Roads & Bridges

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Delivering an appropriate and sustainable transportation network for the 21st Century is an exciting challenge. We're committed to partnering with our clients to plan, design and deliver successful transportation programs.


Atkins has successfully completed projects ranging from planning and designing large urban interchanges in some of North America’s biggest cities to designing and overseeing construction of rural roadways in the most remote national parks.

Atkins has planned, designed, and managed the construction of thousands of miles of highways and bridges, and our efforts have assisted clients in achieving their cost, schedule, and quality objectives. We partner with clients across North America and abroad, to develop innovative solutions to their mobility needs.

From our work in preparing feasibility studies to conducting preliminary and final engineering, the depth of our expertise enables us to take a project from concept and see it through construction. Atkins’ transportation practice is dedicated to the planning, design, and construction of transportation systems that function successfully within the environmental, institutional, and societal contexts in which they operate.

We provide the full range of services required to plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain transportation projects for public and private owners. With Atkins you get a team of talented experts who foster a solid understanding of our clients' distinct needs.


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A major east-west transportation corridor that carries recreational, commercial and commuter traffic through the Rocky Mountains also creates a lot of headaches for those maneuvering through regular back-ups and gridlock.  When the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) expressed an interest in using intelligent transportation systems and innovative technologies to decrease gridlock, increase safety and reduce traffic time, we were brought on board to help drive the effort for the I-70 Mountain Express Lane (MEXL). CDOT’s overall vision for improving congestion with immediate, interim improvements led us to evaluate the effectiveness of a tolled peak hour shoulder lane between Empire Junction and Idaho Springs. We expanded existing models to assess traffic improvements, which indicated that travel times could be cut nearly in half in the project area. Taking an innovative approach to relieve congestion without overbuilding the mountain corridor, a 13-mile stretch of the existing eastbound shoulder was repurposed as a dynamically tolled express lane during peak travel periods. Today, it operates only on weekends and holidays and users pay between four and eight dollars, based on congestion levels (tolls can reach 30 dollars based on congestion levels). With added capacity, the corridor has seen consistent, faster speeds and reduced travel times for all lanes. In its first summer season, throughput increased by 14 percent, travel times in general purpose lanes improved by 38 percent, and the time involved in clearing back-ups substantially improved. Less gridlock. Less stress. Less time on the road means more time for the good stuff. There’s more to the story. CDOT received Gov.


During large storm events, the Las Vegas Wash channel overbanks would flood due to overflow of the main channel, requiring regular and costly debris cleanup and repair of the facility’s only access road. Despite it not being designed to do so, the access road served as a grade control structure to protect improvements made to the channel upstream. Aside from making the facility inaccessible, failure of the road would have jeopardized the structural stability of those improvements as well as threatened underground utilities. Failure of the access road would have also resulted in damages to the surrounding private and public properties and facilities. To remedy, channel improvements were designed to increase capacity and protect against any further damage. A secondary access road was constructed; 1,100 feet of various new utilities (20-inch water, twelve 6-inch power conduits, twelve 4-inch fiber-optic conduits, and four 12-inch sludge lines) crossing the wash were designed; and other increased security measures were put in place to secure the site. To reduce cost and expedite construction of a new 200-foot steel girder bridge over Las Vegas Wash, we worked with the construction contractor and CCWRD to recycle steel girders from a former bridge. We inspected the old bridge’s superstructure, investigated the life span of the steel, verified the geometry of the girders for compatibility of design, and modeled using MDX software. 1D and 2D (pre- and post-project) hydraulic models of the area were also developed and sediment transport analysis was performed to ensure that there are not adverse impacts to


With traffic through this freeway corridor expected to double in the next 20 years, the Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) prioritized investment in this critical section of infrastructure to meet the needs of the growing resident and tourist populations. Travelers make 25,000 lane changes per hour in this freeway corridor and as many as 1,400 crashes take place annually. To boost safety, mobility, and accessibility, roadway improvement plans include separation of freeway traffic from arterial traffic, reduced numbers of merging sections, and connection of high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes to create a continuous 22-mile stretch from US 95 through I-15. Considered the most important and ambitious project in NDOT’s history, it also accommodates regional economic redevelopment through improved access to downtown Las Vegas and the Resort Corridor. We serve as lead designer, for design builder, Kiewit Infrastructure West, managing all design and engineering services on this multiphased, multiyear project with responsibilities that include design services for roadway, drainage, bridges and structures, traffic control, signing, pavement marking, landscape, and ITS as well as providing quality control, utility coordination, public involvement, design surveying, and design support during construction.   Video courtesy of NDOT

