Category Archives: News

McCormick Taylor Welcomes Marisa Sapiezynski, WPIT to Our Philadelphia Office

We’re pleased to announce that Marisa Sapiezynski, WPIT has joined us in Philadelphia.

In her role as Environmental Scientist II, Marisa will provide regulatory and permitting compliance for transportation projects in Pennsylvania and Delaware. She will assist with NEPA compliance and documentation, environmental assessment studies, compliance monitoring, state and federal environmental permitting, and delineations of waters of the U.S., including wetlands.

With seven years of experience, Marisa is skilled in conducting baseline investigations, data collection and analysis using Geographic Information Systems and traditional methods, wetland delineation methodologies, and identifying threatened and endangered species occurrences and potential habitats through reviews of published data and literature. She has experience and training in ecological assessments, environmental studies, MicroStation, environmental permitting, and NEPA compliance for the transportation and energy industries.

“We are very excited to have Marisa on board with the environmental group,” said Jayne McColl, Senior Manager, Environmental Services. “She has great enthusiasm and brings years of experience with NEPA, natural resources, and wetland studies to our team.”

MD 404 Improvement Project Wins America’s Transportation Award

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration’s (MDOT SHA) MD 404 Highway Widening Project was awarded America’s Transportation Award. The project featured an innovative partnership between industry partners and was completed on-time and on budget in just 18 months. The award lauds MD 404 project’s safety enhancements for residents and seasonal motorists, as well as overall improved operations and congestion relief.

Sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Socrata, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the 11th annual America’s Transportation Awards competition selected the $158 million project as the best in the northeastern states in the Quality of Life/Community Development Category for medium projects (costing between $25-$200 million).

McCormick Taylor provided onsite project management services and oversaw the design of this project to alleviate traffic congestion and improve safety in this important corridor. McCormick Taylor’s Rob Marchetti provided project management and General Engineering Consultant services for design and permitting reviews with support from McCormick Taylor and MDOT SHA staff. Gerry Hammel served as the Regional Environmental Coordinator for MDOT SHA to ensure compliance with environmental components of the project.

Click here to read the press release.

Emily Hoffman and Dennis Wilson Named to ECP Board

Emily Hoffman and Dennis Wilson (second and third from the right)

Congratulations to Emily Hoffman, PE and Dennis Wilson, PE, of our Philadelphia office, who were appointed to the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia (ECP) Board. They were sworn in at the ECP 2018 Annual Meeting & Networking Reception on June 21.

Emily was appointed President-Elect. She is a Senior Project Manager, Traffic Engineering and has been with McCormick Taylor for 11 years. Emily is also affiliated with other professional societies, including the Women’s Transportation Seminar’s TransportationYOU Committee and the Mid-Atlantic Section of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.

Dennis was appointed Secretary. He is a Transportation Engineer III and has been with McCormick Taylor for seven years. He is a member of both the Committee on Younger Members and the Communications Committee within ECP. Dennis is active in other professional societies, as well, including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Philadelphia Section. As a board member of the ASCE Philadelphia Section Younger Member Forum (YMF), he has served one year as the social chair, and is currently the IT Chair.

Vittorio Anepete, PE Receives George Stout Award

Vittorio Anepete, PE, a project manager of transportation engineering in our Mount Laurel, NJ office, was honored with the George Stout Award on Friday, June 22 at the 39th Annual South Jersey Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers (SJASCE) Awards Luncheon.

The George Stout Award recognizes members who have had an active role in the ASCE South Jersey Branch. Some of Vittorio’s positions in the organization include Student Chapter President; Vice President, SJ Younger Member Forum; President, SJ Younger Member Forum; Director; Vice President; President-Elect, 1st Past President, and 2nd Past President.

Welcome Craig Carson to our Baltimore Office

We’re pleased to announce that Craig Carson has joined our team in Baltimore.

As Senior Manager, Water Resources, Craig will assist with business development and manage tasks involving Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4) implementation throughout the Chesapeake Bay region.

Craig has over 20 years of experience in managing the planning, design, permitting, construction, and maintenance phases of watershed restoration projects to address the physical and biological impairments threatening local streams. Through his experience managing complex programs, he’s gained extensive working knowledge of urban restoration and green stormwater infrastructure projects to support MS4 permitting requirements.

“We are excited to be able to work with Craig in this new role,” said Scott Lowe, Director, Environmental Services. “He brings tremendous knowledge and experience, and he is a trusted leader within the Maryland MS4 community.”

Craig spent over 18 years at the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection, where he most recently served as Manager, Watershed Restoration and Capital Projects Section. While there, he was responsible for comprehensive, senior-level management of watershed restoration studies, stream restoration, stormwater management, and green infrastructure projects for meeting MS4 permitting compliance.

McCormick Taylor Cyclists Talk Bike Safety for National Bike Month

Erika Morgan Philadelphia, PA

For Erika, biking is freedom.

“From commuting to work to cruising along trails and running errands, every ride is an adventure,” says Erika. “Each pedal connects you to yourself and your surroundings, giving you a new perspective on life.”

While cycling can be exhilarating, the lack of proper bike infrastructure and dangerous driver behavior can create deadly situations for cyclists.

