URS Corp. will move the firm�s Washington Division headquarters from Boise to Denver by the end of 2010.

Washington Division to move headquarters to Denver by end of 2010

The announcement was made at a URS executive meeting in Houston last month. URS’s media relations firm, New York-based Sard Verbinnen & Co., did not return calls seeking confirmation of the move. However, a URS executive in Boise, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the move will happen, but added, “It’s premature to know how many people will stay in Boise or move to Denver.”

The Boise office currently employs 500 people and reported its FY 2008 revenue at $10.9 billion.

Teri Ottens, executive director of the American Council of Engineering Cos. of Idaho, said she was unaware of the move. “We certainly don’t want to lose the jobs here or see our friends at URS go elsewhere,” she said. “URS’s Washington Division has been here through a long chain of successions, starting with Morrison Knudsen, which started here. The Washington Division has always been based in Boise, so it will be a big loss for us.”

URS’s Washington Division is the latest incarnation of construction firm Morrison Knudsen Corp., founded by Morris Knudsen and Harry Morrison. The company’s early days were byproducts of the National Reclamation Act of 1902, which allowed the U.S. government to subsidize major canal construction projects to irrigate vast tracts of south central Idaho’s Magic Valley.

From there, the company grew to be a global construction leader, spearheading such projects as the Hoover Dam, the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center, the trans-Alaska pipeline and other major construction and engineering projects across the globe.

A 1954 feature article in Time magazine identified co-founder Harry Morrison as “the man who has done more than anyone else to change the face of the earth.”

After suffering through financial chaos and bankruptcy proceedings in the 1990s, Montana construction mogul Dennis Washington bought Morrison Kundsen in 1996, and the name of the company changed to Washington Group International. In 2007, the company was acquired by URS Corp., headquartered in San Francisco.

Today, the company’s focus is on federal, infrastructure, power, industrial and commercial work. Martin Koffel currently serves as the CEO and president of URS.