As McElhanney Consulting celebrates 50 years in Surrey, it’s safe to say the locally grown company has touched just about every corner of the community.
“We are deeply rooted in the community of Surrey,” says Chris Newcomb, vice-president. “There’s probably not a street corner in Surrey over the last 50 years we haven’t had some influence on.”
Beyond the local streetscape, McElhanney’s reach extends to the subdivisions where you live, the water flowing from your taps, the parks where you play and the highways and bridges you travel every day, adds Paul Deol, branch manager.
“We’re always adding to our disciplines,” he says, pointing out that the Surrey office now offers arbourists, contaminated soil services and environmental services in addition to its full slate of civil engineering and survey services.
It’s no surprise that a company with such a longstanding history – more than 100 years in all, beyond the 50 years in Surrey – has numerous award-winning projects to its credit. Among the most recent, and one you’ve likely passed regularly, is the Port Mann Bridge Deconstruction Project. A challenging project due to very old, rusted and unpredictable materials, the McElhanney team’s safe piece-by-piece deconstruction of the old tied-arch bridge netted a 2016 ACEC-BC Engineering Excellence Award of Merit, Newcomb notes.
Other projects over the years, like the 72nd Avenue streetscape beautification project near the Newton Rec Centre and widening multiple sections of King George Boulevard, demonstrate the sheer scope of their work. “Almost every large design-build project the city has undertaken, McElhanney has been a part of,” Newcomb reflects.
Community connections run deep
That deep community connection is intrinsic to the McElhanney culture, though it’s typically undertaken quietly, with little fanfare. “We’ve always done charity work, supported families at the holidays, sponsored our staff in the causes that matter to them and offered scholarships for engineering students,“ Deol says.
In honour of the firm’s 50th anniversary in Surrey, they’re taking their efforts even further.
In addition to participating in the Quibble Creek fish release and planting more than 50 trees in Green Timbers Park, their big anniversary project will see a revitalized playground and outdoor courtyard in the children’s wing of Surrey Memorial Hospital.
“It will be a safe, fun space where children and their families can relax and have some fun away from their hospital rooms,” Deol says.
“Having our office in the community for 50 years, a lot of us also live here, so when we’re working on a project, we look at it from that perspective as well.”