For the fourth consecutive time, Atkins has been awarded a contract to provide on-call environmental consulting services for the City of San Antonio, Texas.
Atkins’ work will facilitate projects associated with a recently passed $596 million city bond program that will fund improvements to streets, bridges, sidewalks, drainage and flood control systems, parks and recreational spaces, libraries, museums and arts facilities, and public safety infrastructure.
The scope of work includes a range of comprehensive environmental assessments involving cultural resources, endangered species, noise and air issues, U.S. waters, hazardous materials, and Federal DOT Section 4(f) resources—which include public park lands, recreational areas, wildlife refuges, and historic sites. Atkins will also prepare categorical exclusions for projects that are determined to have no significant environmental impacts.
Atkins senior project manager Ryan Bayer said, “Atkins has enjoyed a productive and collaborative relationship with the City of San Antonio over the last nine years, and we are fortunate to be able to continue to work on these important projects.”
Bayer noted that during the contract selection process, Atkins received the highest ranking of the 19 firms that bid for the business.
The contract calls for Atkins to provide engineering, environmental, cultural, and technology services to support a wide variety of consulting services, including:
- NEPA studies — Atkins will develop NEPA studies for City construction projects, an example of which is the NEPA evaluations the company conducted of San Antonio’s Mission Trail, a 10-mile-long, public hike-and-bike trail that is in the final stages of completion. The trail generally parallels the San Antonio River and links the historic site of The Alamo in downtown San Antonio to four other Spanish missions that were founded along the River to the south between 1720 and 1731—including Mission Concepción, the oldest unrestored stone church in the U.S. As part of its research, Atkins identified and documented several historic acequia (Spanish irrigation channels from the 1700s) and unearthed numerous artifacts, including a well-preserved European-style beverage stein from the 1800s.
- Investigating, monitoring, and assessing cultural resources — The San Antonio area was home to Native Americans for thousands of years before Spanish settlers began arriving in 1717, so there are both Native American and settler burial sites throughout the region. To ensure compliance with Texas health and safety codes, Atkins will assess construction sites for old graves, coffins, and other remains and coordinate proper removal and/or relocation before construction begins.
- Stream restoration — Atkins will continue to work closely with the City to develop environmentally sound urban stream restorations that incorporate solid engineering design with improved stream conditions.
- Performing karst surveys — Much of the underlying geological structure around San Antonio is made up of limestone karst and is laced with caves, canyons, and sinkholes. Atkins will perform cave surveys in and around San Antonio and in the area of the Edwards Aquifer, which supplies drinking water for approximately two million Texans.
- Environmental permitting — Working closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), Atkins will develop and coordinate environmental clearances for a number of key drainage and transportation improvement projects.
- Assessing threatened and endangered species — Atkins will work with TPWD to capture and remove non-native fish from the San Antonio River.
- Developing Web sites — Atkins is in the process of developing a Web site that will be used by local citizens and visitors to learn about and navigate the Mission Trail system.
Bayer said that his team will also provide service assessments of historic structures, water quality assessments, asbestos management services, and mitigation-related services.