Thompson Engineering Announces QCI Training Classes in October-November 2016

Thompson Engineering has announced its schedule of ADEM Qualified Credentialed Inspector (QCI) Initial Training classes for October-November 2016. Classes will be held in Birmingham on October 20, 2016; in Auburn on November 3, 2016; and in Athens on November 10, 2016. The classes will cover the changes in regulatory requirements that are included in the ADEM General Permit ALR100000, which was re-issued on April 1, 2016. Click here or call us at 251-666-2443 for more information.

Posted on 10/07 • Permalink

Thompson Project Makes ENR National Best of Best List

A Thompson Engineering project that provides a long-term extension to the life of a Gulf Coast gaming vessel, as well as protection from major storm events, has been named the country’s 2015 “Best of the Best” engineering project for Specialty Construction by Engineering News Record (ENR), the leading engineering industry publication. The IP Casino Dry Dock project in Biloxi, Miss. was selected from a field of 750 project entries, and is one of 20 “Best of the Best” projects profiled in the March 14 issue of the magazine.

Boyd Gaming Corporation, owner of the IP Casino, approached Thompson with the idea of land-basing the casino vessel following the revision of the state law that had required all casinos to float on coastal waters.  “When Boyd’s VP of Construction and Design, Ron Frye, came to us with the concept of dry docking the 20-year-old barge hull in a shipyard type graving dock, we knew we had a unique and exciting engineering design challenge on our hands,” said Henry Seawell, Principal Engineer for Thompson Engineering. “Ultimately, we successfully designed and implemented construction and hydrology elements into the project that had never been done before, and created a stable foundation and graving dock for the 32-million pound IP Casino vessel.” 

Thompson Engineering began work in 2011 to design the IP dry dock, which essentially turned the floating building into a land-based structure without moving it. The project team faced difficult conditions during construction, including tropical events, zero-visibility underwater construction and huge underwater concrete pours. “The collaboration between Thompson, Yates, the construction firm, and our company was nonstop,” said Frye. “We lived and breathed this project 24/7 for three years with the best results we could have achieved.” The IP Casino was never closed to customers during construction.

In addition to being profiled in ENR, the project team will be recognized at an awards ceremony in New York City in April. “This is a huge honor for Thompson Engineering employees,” said Seawell. “To be recognized with some of the largest engineering firms in the country as the best in what we do is a testament to the level of engineering expertise found on the Gulf Coast.” To see photos and read more about this project, click here.

Key Project Partners

  • Owner Boyd Gaming Corporation
  • Lead Design Firm/Structural/Civil Thompson Engineering
  • General Contractor W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co.
  • MEP Engineer Balfour Design LLC
  • Geology/Hydrology Expert James Conner, PhD, University of South Alabama
  • Concrete Materials Consultant Mr. Herb Gelhardt
Posted on 03/15 • Permalink

IP Casino Dry Dock Project is ENR Project of the Year

A project led by Thompson Engineering to dry dock the IP Casino has been named an Engineering News Record (ENR) Project of the Year. The project received the top award out of more than 100 entries in the Texas / Louisiana / Mississippi region. “This is one of those projects that excites engineers because there were no limits except our imaginations,” said Henry Seawell, Principal Engineer with Thompson Engineering. “We had to think big and bold to find the right solution.”

In 2011, Thompson Engineering began work to design a first-of-its-kind solution to create a stable foundation and graving dock for the 32-million-pound IP Casino vessel, essentially turning the floating building into a land-based structure without moving it. Thompson and several key partners worked in extreme conditions to complete the job. “Much of our work was done in a zero-visibility, underwater environment,” said Seawell. “There were so many unknowns. We relied on our many years of experience in construction projects in difficult, coastal environments to get the job done safely.” The IP Casino, which is owned by Boyd Gaming Corp., was never closed to customers during construction.

Thompson Engineering and the IP Casino Dry Dock project were honored at an awards ceremony in Houston Tuesday. The project is featured in the ENR Texas/Louisiana Dec. 7 issue.

Key Project Partners
Owner Boyd Gaming Corp.
Lead Design Firm/Structural/Civil Thompson Engineering
General Contractor W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Co.
MEP Engineer Balfour Design LLC
Geology/Hydrology Expert James Conner, PhD, University of South Alabama
Concrete Materials Consultant Mr. Herb Gelhardt

Posted on 12/08 • Permalink

First-in-Alabama Project Wins Gulf Guardian Award

A Thompson Engineering project that manages storm water runoff with an environmentally-progressive approach is the recipient of a prestigious environmental award, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf Guardian award. Representatives from Thompson and project partner Mobile Bay National Estuary Program accepted the award for the Joe’s Branch Step Pool Storm Conveyance system at a ceremony in Corpus Christi, Texas Thursday night. 

