Economy straining engineer/agency relations

According to an AEC consultant, the economic downturn could be causing friction between public agencies, and the consultants working to meet the public’s needs.


Times are tough in nearly every sector of the economy. According to one consultant, the downturn is especially tough on architectural, engineering, and consulting firms working with public agencies.

Mark Goodale of Morrissey Goodale LLC is slated to address the issue at the International Bridge, Tunnel, and Toll Association’s conference in San Francisco April 19-21. His presentation, “Managing in an Era of Changing Economic Times,” will cover how the consulting engineering field is weathering the storm, and the impact the stress is having on public agencies.

“There is concern that this economic environment is starting to drive a wedge between agencies and consultants,” said Goodale. “We are going to take this opportunity to begin dialogue on how to acknowledge the issue and figure how to preserve and strengthen the partnership.”

Goodale said while transportation revenue and demand is down, the public’s expectations regarding improvements and quality service have not changed: “Consulting firms and public agencies will have to work seamlessly to meet the challenge— it will require understanding, trust, and innovation.”

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