HAMMONTON — The civil engineering firm Adams, Rehmann and Heggan Associates is expanding its presence in North Jersey with a new office in Newark.
The Hammonton-based company employs specialists, each of whom has an alphabet soup of licenses and professional certifications after his or her name.
“Everyone is generally an expert in their field. We don’t have a lot of junior staff,” said George Scott, director of marketing.
Adams, Rehmann and Heggan employs about 67 people, which makes it a mid-sized firm in New Jersey.
“We consider ourselves the Gon-zaga of engineering firms,” he said, referring to the small university whose college basketball team has had success going up against bigger schools.
“We’re small enough that we’re not burdened with a lot of corporate structure and regulation. We’re still personable,” he said. “But we’re big enough to compete on the national level with some of the biggest firms.”
The company is at the forefront of computer-mapping, which comes in handy in planning a new public building or in knowing whether a family’s dog might be trapped in a burning house.
But Scott, 36, of Voorhees, said the company’s success stems more from the trust it develops with clients than its state-of-the-art engineering practices.
“There is a trust factor in our business. We develop relationships with the people we work with,” he said.
The engineering firm works mostly with public clients, such as counties, county authorities and municipalities. It is responsible for turning the vision of elected officials into a reality, he said.
Its clients over the years have included Wildwood, Cape May County freeholders and the Hamilton Township Municipal Utilities Authority, among many others.
The firm recently did the permitting for Cape May County’s proposed county jail. And they did planning and design work for the Mercer County Courthouse and the Gloucester County Justice Center.
The civil engineering firm was founded in 1936 by John Adams and Earl J. Rehmann.
The company in December appointed Richard Rehmann to president as his father, former company President Chris Rehmann, stepped down to serve as chairman of the board. Richard Rehmann is the grandson of company founder Earl J. Rehmann.
Dun & Bradstreet estimates its annual sales at $10.5 million.
The company has three divisions: engineering, surveying and geospatial information services. “That is like Google Maps on steroids,” Scott said.
It develops its own GIS systems that allow towns to study everything from sewer and water lines to building blueprints and tax assessments simultaneously. This data can be accessed by all city departments for sundry reasons.
A fire department at the scene of a house blaze could use the data to determine whether to look for pets that the owners had licensed. A police officer responding to a 911 call could pull up information about whether the property owner had a registered firearm, he said.
“In the past, that would require going to any one branch of government. Now, you can take all these different departments and sync their data into one database,” he said.
The applications are endless, from the practical uses in maintaining sewers or water lines to planning for coastal evacuations, he said.
The company did some of the engineering work required to install infrastructure for the Millville Motorsports Park.
“My experience with them has been excellent,” Millville engineer John Knoop said. “They’re proficient and efficient with the work. They’re thorough and they deliver a good product.”
Knoop said when making appointments, towns look for engineering firms that have a variety of experts on staff to handle a variety of environmental, water, sewer and GIS issues. This described the Hammonton company when it came to doing the site work at the motorsports park, he said.
“They had the experience we needed. They’re pretty full service for a smaller firm,” he said.
In Hammonton, the firm is developing an irrigation system that recycles “gray” water from the wastewater treatment plant. The water is not potable but it’s perfectly useful to keep athletic fields green, he said.
It’s the same system that resorts such as Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., employ to water their landscaping.
“I just got back from a trip there. I can’t imagine their water bill if they had to use tap water,” he said.
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