“The project is important for several reasons, including that it solved major erosion problems in Spanish Fort and improved water quality downstream,” said Senior Vice President Emery Baya. “It also required commitment and partnership from a large number of agencies and that is an equally remarkable aspect.” The project was awarded a 1st place Partnership award. Other organizations involved in the project are: Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM), Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), Geological Survey of Alabama (GSA), City of Daphne, City of Spanish Fort and Westminster Village Retirement Community.

Thompson’s Step Pool Storm Conveyance system manages storm water, solved erosion problems and restored a stream in Spanish Fort, Alabama. The project site, a stream in Joe’s Branch, flows into D’Olive Bay and eventually Mobile Bay. Before the step pool system was designed and implemented, erosion was threatening to impact drivers on adjacent Highway 31 and residential structures of nearby Westminster Village.

Thompson led the design and construction of the system, which is the first-of-its-kind in Alabama. “Engineers are always learning and looking for new ways to create solutions that benefit our environment, so it was a special honor to be recognized by the EPA for protecting the Gulf of Mexico.” To read more about the project, click here. To watch a video produced for the Gulf Guardian awards, click here.

Posted on 08/03 • Permalink

Thompson Engineering Team to Lead Mobile River Bridge Design

A team led by Thompson Engineering has been selected by the Alabama Department of Transportation as the design firm for the I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Widening project. “Our team’s experts know the issues relating to the Mobile River Bridge and Bayway corridor because we live here,” said Thompson Engineering CEO Jimmy Shumock. “We’ve also created some of the world’s most iconic bridges and gateways, and we’ve worked on projects up and down the Mobile River and on both sides of Mobile Bay.”

The I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway Widening project will increase the capacity of I-10 by constructing a new bridge across the Mobile River and widening the existing I-10 bridges across Mobile Bay. Design work will include decisions on a multitude of details, from the visual appeal of the cable stay bridge, to pedestrian access points and lighting that complements that of downtown Mobile’s skyline. “This project is about more than building a bridge. It’s about connecting communities, improving neighborhoods and creating a safer environment for the drivers of Mobile and those who drive through our city,” said Shumock. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we’re privileged to be a part of it.” 

The team begins working with ALDOT immediately.

The team’s primary partners are:
• Thompson Engineering
• HDR Engineering
• Hatch Mott McDonald

Others include:
• Neel-Schaffer
• Corven Engineering
• Dan Brown & Associates
• Armeni Consulting Services
• Hand Arendall
• Engineering & Planning Resources
• Touchstone Architecture
• Illumination Arts
• RWDI Consulting Engineers
• Hinman Consulting Engineers

Posted on 07/23 • Permalink

Recycling and Fundraising Record Highlight Thompson Fishing Rodeo

The 2015 Thompson Fishing Rodeo raised a record amount and launched a partnership to promote a cleaner, greener community. The annual fundraiser raised $16,500 for the Thompson Foundation, the charitable arm of Thompson Engineering. The funds will be used to support scholarships and grants to charitable organizations.

Additionally, a grant awarded to the Alabama Coastal Foundation (ACF) created a partnership to support recycling at the rodeo, as well as other events in the Mobile area. The grant allowed for the purchase of 15 Clear Stream recycling containers, which are now available for groups in the Mobile area to use. “It’s exciting to expand sustainability efforts in Coastal Alabama, and this support from Thompson Engineering allows new opportunities along the coast,” said Valerie Longa, ACF’s Eco-Team Coordinator. “We are eager to support events that consider impacts on the local environment and ways to be cleaner and greener.”

Thompson Engineering used the recycling containers at the rodeo, held on Dauphin Island, AL, and collected 436 pounds of recyclable materials: glass, aluminum, cardboard, paper and plastic. During the course of the two-day event, materials were collected and sorted and then recycled at the new Mobile County Recycling Center. “We sorted our recyclables at the entrance of the rodeo so people could watch the amount of collected materials grow each day,” said Mike Manning, Thompson Engineering Senior Vice President. “At the end of the event, many people commented when they saw just how much we kept out of the garbage and ultimately, our landfills.” ACF’s Eco-Team was onsite to coordinate the recycling effort. Thompson also provided garbage bags to everyone who registered to promote trash clean-up on the island.

The recycling containers are available to local businesses and event planners interested in event sustainability. To learn more, contact ACF Eco-Team Coordinator Valerie Longa via email or phone: or (251) 990-6002.

