ESP Associates, P.A. (ESP) is a privately owned multi-disciplinary professional services firm established in 1986. A wide range of clients including local municipalities, state and federal governments, educational institutions, and large-scale private developers utilize ESP’s vast service offerings from project conception to regulatory compliance and construction completion.
ESP provides quality, reliability, and attention to detail in all of their service areas. The firm’s offerings are organized into six main service areas to respond to a variety of needs throughout the project:
- Geoenvironmental / Materials Sciences – geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, Special Inspections, environmental services, geophysical services
- Transportation Services – CEI, utility coordination, materials testing support
- Surveying – conventional, SUE, LiDAR, GPS, mobile mapping, and 3D scanning
- Civil Engineering / Land Planning – assistance with municipality approvals/rezoning efforts, schematic planning, preliminary project evaluation, due diligence and feasibility, hydraulic evaluations, construction documents, governmental review and permitting, bid administration, and construction administration
- Water Resources – floodplain mapping, GIS, flood risk assessments, flood mitigation, flood warning, rapid response and high water mark survey
- Landscape Architecture – green infrastructure, planting/hardscape design, project renderings
2016 marks the 30th anniversary for ESP. Over the last 30 years, ESP has grown into a company dedicated to integrating innovative technology into all phases of their various service areas. They have grown from a small company in North Carolina to a leading firm in the Carolinas, with 11 office locations across the Eastern United States. ESP is honored to maintain numerous 30-year relationships with both public and private clients throughout the Southeast. Through years of dedicated service, ESP has ranked four consecutive years in the ENR Top 500 Design Firms and the ENR Southeast Top Design Firms. ESP was also ranked as one of the largest area engineering firms in the Charlotte Business Journal, and ranked #30 on Zweig Group’s Hot Firm list of 2016. ZweigWhite recognizes the 100 fastest-growing architecture, engineering, planning, and environmental consulting firms in the United States and Canada.
ESP is working on a few noteworthy projects listed below:
Haile Gold Mine
ESP is currently providing geotechnical and construction materials testing services for the Haile Gold Mine project in Kershaw, SC. The Haile Gold Mine was one of the first operating gold mines in the United States. Mining is documented to have started in 1827 with operations starting and stopping numerous times over the last 200 years. In recent times, the mine and surrounding land (approximately 5,000 acres) was purchased by an Australian firm, OceanaGold.
The gold in this region is found in small flakes in lieu of the Gold Rush nuggets that typically come to mind. In order to mine gold from the earth, a chemical processing system is used to separate gold from other materials. Portions of the separated material from processing is required to be deposited into a lined basin environment where recycling of portions of the slurry occur. ESP has been a part of the initial basin cell construction and other site related improvements. The initial construction of the basin cells total approximately 400 acres of the following structures:
- Borrow area
- Embankments constructed of select fill, Coastal Plain soils and low-permeability soil
- Lined basin areas constructed of:
- low-permeability soil
- an HDPE geomembrane liner system with associated underdrain piping system
- underdrain collection pond
- runoff collection channels
- sediment control basins
ESP has been involved with this project since 2014 and plans to remain involved with its development for the foreseeable future.
Carowinds Amusement Park
Carowinds is a 398-acre amusement park, located on the border between North and South Carolina, in Charlotte, NC and Fort Mill, SC (the state line runs through the centerline of the entranceway to the park!) Since 2012, ESP has been a trusted partner and consultant to Carowinds providing a range of professional services in support of the planning, design and construction for improvement projects at the amusement park facility. Scheduling challenges during on and off season times has required thorough and constant communication with the construction team in order to meet schedule demands. A few of the improvements that they have assisted with:
- The Fury 325 Giga Coaster (325 feet tall, as fast as 95mph)
- An expansion of Carolina Harbour (water park)
- The Sling Shot (sling shot yourself 300 feet into the air)
- Rip Cord (50 foot free fall)
- Newly located North Gate entrance and ticketing facilities
- New restaurant and other retail facilities
- Other small facility and parking upgrades
- Ongoing new amusement park improvements
ESP has provided:
- Boundary surveys, topographic surveys and SUE evaluations
- Aerial LiDAR, orthophotography and mapping for the campus
- Extensive geotechnical engineering analysis for the various structures
- Environmental services
- Civil engineering and landscape architecture design
- High sampling frequency materials testing, and special inspections
I-77 HOT Lanes
I-77 is being expanded in the northern Charlotte region. This project, North Carolina’s first Public-Private Partnership highway project, is approximately 26 miles long and will add one to two toll lanes in each direction. The project has challenges associated with crossing a prominent lake in two locations, existing developments in close proximity to the highway ROW, restricted land for improvement needs and several new connectors to construct. ESP is one of the firms providing quality assurance CEI inspections for the project on behalf of NCDOT. Inspections are provided for the various heavy highway components to support NCDOT’s quality assurance efforts during construction activities.
Over the past few years ESP has invested in photogrammetric and geospatial technology to provide their clientele with the most efficient and cost effective data collection services the industry can offer. UAV technology allows for the capturing of aerial imagery and transforming it into 2D and 3D models of small and medium-sized sites. ESP is using this technology for the purposes of inspection of structures with access challenges, Construction Information Modeling (CIM), data collection for quantification of site changes, imagery for topographic and boundary survey needs, Emergency Response data collection and construction inspection documentation. The UAV maximizes ESP’s data capturing capabilities without compromising the integrity and accuracy of the data and deliverables.
For more information on ESP, go to www.espassociates.com