HDR Engineering Member Spotlight
In our daily lives we are constantly utilizing infrastructure, from the roads we drive on to the pipes that bring us clean water. This infrastructure makes our lives easier and more accessible, yet we often forget that behind it all are large teams of people carefully calculating and designing every tiny little detail for our benefit. Main Street is lucky to be home to one of these engineering firms working to better the world we live in. Their name is HDR Engineering and we can thank them for many of the things that make Kansas City a great place to call home.
Founded in 1917, HDR engineering has offices all over the world working on a variety of engineering, architecture, environmental, and construction projects. They came to Kansas City in the late '80s. In the KC Metropolitan Area they employ 210 people and have a strong focus on transportation and waste water management. Specifically, they are the engineers behind the KDOT Gateway interchange at I 435/K-10/I-35, the BNSF Intermodal & Logistics Park in Egerton, Kansas, and the new Grand Street bridge design downtown. They are also one of the engineering partners for the Tomahawk Creek Waste Water Treatment Plant in Johnson County. Half of the people they employ to work on these projects are located at the Main Street office, which opened in 1997.
Over the years they have seen a lot of changes along Main Street. They noted improvements in cleanliness and safety, attributing much of this success to MainCor and the Main Street CID. Joseph Drimmel, Vice President and Area Manager of Missouri and Kansas offices, stated that, “The streetscape [improvements] made a huge difference on people’s comfort level walking up and down the street” to which Christopher Kinzel, Traffic and Planning Section Manager, replied, “You can tell Main Street is well cared for.”
The project they’ve recently worked on that you are probably most familiar with, though, is the KC Streetcar. They were involved in the planning, design, and construction phases and have been awarded the preliminary engineering and environmental studies for the first extension. This is a special project for them because the extension is proposed to go down Main Street and will be right outside their front door.
They already love working on Main Street because they’re so close to both the Plaza and Downtown. The streetcar extension would add even more convenience to the major thoroughfare, which in turn will create an exciting draw for businesses to locate themselves along Main. HDR’s commitment to the Kansas City and Midtown community shows in their recognition of the importance of this increased economic development. As Kinzel put it, “We’re a company that really likes to plug into the community.” They’re committed to continue to plug into the community and make it better for years to come, which is evident in their half million dollar office renovation at 4435 Main in 2015.
During our conversation, Kinzel expressed how important networking and teamwork are at HDR, stating, “We survive together.” This mentality extends beyond their office all throughout the Midtown community surrounding Main Street. It is through the teamwork and collaboration of our businesses, citizens, neighborhood associations, nonprofits, and advocates that Main Street Kansas City has survived. Now it’s our time to thrive.