“One day, I’d like to see bike highways, which are bike lanes fully separated from cars, connecting cities and towns across America.”


Russell Ewing | Baltimore, MD

Biking in the morning gives Russell a jolt of energy that not even the strongest of coffee can produce. Commuting to work via bike allows him to get fresh air and exercise every day, even if it is for just 20 minutes.

“I would say the primary challenge to cycling in Baltimore is the lacking infrastructure,” says Russell. “There have been some recent gains but there is nearly constant resistance to even minor facilities such as bike lanes or bike racks, which don’t reduce parking space or traffic capacity.”

Russell’s suggestions for infrastructure improvements to increase safety include: bike lanes that are separated from lanes of traffic (not just painted lanes on the side of a street), preventative, not punitive, traffic control measures such as traffic calming structures and re-timed light cycles, and public outreach, education, and share-the-road initiatives.

Data has shown that more people bike when there is dedicated bike infrastructure. Baltimore has wide streets, which cars take advantage of by speeding, but those streets are a great opportunity for added bike infrastructure with minimal impact to car traffic.

Russell suggests that those in the Baltimore area follow and support the work of Bikemore, the city’s bicycle advocacy group. They are fighting for a less car-centric Baltimore, which includes improvements for pedestrians and public transportation, as well as bicycle infrastructure.


Rob Hopkins | Verona, VA

Rob considers himself an environmentally aware citizen and he wants to do anything and everything in his power to drive us toward a more sustainable and eco-friendly future.

Having biked across the country from Virginia to Oregon, he’s seen plenty of instances where safety can be improved. Cell phones and other forms of distracted driving rank number one for Rob. On his journey, he passed another cyclist and later learned that she was killed by a driver who was texting.

Rob believes drivers need to be better educated on the laws surrounding cycling. Bikes are considered vehicles on the road, but cars don’t often give three feet of space when passing. Ensuring all roads have enough space for both modes of transportation to share the road will help reduce accidents.

“There are also never enough shoulders on roadways,” says Rob. “I’ve always wondered why all roads weren’t designed with an appropriate shoulder to provide an adequate buffer between bikes and cars.”


Aaron Bertoldi | Baltimore, MD

Biking to work in Baltimore means Aaron gets to avoid paying for parking and can get in and out of the city with ease, as opposed to sitting in traffic downtown. He usually parks his car in a free parking area outside of the city and pedals in.

Last year, our Baltimore office was named a Bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) by the League of American Bicyclists. This distinction recognizes our efforts to “encourage a more welcoming atmosphere for bicycling employees, customers, and the community.” There are plenty of amenities at or near our office, such as bike parking, showers, and bike share.

Aaron says that the biggest hazard he faces comes from pedestrians, who may be looking at their phone while crossing the street or might step out into an area other than the designated crosswalk.


Nate Lehigh | Baltimore, MD

Nate finds biking to work to be less stressful than driving and sitting in traffic. Having the wind in his face gives him a feeling a freedom and is reminiscent of his childhood. His bike commute is fairly simple and is mostly along dedicated bike paths around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

“Pot holes and the poor quality of roads are big challenges,” says Nate, “but they’re nothing compared to drivers not paying attention to bikers. Having dedicated bike lanes along major thoroughfares would improve safety the most.”


Bart Gibson | Verona, VA

Our Verona office is only 10 miles from Bart’s home, so he’s able to get plenty of exercise during his commute. Working in the middle of the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail also gives him the opportunity to take in the natural beauty of the area and connect with other cyclists.

“The only real challenges are the old, rough back roads and the 500-foot elevation difference between home and work,” says Bart. “Plus, all the young boys out here have diesel trucks and like to downshift next to you.”

There is a strong road and mountain biking community in the Shenandoah Valley, where our office is located, with events such as 25-30 mile no-drop rides, all-ladies rides, and 20-30 mile keep up or drop rides.

Welcome Jim Prisk, PE to our Pittsburgh Office

We’re pleased to announce that Jim Prisk has joined our team in Pittsburgh.

As senior manager, transportation engineering, Jim will assist with general business planning and development, manage transportation engineering design projects and tasks, oversee engineering and environmental staff, and perform project QA/QC.

Jim has nearly 30 years of experience managing all planning and operational aspects of an engineering business. He has managed the delivery of a wide range of engineering and environmental projects for clients such as PennDOT, PTC, West Virginia Division of Highways, and local municipalities and county governments.

“We are happy to have Jim as part of the McCormick Taylor family,” said John Petulla, senior manager, transportation engineering. “Jim brings a wealth of knowledge and relationships to complement our western Pennsylvania management and engineering team.”

A strong leader with extensive planning and management experience, Jim comes to us from a transportation engineering consulting firm, where he was the chief operating officer responsible for overseeing all planning and business development efforts, day-to-day operations, and project management. In this prior capacity, he recently oversaw all planning, design, and construction phases of the U.S. 19 Safety Improvement Project in PennDOT District 12.

