What started as a small Houston firm with two Aggie mechanical and electrical engineers in 1935 is today a firm with 300 employees in 14 offices across the country.
Lockwood, Andrews & Newnam Inc., which joined the Leo A Daly family in 1991, has influenced some of the biggest projects across the state in its 75 years, from municipal to water to transit projects. These include some of the first sections of IH-45, LAN president Dennis Petersen tells Texas Construction.
The firm has been involved in landmark projects such as the Astrodome, Houston’s Intercontinental Airport, Texas A&M’s Kyle Field and Reed Arena, Baylor’s Farrell Center, says senior vice president Tony Boyd.
One of its most unusual projects involved building an aerial water main crossing a 13-lane depressed freeway section of U.S. Hwy. 59 in Houston, says vice president Rafael Ortega. A number of things influenced the decision including the size of the pipe – 84-in. diameter. Going above the freeway saved millions, he says.
The pipe spans 354 ft across 13 lanes of traffic, he says. This was the first time TxDOT allowed such a design. The pipe’s purpose is to move surface water to regions that are required to convert from well to surface water.
“We had to stretch the engineering design parameters from what had traditionally been done,” Ortega says. “No one had installed a pipe of this size across a freeway.”
LAN has organized around specialties including an energy and federal services group because of the energy conservation market.
“It’s not just buildings, but also in some city utilities,” Petersen says. He points to the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, when large pump stations couldn’t pump, “and many people had no water. Now, they’re putting in back-up generators and power systems.”
“We are doing a lot of work to make cities’ utilities operate more efficiently,” Boyd says.
He adds that a large percentage of a city’s electric bill is allotted to operating its utilities, “so if the city can save 5-10%, it can be a huge budget impact.”
Roy Follmuth, LAN’s COO, says the transit business is serving as program manager or general engineering consultant in almost every major Texas city for transit projects. Some include Dallas Area Rapid Transit, Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County in Houston; Trinity Railway Express in Fort Worth; and DCTA “A-Train” in Denton County.