another. LiveWell also grew beyond physical health, and seminars and tools about financial well-being were made available.



“More than anything, it’s making people more aware of what a healthy lifestyle looks like, how they can take better care of themselves,” Freeby says. “When we reimburse them $25 for doing a run or walk or buying a Fitbit, that’s not a huge amount of money, but it’s just enough of an incentive that they say, ‘I think I’ll go and do that.’ ” The return on investment has been substantial. Freese and Nichols has seen its health insurance premiums increase more slowly than usual, and for 2014 and 2015, premiums actually decreased from the previous year.

Right: Houston engineer Rolando Ayala on Smoothie Day in 2013. Through LiveWell, nutritious snacks are frequently offered in the workplace. Below: Freese and Nichols sponsored Dallas engineers Lesley Brooks, Morgan McDermott, Amanda Felderhoff and Michelle Iblings in the 2007 Iron Girl Triathlon. Employees receive reimbursements for race registrations as part of LiveWell.


On the Horizon

As part of strategic planning, Freese and Nichols established a Futures Committee, which looks five to 15 years ahead to determine what the company needs to begin planning now to better serve clients in the future. “There are two ways to deal with issues: Either you wait until they hit you, then react as quickly as you can, or you anticipate it and put some things in place,” Pence says. “As we were doing strategic planning, I saw that from a one-year outlook, we really nailed it, but beyond three years, really not. “So we put together a Futures Committee, and their job is to look out further, see things that are rumbling, and figure out how we get our hands around it. For some issues, their conclusion will be ‘Let’s just keep watching it,’ some of them will be ‘We need more research to really understand this,’ and some will be, ‘We need to put things in place now.’ “This is the one meeting that we have very few people miss. Everybody gets engaged with it.” Committee members get clients’ insights on what municipalities, water agencies and colleges expect to demand from engineering firms in the future. Such feedback has led to Freese and Nichols’ initiatives of sustainability and integrated service delivery, as well as the entrance into the energy market. The following pages present the emerging markets and services in which Freese and Nichols has positioned itself to grow in the near future. 53



Emerging Markets and Services West Texas Two main drivers have fueled Freese and Nichols’ increased business development in West Texas. The Permian Basin’s largest energy boom in decades, made possible by advances in drilling techniques, led to significant population growth in the early 2010s. At the same time, West Texas was gripped by the worst drought on record. Seeing opportunities where those trends align with its expertise, Freese and Nichols has ramped up its efforts to build relationships and serve clients in West Texas. It has increased its workforce at its Lubbock office and, in 2014, the firm opened offices in Midland and El Paso. Recent and ongoing projects in West Texas span many service areas, including water resources; stormwater; treatment and reuse; urban planning and design; and oil and gas.

In West Texas, the water level in E.V. Spence Reservoir fell to 0.5 percent capacity during the severe drought of 2010-11. Freese and Nichols developed the Ward County Water Supply Project for the Colorado River Municipal Water District as an emergency response to the drought. (Read more about the project on page 74.)

On the Horizon


North Carolina As it enlarged its footprint in Texas, Freese and Nichols also explored the potential of expanding to other states; years of research and analysis narrowed the search to North Carolina’s Research Triangle area. Like many of Freese and Nichols’ Texas markets, the Triangle is experiencing substantial population growth, and leaders recognized that the firm’s expertise would help clients address growth-related challenges in water supply, stormwater and infrastructure. Additionally, North Carolina’s use of qualifications-based selection aligns with Freese and Nichols’ goal to deliver the highest-quality service, and the proximity of three highly regarded universities would help the firm recruit top talent. The Raleigh office opened in 2013 on the campus of North Carolina State University. Now with a staff of 14, its notable projects have included Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility Improvements, City of Raleigh; Bond Program Management, City of Hickory; Gaster’s Creek Lift Station Improvements, City of Sanford; Wastewater Treatment Plant Process Conversion, City of Morganton; and Stormwater Project Ranking System, Database and Mobile Inspection App, Town of Morrisville.

Freese and Nichols builds relationships in North Carolina by sponsoring scholarships through the NC State Engineering Foundation and the Appalachian State University Local Government Alumni Association. Pictured in May 2015 are North Carolina Division Manager Mike Wayts and NCSU scholarship recipients Alexandre Mangot, Sara Troutman, John Holmes and Carmelina Pappalardo.



Oklahoma Freese and Nichols has gained momentum in Oklahoma in recent years, owing to successful work in a number of disciplines: municipal pump stations and lift stations, water supply and reuse projects, urban and transportation planning, roadway and drainage design, and energy production facilities. Much of the work on those projects was performed by employees based in North Texas offices; to enhance client service with a closer presence, Freese and Nichols opened an office in Oklahoma City in 2014. Notable Oklahoma projects include the Downtown Edmond Master Plan (below); Norman Comprehensive Transportation Plan (read more on page 102); and Kaw Lake Alternative Water Supply Project, City of Enid.

Freese and Nichols planner Cody Richardson (right) gathers feedback during a public meeting for the Downtown Edmond Master Plan. Community engagement was a key component of the plan, which was named 2015 Outstanding Plan by APA Oklahoma.

Ports As Texas ports experience growth due to increased exports of raw materials and petroleum products, and as they prepare for the larger cargo ships that will soon be accommodated by the expanded Panama Canal, Freese and Nichols is working to find ways that its expertise can benefit port authorities and other coastal clients. The firm is currently performing work at Port Freeport (see photo on next page) and the Port of Corpus Christi; its services have included environmental permitting, site development, utilities and stormwater design, marine structural design, and rail.

On the Horizon


Coastal Services In 2014, Freese and Nichols extended its capabilities to the Texas Gulf Coast with the arrival of six marine experts who formed the Coastal Services Group. Their expertise in ecology, geosciences and coastal engineering is helping clients find solutions related to aquatic wildlife, wetlands, fisheries and oysters. The team also adds to Freese and Nichols’ integrated services for existing work, particularly pump stations, bridges and other projects involving bodies of water. Left: The Coastal Services Group provided ecological and engineering design and other guidance for comprehensive shore protection of Sundown Island, an Audubon Texas bird sanctuary in Matagorda Bay. Below: Freese and Nichols provided construction manage­ ment and project controls for the recon­ struction of Berth 7 for Port Freeport, Texas.



Water Reclamation and Reuse As the Southwest’s rapid population growth continues and drought persists, surface and groundwater supplies are reaching maximum usage, and Freese and Nichols foresees that water reclamation and reuse will increasingly be in demand. The remaining potential reservoir sites are farther from population centers, and regulatory requirements have increased, so new supplies cost more and take longer to develop. Freese and Nichols is helping cities, water districts and energy clients maximize existing water supplies by reclaiming, purifying and reusing wastewater. It designed the Colorado River Municipal Water District’s Raw Water Production Facility, which is the first facility in North America to blend reclaimed water directly in a raw water transmission pipeline (read more on page 85).

Rail In recent years, Freese and Nichols’ Transportation Practice has pursued a greater presence in the railway sector, leading a key role in developing the first privately funded high-speed rail project in North America. The planned Texas Central High-Speed Railway will enable tens of thousands of passengers a day to travel the 240 miles between Dallas and Houston in just The Texas high-speed trains will be similar to those on 90 minutes. Texas the Shinkansen line between Tokyo and Osaka, Japan. Central Partners, the private company developing the rail line, aims to begin service as early as 2021. Freese and Nichols is teamed with an international rail firm to be the Owner’s Engineer for the entire project. In this role, Freese and Nichols is working directly for Texas Central Partners throughout the project to provide engineering support, design and construction procurement, project controls, reviews, and construction management.

On the Horizon


Conclusion In the past 20 years, Freese and Nichols’ journey has transformed it from a collection of consultants into a Baldrigeclass organization. It now boasts sustained, managed growth and satisfied clients and employees. That growth was illustrated by two milestones in 2015, as the firm surpassed 1,000 active projects for the first time and had its first year with more than $100 million in bookings. “Before we started Continuous Improve­ ment, the company had been about the same size for 10 to 15 years,” Milrany says. “But once we starting focusing on strategic planning and being disciplined on that, we’ve seen nice, steady growth — not crazy, but sustainable.” That discipline has made Freese and Nichols an industry leader. It has consistently outperformed its peers, finishing above average for 16 out of the past 19 years and in the top quartile for 13 of those.

Then and now 1995 Employees: 198 Offices: 3 (all in Texas) Revenue: $18.8 million Profit: –1.7 percent Clients: 170 Owners: 20

2015 Employees: 545 Offices: 15 (in 3 states) Revenue: $112 million* Profit: 8.2 percent* Clients: 390 Owners: 49 *figures for 2014

While this period of growth has brought many changes to Freese and Nichols, its commitment to outstanding service has not wavered. Two decades since the wake-up call of 1995, the firm is well-positioned to continue serving clients nationwide for years to come. “The biggest reason I’m optimistic is the talent in this company. We’ve got great people,” Pence says. “These things we’ve done — the Baldrige journey, the innovation awards, how we’ve run the company — it all attracts the best and brightest. We’ve transitioned to be not just a company with a great reputation for engineering, but also a great company to work for. “There are going to be a lot of new challenges, but we’ll deal with whatever comes along, and we have the talent to make that happen. Whatever we put our minds to, we really do it well.”


Featured Projects

Water Resources Planning Texas Regional Water Plans

Texas Water Development Board · Ongoing since 1997

In response to the drought of 1995-96, the Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 1, which implemented a “bottom-up” regional approach to state water planning. In each of 16 regions, the legislation directed a planning group to develop a plan that would project water demands and identify potential water supplies over the next 50 years. These regional plans would be updated every five years. For the original round of plans, Freese and Nichols served on consulting teams for eight regions. As prime consultant, Freese and Nichols developed the original 2001 Water Plans for Regions A, C and F. The major challenges of these plans were accounting for population growth and use of resources, then developing ways to develop water supply for the expected growth. Formulating the three regional plans involved evaluating water supply sources, developing strategies to meet future needs, estimating the costs of those strategies and recommending implementation methods. For Region A, the Texas Panhandle, Freese and Nichols’ plan included irrigation conservation strategies that account for more than 500,000 acrefeet per year in water savings. For Region C, which contains Dallas-Fort Worth and is home to onequarter of Texas’ population, the Freese and Nichols team was challenged with finding viable water supplies for future water needs. The local supplies within Region C are largely developed, so future supplies to support growth must largely come from elsewhere. The team analyzed more than 100 alternatives for new supplies as it developed the water plan. For Region F, which encompasses the Upper Colorado River Basin in West Texas, Freese and Nichols conducted a joint modeling effort with planners 60

Featured Projects


Texas Water Planning Regions

Region A B C E F G H I J

Major cities Amarillo Wichita Falls Dallas, Fort Worth El Paso Midland, Odessa Abilene, Waco Houston Tyler, Beaumont Del Rio, Kerrville

FNI role Prime Subconsultant Prime Subconsultant Prime Subconsultant Prime Subconsultant Subconsultant

Years 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 2016 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 2001, 2006, 2011

for Region K, the Lower Colorado River Basin, to evaluate potential conflicts with downstream interests over water supplies. Freese and Nichols also developed the 2006 and 2011 updates to the water plans for the same eight regions: A, C and F as prime consultant and B, E, G, I and J as subconsultant. The 2011 Region C Water Plan — which provided a path for developing lower-cost, more sustainable strategies, drawing 25



percent of the planned water supplies from conservation and reuse — received an Engineering Excellence Silver Medal from TCEC in 2011. Freese and Nichols’ role in Texas water planning grew considerably in 2011, when it was selected as lead consultant for the 2016 Region H Water Plan. Region H encompasses the Houston metropolitan area, including most of the San Jacinto River basin and the lower reaches of the Brazos and Trinity River basins. The team developed a cohesive set of water supply strategies — including conservation, reuse, yield enhancement and desalination — to serve more than 11 million residents by 2060. In addition to Region H, Freese and Nichols is also developing 2016 plans for Regions A, C and F as prime consultant and for Regions B, E, G and I as subconsultant.

Brazos System Operation Permit

Brazos River Authority · Ongoing since 2003 Freese and Nichols helped the Brazos River Authority develop a new way to address water supply needs throughout the 43,000-squaremile Brazos River basin. The solution was a system oper­ation permit for the agency to manage water in the basin as a single, aggregated system, generating new supply without building new reservoirs. The team developed environmental flow criteria consistent with the Texas Instream Flow Program, which protects streams and estuaries, and the work done for the Brazos permit became the precedent in Texas for developing environmental flows. As of December 2015, final approval of the permit by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is pending.