Cedar Creek to Milford Project Wins Conservation Award

Kent Conservation District nominated Delmarva Power & Light Company as its Kent County Urban Award winner for the 2018 Governor’s Conservation Awards. Presented on May 1 at the Delaware Agricultural Museum, the award recognizes the transmission line project from Cedar Creek to Milford.

The Cedar Creek to Milford 230 kV Transmission Line Rebuild consists of rebuilding a 43-mile circuit owned and operated by Delmarva Power & Light Company (DPL) and located within New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties, DE. The project is located within an existing transmission right-of-way (ROW) between the DPL Cedar Creek Substation in Middletown, DE and Milford Substation in Milford, DE. This is a DPL capital improvement project required to meet the current and future demands for electric service. As a transmission owner, DPL is responsible to plan and operate the transmission system in accordance with standards set forth by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and PJM Interconnection, LLC (PJM). The existing line configuration includes a 230kV Transmission Line on wooden H-frame structures with infrastructure that is more than 50 years old, including poles, wires and equipment that have reached their useful service life. DPL replaced the existing H-frame configuration with new conductor and hardware on new steel monopole structures within the existing Project ROW. The existing wooden H-frame structures will be removed.

McCormick Taylor served as the primary environmental consultant to DPL. Prior to permit submittal and the initiation of construction activities, McCormick Taylor performed preliminary archeological and architectural fieldwork, raptor nest surveys, wetland delineation, and access corridor analysis. McCormick Taylor identified 33 Phase II sites, two Enhanced Phase II sites, and recovered 12,102 artifacts during our cultural investigations to satisfy Section 106 of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permit. Forty-three total raptor nests were observed along the existing project ROW during our field surveys, which required consultation with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), time-of-year restrictions, and buffer requirements. All preconstruction information and fieldwork was integral to the procurement agency permits which needed to be approved prior to the initiation of construction activities.

After receiving approvals from USACE, DNREC, and Conservation Districts, McCormick Taylor provided daily onsite environmental monitoring consultation to ensure compliance with permit conditions. Environmental monitors were responsible for flagging all wetland and stream channels along the project corridor to help the contractor identify resource areas. The monitors’ main responsibility was to review the approved design plans and monitor construction activities relevant to environmental permit requirements, environmental regulations, and commitments. The Cedar Creek to Milford Transmission Line Rebuild Project is tentatively scheduled for completion in June 2018.

Click here to learn more. 

McCormick Taylor Participates in Earth Day Celebration at Jackson Creek Elementary

On Wednesday, April 18, McCormick Taylor participated in Jackson Creek Elementary School’s Earth Day Celebration! We collaborated with LS3P, the lead architect for the Columbia, SC school, to prepare two educational signs that were installed at a rain garden and bioswale that we designed.

Jackson Creek is a new school that opened last August. McCormick Taylor was on LS3P’s team to provide innovative stormwater BMP solutions and native planting plans for the entire site, specifically the stormwater BMPs. The school is located in an environmentally sensitive area and within the headwaters of Gills Creek, a watershed that was ravaged by floods in 2015. The local watershed society pushed the school system into embracing an environmentally conscious design, which resulted in a stormwater green infrastructure approach.

Jason Hetrick of our Columbia office provided an instructional demonstration to the school’s fourth graders, as well. After discussing what stormwater is and how these green stormwater facilities function, they moved outside for more demonstrations and installation of the signs.


Angela Schreffler Receives John H. McCormick Educational Outreach Award

Angela Schreffler, PWS, CE

We’re proud to announce that Angela Schreffler, PWS, CE has received the John H. McCormick Education Outreach Award presented by the Central Pennsylvania Engineer’s Week Council. Nominated by WTS Central PA for her volunteer efforts, she was presented the award at the Council’s banquet on Wednesday, February 21.

Angela, a senior environmental scientist in our Harrisburg office, enjoys science, nature, and transportation, and she delights in sharing her excitement with younger generations. While educational outreach has very little to do with her job, it’s still something that she is passionate about. Her favorite part of volunteering is watching the kids’ disbelief change to excitement when they witness and understand how science makes the world work. Being a female in an industry that is dominated by men, she especially loves introducing girls to STEM topics and helping them realize their full potential as future leaders.

She has been active in a variety of roles since she became a member of WTS in 2008. In addition to the opportunities WTS has offered her, she is a Girl Scout troop leader, volunteers as a judge at local science fairs and her local Junior Achievement program, and she visits her children’s school to do in-classroom science activities once or twice a year. Most of the organizations she volunteers for typically involve at least one of her own four kids, so it’s another way for her to make fun memories with her family.

Encouragement, exposure, and mentoring seem to be the most influential factors for girls to choose STEM fields in college and their careers,” Angela said. “WTS is the perfect organization to mentor our future transportation leaders.”

Angela serves as WTS Central PA’s new Scholarship Chair and will continue to volunteer on the Transportation YOU committee, for which she was co-chair from 2014-2017. Transportation YOU is a hands-on, interactive, mentoring program that offers young girls an introduction to a wide variety of transportation careers. Their chapter offers several different types of programs, including classroom visits, donating books to local schools that feature girls in STEM fields, running an activity booth during Engineers Week at a local science center, and a monthly program with the Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania.