Spotlight on Boston Growth

GeoEngineers’ Boston team has developed rapidly in the last two years—with a growing portfolio of marquee projects to match. Current high-profile Boston projects include Amtrak’s Portal North Bridge, the expansive Suffolk Downs Redevelopment, and cutting-edge high-rise development projects at 400 Summer Street and 380 Stuart Street in downtown Boston.

Late in 2019, GeoEngineers acquired the Boston consulting firm FGG and hired the owner, experienced geotechnical engineer Frank Grynkewicz, to lead a new team and regional GeoEngineers USA* office in Framingham, Massachusetts. Frank’s group specializes in temporary structural design and other construction services for heavy civil contractors.

Just a year ago, GeoEngineers took another step forward by adding strategic hires Stan Sadkowski, Sue Bator and Pat Malone and establishing a second GeoEngineers USA office in the area, this one in Boston’s North End neighborhood. Stan’s team specializes in urban high-rise and campus development, offering both geotechnical and environmental services. They have decades of experience working within Massachusetts’ unique regulatory framework, and Sue is certified by the state as a Licensed Site Professional (LSP).

Today, GeoEngineers’ Boston presence has grown to a total of 47 staff specializing in geotechnical engineering, structural design, numerical modeling, environmental remediation, GIS, and much more. Nothing demonstrates the team’s growth and success more than their work, so here is a peek at just some of the projects keeping our talented Boston staff busy right now.

Suffolk Downs Redevelopment

An aerial photo of the entire Suffolk Downs area with renderings of the many buildings and features of the new neighborhood.

HYM Investment Group is redeveloping a massive 10.5 million square feet of the historical horse track into a mixed-use neighborhood including residential developments, two retail squares and 40-acres of public open space. GeoEngineers is providing comprehensive geotechnical services for one of the project’s first building phases—a 280,000-square-foot, five-story biomanufacturing complex with two levels of below grade parking. Construction on this initial phase finally started in March, and our team is providing foundation recommendations, temporary excavation support, temporary dewatering, geotechnical instrumentation, and earthwork recommendations to support the project team. HYM plans to complete construction by the end of 2023.

380 Stuart Street Development

The 380 Stuart Street site is in the heart of Boston’s “High Spine.”

Skanska is developing a 27-story mixed-use tower at 380 Stuart Street, one of the final available lots in Boston’s popular Back Bay neighborhood. The 625,000 square foot high-rise will feature office, retail, service, and restaurant space—with four floors of below-grade parking. Deep excavation, a zero-lot-line design and adjacent historical foundations complicate the subsurface work. An interdisciplinary GeoEngineers team is providing geotechnical and environmental services for this challenging project. The team will need to carefully work around the foundations of neighboring structures, with excavation support likely to consist of a 60-foot-deep concrete diaphragm (slurry) wall. Demolition for the existing 9-story structure at 380 Stuart Street is scheduled to begin at the end of Q4, with construction to commence in Q1 2023. Check out this longer feature story on 380 Stuart Street for additional technical details on the project and consider joining Emily Hertz’s upcoming presentation for even more!

Portal North Bridge Replacement

A CAD rendering of the new North Portal Bridge.

The aging Portal North Bridge in New Jersey is one of the busiest in the United States, carrying more than 200,000 Amtrak customers across the Hackensack River each day. As a swing-span bridge, it also causes regular train delays while open for ship traffic. After more than a century of use, Amtrak and New Jersey Transit hired Skanska Traylor PNB JV to replace the structure with a modern fixed-span two-track bridge—built 50 feet taller to allow ships to pass.

GeoEngineers is providing geotechnical services for the new $1.56 billion Portal North Bridge, which just received notice to proceed in April. At about 2.5 miles in length, including the approaches, the replacement bridge will be significantly longer than the original. The construction design team is providing temporary structural and geotechnical designs recommendations for the many trestles, temporary roadways and earthworks required for this massive infrastructure project.

GeoEngineers’ support of excavation work in the 400 Summer St. excavation pit.

400 Summer Street, Parcel P

GeoEngineers is providing complete support-of-excavation design for this cutting-edge development project. The 16-story tower will be the headquarters for Foundation Medicine, a leading Boston-based life sciences company, and features 580,000 square feet for offices and state-of-the-art labs, 30,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, and four levels of below-grade parking. The project also includes an innovative pedestrian pathway called the Summer Steps, part of the city’s sprawling 33-acre Boston Seaport Development Project that aims to expand and connect public spaces from Summer to Congress Street.


*GeoEngineers USA is an affiliate of GeoEngineers Inc.

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