Featured Projects


Regional Groundwater Update Project

Harris-Galveston Subsidence District, Fort Bend Subsidence District and Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District · Completed 2013 Extensive groundwater pumping in the Houston-Galveston area has led to substantial land subsidence, causing floods and damaging infrastructure. This project provided the scientific basis for regulations intended to curb land subsidence, guide a massive shift to surface water, and help ensure a sustainable water supply. Its land subsidence model was calibrated to measured subsidence for the first time anywhere in the world. The population and water demand projections – five counties, nearly 5.7 million people – had never been developed to the degree of spatial resolution and with the advanced methodologies used for this study. Regulatory decisions resulting from study findings are expected to stimulate $3 billion-$4 billion in water projects over the next decade. • Engineering Excellence Gold Medal, ACEC Texas, 2014

In Baytown, east of Houston, the Brownwood neighborhood was abandoned after the land subsided more than 10 feet. Above, a tree grows in what was once an in-ground swimming pool.



Notable Projects: Water Resources Planning • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Allens Creek Reservoir Planning; Brazos River Authority; completed 2003 Cleburne Water Supply Development; City of Cleburne, Texas; completed 1997 Integrated Water Supply Plan; Tarrant Regional Water District; completed 2013 Irving Long-Range Water Supply Plan; City of Irving, Texas; completed 2015 Lake Columbia Planning and Permitting; Angelina & Neches River Authority; ongoing since 2000 Lavaca River Water Supply Project Feasibility Study; Lavaca-Navidad River Authority; completed 2011 Long-Range Water Supply Study; Gulf Coast Water Authority; completed 2014 Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir; North Texas Municipal Water District; expected completion 2020 (read more on pages 70 and 118) Midland Water Conservation Program; City of Midland, Texas; completed 2012 NTMWD Conservation and Drought Planning; North Texas Municipal Water District; completed 2006 and revised 2013 Sulphur Basin Study; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Sulphur River Basin Authority; ongoing since 2011 Trans-Texas Water Program – Southeast Area; Texas Water Development Board; completed 1998 Water Availability Modeling for Neches, Trinity and San Jacinto River Basins; Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; completed 2001 Wichita Falls Water Supply Planning; City of Wichita Falls, Texas; ongoing since 2012

Featured Projects


Water Resources Design Wesley Seale Dam Spillway Rehabilitation

City of Corpus Christi, Texas · Completed 2001

In 1996, Freese and Nichols evaluated Wesley Seale Dam and found concrete bulges in the hearth slabs, cracking of buttresses and abutment members, and downstream offsets in the alignment of the spillways. Freese and Nichols’ rehabilitation design stabilized the slab-and-buttress spillways with 70,520 cubic yards of concrete and enabled precision monitoring of future spillway movement. The $23 million rehabilitation design saved the City approximately $5 million, was completed one year ahead of schedule, and achieved a 50 percent increase in the sliding factor of safety. • National Rehabilitation Project of the Year, Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 2001 • Award of Excellence, Best of 2001 Awards, Texas Construction • First Place, Engineering Excellence Awards, TCEC, 2002



Highlands Lakes Dam Modernization Program Lower Colorado River Authority · Completed 2004

In the mid-1990s, four of Central Texas’ Highland Lakes dams needed modernization to meet safety requirements — Wirtz (left), Inks (center), Tom Miller (bottom), and Buchanan — and a fifth, Starcke, needed spillway upgrades. As this program’s lead engineer, Freese and Nichols assisted with site investigations, design studies, construction document preparation and engineering support throughout construction. The firm’s approach to value engineering for water resource projects resulted in savings exceeding $40 million. In addition, physical hydraulic model study programs provided a 15-to-1 project-savingsto-engineer-cost ratio over the entire program. It was completed on budget and two years ahead of schedule.

Featured Projects


Upper Brushy Creek Dam Modernization Program

Upper Brushy Creek Water Control & Improvement District · Ongoing since 2003

In formerly rural Williamson County, Texas, 21 flood-control dams now lie within highly populated suburban areas and have been reclassified as high-hazard dams. Under traditional methods, upgrading the dams to meet safety requirements would have cost as much as $87 million and taken 30 years. The District had limited financial resources, so Freese and Nichols developed a $10 million risk-prioritized program that enabled the District to protect lives quickly. As program manager and consulting engineer, Freese and Nichols assisted the District in modernizing 19 dams and installing flood monitoring stations at all 21 dams. • Award of Merit, Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 2007



Lake Brazos Labyrinth Weir · City of Waco, Texas · Completed 2007

Freese and Nichols designed the replacement of a gat­ed spillway with a labyrinth weir. The innovative lab­yrinth design combined reuse of the existing site with an unconventional spillway configuration, substantially reduc­ing completion time and cutting construction costs in half. The new dam was engineered to streamline the permitting process and avoid environmental impacts. • Engineering Excellence Honor Award, ACEC, 2008 • Award of Excellence in the Constructed Project, U.S. Society on Dams, 2008

Featured Projects

Knight Flume Replacement

Gulf Coast Water Authority · Completed 2012 In Southeast Texas, the Knight Flume conveys irrigation water over a drainage channel. The existing structure (right) was at risk of catastrophic failure; Freese and Nichols replaced it with a reinforcedconcrete aqueduct system that is believed to be the first-ever dual-chamber water bridge (below). Its walkway enables staff to close one chamber for maintenance without disrupting water delivery through the other. The team completed the project in two rigid six-month timeframes to preserve rice farmers’ access to irrigation water. • Project of the Year, Structures less than $2 million, TPWA, 2013




Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir

North Texas Municipal Water District · Expected completion 2020

Since 2003, Freese and Nichols has been laying the groundwork for this Northeast Texas supply reservoir. The team is designing the two-mile-long dam, spillway, 236MGD water intake structure and 30-mile transmission system, as well as providing program management for those components, a water treatment plant and roadway projects. (Read about environmental services for the project on page 118.) Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir will be the largest lake constructed in Texas since 1991, providing a much-needed water supply for the growing areas north and east of Dallas.

Featured Projects


Notable Projects: Water Resources Design • • • • •

• • •

• • • •

Big Creek Drop Inlet Structure; Fort Bend County Drainage District; completed 2013 Dams and Lakes at The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve; Boy Scouts of America; completed 2013. Engineering Excellence Award, ACEC West Virginia, 2013 Dry Comal Creek Flood Retarding Structure; Comal County, Texas; completed 2013 Highlands Heavy Civil Design Practices and Best Management Practices; San Jacinto River Authority; completed 2014 Highlands Reservoir Rehabilitation and Improvements; San Jacinto River Authority; completed 2013. Project of the Year, Structures $5 million-$25 million, American Public Works Association, Texas Chapter (TPWA), 2014 Hydrologic and Hydraulic Guidelines for Texas Dams; Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; completed 2007. Eminent Conceptor, TCEC, 2009 Lake Conroe Dam Tainter Gate Rehabilitation Project; San Jacinto River Authority; completed 2015 Lake Delton Dam Emergency Repairs; Wisconsin Department of Trans­ portation; completed 2009. Outstanding Civil Engineering Achieve­ment Award, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Wisconsin Section, 2009; Engineering Excel­lence Honor Award, ACEC, 2010 Lake Naconiche Recreational Area; Natural Resources Conservation Service; completed 2012 Olmos Dam Rehabilitation; Bexar County, Texas; completed 2012 Toledo Bend Tainter Gate Rehabilitation Program; Toledo Bend Project Joint Operation (Sabine River Authorities of Texas and Louisiana); expected completion 2016 Wheeler Branch Reservoir and Supply System; Somervell County Water District; completed 2007



Water Resources Transmission O.H. Ivie Water Supply System

Colorado River Municipal Water District · Completed 1995

This fast-tracked transmission system was designed and constructed in 38 months, solving a critical water shortage in West Texas. With 156 miles of pipeline, seven pump stations and a 100-MG storage reservoir, it connects O.H. Ivie Reservoir — designed by Freese and Nichols and completed in 1990 — to San Angelo and Midland. The team’s design and bidding innovations saved $11 million, enabling CRMWD to add standby pumps, electric transmission lines and substations. The $110 million project had only 0.05 percent change orders. • Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award, ASCE Texas, 1996

Featured Projects

Eagle Mountain Connection

Tarrant Regional Water District · Completed 2008

For decades, the Tarrant Regional Water District has received water from Cedar Creek and Richland-Chambers reservoirs — both designed by Freese and Nichols — via a 163mile transmission system from East Texas to Fort Worth. The Eagle Mountain Connection extended the reach of that water to Eagle Mountain Lake, positioning the District to serve the fast-growing population in northwest Fort Worth. The system has 20 miles of 96- and 84-inch pipeline, 430- and 230-MGD pump stations, and other facilities. By reducing the District’s dependence on the West Fork of the Trinity River, it lowered the potential for drought in the area from one in 10 years to one in 50 years. • Engineering Excellence Gold Medal, TCEC, 2008




Ward County Water Supply Project

Colorado River Municipal Water District · Completed 2012

In West Texas, the record drought of 2010-11 devastated surface water supplies at the same time that one of the largest energy booms in decades was fueling dramatic population growth. This project, designed and constructed in 18 months, provided a new groundwater supply for 500,000 people before the reservoirs went dry. It has 21 groundwater wells, four pump stations and 65 miles of pipeline; part of the route crossed sand dunes (above). Innovative measures, such as the CMAR delivery system, enabled the project to finish $25 million under budget. • Engineering Excellence Grand Award, ACEC, 2014 • National Finalist, Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award, ASCE, 2015

Featured Projects

Lake Texoma-to-Wylie Pipeline Extension

North Texas Municipal Water District · Completed 2014 When zebra mussels appeared in Lake Texoma in 2009, the North Texas Municipal Water District had to stop pumping from the lake, cutting off 28 percent of its raw water supply. The only practical way to protect against infestation and resume the supply was to transport water via a new pipeline. Freese and Nichols led the team that delivered fast-tracked design and construction of 48 miles of pipeline, a balancing reservoir and modifications to four existing water treatment plants. At $280 million, this is the largest pipeline project executed by CMAR in the nation. • Engineering Excellence Gold Medal, ACEC Texas, 2015




Notable Projects: Water Resources Transmission • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Allen-Plano-Frisco-McKinney Pipeline; North Texas Municipal Water District; completed 2012 Benbrook Connection; Tarrant Regional Water District; completed 1998. Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award, ASCE Texas, 1999 Integrated Pipeline Project; Tarrant Regional Water District and Dallas Water Utilities; expected completion 2020 (read more on pages 114 and 119) John C. Williams Water Supply Project; Canadian River Municipal Water Authority; completed 2001. Honorable Mention, Engineering Excellence Awards, TCEC, 2003 Lake Alan Henry Pipeline; City of Lubbock; completed 2012. Engineering Excellence Silver Medal, ACEC Texas, 2014 Lake Conroe Raw Water Intake and Pump Station; San Jacinto River Authority; expected completion 2016 Lake Tawakoni Water Supply Project; North Texas Municipal Water District; completed 2008 Lake Whitney Water Supply; City of Cleburne, Texas; expected completion 2017 Line J, Section 1 Pipeline; Tarrant Regional Water District; completed 2014 (read more on page 41) Mary Rhodes Phase 2 Pipeline; City of Corpus Christi, Texas; expected completion 2016 O.H. Ivie Raw Water Transmission System; City of Abilene, Texas; completed 2003 Regional Carrizo Project Delivery Pipeline; San Antonio Water System; completed 2014 Stockton Water Supply System; City of Springfield, Missouri; completed 1996. Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award Nominee, ASCE, 1997

Featured Projects

Water and Wastewater Master Planning Frisco Water and Wastewater Master Plans and Reuse Program City of Frisco, Texas · Completed 2005, 2010, 2015

In 2004, Freese and Nichols developed a water and wastewater master plan to address the emerging needs of Frisco, the nation’s fastestgrowing city in that decade. The team developed hydraulic models of the water and wastewater system, then integrated them with the City’s geographic information system (GIS) to create a strategic tool for effectively managing Frisco’s growth. The models are the basis for water (above) and wastewater master plans to build a comprehensive $190 million capital improvement plan (CIP). Freese and Nichols completed updates to these plans in 2010 and 2015 to support the changing demographic needs of the City, and also developed a plan to expand Frisco’s reuse system (right) from 1 MGD to 21 MGD over 20 years.