Posted on 07/01 • Permalink

Thompson Foundation Awards First Grants of 2015 Totaling $40,000

In its first two meetings of 2015, the Thompson Foundation committee approved grants to support STEM summer camps for girls in Tennessee, recycling efforts along Alabama’s gulf coast and financial literacy and work readiness education for Mobile, AL students, as well as many other efforts. The grants awarded total $40,000. Recipients include:

• Distinguished Young Women
• Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital
• Chattanooga Area Brain Injury Association
• Child Advocacy Center of Mobile
• ACE Mentor Program of SE TN & North GA
• Ronald McDonald House
• Penelope House
• Ooltewah Harrison Education Foundation
• Bella Voce of Mobile
• Drug Education Council
• Mobile Area Council of Engineers
• Heritage Junior Women’s Club
• Thompson Hospital Foundation
• LLS Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
• Junior Achievement
• Alabama Coastal Foundation
• USA College of Engineering Alumni Society
• Girls, Inc.
• American Cancer Society
• Dauphin Island Sea Lab
• Coastal Kids Quiz
• Ride Yellow
• Gulf Coast Dementia Services

The Thompson Foundation committee considers employee involvement grants, corporate grants and matching gift requests. The majority of grants go to organizations that Thompson Engineering employees support through volunteerism or gifts. For more information, click here.

Posted on 05/20 • Permalink

Thompson Engineering Receives Eagle Award for Safety

Fall prevention and protection is one of many safety courses Thompson Engineering offers.Thompson Engineering has been named an Eagle Award winner for Safety by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Alabama. The award recognizes companies that have outstanding corporate safety and health plans and exhibit superior safety initiatives. The Eagle Award is considered the state’s top safety award.

“We recognize that our employees are our most valuable resource, and our commitment and approach to safety continually supports that message,” said John Baker, president of Thompson Engineering. “Our company supports the implementation of behavioral safety concepts, which allows and expects every employee – any employee - to take action to make our worksites as safe as possible.”

In March 2015, Thompson Engineering was recognized for a safe workplace by the Mobile Section of the Alabama Associated General Contractors. Thompson took the top spot for safe work performed in 2014 in the “Engineering Under 650,000 Hours” category. Also in March 2015, Thompson Engineering Safety Director Alex Napier was named by his peers as the 2014-2015 Safety Professional of the Year by the Mobile Chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers. Napier was recognized for his two years of success as Chapter President and also for his mentoring of young safety professionals entering the safety profession.

Photo: Fall prevention and protection is one of many safety courses Thompson Engineering provides for its employees.

Posted on 05/01 • Permalink

Thompson Engineering Project Wins Environmental Stewardship Award

For the third straight year, Thompson Engineering has been recognized by Partners for Environmental Progress (PEP) with an Environmental Stewardship Award. The 2015 award recognizes Thompson’s environmental compliance work on the Birmingham Northern Beltline project. “It’s exciting to be recognized locally for the work we do across the state in stormwater management and erosion control,” said Jimmy Shumock, CEO of Thompson Engineering. “Not only does our work have a real impact on water quality at the project site, it continues to impact the quality of water reaching Mobile Bay.”

In February 2014, Thompson began work on the Birmingham Northern Beltline Phase 1, a 1.34-mile section north of Pinson, Alabama in the environmentally-sensitive Black Warrior watershed. The environmental compliance aspects of this project involve more than 2.4 million cubic yards of soil that must be moved during this grade and drainage construction phase. Our role involves the engineering oversight and quality assurance monitoring of the best management practices employed during construction to minimize the impact on the water quality of the watershed. “Of the 78 discharge points routinely sampled since the project began in February 2014, there have been no compliance issues,” said Transportation Manager Mark Dison. “In fact, often water discharged from the project is cleaner than when it entered.”

The Birmingham Northern Beltline Project, Phase 1, is expected to be complete in Fall 2016.

Posted on 04/22 • Permalink

Solid Civil Employees Join Thompson Engineering

Thompson Engineering has announced that the principals of Solid Civil, an engineering firm in the Birmingham, Alabama area, have joined the firm. Johnny Carr, PE, Greg Lowe, PE, and Matt Chelette, PE, will strengthen Thompson’s transportation design service offerings to clients across the Southeast. 

“As Thompson strengthens our capabilities in Alabama, we are building on our ability to pursue projects from South Carolina and east Tennessee to Mississippi and south Louisiana,” said Thompson Engineering CEO Jimmy Shumock. “We are looking to build our team of transportation design experts to provide the Thompson quality of service across the Southeast, and the Solid Civil staff is a perfect fit.”

Solid Civil was formed in 2003 in Helena, Alabama. Project experience includes a state-wide engineering contract with ALDOT and a roadway design contract with MDOT. “We’ve been committed to these clients for more than a decade and are excited to continue to work with them,” said Carr. “We’re even more excited to offer new services now through the diversity of Thompson Engineering.”

Thompson Engineering will immediately begin operations in the former Solid Civil offices located at 173 Tucker Rd. in Helena, Alabama offering a complete range of services. 

Posted on 04/20 • Permalink
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