Turnpike Contract Means Expansions
Flush with a big New Jersey Turnpike contract, Medina Consultants, an engineering and land surveying firm, expanded to Quakerbridge Road and went from 15 to 22 employees at this office, with more than 100 people overall.
Founded in 1989, Medina is the third largest Hispanic-owned civil engineering and land surveying firm in the nation. It has its headquarters in Hackettstown and also has offices in New York, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. James J. Purcell, the turnpike contract’s project manager, moved the Emmons Drive office from 3,750 square feet to Quakerbridge Road, where it has 5,500 square feet.
Civil engineering, says Purcell, is in his blood, and the turnpike project offers a sense of familial deja vu. Purcell grew up in Connecticut where his father had his own civil engineering firm. In the 1950s his father had worked for the company that would later become the transportation group for Parsons Brinkerhoff. His projects included the Garden State Parkway and the widening of the New Jersey Turnpike through Hightstown and Cranbury.
“My father tells of sending back truck load after truck load, 18 loads of aggregate because they were not clean enough,” Purcell says. The flak flew. Finally one of his bosses climbed to the top of the pile, ascertained that the material did not meet specifications, and threatened the supplier, “Don’t you ever do that to my people again.”
During high school and college Purcell worked for his father’s former firm, Purcell Associates, in Connecticut. Even before he earned his degree, he was the resident engineer in Saudi Arabia for the design and construction of roads for Jubail, north of Dhahran. At first the Saudis deemed him unqualified for the job, he admits, but he demonstrated his experience and won them over.
Then, he says, “I figured it was time to get my degree.” He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1986, about the time that his father sold the company. “It was an incentive for me to get out on my own,” he says. His first job, for Parsons Brinkerhoff (now PB Americas) was on the Garden State Parkway, one of his father’s former projects. A member of the New Jersey Society of Professional Engineers, Purcell joined Medina Consultants in 1997. He and his wife, a vice president at BlackRock on Scudders Mill Road, have a grown daughter, two teenagers, and a grandson.
The $2 billion turnpike expansion program aims to address the bottleneck south of Exit 8A, where twelve lanes narrow to six. The six-lane section south of Exit 8A gets about 105,000 vehicles per day, compared to the ten-lane section from Exit 8A and Exit 9, which gets 130,000 vehicles per day. But northbound traffic is slated to increase by nearly 67 percent, with southbound traffic increasing by 92 percent.
The proposed expansion, aimed at taking care of traffic through 2032, would add a third lane on each side from New Brunswick to Exit 8A, increasing from 10 lanes to 12 lanes. It would also add three lanes on each side from Exit 8A to Exit 6, for a total of 12 lanes. Not all the land has been acquired, yet public hearings are underway, and construction is supposed to start in 2009, to be completed in 2013.
Medina’s part of the contract is for 4.8 miles in Washington and Hamilton townships, where the lanes merge. The subconsultants include PB Americas (the former Parsons Brinkerhoff), Naik-Prasad, Advantage Engineering Associates, and Infra Map (see article below).
Medina will be prime consultant on the design, environmental requirements, and engineering specifications and estimates for the construction, modification, or reconstruction. The contract calls for replacing bridges on Gordon, Sharon, Windsor, Perrineville, and Old York roads, plus the widening of some bridges over Assunpink Creek, and some culverts.
The contract represents a milestone — Medina’s graduation from special federal and state programs for small and minority-owned companies. Medina had already graduated from the federal Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, which offers special consideration to these firms.
For the turnpike Medina was able to take advantage of the state Small Business Enterprise (SBE) program, a race and gender-neutral program that sets aside parts of state contracts for businesses with fewer than 100 workers. Two of the eight major turnpike contracts were set aside for SBE companies. Arora & Associates won one, and Medina won the other.
As a result of the contract Medina grew past the maximum size for SBE firms. “We ‘broke through the ceiling’ of the SBE program,” says Purcell. “Now we are competing with the Michael Bakers and the Parsons Brinkerhoffs.”
— Barbara Fox
Medina Consultants PC, 3379 Quakerbridge Road, Longford Building, Suite 200, Hamilton 08619; 609-838-6425; fax, 609-838-6422. James J. Purcell PE, senior vice president. www.medinaconsultants.com.