Interceptor Condition Assessment Program City of Fort Worth, Texas · Ongoing since 2010

When large sewer interceptors fail, the damage can be extensive and the emergency repairs costly. But preemptively cleaning or replacing the pipes are expensive undertakings as well, especially when their condition isn’t known beforehand. To solve this dilemma for the Fort Worth Water Department, Freese and Nichols developed the multi-year Interceptor Condition Assessment Program (ICAP). Sonar, 3-D lasers and high-definition video are used to inspect pipes from the inside, determining where repairs are needed and where they aren’t. The largest known implementation of this technology in the world, ICAP has already saved the City $4.5 million in cleaning costs and as much as $6 million in line failure prevention.

Featured Projects


Transmission System Risk-Based Renewal Capital Improvement Program North Texas Municipal Water District · Completed 2014

Preliminary Risk Based Assessment Matrix for Facilities Matrix for Facilities Condition

C Criticali ty

NTMWD is a regional water provider serving more than 2 million people. By the late Low Impact 2000s, some of its original transmission infrastructure Medium assets were reaching the end Impact of their useful life. Freese and High Nichols developed a CIP with Impact a risk-based approach, ranking Very High rehabilitation projects based Impact on criticality and condition. By incorporating system renewal into CIP planning, this process prioritizes both growth and aging infrastructure in a combined path-forward plan.

Very Poor Poor Wallace Street Casa View Booster PS, PS/GSTs, HSPS 1‐1 S. Rockwall No. 1 Raw Water PS WRF PS Garland and Hailey PS/GSTs, No 1 No. 1 GST/PS Forney GST/PS, Forney Allen Plant No. 2 PS/GSTs, Rockwall Clearwell No. 3 PS/Clearwell Plant No. 1 Murphy Shiloh PS No. 1, Booster PS, McKinney No. 1 Clearwell No. 1, HSPS 1‐1 PS/GSTs, Plant No. Plant No. 3 1 Clearwell No. 2 Plano Clearwell No. 1 2, Raw Ra w Wa Watter PS PS No No. 2 Shiloh PS No. 2, Apollo PS/GST, HSPS 3‐1 HSPS 2‐2 Plant No. 2 Plant No. 2 Clearwell No. 1 Clearwell No. 2 Raw Water PS No. 3, HSPS 2‐1, HSPS 2‐3 Plant No. 3 Very Good



Clearwell No 2 Clearwell No. 2




San Antonio Water Infrastructure Plan

San Antonio Water System (SAWS) · Expected completion 2016

For the 2014 Water Infrastructure Plan Update, Freese and Nichols is evaluating SAWS’ current and future needs and developing a phased CIP to accommodate projected growth. The team expanded the all-pipes water model to an extendedperiod simulation (EPS) model, which allowed for a thorough analysis of water supply integration, water age analysis, source trace modeling and operational optimization. The team also determined the strategy to integrate SAWS’ next major water supply, Vista Ridge, into the complex distribution system. Earlier, Freese and Nichols developed SAWS’ 2008 Wastewater Infrastructure Plan, modeling approximately 170,000 line segments totaling more than 1,000 miles. The resulting CIP totaled more than $845 million in collection system improvements.

Featured Projects


Notable Projects: Water and Wastewater Master Planning • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Arlington Wastewater Master Plan and TCEQ Sanitary Sewer Overflow Initiative Assistance; City of Arlington, Texas; completed 2008 Arlington Water Distribution System Master Plan and Updates; City of Arlington, Texas; completed 2001, 2007, 2014 Fort Worth Regional Water Distribution System Master Plan; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 2005 Fort Worth Wastewater Master Plan and Update; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 2001, 2014 (read more on page 105) Fort Worth Water/Wastewater Impact Fee Study; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 2013 Grand Prairie Water Master Plan and Water Quality Assurance Program; City of Grand Prairie, Texas; completed 2011 Houston Wastewater Modeling Assistance; City of Houston, Texas; completed 2015 Irving Wastewater Master Plan; City of Irving, Texas; completed 2009 Kerrville Reuse Feasibility Study and Reuse Facilities; City of Kerrville, Texas; expected completion 2018 Killeen Water/Wastewater Master Plan and Update; City of Killeen, Texas; completed 2008, 2012 McAllen Water and Wastewater Master Plan; McAllen Public Utility; completed 2009 Unidirectional Flushing Program; City of Pearland, Texas; ongoing since 2006 Upper East Fork Basin Regional Wastewater Facility Planning Study; Greater Texoma Utility Authority; completed 2010

Additional notable water and wastewater master plans and studies: ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ··

City of Abilene City of Aledo City of Alvin Benbrook Water Auth. City of Burleson City of Cedar Hill City of Cleburne City of College Station City of Conroe Colorado River Municipal Water Dist. City of Denton DFW Int’l Airport City of Fredericksburg City of Garland

·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ··

City of Grapevine City of Huntsville City of Justin City of Keller City of Kennedale City of Kerrville City of Kilgore City of Lancaster City of Liberty City of Lubbock City of Mansfield City of Midlothian New Braunfels Utilities City of N. Richland Hills City of Palestine

·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ··

City of Pearland City of Pflugerville City of Port Arthur City of Princeton Town of Prosper City of San Angelo City of San Marcos City of Seguin City of Taylor City of Terrell City of The Colony Trinity River Authority City of Waco City of Weatherford City of Wichita Falls



Water and Wastewater Treatment Holly Water Treatment Plant Improvements

City of Fort Worth, Texas · Completed 1997, 2003

The North Holly Water Treatment Plant has been in operation since 1912; Freese and Nichols designed the South Holly plant in 1956. In 1995, the firm designed improvements at both plants to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act, including replacement of chlorine and ammonia feed facilities, and installation of emergency gas scrubbers. Upgrades in 2002 included new rapid mix and filters, enhanced flocculation and sedimentation facilities, and backwash clarification facilities; all were accommodated without needing more space. The new 80-MGD filtration complex was designed with an innovative flat flume – only the second in the nation – which simplified construction and reduced costs.

Featured Projects


The Colony Wastewater Treatment Plant Improvements City of The Colony, Texas · Completed 2007

For this fast-growing city north of Dallas, Freese and Nichols designed Texas’ first municipal application of integrated fixed-film activated sludge (left), and implemented other space- and money-saving innovations. This project increased treatment capacity and enabled the plant to meet new environmental standards, all within the existing plant’s footprint. • Engineering Excellence Gold Medal, TCEC, 2009



Return Activated Sludge Pump Station 13B Trinity River Authority ¡ Completed 2010

This project at the Central Regional Wastewater System was the first self-cleaning trench-type wet well in Texas. Occupying less than one quarter the space of traditional return activated sludge pump stations, the project introduced a design that reduces construction costs for constricted sites; its self-cleaning features reduce maintenance costs as well. At the time of construction, it was the largest wastewater application of the vertical pump configuration in the United States. • Engineering Excellence Gold Medal, TCEC, 2010

Featured Projects

CRMWD Raw Water Production Facility

Colorado River Municipal Water District · Completed 2013

This West Texas plant is the first potable reuse facility in North America to blend reclaimed water directly in a raw water distribution pipeline. It diverts up to 2.5 million gallons of wastewater effluent per day and treats it to near-bottled-water quality using membrane filtration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet oxidation. • Water Reuse Project of the Year, Global Water Intelligence, 2014




Notable Projects: Water and Wastewater Treatment • • • • • • • • • • • • •

• • •

Aledo Wastewater Treatment Plant; City of Aledo, Texas; completed 2012. Municipal Excellence Award for Public Works, Texas Municipal League (TML), 2013 Beaumont Water Treatment Plant Expansion; City of Beaumont, Texas; completed 2005 Brown County Water Treatment Plant; Brown County Water Improvement District No. 1; completed 2010. Outstanding Membrane Plant, South Central Membrane Association, 2013 Central Wastewater Treatment Plant Mechanical Improvements; Dallas Water Utilities; completed 2009 Central Wastewater Treatment Plant Influent Pump Station; Dallas Water Utilities; completed 2014. Engineering Excellence Silver Medal, ACEC Texas, 2015 (read more on page 89) Central Regional Wastewater System Treatment Plant On-Site Storage System; Trinity River Authority; completed 2013 Fair Oaks Ranch Wastewater Treatment Plant Clarifier Rehabilitation; City of Fair Oaks Ranch, Texas; completed 2013 Kirby Water Plant; City of Pearland, Texas; completed 2009 Kubala Water Treatment Plant Expansion and Pierce-Burch Water Treatment Plant Rehabilitation with Ozonation Facilities; City of Arlington, Texas; completed 2002 Lake Ray Roberts Water Treatment Plant; City of Denton, Texas; completed 2003. Best of Texas Award of Merit, Texas Construction, 2002 O.N. Stevens Water Treatment Plant Raw Water Influent Improvements; City of Corpus Christi, Texas; expected completion 2018 Variable Salinity Desalination Demonstration; City of Corpus Christi, Texas; expected completion 2016 Village Creek Water Reclamation Facility Expansions, Upgrades and Energy Conservation Improvements; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 1999, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2014. Award for Excellence in Innovation, Water Environment Research Foundation, 2015 Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion and East Loop Reuse System; City of Cleburne, Texas; completed 2005. Water Conservation and Reuse Award, American Water Works Association Texas Section, 2003 Webster Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion and Rehabilitation; City of Webster, Texas; completed 2007 Wichita Falls Potable Reuse UV Disinfection Facility; City of Wichita Falls, Texas; completed 2015

Featured Projects

Water and Wastewater Utilities Joint-Use Elevated Storage Tank

City of Keller, Texas, and Town of Westlake, Texas ¡ Completed 2003

Freese and Nichols facilitated the collaboration between the neighboring municipalities to save them time and money in meeting their long-term water system needs. The result was the industry’s first-ever joint-use elevated storage tank. The 2.5-million-gallon composite tank contains two concentric, isolated tanks to provide independent storage for Keller and Westlake. Freese and Nichols also designed an emergency interconnection to link the systems during a system vulnerability crisis. • Engineering Excellence Award, TCEC, 2003



Holly-to-Northside Transmission Main City of Fort Worth, Texas 路 Completed 2005

This fast-tracked 54-inch line enables the transfer of much-needed treated water across downtown Fort Worth to the rapidly growing northern side of the city. The new line has tunnels beneath the Trinity River in two locations (right), which required large-scale geotechnical investigations of the levees and riverbed, as well as extensive environmental permitting. Freese and Nichols also coordinated the relocation of many municipal and franchise utilities.


Featured Projects


Central Wastewater Treatment Plant Influent Pump Station Dallas Water Utilities · Completed 2014

Freese and Nichols truly dug deep when Dallas Water Utilities needed a new influent pump station. The team challenged the industry mindset of wastewater pump station design, emerging with an innovative facility that cost 30 percent less than traditional designs. It has six vertical turbine solidshandling pumps — the deepest-set in the U.S., at 65 feet — and three 150-MGD coarse screens, some of the deepest and largest in the nation. The pump station achieves wider ranges of flows than centrifugal pumps and has all maintenance activities accessible at ground level. Throughout design and construction, there was only one change order, about 0.6 percent on a $49 million project. • Engineering Excellence Silver Medal, ACEC Texas, 2015


Trinity Well Field and Production Facilities New Braunfels Utilities · Completed 2015

This well field in the Trinity Aquifer adds more than 3 million gallons of water per day for New Braunfels Utilities’ water system, diversifying its supply and enabling better management of demand during drought. Freese and Nichols’ water planning team performed hydraulic modeling and developed system demand projections; the utilities team designed well pumps, a ground storage tank, a disinfection system, a booster pump station and other site facilities. Freese and Nichols recom­mended and assisted with CMAR procurement, which accelerated the project by more than one year from the original schedule.