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In 2009, the NJTA approved a massive widening program for a 50-mile section of the parkway to achieve a 50 percent increase in capacity. Atkins served as program manager for widening activities from interchange 48 to 63 (phase 2) and the structure and drainage improvement projects for future widening at interchanges 30 and 48 (phase 3). Over the course of the project, we coordinated the efforts of more than 1,000 professionals to successfully design nearly $200 million worth of improvements to the existing highway while maintaining traffic flow. The program’s scope included design and construction of a third lane to the northbound and southbound Parkway, widening of shoulders, mainline and local road bridge widening and replacement, existing drainage system replacement, and safety improvements such as roadway lighting, guide sign replacement, storm water management basins, and relocation of utilities. The historic tollway, originally constructed in the late 1950’s, helped usher in a new wave of economic and residential development along the Jersey shore. Through continued investment and improvements, it remains a vital link from the New York state line to the southern tip of New Jersey. The project was recognized by the Project Management Institute (PMI) of New Jersey as 2015 Project of the Year and received the 2016 ACEC New Jersey’s Engineering Excellence Award.

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In the 1980s, Atlantans made a smart investment in a tollway that would redefine the region, provide easy access from north Fulton and Forsyth Counties, and contribute to economic growth in the area. In 2012, Georgia’s governor announced that the state would pay off the bond debt and end tolling on GA 400 in 2013. We worked closely with the Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority as their general engineering consultant to lead the project, and coordinated with contractors and local agencies. Our role included development of the implementation plan and execution of civil site planning, project management, and architectural and electrical design services. We also developed comprehensive toll plaza closeout procedures and organized practice runs to ensure a successful transition. With nearly 120,000 commuters using the road daily, motorist safety and effective communications with stakeholders took center stage. In recognition of achievement of those goals, the project received the Transportation Achievement Award for Operations from the Institute of Transportation Engineers


The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) selected Atkins to help address the immediate need to improve safety and congestion that has plagued this corridor for many years. The Twin Tunnels project widens the lanes of I-70 from Idaho Springs to the base of Floyd Hill and is the first project to add capacity to the corridor in over 20 years. After successfully assisting with the concept design in an environmental assessment, CDOT selected Atkins to complete the eastbound tunnel expansion project under a construction management/general contractor delivery system. After the completion of the initial eastbound tunnel, CDOT sole sourced the Atkins team to complete the westbound tunnel. The compressed delivery schedule and complexity of the project required tapping into Atkins’ worldwide expertise in tunnel design, managed lanes, bridge and retaining wall design, highway design, and construction phasing. The team developed creative solutions to maintain traffic flow during construction, mitigate environmental impacts, and increase highway safety and operations. The project was named Engineering News-Record (ENR) Mountain States 2016 Best Project in the highways and bridges category (Colorado, Wyoming and plains states).


The Connector is instrumental in relieving traffic congestion in historic Ybor City and improving freight access to the Port of Tampa. It also provides an additional hurricane evacuation route and enhances emergency access for first responders. Atkins served as lead engineer on the $426 million project, and as the primary designer of the Connector’s southern portion (80 percent of the overall construction effort). Innovative features include a toll gantry that saves FDOT an estimated $10 million in capital and maintenance costs, and truck-only lanes that provide convenient, exclusive freight access and minimize congestion and safety issues on local roads. The project is also one of the first to use concrete segmental construction and incorporate the new AASHTO Bridge Code.  Atkins' ability to mobilize staff in support of this project enabled completion of alternate bridge designs three months early in an aggressive design schedule. Aesthetics also played a key role in the project, with designers making every effort to incorporate the style and character of historic Ybor City. One of the project’s notable features is a “gateway” that evokes the area’s unique, century-old Florida architecture.   The project received the Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers (FICE)/FDOT 2014 Outstanding Project Award, FICE 2015 Engineering Excellence Award, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) 2015 National Recognition Award, and American Segmental Bridge Institute (ASBI) 2015 Bridge Award of Excellence (urban bridges category).   


The City of Grover Beach proposed to widen Fourth Street. Atkins modeled traffic noise in the Fourth Street corridor, using Caltrans' SOUND32 traffic noise model to predict noise in the future with and without the project. Standards in the City's General Plan Noise Element were taken into account, and sound walls were proposed as the preferred mitigation for adverse noise impacts. Atkins developed sound wall configurations that would successfully mitigate all significant noise impacts at adjacent residences.


