PBS Engineering and Environmental acquires HDJ Design Group

PBS Engineering and Environmental Inc. has purchased the Portland-based consulting firm HDJ Design Group.

PBS, which is also headquartered in Portland, has had a presence in the Tri-Cities since 1998 and the firm has a dozen employees in its Richland Office.

HDJ Design Group has offices in Walla Walla and Pasco. HDJ’s Walla Walla office has 10 employees and 16 employees work in the Pasco office.

While PBS specializes in geotechnical, environmental and industrial hygiene services, HDJ provides civil engineering, planning and land surveying services. Combining the two firms, which have 60 years of experience between them, allows both to expand their market share within the engineering industry.

Guy Neal, president of PBS, said the acquisition allows PBS to expand its geographic reach and provide a more extensive range of services to its clients.
“Because we complement each other’s expertise and our cultures are compatible, combining our talented teams makes perfect sense,” Neal said. “We’re building upon 15 years of collaboration between our firms, most recently working together on the major Vancouver Waterfront Development.”

The $1.5 million project along the Columbia River in Vancouver entailed developing a former industrial property into prime retail and recreational space for the city of Vancouver, while serving as an extension of the downtown core’s reconnection to the waterfront.”

“The scale and sheer complexity of the project allowed our two firms the opportunity to fully harmonize our capabilities,” said Gregory Jellison, HDJ principal engineer. “While HDJ worked on the entire master plan and infrastructure design, PBS was able to run right alongside us, offering seamless geotechnical engineering and environmental services.”

Matt Grady, vice president of project development for Gramor Development, the project’s lead developer, said HDJ and PBS worked seamlessly well together, as if they were already working under one roof.

“Both teams deliver plans and documents in a timely manner, with minimal review time by jurisdictions due to the completeness of such plans and the rapport their staff have with the jurisdictions,” Grady said in a prepared statement.

Locally, the two firms worked together on the C Street Pavement Design for the city of College Place, and the Triple Creek Stormwater Project and the Eagle Crest Subdivision, both in Walla Walla.

PBS intends to retain all of HDJ’s existing staff and is seeking a single Tri-Cities location where the offices can be combined.

In addition to offering more services, the merger will also allow the company more opportunities to invest in the community.

“We will continue to strengthen relationships with STEM programs regionally, as well as with our engineering internship programs in Oregon and Washington,” Neal said. “Science and engineering play a critical role in U.S. competitiveness. Education and industry need to work together to create a new generation of engineers. This merger will allow PBS to support this effort on a greater scale.”

PBS will begin offering a shadow program for young engineers this year, increasing the number of interns they are able to accommodate in both states.

“We are proud to be a part of the engineering community,” Neal said. “We are excited about the new opportunities to engage with the industry as a whole during this exciting new chapter in our company’s history.

PBS Engineering & Environmental’s Tri-Cities’ office is at 400 Bradley Blvd., Ste. 300 in Richland. The phone number is 509-942-1000. For more information, go to pbsenv.com.

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