Featured Projects


Notable Projects: Water and Wastewater Utilities • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Birkdale Lift Station, Force Main and Emergency Flow Diversion Structure; City of Kerrville, Texas; completed 2013 Birmingham International Airport Stormwater Pump Station; City of Birmingham, Alabama; completed 1999 Dixie Farm Road Water and Sewer Improvements; City of Pearland, Texas; completed 2006 Eastside II 54-inch Transmission Main; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 2015 Gaster’s Creek Lift Station Improvements; City of Sanford, North Carolina; completed 2015 Graytown Road Wastewater Collection System Phase III; San Antonio River Authority; completed 2014 Groundwater Facilities Rehabilitation; City of Houston, Texas; expected completion 2018 Low Branch Lift Station and Force Main; City of Mansfield, Texas; completed 2014 Main Street Lift Station Emergency Repair Project; City of San Marcos, Texas; completed 2012 North Tarrant Express Water and Sewer Relocations; NTE Mobility Partners; expected completion 2016 Palestine Sewer System Rehabilitation Program; City of Palestine, Texas; 1999-2014 Rabbit Creek Trunk Sewer Main Rehabilitation; City of Kilgore, Texas; completed 2012 Rockdale Elevated Storage Tank; City of Rockdale, Texas; completed 2014 (read more on page 145) Rowlett Cottonwood Parallel Transfer Sewer Line; North Texas Municipal Water District; completed 2006 Southton Road Emergency Sewer Replacement; San Antonio Water System; completed 2012 Spring Creek Lift Station; North Texas Municipal Water District; completed 2007 Wastewater Collection System Improvements; Bacliff Municipal Utility District; 2002-2011 Water Lines, Pump Station and Ground Storage Tank; City of Terrell, Texas; completed 2008 Wynwood Peninsula Lift Station and Force Main; City of The Colony, Texas; completed 2007



A Look Back: Solid Waste In the 1980s and ’90s, solid waste management emerged as an important service area as Texas cities worked to comply with new federal environ­ mental regulations. As they decided whether to upgrade their landfills or close them, Freese and Nichols guided them through the process. The firm designed landfills and transfer stations; assisted with permitting; performed groundwater and methane testing and other environmental monitoring; and planned post-closure usage. Additionally, Freese and Nichols worked with state agencies on the development of standards for waste disposal. Because of the more stringent regulations, many cities opted to contract with private waste haulers instead of operating their own landfills. As the few others finished their necessary upgrades, work opportunities tapered off through the mid-2000s. By the end of the decade, Freese and Nichols had largely stopped pursuing solid waste projects.

Above: Freese and Nichols brought the City of Snyder, Texas, landfill into compliance with EPA regulations in the mid-1990s. Its geosynthetic clay liner design was the first of its kind in Texas and was expected to save the City $3Â million over the life of the facility. Left: In 1996, Silver Creek Materials became the first registered large-scale compost facility in Texas. It is designed to receive 650 tons of municipal solid waste organics per day.

Featured Projects


Stormwater Highlands Creek Drainage Improvements City of Carrollton, Texas · Completed 2006

Earlier efforts to control erosion and flooding along Highlands Creek had failed when easements could not be obtained from homeowners. Successful stormwater management would require intensive public involvement. Homeowners partici­pated in critical decisions, selecting consultants, technologies and materials. Freese and Nichols’ design followed the channel’s natural meandering, heeding home­owners’ desire to restore their yards without replacing the creek with a concrete trough. • Engineering Excellence Gold Medal, TCEC, 2007


University Channel Erosion Restoration City of Garland, Texas · Completed 2010 The natural aging process of University Channel and its proximity to 60 homes left properties vulnerable to erosion and damage (right). This project restored the channel with minimal environmental impact. Freese and Nichols applied fluvial geomorphology expertise — uncommon for urban channels in North Texas — to follow the natural course of the stream; the green design incorporates sustainable materials and a natural channel floor. Freese and Nichols also managed public involvement to collect input and gain acceptance from dozens of homeowners. • Engineering Excellence Gold Medal, TCEC, 2011


Featured Projects


Bee Cave Parkway and Freitag Creek Crossing City of Bee Cave, Texas · Completed 2011

Freese and Nichols designed Bee Cave Parkway, a four-lane arterial roadway, to help the City handle tremendous population growth. The innovative two-span crossing at Freitag Creek provides pedestrian and cyclist access and conveys stormwater runoff. A staged drainage channel mimics the natural flow of the creek, and native plants prevent erosion; both help preserve the natural environment. The project’s minimal footprint allowed construction to proceed without triggering a federal notification requirement, resulting in substantial cost and time savings.



Elm Fork Floodplain Management Study and Flood Protection Project City of Dallas, Texas · Completed 2004, 2011

Freese and Nichols’ stormwater, environmental, water quality and planning teams transformed the Elm Fork site, a former gravel mining pit and landfill in Dallas, into a championship-caliber soccer complex. The extensive hydrologic and hydraulic study identified flood hazards and land uses; the flood protection project brought the site out of the 100-year floodplain to free it for development. It now has a flood levee and a series of wetland ponds, plus bioswales (right) that filter runoff and enhance irrigation. (Read more about the athletic complex on page 133.) • Municipal Excellence Award for Public Works, TML, 2014

Featured Projects


Upper Langham Creek Frontier Program

Harris County Flood Control District 路 Ongoing since 2012

In Harris County, the third-most-populous county in the nation, the Upper Langham Creek watershed is one of the few remaining undeveloped areas. As program manager for the $80 million Upper Langham Creek Frontier Program, Freese and Nichols is planning drainage infrastructure, stormwater quality treatment and multi-use space ahead of future development. This is a departure from typical stormwater planning, which tends to focus on individual mitigation projects. The team performed hydrologic and hydraulic analyses in conjunction with designs of natural channels and water quality features, resulting in a comprehensive design to address the needs of the 16-square-mile watershed. Pictured is a conceptual rendering of a regional detention basin, which will provide both detention mitigation and multi-use opportunities.



Notable Projects: Stormwater • • • • • • • •

• • • • •

Arlington Heights Watershed Planning and Drainage Improvements; City of Fort Worth, Texas; ongoing since 2004 Floyd Branch Improvements; City of Richardson, Texas; completed 2014 Fort Hood Stormwater Quality and Flood Protection; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; completed 2012 Green Meadows Drainage Improvements; City of Arlington, Texas; completed 2014 Hazard Mitigation Action Plan; City of Arlington, Texas; completed 2009 Integrated Stormwater Management (iSWM™) Design Manuals; North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG); completed 2006 Lower Mary’s Creek Open-Channel Study; Cities of Fort Worth and Benbrook, Texas; completed 2014 MLK Boulevard Transit-Oriented Development Drainage Study and Stormwater Conveyance Improvements; City of Austin, Texas; expected completion 2016. Special Recognition Award, Texas Floodplain Managers Association, 2013 Stevens Park Golf Course Renovation; City of Dallas, Texas; completed 2011 (read more on page 132) Stormwater Management Program Development and Property Acquisition Coordination; City of Lancaster, Texas; completed 2013 Stormwater Pond Safety Program; City of Austin, Texas; ongoing since 2003. West Regional Award of Merit, Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 2013 Throckmorton and Reagan Street Drainage Improvements; City of Dallas, Texas; completed 1996 Waller Creek Water Quality Retrofit Project; City of Austin, Texas; completed 2011

Additional notable stormwater master plans: ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ··

City of Buda City of Bryan City of Burleson City of Cleburne City of Corinth Fort Hood

·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ··

City of Grapevine City of Lancaster City of Lubbock City of McAllen City of McKinney City of Round Rock

·· City of San Angelo ·· City of Southlake ·· Tarrant County College South Campus ·· Town of Trophy Club ·· City of Wichita Falls

Additional notable stormwater utility fees: ·· ·· ·· ··

City of Corinth City of Farmers Branch City of Frisco City of Lancaster

·· ·· ·· ··

Town of Little Elm City of Lubbock City of Richardson City of San Angelo

·· ·· ·· ··

City of Terrell City of The Colony Town of Trophy Club City of Weatherford

Featured Projects

Transportation Pearland Parkway Extension · City of Pearland, Texas · Completed 2003

This 3.5-mile arterial roadway has become a marquee entrance point for the City of Pearland. Providing a major connection to Beltway 8, the Parkway has reduced through-traffic in downtown Pearland and facilitated develop­ment along the corridor. The $13.3 million project has a 700-foot twin bridge over Clear Creek and a 162-acre-foot detention pond; Freese and Nichols’ design also incorporated a 360-foot roundabout at McHard Road.




Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Pedestrian Bridge City of Fort Worth, Texas · Completed 2012

The Tilley Bridge, which provides a key connection between Fort Worth’s downtown and arts district, is the first arch-supported stress-ribbon bridge in the United States. Its 10-inch concrete deck is supported by steel plate “ribbons” draped over a central steel arch, eliminating the need for girders, trusses or columns in the Trinity River. This elegant design incorporates an extremely thin profile with high structural efficiency, allowing the bridge to withstand a 500-year flood. Even in severe flooding, this bridge will not increase flood levels more than one inch. • Eminent Conceptor, ACEC Texas, 2013 • Best of the Best Small Projects in the United States, Engineering News-Record, 2013

Featured Projects


Merritt Road Improvements · City of Rowlett, Texas · Completed 2014 This redesign and reconstruction of Merritt Road, a two-mile corridor through Rowlett’s last major undeveloped area, stands out from other roadway expansions for its innovative ways of enhancing sustain­ ability. Medians have bioswales that protect water quality by impeding the flow of pollutants into the water supply, as well as drought-tolerant and low-maintenance landscaping. Recon­ figured inter­sections are more efficient, reducing idling and protecting air quality. A 10-foot-wide trail provides a safe option for pedestrians and cyclists. • TPWA Project of the Year, Trans­por­ tation, $5 million$15 million, 2014



Norman Comprehensive Transportation Plan City of Norman, Oklahoma · Completed 2014

Freese and Nichols’ transportation planners helped the City develop a comprehensive transportation plan to address a full range of long-term needs. They developed specific modal plans; short- and long-range investment priorities; policies and programs to manage transportation systems; and an implementation plan. A public involvement program throughout the process received public input through social media channels, as well as open houses and hearings. • Engineering Excellence Honor Award, ACEC Oklahoma, 2015

Featured Projects

Cowboy, Ranger and Maverick DVORs

Federal Aviation Administration and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Completed 1993, 1996, 1998

Freese and Nichols designed three FAA navigational aids, the first of their kind in the United States, which virtually doubled North Texas’ air traffic capabilities. These Doppler VHF Omnidirectional Ranges, or DVORs, are radio beacons that help pilots home in on their destinations from 150 miles away. Cowboy (above) is located in Dallas; Ranger is in Colleyville; and Maverick (right) is at the south entrance of DFW Airport. • Certificate of Merit, Best of 1998 Awards, Texas Construction • Award of Excellence, North Texas Associated Builders and Contractors, 1998




Notable Projects: Transportation • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Bailey Road Extension and Railroad Overpass; City of Pearland, Texas; completed 2008. Transportation Project of the Year, TPWA, 2008 Broadway Corridor Roadway and Drainage Improvements; City of San Antonio, Texas; completed 2014 Broadway Intersection Improvements; City of Tyler, Texas; completed 2009 Clearfork Main Street Bridge; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 2013. Engineering Excellence Silver Medal, ACEC Texas, 2015 (read more on page 137) Denton Mobility and Bicycle Plan; City of Denton, Texas; completed 2012 Dixie Farm Road Widening; City of Pearland, Texas; completed 2011 East Rosedale Street Improvements and Roundabouts; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 2015 Hidden Creek Parkway Roadway and Bridges; City of Burleson, Texas; completed 2007 Irving Transportation Plan; City of Irving, Texas; completed 2007 Kaufman County Thoroughfare Plan; Kaufman County, Texas; expected completion 2016 Mayhill Road Widening and Improvements; City of Denton, Texas; expected completion 2017 NASA Road 1 Widening; City of Webster, Texas; completed 2003 Panther Island Signature Bridges and Roundabouts; City of Fort Worth, Texas; expected completion 2018 (read more on page 138) Parcels 14 and 19 Development; Port Freeport, Texas; expected completion 2017 (read more about ports services on page 56) Ric Williamson Memorial Highway and Interstate 20 Interchange; Parker County, Texas; completed 2014 (read more on pages 107 and 19) State Highway 191 Corridor Study; Midland-Odessa Transportation Organization; completed 2012. Project Planning Award – Honorable Mention, American Planning Association (APA), Texas Chapter, 2012 State Highway 288 Managed Lanes; Brazoria County, Texas; expected completion 2016 Texas Motor Speedway Site Development and Perimeter Road; Texas Motor Speedway; completed 1996 Valley Ridge Boulevard; City of Lewisville, Texas; expected completion 2016 Weatherford Consolidated Vision and Plan; City of Weatherford, Texas; completed 2013. Comprehensive Planning Award, APA Texas, 2014 Yorktown Boulevard Widening and Improvements; City of Corpus Christi, Texas; Phases I and II completed 2014, 2015; Phase III expected completion 2018

Featured Projects


Program Management Fort Worth Wet Weather Management Program City of Fort Worth, Texas · Completed 2001

In 1991, citing violations of the Clean Water Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered the City of Fort Worth to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs). With 40 percent of its wastewater collection system affected, the City took a compre­ hensive approach. Freese and Nichols managed the ensuing Wet Weather Manage­ ment Program to address systemwide capacity and maintenance issues. To analyze the system and develop a wastewater master plan (pictured), the team created one of the largest Hydroworks models in the nation: more than 11,000 segments representing 862 miles of sewer line. They also designed and implemented a wet weather monitoring program, calibrated water quality models, and identified viable reuse projects. The $218 million program dramatically reduced the City’s SSOs, and the City was taken off the administrative order one year ahead of schedule as a result.