Arora and Associates PC, 3120 Princeton Pike, Lawrenceville 08648-2372; 609-844-1111; fax, 609-844-9799. Surinder S. Arora P.E., president. Home page: www.arorapc.com.
Partly as a result of the turnpike contract, Arora & Associates has ramped up to 70 employees on Princeton Pike and rented an additional 3,000 square feet, for a total of 15,000 feet. Including workers in its other offices — in Manhattan, Minnesota, and Harrisburg and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania — it has 95 employees overall, says Narendra Khambhati, senior vice president.
Surinder S. Arora founded the firm in 1981. It does bridge, highway, railroad design, construction inspection and management, plus geotechnical engineering, and highway lighting design and surveying.
Infra Map Corp. (Accurate Locating Inc.), 92 North Main Street, Windsor Industrial Park, Building 19-E, Box 448, Windsor 08561; 609-371-5420; fax, 609-371-5423. Ronald Rotunno, NE regional director. www.inframap.net.
Infra Map Corporation’s part of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority contract is to locate and map the above and below-ground utilities. To reduce overhead it has moved from 8,000 square feet in Building 15-E at Windsor Industrial Park, where there was much unused space, to 3,200 square feet in Building 19-E.
To find the utilities Infra Map pieces together information derived from electromagnetic equipment as well as records research in utility companies. The firm also dig test holes to locate utilities, using patented digging equipment invented by Paul Hays, the firm’s owner. A separate company, Utiloscope, sells this equipment. Infra Map’s corporate offices are in Glen Allen, Virginia.
The firm works primarily for government agencies (such as the turnpike authority, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) “when they are doing roadway and bridge projects, so they can avoid hitting utilities and design around them,” says Ronald Rotunno. Rutunno is the northeast regional director and office manager of the 15-person Windsor office, one of seven offices in the United States. Founded in 1987, Infra Map has a total of about 70 employees.
Rotunno is both a civil and a professional engineer, licensed in four states. He received a bachelor’s degree in transportation technology from Penn State in 1979. He has been with Infra Map for three and a half years but has worked for eight other companies where he was involved primarily in highway design but also in civil engineering site design.
e-Healthcare Solutions Inc., 810 Bear Tavern Road, Mountainview Office Park, Ewing 08628; 609-882-8887; fax, 425-671-7796. R. J. Lewis, CEO. www.e-healthcaresolutions.com.
R.J. Lewis’s firm, e-Healthcare Solutions, has an exclusive contract to sell and deliver online advertising for www.familydoctor.com, owned by the American Academy of Family Physicians. The site offers disease content material in English and Spanish.
The eight-year-old firm is an Internet advertising network dedicated to healthcare. It sells online advertising to marketers of medical and pharmaceutical products who want to reach consumers, physicians, and other health professionals (U.S. 1, January 10, 2007).
Law Offices of Anne M. Zaun LLC, 395 Ridge Road, Suite 1, Dayton 08810; 732-329-0119; fax, 732-329-0087. www.amzelderlaw.com.
Anne Zaun, a specialist in elder law, moved from East Brunswick to offices in Dayton that would be more convenient for her 55-year-old and older clients in Monroe, Jamesburg, and East Brunswick. She specializes in Medicaid planning, wills, and powers of attorney.
Zaun had worked initially as a litigator for the Attorney General’s office, but got involved in elder law when her mother was sick. “I feel that the elderly are one of the most vulnerable parts of our society, and I feel like what I do matters,” she says. She has worked in the field for 15 years.
Zaun received a bachelor’s in business administration from Fordham and got her LLB from Seton Hall Law School in 1979.
The Cleave Group LLC, 65 S. Main Street, Suite A-300, Pennington 08534; 609-818-9534; fax, 609-818-9535. William F. Cleave, president. Home page: www.cleavegroup.com.
The Cleave Group, which helps insureds and insurers with risk management issues, moved from 2 Tree Farm Road to 65 South Main Street in Pennington.
Carmen Wadas, 57, on October 5. A graduate of Rider University, she worked for Dow Jones for more than 20 years.