Our Thoughts: Angles

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Jim Hanson
14 Mar 2017

As professional engineers, we have a responsibility to help meet this challenge by assisting clients and communities in designing, managing, and operating the roadways of tomorrow, today. That means helping agencies make a monumental shift from relying only on hard capital assets to improve safety and mobility to embracing innovation and technology. The traditional transportation department charge to effectively build, maintain, and operate highways and their associated infrastructure remains unchanged. But it should be augmented by the integration of innovation and technology solutions for reducing deadly accidents, alleviating traffic delays, and communicating road conditions to travelers. In many states, intelligent transportation systems are already supporting traffic signals, lane controls, variable message signs, and video monitoring of traffic and highways. Through planned improvements in analytics and integration, existing systems can be enhanced and contribute to more efficient roadway operations. This innovation will help increase the level of critical information that can be disseminated to roadway users, and help manage and operate transportation systems more effectively. The simple reality is that we cannot build our way out of congestion. The need for a transformation in transportation is revving up in states across the country, and Colorado is among them. Colorado Department of Transportation has taken a bold step to effect change and transform its aging transportation system by embracing technology. Their goal is to be one of the most technologically advanced transportation systems in the nation. In launching the RoadX Program, CDOT made a commitment to aggressive implementation of new transportation technology within

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Jim Hanson
17 Feb 2017

The first-of-a-kind event was held in conjunction with the CES Conference, an annual consumer electronics and technology tradeshow in Las Vegas. In the spirit of the summit theme, taken from an Elvis Presley song, “A Little Less Conversation,” we helped Nevada do more than talk about intelligent mobility, or iM—they illustrated with real-world examples of advancements in the iM space. I’m often asked, “So, what is intelligent mobility?” It may mean different things to different clients depending where they are in their iM journey. Events like the GO-NV Summit helped clarify some aspects of iM for attendees. The bigger goal of GO-NV was to take the conversation toward action to start deploying solutions.  Our approach to iM is a global one—each of our regions is working with clients, technologists, developers and solutions providers to address the growing scope of iM needs world-wide. Our definition is simple: Intelligent mobility is an end-user and outcome-focused approach to connecting people, places and services—reimagining infrastructure across all transport modes, enabled by data, technology and innovative ideas. We describe our iM work in four areas: the power to transform lives; progress and change; catalyst for collaboration, and implementation at its heart. The Power to Transform Lives Clearly, iM has the potential to enable people who struggle with finding safe, convenient, affordable travel options across all modes of transportation. We’re working with state and local governments across the country, facilitating innovative visioning and roadmap development sessions to address the rapidly evolving needs around iM. The GO-NV Summit brought to life the four

North America ,

Roddy Adams
27 Jan 2017

The recent US presidential election is a case in point where the incoming POTUS has had a national infrastructure plan as a central plank in his campaign. President Trump’s commitment to infrastructure was cemented in his inauguration speech when he stated that America’s infrastructure had fallen into disrepair and decay promising that “we will bring new roads and high roads and bridges and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation”. So what do we know of this new plan to boost infrastructure spending? The plan is being drawn up by billionaire Wilbur Ross and university professor Peter Navarro and their proposal is to stimulate $1 trillion in capital expenditure over 10 years, and as part of this the Government should hand out $137 billion worth of tax credits to the private sector. The federal tax credit would leverage a flood of private money covering 82% of the equity needed for new projects argue Ross and Navarro and they say the tax credits would cost the Government nothing because of increased tax revenue from new private spending, economic activity and employment. There are however critics coming forward to point out that this will only work for well-conceived projects with clearly identifiable revenue streams – which would be funded in any event by the market, so why give tax credits away? The proposals appear to be solely weighted to the investor and contractor side of the industry. They do not address the single biggest impediment on projects coming to market – affordability. States and municipalities

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Roger Cruickshank
19 Dec 2016

Only last week the headline ‘look no hands’ was pasted across a Dubai newspaper, confirming that a car had driven the 100 km journey itself between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.  Maybe the introduction of mainstream driverless cars isn’t too far off after all.  Dubai actually already has the longest Connected and Autonomous vehicle (CAV), in the form of its Metro, which has been running with ‘no hands’ since 2009.  And those in the taxi business might say that the ability to order and direct a vehicle  is a proxy CAV; the International Road Transport Union (IRU)  recently revealed that their UpTop scheme (bringing global taxi apps onto one platform) has attracted more than double the number of vehicles using Uber. The notion of driverless is not new: besides several metros around the world, driverless lifts and elevators have been around for decades, as has the autopilot button that gets pressed when we fly across the globe. We’ve in fact been using driverless transport for years with a strong safety record.  But CAVs (and their offshoots) are likely to have a greater impact than the first jet airliners of the early 1960s.  At Atkins, a design, engineering and project management consultancy, we consider that this new means of travel and the data generated by its introduction, will touch every part of the built environment - a real eye opener.  We are ourselves leading the UK development of an independent test site for, and a market leading capability in, autonomous vehicles, investigating the

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We provide the full range of services required to plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain transportation projects for public and private owners.