Skylink Automated People Mover System

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport · Completed 2005

Freese and Nichols was part of a team of consultants that designed Skylink, the automated people mover system that transformed how the world’s third-busiest airport operates. The $864 million project, constructed over active airfield operations, connects all five terminals using five miles of elevated tracks (above) and ten 50,000-squarefoot stations (left). In its first decade, Skylink trans­ported more than 141 million passengers. • Texas Construction magazine Judges Award for Design, 2004

Featured Projects


Parker County Transportation Bond Program

Parker County, Texas 路 Substantially completed 2014

Freese and Nichols led Parker County through every phase of a six-year, $160 million bond program, including project prioritization and funding procurement (read more on page 19). The team over颅saw design and construction of more than 30 roadway and drainage projects, including Aledo Trail (above), an innovative one-way couplet; the Ric Williamson Memorial Highway (below); and its interchange at Interstate 20.



Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program (TRIP)

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport · Ongoing since 2010

Freese and Nichols leads the program manage­ment team for TRIP, a $3.2 billion overhaul of DFW Airport’s four original terminals. The program is replacing mechanical, electrical, plumbing and comm­unications systems, and recon­figuring security areas to improve passenger flow. Five garages were demolished and are being rebuilt as modern structures with guidance systems. TRIP also added a 10-gate “stinger” extension to Terminal B (below) and a light rail station (above). Its many sustain­able elements include recycling half of the waste stream from infrastructure demolition and incorporating daylight harvesting into building automation systems. • Project Achievement Award, Construction Management Association of America, 2015

Featured Projects


Notable Projects: Program Management • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Consolidated Rental Car Facility; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; completed 2000 Eagle Mountain Water Treatment Plant Phase III Expansion; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 2007 (read more on page 110) East Runway Complex; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; completed 1996 Five-Year Capital Improvement Program Process Development; City of Bryan, Texas; completed 2008 Groundbreaker Bond Program; Houston Community College; expected completion 2016 Harris Methodist Fort Worth Cancer Center and Parking Garage; Harris Methodist Health System; completed 2000 Integrated Pipeline Project; Tarrant Regional Water District and Dallas Water Utilities; expected completion 2020 (read more on pages 114 and 119) Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir; North Texas Municipal Water District; expected completion 2020 (read more on pages 70 and 118) McKinney Capital Improvement Program; City of McKinney, Texas; completed 2002 Rowlett Capital Improvement Program Development and Management; City of Rowlett, Texas; completed 2006, 2008 San Antonio 2007 Bond Program; City of San Antonio, Texas; completed 2012 Tarrant County Transportation Bond Program; Tarrant County, Texas; completed 2007 Ten-Year Capital Improvements Program Development; City of Tyler, Texas; completed 2009 Terminal D Elevated Service Roads and Interchange; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; completed 2004. Excellence in Construction Award, Associated Builders and Contractors North Texas, 2004 Texas Central High-Speed Railway; Texas Central Partners; expected completion 2021 (read more on page 58) Trinity River Vision Program Management Plan; Trinity River Vision Authority; completed 2009 Twenty-Year Regional Comprehensive Water Distribution Capital Improvement Plan; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 2005



Construction Services Eagle Mountain Water Treatment Plant and Expansions City of Fort Worth, Texas 路 Completed 1992, 2000, 2007

In the 1990s and 2000s, Fort Worth opened this plant and expanded it twice to meet rapidly increasing water needs; Freese and Nichols provided construction management services for all phases. For Phase I, the 30-MGD plant was the first in Texas to use ozone disinfection. Phase II, an expansion to 60 MGD, replaced the air-feed ozone system with a liquidoxygen-feed ozone system, which in turn required replacement of the computer control system. For Phase III, an expansion to 105 MGD on a compressed schedule, Freese and Nichols identified sequencing for tie-ins that enabled the plant to operate during construction. The team also implemented a bidder prequalification process that eliminated delays, and developed a fast-track conceptual design approach to help the City evaluate treatment processes.

Featured Projects

Pearsall Road Landfill Slope Repair

City of San Antonio, Texas · Completed 2008 When a slope failed at a closed landfill (right) and had to be repaired quickly, Freese and Nichols recommended design-build project delivery with an emergency condition declaration to expedite procurement and construction. This project became the City of San Antonio’s first heavy-civil design-build project, and the alternative delivery process facilitated project completion $24,000 under budget and 14 days ahead of an already accelerated schedule.




CentrePort Station Improvements and Double Tracking Fort Worth Transportation Authority · Completed 2009

To resolve embankment issues at the CentrePort commuter rail station, this $20 million project added a second platform, 1.4 miles of track, two switches, two 1,000foot bridges (left), and a hydraulic drop structure. Providing thirdparty construction management and resident engineer services, Freese and Nichols kept the passenger and freight rail systems in operation during the two years of construction.

Featured Projects


Sugar Land Surface Water Treatment Plant City of Sugar Land, Texas · Completed 2013

This 9-MGD membrane plant was a critical component of Sugar Land’s conversion from groundwater to surface water in order to reduce land subsidence. Freese and Nichols served as owner’s representative and provided third-party construction management for the $69 million project, which used the CMAR alternative delivery method. The team inspected all facilities and facilitated project communications between the designer, CMAR and owner to minimize delays and mitigate issues that arose. They also executed the change management process, including reviewing proposed contract modifications and change orders. • Engineering Excellence Gold Medal, ACEC Texas, 2015



Integrated Pipeline Project

Tarrant Regional Water District, Dallas Water Utilities · Expected completion 2020

Freese and Nichols is leading the construction management team for this 150-mile, $2.3 billion project, which is separated into several large construction contracts that must be managed and coordinated to complete the system on time and within budget. Several senior resident project representatives are inspecting the pipelines, reservoirs and pump stations. Earlier, Freese and Nichols optimized route selection by combining helicopter video, GIS data collection and a Web platform into one innovative, comprehensive tool. The team also performed permitting services (read more on page 119); developed design standards for the entire pipeline; and designed one 14-mile segment and four storage reservoirs.

Featured Projects


Notable Projects: Construction Services • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Beaumont Water Treatment Plant Expansion; City of Beaumont, Texas; completed 2005 Chisholm Trail Parkway Section II; North Texas Tollway Authority; completed 2015 Huebner Creek Enhanced Conveyance Project; Bexar County, Texas; expected completion 2016 Kubala Water Treatment Plant Improvements and Expansions; City of Arlington, Texas; completed 1999, 2002, 2010 Lake Ray Roberts Water Treatment Plant; City of Denton, Texas; completed 2003 Lake Tawakoni Water Supply Project; North Texas Municipal Water District; completed 2008 Lake Texoma-to-Wylie Pipeline Extension; North Texas Municipal Water District; completed 2014. Engineering Excellence Gold Medal, ACEC Texas, 2015 (read more on page 75) Landa Park Riverfront Rehabilitation; City of New Braunfels, Texas; completed 2015 McCommas Bluff Landfill; City of Dallas, Texas; completed 2008 New Broadway Wastewater Treatment Plant; City of Corpus Christi, Texas; completed 2015 O.H. Ivie Water Supply System; Colorado River Municipal Water District; completed 1995. Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award, ASCE Texas, 1996 (read more on page 72) Port Freeport Velasco Terminal Berth 7 Reconstruction; Port Freeport, Texas; completed 2013 (see photo and read more about ports services on pages 56-57) Richland-Chambers Pipeline System High-Capacity Expansion; Tarrant Regional Water District; completed 2006 Rolling Hills Water Treatment Plant Expansion; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 2005 San Marcos Wastewater Treatment Plant Renovation and Expansion; City of San Marcos, Texas; completed 1998



Environmental Science Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk

United States Army Corps of Engineers ¡ Ongoing since 1994

Freese and Nichols has been working at this military installation in Louisiana continuously for more than 20 years, maintaining a relationship established largely by the efforts of Maj. Gen. George H. Akin (ret.) in the 1990s. Freese and Nichols’ support to the Fort Polk Directorate of Public Works has covered projects such as environmental impact assessments for training exercises and infrastructure development; endangered species habitat protection; maneuver damage inspections; and wildfire protection planning (above). The firm has developed trusted advisor relationships with U.S. Army representatives by embedding staff members at the installation to provide full-time, on-site support. Freese and Nichols has also provided services to Fort Polk involving roadway, utility system and facility design.

Featured Projects


Gateway Park Athletic Fields Remediation City of Fort Worth, Texas 路 Completed 2006

Gateway Park was built on the former site of a wastewater treatment plant; in 2002, the City discovered that polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and heavy metals had contaminated the soil. Freese and Nichols developed a plan to dispose of the top layer of soil and cap the area with a high-density polyethylene liner and synthetic grass athletic fields. However, the nearest landfill accepting PCB waste was 350 miles away. Freese and Nichols evaluated disposal options and worked with regulatory agencies to obtain a specialized permit for a landfill 60 miles away. Using the closer landfill saved more than $1.3 million in waste transportation costs; those savings enabled the City to construct a tournament center, pavilion, bleachers and lighting without exceeding the budget. Since the fields reopened, annual revenue has tripled, and the synthetic grass saves 11.4 million gallons of water annually.



Lower Bois d’Arc Creek Reservoir

North Texas Municipal Water District · Expected completion 2020

Since 2003, Freese and Nichols has been laying the groundwork for this supply reservoir in Northeast Texas. The firm prepared applications for state and federal permits, including environmental impact studies, alternatives analyses, wildlife evaluations and flows assessments. Freese and Nichols is also developing the mitigation plan to compensate for the reservoir’s effects on the aquatic and terrestrial ecology of the watershed. The mitigation plan, one of the largest in the United States, will establish restored wetlands, forests and grasslands at the 15,000-acre Riverby Ranch. (Read more about the reservoir design on page 70.)

Featured Projects


Integrated Pipeline Project

Tarrant Regional Water District, Dallas Water Utilities 路 Expected completion 2020 This $2.3 billion transmission system will stretch 150 miles from Lake Palestine in East Texas to Lake Benbrook near Fort Worth, adding 350 million gallons per day to the water supplies for the Metroplex. Freese and Nichols managed multiple teams of environmental scientists for jurisdictional determination of wetlands and other waters; applications for a federal section 404 permit, state pollutant discharge permits, and state sand, gravel and marl permits; cultural resources investigations; environmental information document preparation; and habitat surveys for threatened and endangered species. The teams also developed a GIS database of environmental data, and coordinated with multiple design teams to minimize environmental impacts. (Read about construction management of the project on page 114.)



