From our founding in 2012 all the way through an unprecedented, unpredictable 2020, Bonton Associates focused exclusively on delivering innovative, data-driven solutions to our clients’ water, stormwater and wastewater challenges. By the beginning of this year, however, the time was right to bring a wider focus to what we do — and it came in the form of our new transportation engineering practice.
The decision to expand our services was a natural outgrowth of our work on numerous MoveBR transportation projects, as well as our firm’s philosophy about how communities grow and thrive. Marcus Bonton, PE, principal of the new practice area, understands very well how transportation and water engineering work in parallel to create more efficient, sustainable public infrastructures.
“The components of a successful, sustainable transportation system — being cost-efficient, meeting the needs of the societies and individuals it serves, maintaining the integrity and diversity of the natural environment — are goals that water and transportation projects share,” Marcus explains. “Now, our firm can more effectively work toward these goals by identifying the balance between meeting the needs of the transportation system and benefiting the economy, social community and environment.”
Bringing transportation expertise to the firm also strengthens our advocacy for the “complete streets” approach to urban planning and design. Complete streets are streets for everyone — designed to be safe, efficient and accessible for all users, whether you’re driving, walking, biking, riding public transit or using an assistive device. Planned and designed in the context of each community’s natural and built environment, complete streets place high value on equity and sustainability. This approach allows us to consider stormwater runoff generated by a roadway as a potential resource to be harnessed for the net benefit of the environment. Working together, our water and transportation teams can help engineer the way forward.
Our transportation practice offers a range of solutions from planning and feasibility studies through design and construction administration. By integrating our transportation design approaches with our hydrologic, hydraulic and climatic modeling approaches, we’re able to understand the opportunities and tradeoffs associated with expanded development in context with the natural environment. From environmental documents and site assessments, to roadway designs and green retrofits, our goal is to conceptualize and engineer projects that make our communities better. “We’re a group with diverse backgrounds and experiences, motivated by a collective commitment to professional development, data and technology, and innovation,” Marcus says. “We want to be agile and efficient for our clients, and also to be a leader — in both thought and action — that helps to solve our region’s infrastructure challenges.”
As Baton Rouge works to address its most dire transportation infrastructure needs, Bonton Associates sees a variety of opportunities to reimagine a network that provides equal access and connectivity to the city’s assets and resources. Marcus comments, “We realize that this is a huge collaborative effort and will take time. We look forward to offering our expertise to all stakeholders in support of building a more integrated and connected system. Our team is committed to being right there on the leading edge of transportation solutions, but that means we can never stop learning. Getting smarter every day is what it’s all about.”