Recent projects include the 20-mile Red Mountain Freeway widening project, which stretches from Price Road at Loop 101 to Broadway Road in the East Valley. The firm also recently designed the U.S. 89 and Navajo Route 20 detour, an emergency action item for ADOT due to a major landslide that closed U.S. 89 about 25 miles south of Page, Ariz. The project improved Navajo Route 20 to create a long-term detour.

Due to the successful collaboration between the public agencies and project team, this project was environmentally cleared in four weeks and designed in six weeks. The effort resulted in an ENR Southwest Best Projects award in 2014 as well as other industry honors.

Aztec is also working on the P83 Entertainment District in Peoria, Ariz. Located near the Peoria Sports Complex, the project will revamp 83rd Avenue from Skunk Creek Wash to Bell Road, and Paradise Lane from 83rd Avenue to 75th Avenue.

Aztec prepared the design concept report and 30% construction documents for the P83 Entertainment District. Work on the project also includes developing an overall signage package and performing a lighting study for the district.

Small Firm, Big Owner

Aztec, known as a small to mid-size Southwest specialty firm since its inception, was purchased by Spanish firm Typsa in 2006. Typsa has executed major infrastructure projects in Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East for nearly 50 years. Lemke says their parent firm has allowed Aztec to continue to thrive within their successful business model while also providing access to the vast resources expected from an international firm of more than 2,500 employees and with revenue of about $250 million.

"Since Typsa came on board, we have been able to maximize some of the international business relationships of our parent company to pursue work nationally, specifically for alternative delivery projects that have started to blossom in the U.S.," Lemke says.

The firm is currently pursuing two of the largest alternative delivery projects in the Southwest: the design-build Project Neon in Las Vegas and the public-private partnership South Mountain Freeway in Phoenix. The firm has been shortlisted on both projects with teams that include a multitude of firms.

Project Neon will extend 3.7 miles along I-15 from Sahara to the U.S. 95 and I-15 interchange, adding a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) connector between U.S. 95 and I-15 and direct HOV access ramps at Neon Gateway. The effort will also reconstruct the Charleston Boulevard interchange and Grand Central Industrial connector over Union Pacific Railroad tracks.

"That's typically the kind of job that goes to the top six or 10 engineering design firms in the country," says Granite Construction's Waller. Granite leads a joint venture partnership in a team that also includes Aztec.