Notable Projects: Environmental Science • • • • • • • • • • • •

Brushy Creek Gathering Systems Environmental Services; Pioneer Natural Resources; completed 2015 (read more on page 148) Daisy Farms Site Development; Daisy Farms, LLC; ongoing since 2010 Forney Dam Rehabilitation 404 Permitting; Dallas Water Utilities; completed 2007 Fort Hood Environmental Services; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; ongoing since 2001 Lake Columbia Planning and Permitting; Angelina & Neches River Authority; ongoing since 2000 Lavaca Bay Monitoring Program; Formosa Plastics Corp. USA; expected completion 2016 (read more about coastal services on page 57) Oyster Reef Restoration Methodology Analysis; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; completed 2015 (read more about coastal services on page 57) Port Freeport Environmental Permitting for New Berth Development; Port Freeport, Texas; expected completion 2017 (read more about ports services on page 56) San Antonio Airport On-Call Environmental Services; City of San Antonio, Texas; ongoing since 2013 Sulphur River Basin Water Supply Planning; Sulphur River Basin Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; ongoing since 1999 Trinity Railway Express Environmental Management; Fort Worth Transportation Authority; completed 2001 Upper Colorado River Watershed Management and Restoration Plan; Colorado River Municipal Water District; completed 2006

Featured Projects

Architecture JPS Architecture Projects · JPS Health Network · 2001-2005

As architect/engineer of record for JPS, the public hospital system in Tarrant County, Texas, Freese and Nichols’ many projects included design of a state-of-the-art catheterization laboratory suite (above); renovation and expansion of the postpartum wing (right); remodeling and expansion of the radiology department; and development of the network-wide interior master plan. • ABC Excellence in Construction, Associated Builders and Contractors of North Texas, 2004




TCU Campus Master Plan · Texas Christian University · Completed 2006

Freese and Nichols’ architects and planners prepared this 20-year master plan, incorporating input from administration, faculty, students and community stakeholders. The plan recommended the transformation of parking lots in the heart of the campus (above), into a large quadrangle with green space and student housing. Now implemented by TCU, this Campus Commons (below) has served as a catalyst for interactive student life on campus.

Featured Projects


UNT Dallas College of Law · University of North Texas System · Completed 2013

Freese and Nichols’ architecture and construction services teams, in collaboration with an East Coast architecture firm, renovated a former department store to house the first public law school in Dallas. The monolithic building façade was updated with two expansive curtain walls (above) spanning five floors and 12,800 square feet. The project also included HVAC and structural upgrades and the interior finish-out of several floors. The design preserves the historic structure while opening new views of Main Street Gardens and the downtown skyline.



Center for Excellence in Energy Technology

Tarrant County College District · Completed 2015

At this sustainable facility, students being trained for energy careers can observe best practices all around them. The 87,000-square-foot center — the largest of its kind in the nation — is a showcase of energy conservation. With a goal of LEED® Platinum certification, the design includes solar panels and a wind turbine; hallway “dashboards” that enable students to monitor energy and water use; and bioswales that filter out water pollutants. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems are visible and colorcoded as teaching tools (left). Freese and Nichols is the architect of record and designed the project in collaboration with the architectural firm BNIM.

Featured Projects


Notable Projects: Architecture • • • • • • • • •

• • • • • • • •

Advanced Imaging Center; All Saints Health System; completed 1999 (read more on page 39) Center for Nanostructure Materials and Quantum Device Fabrication; University of Texas at Arlington; completed 2000 Countywide Space Utilization Master Plan; Collin County, Texas; completed 2002 Districtwide Campus Master Plan; South Texas College; completed 2010 Districtwide Facilities Master Plan and Update; Tarrant County College District; completed 2004, 2009. Outstanding Campus Master Plan, American School & University, 2006 (read more on page 126) Engineering Laboratory Building Expansion; University of Texas at Arlington; completed 2009. Project Leadership Silver Award, Construction Owners Associations of America, 2009 Facility Space Plans; Baylor University; completed 2002 Fort Hood Classroom Building, James R. Anderson Campus Center, and Nursing Science Building; Central Texas College; completed 2009, 2011, 2011 (read more on page 40) Fort Worth Water Gardens Improvements; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 2007. Engineering Excellence Silver Award, TCEC, 2007; Award of Merit, American Institute of Architects, Fort Worth Chapter, 2008 (read more on page 16) Hubert M. Dawson Library Renovation and Expansion; Temple College; completed 2002 Open-Heart Surgery Program; Huguley Memorial Medical Center; completed 2003 Patient Care Unit Renovation, ICU/Day Surgery Renovation and Specialty Clinic Addition; VA Medical Center of Amarillo, Texas; completed 1998, 1999, 2002 Recreation Center and Natatorium; Clements Boys & Girls Club and Killeen Independent School District; completed 2004 Service Center Complex Master Plan and Design; Town of Flower Mound, Texas; completed 2002, 2009, 2014 Technology Center and Planetarium; Central Texas College; completed 2003. Louis I. Kahn Citation, American School & University, 2003 Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; completed 1996 Women’s Center Administrative Facility; The Women’s Center of Tarrant County; completed 2009



Urban Planning + Design Districtwide Facilities Master Plan

Tarrant County College District · Completed 2004

This comprehensive master plan, the first since the District’s inception in the 1960s, included energy and environmental audits, irrigation studies and utility mapping for each campus. With a reaccreditation deadline looming, the Freese and Nichols planning team prepared four campus plans simultaneously in 100 days – a task that traditionally takes six to nine months. This effort laid the groundwork for more than $200 million in improvements to date; Freese and Nichols followed the master plan with a transportation study, a signage and wayfinding system, and other architecture and engineering projects. • Outstanding Campus Master Plan, American School & University, 2006

Featured Projects


Frisco Comprehensive Plan, Subdivision Ordinance and Zoning Ordinance City of Frisco, Texas · Completed 2006, 2009, 2011

In the mid-2000s, as Frisco was the fastest-growing community in the nation, Freese and Nichols developed a comprehensive plan to manage the City’s population surge while retaining its character. Its livability strategy provides Frisco a blueprint for unique urban design elements, sustainable neighborhoods and gathering places. The team later implemented the plan’s vision by updating the subdivision and zoning ordinances. They transformed the zoning ordinance into a usable, navigable document, and incorporated a form-based manual to guide mixed-use developments. (Read about Frisco’s water and waste­ water master plans on page 77.) • Comprehensive Planning Award, APA Texas, 2006 • Current Planning Award, APA Texas, 2011



Urban Village Master Plans for Southeast Fort Worth City of Fort Worth, Texas · Completed 2008

Freese and Nichols prepared master plans to transform five economically depressed neighborhoods into urban villages — places marked by mixed-use development, a pedestrian-friendly environment, public gathering spaces and a mix of businesses. The plans guide the City in rezoning and in prioritizing capital improvement projects to attract new investment. Freese and Nichols also designed and implemented four urban village streetscapes, incorporating new sidewalks, art, landscaping and streetlighting. • Project Planning Award, APA Texas Midwest Section, 2008

Featured Projects


Downtown Fort Worth Strategic Action Plan Downtown Fort Worth, Inc. 路 Completed 2013

In 2012, having become a dynamic retail, office and residential destination, Downtown Fort Worth was ready to move to the next level. Freese and Nichols led the team that established a new vision for Downtown and spelled out how to achieve it. The team drew on its expertise in land use planning, transportation planning, economic analysis and public participation; the vigorous outreach included an online town hall forum, stakeholder workshops, and committees comprising hundreds of volunteers. The result is Downtown Plan 2023, which continues the momentum with strategies to guide policy development and attract investment.



Vision 2025 · City of Lewisville, Texas · Completed 2014 With its 100th anniversary approaching, the City of Lewisville had big aims for its comprehensive plan. So, Freese and Nichols expanded the conventional threestep planning framework (data collection, analysis, next steps) and developed Vision 2025, a plan with significant improvements and wide­ spread support. The team conducted a massive public involvement effort, engaging hundreds of stakeholders and gathering almost 1,500 ideas. The nine “Big Moves” they identified — the achievable changes with the greatest return on investment — go beyond defining Lewisville’s physical development and are helping create a livable, vibrant community. • Comprehensive Planning Award, APA Texas, 2014

Featured Projects


Notable Projects: Urban Planning + Design • • • • • • • • • • •

Aledo Strategic Action Plan; Aledo Economic Development Corp.; com­ pleted 2010. Project Planning Award, APA Texas Midwest Section, 2011 Division Street Corridor Master Plan; NCTCOG and City of Arling­ton, Texas; completed 2012. Project Planning Award, APA Texas, 2013 El Paso Subdivision Ordinance; City of El Paso, Texas; completed 2007. Current Planning Award, APA Texas, 2008 Edmond Downtown Plan; City of Edmond, Oklahoma; completed 2014. Outstanding Plan, APA Oklahoma, 2015 (read more on page 56) Fredericksburg Comprehensive Plan and Subdivision Ordinance; City of Fredericksburg, Texas; completed 2006, 2014. Comprehensive Planning Award, APA Texas, 2006 Longview Comprehensive Plan; City of Longview, Texas; completed 2015. Comprehensive Planning Award, APA Texas, 2015 San Marcos Unified Land Development Code; City of San Marcos, Texas; completed 2004. Current Planning Award, APA Texas, 2005 South Lamar Street Rehabilitation; City of Dallas, Texas; expected completion 2016 (read more on page 39) TCU Campus Master Plan; Texas Christian University; completed 2006 (read more on page 122) Tomball Zoning Ordinance; City of Tomball, Texas; completed 2007. Current Planning Award, APA Texas, 2008 Tyler Area Development Plans; City of Tyler, Texas; completed 2010

Additional notable municipal comprehensive plans: ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ··

Andrews Bee Cave Bellmead Big Spring Bryan Burleson Cedar Hill Cedar Park Choctaw, Okla. Copperas Cove

·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ··

Corinth DeSoto Ennis Farmers Branch Fate Granbury Heath Hudson Oaks Irving Jersey Village

·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ··

Lago Vista Little Elm Live Oak Melissa Midlothian Midwest City, Okla. Missouri City Murphy Odessa Port Arthur

·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ·· ··

Port Lavaca Portland Prosper Red Oak Seabrook Stafford Watauga Waxahachie Willow Park Wolfforth

Additional notable campus master plans: ·· ·· ·· ·· ··

Central Texas College Coastal Bend College Howard College Lamar Institute of Tech. Kilgore College

·· ·· ·· ·· ··

Midwestern State Univ. South Texas College Sul Ross State Univ. Tarleton State Univ. Texas A&M-Commerce

·· Texas State Tech. Coll. ·· Texas Wesleyan Univ. ·· University of Mary Hardin-Baylor ·· Weatherford College



Landscape Architecture Stevens Park Golf Course Renovation and Coombs Creek Trail City of Dallas, Texas ¡ Completed 2011, 2015

In Dallas’ historic Oak Cliff neighborhood, Stevens Park Golf Course and Coombs Creek were vying for valuable land. Severe erosion along the creek had caused the loss of significant playable area. The Freese and Nichols team developed a master plan for the park, then designed the course renovation, creek stabilization and a new trail. The extensive landscaping included more than 4,000 shrubs and trees and a large reclaimed-water tank for irrigation. Coombs Creek Trail extends more than two miles, facilitating safe pedestrian and bicycle traffic in the neighborhood.

Featured Projects


Elm Fork Athletic Complex · City of Dallas, Texas · Completed 2014 Freese and Nichols trans­formed a former gravel pit and landfill in Dallas into a championshipcaliber soccer park. Its sustain­­ able design incorporates structures made of recycled materials (left), bioswales to filter runoff, rainwater harvesting and waste­water recycling. (Read more on page 96.) • Municipal Excellence Award for Public Works, TML, 2014



Twin Points Park

Tarrant Regional Water District · Phase I completed 2013

Freese and Nichols planned the redevel­opment of this park on Eagle Mountain Lake. The 100foot gangway to the dock (above) is the longest in Texas and attaches in a way that always maintains a walkable angle, no matter the lake level. All park structures were precisely positioned to allow the best possible water flow during flood conditions.

Notable Projects: Landscape Architecture • • • • • • • • • •

Clearfork Main Street Bridge; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 2013 (read more on page 137) East Rosedale Street Improvements; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 2015 Elm Fork Greenbelt Master Plan; City of Dallas, Texas; expected completion 2016 Executive Nine Golf Course Park Planning; City of Missouri City, Texas; completed 2010 Josey Ranch Lake Trail; City of Carrollton, Texas; completed 2004 Kerrville West River Trail; City of Kerrville, Texas; completed 2015 Lake Tyler Master Plan; City of Tyler, Texas; completed 2011 Lake Worth Trail; City of Fort Worth, Texas; expected completion 2017 Main Street Improvements; City of Rowlett, Texas; completed 2006 Marine Creek Lake Trail; Tarrant Regional Water District; completed 2015

Featured Projects


Structural Anechoic Chamber Supports

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. 路 Completed 2009

Copyright 2010 Lockheed Martin Corp. All rights reserved.