Alternative delivery methods

Whether the delivery strategy is design-build, contractor/ construction management (GC/CM), or construction manager at risk (CMAR), Atkins builds strong, cohesive teams to work efficiently with builders, lenders, and owners. Our approach begins with understanding client goals, ideals, risk, and value proposition. We then mobilize our experts, who apply innovative solutions to quickly and efficiently complete projects that satisfy our clients' objectives. We build long-term relationships and foster collaboration with our clients to deliver technical and innovative solutions for a broad range of infrastructure projects.

Bridge engineering

Atkins’ bridge staff excels in analyzing and designing a vast assemblage of structures ranging from rural stream crossings to multi-level interchange structures and complex, state-of-the-art signature bridges. Along with separations, Atkins has designed long-span steel trusses, bascule, segmental concrete, long-span steel plates and boxes for aircraft taxiway bridges, pedestrian bridges, transit and railroad bridges, river crossings, and wildlife crossings.

Program management

We have grown to be one of the premier program management consultants in North America. We focus on doing what is right for the client first—keeping promises, providing quality, meeting schedules, and delivering innovation. Whether for the design and construction of a toll facility in California or the installation of miles of fiber optic communication cable in Georgia, Atkins has built the broad-based experience and staff resources to ensure successful program management assignments, no matter what the scope of work.

Public involvement

Maintaining a two-way dialogue and engaging diverse interests from the planning stage throughout the construction of a project is the foundation for public understanding and sound decision making by all stakeholders. Because one size does not fit all, Atkins designs creative public involvement programs by integrating traditional and nontraditional tools and techniques as necessary to address constraints on the abilities of differing populations to participate. In doing so, equity is assured, federal requirements are met, schedules are streamlined, and the public becomes a project’s biggest supporter.

Right-of-way services

Our right-of-way (ROW) staff comprises full-time ROW survey and mapping and real estate professionals with experience in real estate title, appraisal, property acquisition, relocation assistance, litigation support, property management, database systems, project management, and program management. We also help state and local governments and private entities acquire property for transit systems, roadway improvements, utilities, and airport facilities. Many of our projects involve federal aid, and have been completed in compliance with the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act.

Highway design

Atkins designs and oversees the construction of thousands of miles of highways and bridges. We are known for the quality of our work and our ability to help our clients deliver their programs. We partner with clients across North America and abroad to develop innovative solutions for their mobility needs. Our depth of expertise enables us to take a project from concept all the way through construction, developing systems that function successfully within the appropriate environmental, institutional, and societal contexts. We provide the full range of services required to plan, design, construct, operate, and maintain transportation projects for public and private owners.

Traffic engineering

The Atkins approach to traffic engineering is to provide a balanced, optimal solution that includes input from all relevant disciplines. We perform a wide variety of studies including freeway systems analysis, corridor analysis, safety studies, intersection and signal design, signal timing, and pedestrian and bicycle studies. Whether for a comprehensive, systemwide evaluation or a location-specific study, we proactively develop cost-effective and context-sensitive approaches to address operational and safety concerns.

Transportation planning and NEPA services

Because we understand the growth pressure on transportation systems, we provide transportation planning and corridor analyses that aid in identifying integrated solutions to mobility issues. Multimodal options, such as regional mass transit, can help respond to the high demands of urban growth. We continually refine the tools and approaches we use to help our clients address changing mobility needs. While taking sustainability and growth demand into account, we develop solutions that comply with regulatory policy at the federal (National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA]) and state level.

Tunnel engineering

Atkins has one of the largest dedicated tunnel design teams in the world with more than 200 tunneling specialists based in the United Kingdom, Middle East, and Asia. The team has worked on some of the world’s most challenging tunneling projects in a full range of ground conditions—from hard rock to soft ground. We provide these services directly to clients and for contractors under design-build commissions. Our tunneling projects have also been part of large concession teams providing design inputs at all stages of programs from initial concept and feasibility studies to scheme development and detailed designs in construction. Our key focus is to provide our clients with the best possible solutions for their tunneling and underground projects with a clear-cut focus on safety, risk management, and cost efficiency.


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