The expansion and upgrade performed on the city of Alamogordo wastewater treatment plant included construction of three 65-ft by 180-ft intermittent-cycle extended aeration system treatment concrete basins, replacement of the existing bar screen and grit removal systems, and complete reconstruction of the power distribution and control system to meet current code requirements. A new site lift station, also required as part of the plant upgrade, receives water from the ICEAS basin drains, scum line, telescoping valve and waste activated sludge line.

Burnett says Bohannan Huston's capacity to compete and prosper in a variety of market sectors allows the firm to compete against older, larger and more established firms.

"I am highly respectful of our peer group," he says.


Focus on Innovation

Part of the firm's success is based upon a model devoted to staying on the cusp of technological innovation, Burnett says.

"We are constantly addressing where we should be. We are also always trying to find better ways to work," Burnett says. In addition to using commercially available off-the-shelf tools, the firm also employs programmers to provide task-specific, custom software. "We do a lot of different things and that requires a broad level of expertise."

Being on a constant quest to improve and reinvent processes is easier when the team is not only skilled but has also been working together so long that respect and trust come easily, Burnett says.

"The important thing is the leadership team has stayed intact," he adds. "That stability has been important, especially during the last six years or so."

Bert Thomas, senior vice president for traffic and transportation at Bohannan Huston, is one of firm's leaders who has a long tenure; he joined the company 30 years ago after graduating from college. He says another distinct advantage of the firm is how they keep senior leaders involved in the projects that drive the firm.

Currently, Thomas is serving in such a capacity on the I-25/Paseo del Norte Interchange Reconstruction in Albuquerque. Bohannan Huston is working on this project with Kiewit New Mexico and Terracon. The project includes construction of a free-flow ramp and a flyover ramp to improve traffic movement during peak travel times, as well as bicycle and pedestrian improvements and mainline improvements designed to improve safety and traffic flow.

Bohannan Huston was tasked with taking preliminary designs by NMDOT and making sure they stayed within the maximum budget amount of $75 million. Thomas says the team was able to meet that cost level primarily through making modifications to the interchange, including structure, earthwork, retaining walls and other refinements.