Lockheed Martin uses its anechoic, or echo-free, chamber to perform critical testing of a wide array of aircraft without having the engines in operation. Freese and Nichols developed an innovative solution to maintain worker safety below the suspended aircraft while preserving the integrity of the testing. The intelligent system of hydraulically-actuated supports uses sensors to automatically sense aircraft position and approach to within one inch beneath the aircraft. When not needed, the supports retract and fold up behind anechoic floor surfaces.


Murchison Performing Arts Center

University of North Texas · Completed 1999

Freese and Nichols provided structural engineering and designed the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems for the Murchison, the showpiece for the prestigious UNT College of Music. Its five main areas — including a 1,100-seat concert hall and a 400-seat theater — each required a different structural framing system. The team’s solutions met complex acoustical requirements while staying within a modest construction budget. • Design Award, Texas Society of Architects, 2002


Featured Projects


Clearfork Main Street Bridge · City of Fort Worth, Texas · Completed 2013

This distinctive split bridge over the Trinity River was only the second spliced-girder bridge in Texas. This design combined the long-span capabilities of steel girders, which met stringent flood control requirements by needing fewer piers in the river, and the economy of precast concrete beams, which saved $2 million. A suspended pedestrian crossing links two trail plazas, creating community spaces on both banks. • Engineering Excellence Silver Medal, ACEC Texas, 2015


Panther Island Signature Bridges


City of Fort Worth, Texas 路 Expected completion 2018

Three bridges designed by Freese and Nichols will serve as gateways to Panther Island, an 800-acre flood-control and redevelopment project in central Fort Worth. The bridges, spanning a new bypass channel for the Trinity River, will have slender concrete superstructures and cantilevered overhangs supported by dramatic V-piers.

Featured Projects


Notable Projects: Structural • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Brazos River Bridge; Pecan Plantation Owners Association; completed 2000 Building 22 Expansion; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics; completed 2003. Engineering Excellence Award Honorable Mention, TCEC, 2002 Dams at The Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve; Boy Scouts of America; completed 2013. Engineering Excellence Award, ACEC West Virginia, 2013 Elevated Service Road Bridges; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; completed 2004. Excellence in Construction Award, Associated Builders and Contractors North Texas, 2004 J1A Culvert Reconstruction; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; completed 2006 Lake Conroe Raw Water Intake and Pump Station; San Jacinto River Authority; completed 2015 Lake Fork Gate Replacement; Sabine River Authority of Texas; completed 2014 Lake Worth Dam Rehabilitation; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 1999 Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial Pedestrian Bridge; City of Fort Worth, Texas; completed 2012. Eminent Conceptor, ACEC Texas, 2013 (read more on page 100) Skylink Automated People Mover System; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; completed 2005 (read more on page 106) Southeast Campus Science and Academic Wing; Tarrant County College District; completed 2011 Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center; Texas Parks and Wildlife Department; completed 1996 University Channel; City of Garland, Texas; completed 2010. Engineering Excellence Gold Medal, TCEC, 2011 (read more on page 94) Ward County Water Supply Project Pump Stations; Colorado River Municipal Water District; completed 2012. National Finalist, Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award, ASCE, 2015 (read more on page 74) Wesley Seale Dam Spillway Rehabilitation; City of Corpus Christi, Texas; completed 2001. National Rehabilitation Project of the Year, Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 2001 (read more on page 65)



A Look Back: Telecommunications As cellphones became widespread in the 1990s, Freese and Nichols helped build the infrastructure that makes them possible. Once the Telecommunications Act of 1996 freed the way for large-scale development of telecom facilities, the service providers rushed to develop their cellular networks as quickly as possible. All across the nation – from Miami to Chicago, Los Angeles to New York – Freese and Nichols performed hundreds of projects for at least 20 telecom clients, including AT&T, MCI, Nextel and Sprint. Called on to design a wide range of infrastructure, including antenna towers, switch facilities, cable headends and fiber optics sites, Freese and Nichols assembled a multidiscipline telecom team. It was made up of structural, civil, electrical and mechanical engineers; plumbing designers; architects; and environmental scientists. “It was a fun time — it was very busy,” says North Texas Transportation Group Manager John Dewar, who was a structural engineer on the telecom team. “We’d get a phone call on Friday at 4 p.m., and they would ask us to send a team to New York that Sunday because they were going to convert, say, the 58th floor of some skyscraper into a telecom site, and they needed it all done within a month. We were constantly being flown across the United States.”

Many telecom project sites were remote and demanded specialized solutions.

Featured Projects


As cell towers began to proliferate, so did public opposition to them. One challenge facing the Freese and Nichols telecom team was disguising the antennas to alleviate the concerns. “We put a lot of the antennas on billboards and office buildings in ways that hopefully were not too objectionable to the public,” Dewar says. “Just about anything that was vertical, if we could mount it on there, we’d do it, and try to mask the look so it wasn’t too ugly .” The team also performed many projects in urban business districts, renovating older buildings to house telecom functions. Many of these buildings had been originally designed for offices, so they required significant engineering work: structural modifications to bear the weight of the heavy equipment; mechanical overhauls to handle the heat loads coming off the equipment; and sophisticated fire suppression systems. “These facilities were very sensitive to any kind of down time,” Dewar says. “Some of the sites we were working on would handle all the credit card transactions for the East Coast, and if that were to go down, then AT&T would have unhappy customers. So, we’d have to make sure they’d always have backup power and special fire protection systems.” Eventually, as the majority of the national cellular network was constructed, the opportunities for work tapered off. Freese and Nichols completed its last major telecom project in 2004, for a total of 398 projects in nine years.

Many of Freese and Nichols’ projects involved renovating office towers to house telecom equipment, such as this switch facility.



Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing East Fork Raw Water Supply Project

North Texas Municipal Water District · Completed 2008

At this reuse facility, treated effluent is diverted to a constructed wetland, where the water is reclaimed. Freese and Nichols designed an electrical supply system with a 138 – 4.16 kV substation to power the project’s conveyance pump station, which transfers water 40 miles to a supply reservoir. The work included two transformers, protective relaying and ground grid system. Freese and Nichols’ other components of the project were the 165-MGD diversion pump station, (above right); 13 miles of pipeline; and the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center.

Featured Projects


Aeronautics Demonstration Center

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co. 路 Completed 2012

Copyright 2013 Lockheed Martin Corp. All rights reserved.

Freese and Nichols has completed more than 300 facilities projects for Lockheed Martin, a manufacturer of military aircraft. This $7 million, 5,700-square-foot facility provides sophisticated demonstrations of product capabilities and interactivity across multiple platforms. The focal point is a 14-by-26-foot wall of LED monitors that can display real-time simulations, such as a heads-up display from an F-35 cockpit, while conducting virtual meetings with multiple facilities at the same time.


Fort Worth Botanic Garden Irrigation Audit City of Fort Worth, Texas · Completed 2013

At the renowned Fort Worth Botanic Garden, which show­ cases 2,500 plant species on 110 acres, failure of any portion of the landscape irrigation system could result in catastrophic losses. Freese and Nichols’ water management professionals audited the system and recommended distribution and control improvements and automatic raw water filtration. These recommendations, which the City is implementing, will result in a more efficient system with conserved water, fewer fail­ ures and lower maintenance costs.


Featured Projects


Northwest Water Tower · City of Rockdale, Texas · Completed 2014

This composite elevated storage tank is the first in the nation to be lighted with linear LED fixtures. Because the project site was smaller than normal, traditional polemounted lights would have been inefficient and caused unreasonable light pollution. Freese and Nichols solved the challenge by designing the LED system; its lower light output, higher efficiency and low maintenance needs provide the City a significantly lower annual operating cost.

Notable Projects: Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing • • • • • • • •

Danforth Road Pump Station Rehabilitation; City of Edmond, Oklahoma; completed 2014 Environmental Education, Science and Technology Building; University of North Texas; completed 1998 Facility Energy Audits at 16 sites across Texas; Texas Military Department; expected completion 2016 North Fort Hood, West Fort Hood and Clarke Road Substations; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; completed 2009, 2014 Pump Station Emergency Electric Generators; City of Lubbock, Texas; completed 2015 R.D. Alexander Administration Center Tower III; Alcon Laboratories; completed 2004 Temporary Lodging Facilities at 11 Air Force bases nationwide; U.S. Air Force Services Agency; completed 2000 Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program; Dallas/Fort Worth Inter­ national Airport; expected completion 2018 (read more on page 108)


Energy Compressed Natural Gas Fueling Stations Various clients 路 Ongoing since 2010

Freese and Nichols and ZeitEnergy, a Dallasbased fueling services company, partner to develop fueling stations and other facilities for fleets powered by compressed natural gas (CNG). Freese and Nichols provides station design, civil engineering and construction management services, and Zeit is in charge of the CNG supply and equipment. The team has developed CNG facilities for municipal, commercial and school organizations in Arkansas (top), Kansas (center), Florida (bottom), Texas and Georgia.


Featured Projects


Barnett Shale Midstream Facilities Program Management Chesapeake Energy Corp. ¡ Completed 2014

During the Barnett Shale gas boom in the mid-2000s, Chesapeake Energy, then the number one independent producer of natural gas in the United States, was preparing to drill approximately 2,500 wells in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Such an effort would require 300 separate infrastructure projects totaling more than $1 billion, including more than 400 miles of pipeline and 13 compressor stations. Freese and Nichols’ broad range of services enabled Chesapeake to facilitate the seven-year program. By developing the standard processes for data management, project execution and communications workflow, the firm helped Chesapeake organize the efforts of several hundred right-of-way, survey, environmental and permitting staff. Freese and Nichols also led 10 teams in planning and executing pipeline projects.



Brushy Creek Gathering Systems and Production Facilities Pioneer Natural Resources Co. · Completed 2015

This $180 million program, which developed Pioneer’s oil and gas assets in the Barnett Shale combo play, comprised 100 pipeline and facilities projects. As program manager, Freese and Nichols developed hydraulic models for three gathering systems totaling 350 miles; provided pipeline, site civil and MEP engineering and construction management; oversaw environmental regulatory compliance; and developed management software synchronized with Pioneer’s accounting system. By streamlining the permitting process and reusing water for hydrostatic pressure testing, Freese and Nichols helped Pioneer accelerate the schedule and save $5 million.

Featured Projects


Denton Municipal Electric Program Management City of Denton, Texas · Expected completion 2017

As Denton overhauls its electric grid to accommodate rapid population growth, Freese and Nichols is providing program management assistance to make the job easier. The five-year, $350 million capital improvement program is adding or upgrading 28 substations and 14 transmission lines — a nearly fivefold workload increase for a utility that previously averaged two projects a year. At every stage of the program, from site selection through construction, Freese and Nichols’ procedural and technological improvements have streamlined work, reduced redundant effort and saved time.



Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) Transmission Projects Oncor Electric Delivery Co. · Completed 2013

Freese and Nichols has helped Oncor and its predecessors deliver electricity since the 1930s. In the 2000s, Freese and Nichols helped manage Oncor’s $1 billion fast-tracked program that placed more than 800 miles of transmission lines into Texas’ electric grid. Due to their complexity and length, each of the 26 projects required coordination among a number of disciplines; Freese and Nichols managed the work of right-of-way agents, permit agents, environmental scientists, design engineers, surveyors, geotechnical consultants and GIS analysts.

Notable Projects: Energy • • • • • • • •

Choke Canyon Pipeline, Trucking Terminal and Condensate System Projects; TexStar Midstream Services; completed 2013 Eagle Ford Program Management; Chesapeake Energy; completed 2014 Eagle Ford Water and Reclaimed Water Systems; confidential client; ongoing since 2010 Encana Wellsite Facilities; Encana Corp.; ongoing since 2011 Engineering Support for Wells at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; Chesapeake Energy; completed 2010 (read more on page 34) Haynesville Shale Water Management Plan; confidential client; completed 2013 Produced Water Gathering System and System Upgrades; Jetta Operating Co.; completed 2015 Southeast New Mexico Saltwater Disposal Facilities; Devon Energy Corp.; completed 2015

Index of Organizations

A Abilene, City of, 76, 81 Alcon Laboratories, 145 Aledo, City of, 81, 86 Aledo Economic Development Corp., 131 All Saints Health System, 39, 125 Alvin, City of, 81 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), 38, 68, 71, 74 ACEC Oklahoma, 102 ACEC Texas, 21, 63, 75, 76, 86, 89, 100, 104, 113, 115, 137, 139. See also Texas Council of Engineering Companies ACEC West Virginia, 71, 139 American Institute of Architects. See Texas Society of Architects Fort Worth Chapter, 17, 125 American Planning Association Oklahoma Chapter, 56, 131 Texas Chapter, 48, 104, 127, 128, 130, 131 American Public Works Association, 38 Texas Chapter, 48, 69, 71, 101, 104 American Society for Training and Development, Dallas Chapter, 45 American Society of Civil Engineers, 38, 44, 74, 76, 139 Texas Section, 48, 72, 76, 115 Wisconsin Section, 71 American Water Works Association, Texas Section, 86 Andrews, City of, 131

Angelina & Neches River Authority, 64, 120 Appalachian State University, 55 Arlington, City of, 81, 86, 98, 115, 131 Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Texas Section, 49 Association of State Dam Safety Officials, 65, 67, 98, 139 AT&T Corp., 140 Audubon Texas, 57 Austin Business Journal, 44–45 Austin, City of, 26–27, 98

B Bacliff Municipal Utility District, 91 Baldrige Performance Excellence Program, 5, 8–11 Baylor Scott & White Health. See All Saints Health System Baylor University, 125 Beaumont, City of, 86, 115 Bee Cave, City of, 95, 131 Bellmead, City of, 131 Benbrook, City of, 98 Benbrook Water Authority, 81 Bexar County, 71, 115 Big Spring, City of, 131 Birmingham, City of, 91 Boy Scouts of America, 71, 139 Brazoria County, 104 Brazos River Authority, 62, 64 Brown County Water Improvement District No. 1, 86 Bryan, City of, 98, 109, 131 Buda, City of, 98 151


Burleson, City of, 81, 98, 104, 131

C Canadian River Municipal Water Authority, 76 Carrollton, City of, 93, 134 Cedar Hill, City of, 131 Cedar Park, City of, 131 CE News, 44–45 Central Texas College, 40, 125, 131 Chesapeake Energy, 34–35, 147, 150 Choctaw, City of, 131 Cleburne, City of, 64, 76, 81, 86, 98 Clements Boys & Girls Club, 125 Coastal Bend College, 131 College Station, City of, 81 Collin County, 125 Colorado River Municipal Water District, 54, 58, 72, 74, 81, 85, 115, 120, 139 Comal County, 71 Conroe, City of, 81 Construction Management Association of America, 108 Construction Owners Associations of America, 125 Copperas Cove, City of, 131 Corinth, City of, 98, 131 Corpus Christi, City of, 27, 65, 76, 86, 104, 115, 139 Corpus Christi Human Resources Management Association, 44 Corpus Christi, Port of, 56

D Daisy Farms, LLC, 120 Dallas Business Journal, 45 Dallas, City of, 18, 22, 25, 39, 96, 98, 115, 131, 132, 133, 134. See also Dallas Water Utilities Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, 81, 103, 106, 108, 109, 139, 145 Dallas Morning News, The, 44


Dallas Water Utilities, 18, 25, 76, 86, 89, 109, 114, 119, 120 Denton, City of, 81, 86, 104, 115, 149 DeSoto, City of, 131 Devon Energy Corp., 150 Downtown Fort Worth Inc., 129 Dunkin Sefko & Associates, 33–34

E Edmond, City of, 22, 131, 145 El Paso, City of, 131 Encana Corp., 150 Engineering News-Record, 100 Enid, City of, 56 Ennis, City of, 131

F Fair Oaks Ranch, City of, 86 Farmers Branch, City of, 98, 131 Fate, City of, 131 Federal Aviation Administration, 103 Flower Mound, Town of, 125 Formosa Plastics Corp. USA, 120 Fort Bend County Drainage District, 71 Fort Bend Subsidence District, 63 Fort Hood. See United States Army Corps of Engineers Fort Polk. See United States Army Corps of Engineers Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, 44 Fort Worth, City of, 15–17, 18, 22, 78, 81, 82, 86, 88, 91, 98, 100, 104, 105, 109, 110, 115, 117, 125, 128, 134, 137, 138, 139, 144 Fort Worth Independent School District, 22 Fort Worth Transportation Authority, 112, 120 Foundation for Financial Service Professionals, 45 Fredericksburg, City of, 81, 131 Freeport, Port of. See Port Freeport Frisco, City of, 77, 98, 127

Index of Organizations



Garland, City of, 81, 94, 139 Granbury, City of, 131 Grand Prairie, City of, 81 Grapevine, City of, 81, 98 Greater Texoma Utility Authority, 81 Great Place to Work Institute, 45 Gulf Coast Water Authority, 64, 69

Keller, City of, 81, 87 Keller Independent School District, 22 Kennedale, City of, 81 Kerrville, City of, 81, 91, 134 Kilgore, City of, 81, 91 Kilgore College, 131 Killeen, City of, 81 Killeen Independent School District, 125



H2O4Texas, 21 Harris County Flood Control District, 97 Harris-Galveston Subsidence District, 63 Harris Methodist Health System, 5, 109 Heath, City of, 131 Hickory, City of, 55 Houston Chronicle, 44 Houston, City of, 28, 81, 91 Houston Community College, 109 Howard College, 131 Hudson Oaks, City of, 131 Huguley Memorial Medical Center, 125 Huntsville, City of, 81 Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School District, 22

Lago Vista, City of, 131 Lamar Institute of Technology, 131 Lancaster, City of, 81, 98 Lavaca-Navidad River Authority, 64 Lewisville, City of, 104, 130 Liberty, City of, 81 Little Elm, Town of, 98, 131 Live Oak, City of, 131 Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., 135, 139, 143 Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District, 63 Longview, City of, 131 Lower Colorado River Authority, 66 Lubbock, City of, 76, 81, 98

I Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure, 38 International Boundary and Water Commission, 30–31 Irving, City of, 22, 64, 81, 104, 131

J Jersey Village, City of, 131 Jetta Operating Co., 150 JPS Health Network, 121 Justin, City of, 81

K Kaufman County, 20, 104

M Mansfield, City of, 81, 91 McAllen, City of, 98 McAllen Public Utility, 81 MCI Communications Corp., 140 McKinney, City of, 98, 109 Melissa, City of, 131 Mexicali, City of, 32 Midland, City of, 64 Midland-Odessa Transportation Organization, 104 Midlothian, City of, 81, 131 Midwest City, City of, 131 Midwestern State University, 131 Missouri City, City of, 131, 134 Morganton, City of, 55 Morrisville, Town of, 55 Murphy, City of, 131





National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, 45 National Society of Professional Engineers, 45. See also Texas Society of Professional Engineers National Waterways Conference, 21 Natural Resources Conservation Service, 71 New Braunfels, City of, 81, 115 New Braunfels Utilities, 90 Nextel Communications, Inc., 140 Nicol & Associates, 35 Norman, City of, 56, 102 North Carolina State University, 55 North Central Texas Council of Governments, 20, 98, 131 North Texas Municipal Water District, 64, 70, 75, 76, 79, 91, 109, 115, 118, 142 North Texas Tollway Authority, 115 NTE Mobility Partners, 91

Quality Texas Foundation, 8–11

O Odessa, City of, 131. See also MidlandOdessa Transportation Organization Oncor Electric Delivery Co., 150

P Palestine, City of, 81, 91 Parker County, 19–20, 104, 107 Pearland, City of, 81, 86, 91, 99, 104 Pecan Plantation Owners Association, 139 Pflugerville, City of, 81 Pioneer Natural Resources, 120, 148 Port Arthur, City of, 81, 131 Port Freeport, 56–57, 104, 115, 120 Portland, City of, 131 Port Lavaca, City of, 131 Princeton, City of, 81 Prosper, Town of, 81, 131

R Raleigh, City of, 55 Red Oak, City of, 131 Richardson, City of, 98 Rockdale, City of, 91, 145 Round Rock, City of, 98 Rowlett, City of, 101, 109, 134

S Sabine River Authority of Louisiana. See Toledo Bend Project Joint Operation Sabine River Authority of Texas, 139. See also Toledo Bend Project Joint Operation San Angelo, City of, 81, 98 San Antonio, City of, 27, 104, 109, 111, 120 San Antonio River Authority, 91 San Antonio Water System, 27, 76, 80, 91 Sanford, City of, 55, 91 San Jacinto River Authority, 29, 71, 76, 139 San Marcos, City of, 81, 91, 115, 131 Seabrook, City of, 131 Sefko Planning. See Dunkin Sefko & Associates Seguin, City of, 81 Silver Creek Materials, 92 Snyder, City of, 92 Society for Human Resource Management, 45 Society of Financial Service Professionals, Fort Worth Chapter, 45 Somervell County Water District, 71 South Central Membrane Association, 86 Southlake, City of, 98 South Texas College, 125, 131 Springfield, City of, 76

Index of Organizations

Sprint Corp., 140 Stafford, City of, 131 Sugar Land, City of, 113 Sulphur River Basin Authority, 64, 120 Sul Ross State University, 131

T Tarleton State University, 131 Tarrant County, 109 Tarrant County College District, 98, 124, 125, 126, 139 Tarrant County Hospital District. See JPS Health Network Tarrant Regional Water District, 41, 64, 73, 76, 109, 114, 115, 119, 134 Taylor, City of, 81 Tecnyco del Norte, 32 Temple College, 125 Terrell, City of, 81, 91, 98 Texas A&M University at Commerce, 131 Texas Association of Business, 44 Texas Board of Architectural Examiners, 49 Texas Board of Professional Engineers, 49 Texas Central Partners, 58, 109 Texas Christian University, 45, 122, 131 Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, 64, 71 Texas Council of Engineering Companies, 17, 62, 65, 71, 73, 76, 83, 84, 87, 93, 94, 125, 139. See also ACEC Texas Texas Department of Transportation, 20, 28 Texas Floodplain Managers Association, 98 Texas Health Resources. See Harris Methodist Health System Texas Military Department, 145 Texas Monthly, 44 Texas Motor Speedway, 104 Texas Municipal League, 86, 96, 133


Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission. See Texas Commission on Environmental Quality Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 120, 125, 139 Texas Public Works Association. See American Public Works Association, Texas Chapter Texas Society of Architects, 136 Texas Society of Professional Engineers, 25, 49. See also National Society of Professional Engineers Texas State Technical College, 131 Texas Water Conservation Association, 21, 29, 49 Texas Water Development Board, 60–62, 64 Texas Wesleyan University, 131 TexStar Midstream Services, 150 The Colony, City of, 81, 83, 91, 98 Tijuana, City of, 31 Toledo Bend Project Joint Operation, 71 Tomball, City of, 131 Trammell Crow Co., 25 Trinity River Authority, 81, 84, 86 Trinity River Vision Authority, 109 Trophy Club, Town of, 98 Turner Collie & Braden, 28 Tyler, City of, 22, 104, 109, 131, 134

U United States Air Force Services Agency, 145 United States Army Corps of Engineers, 14, 64, 98, 116, 120, 145 United States Green Building Council, 38 United States Society on Dams, 27, 49, 68 United States Trade and Development Agency, 30 University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, 131 University of North Texas, 123, 136 University of Texas at Arlington, 30, 41, 125


Upper Brushy Creek Water Control & Improvement District, 27, 67 Urban and Regional Information Systems Association, Texas Chapter, 49

V VA Medical Center of Amarillo, 125

W Waco, City of, 68, 81 Walsh Engineering, 28–29 Watauga, City of, 131 Water Environment Association of Texas, 45, 49 Waxahachie, City of, 131 Weatherford, City of, 81, 98, 104 Weatherford College, 131 Weatherford Independent School District, 22 Webster, City of, 86, 104 Westlake, Town of, 87 Wichita Falls, City of, 64, 81, 86, 98 Willow Park, City of, 131 Wisconsin Department of Transportation, 71 Wolfforth, City of, 131 Women’s Center of Tarrant County, The, 125 Women’s Transportation Seminar, Dallas-Fort Worth Chapter, 44 Woodward-Clyde Group, 3–4