The RBA Group Inc.: Innovative Solutions that Enhance Quality of Life
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The RBA Group Inc. (RBA) was founded over 40 years ago as a multidisciplinary engineering, planning and architecture firm with penchant for challenging public-works projects. The company possesses an intricate knowledge of local, state and federal regulatory requirements, giving it an edge in transportation design, structural engineering and urban planning. RBA prides itself above all on working together as a team with the client to develop dynamic solutions that respect the surrounding communities, improve quality of life and pave the way for future growth.
“We’re proud to be a group of creative engineers, planners and architects with over 40 years of history,” says Neil Bernstein, president and CEO of RBA. RBA headquarters are located in Parsippany, N.J., and the company has offices in New York City, Melville and Long Island, as well as Norwalk, Conn., Philadelphia and Silver Spring, Md.
The company began as a small collective of engineering, architecture, planning and environmental professionals who accumulated a steady stream of work planning and designing new urban centers with heavy emphasis on the quality of life in the area. This emphasis led the company to acquire an expertise in bicycle and pedestrian projects, as well as publicly shared recreation spaces like greenways.
As RBA expanded the company acquired additional services like surveying, golf course design, land development, environmental services and landscape architecture. The only thing RBA doesn’t do is provide actual construction services. “We do provide significant construction inspection services on highway and road construction projects in New York City and Long Island,” states Bernstein.
Bernstein has been with RBA since he joined as COO in 2001 before assuming the role of CEO and president in 2011. During his tenure at RBA, the company has amassed a healthy amount of awards from industry organizations like the New York Association of Consulting Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Council of Engineering Companies and the Associated Builders & Contractors.
Over the past few years the New Jersey Turnpike Authority has undertaken the largest widening program in the history of New Jersey toll roads, and RBA is proud to be part of it. RBA has participated in the design of the turnpike widening, including Interchange 6 and 3.6 miles of mainline dual widening. RBA has also designed the widening of the Garden State Parkway from milepost 75 to 80, milepost 52.3 to 57.8, and Interchange improvements at Interchanges 41, 44 and 105.
Urban Planning with a Conscience
Rather than focusing on achievements for achievements sake, it is important to note that a large majority of the awards RBA has received were awarded in recognition of the company’s contributions to the community at large. Some awards were given for RBA’s contributions to environmental sustainability, as in the case of RBA’s work for the Bronx River Greenway, which earned the company an award in 2009 on behalf of the New York City Public Design Commission, as well as an award from the New York State Department of Transportation.
RBA provided its expertise in landscape architecture, site engineering, schematic design, contract documents and administration, interagency coordination and permitting and interpretive sign design for the Bronx River Greenway. The nature of the $46 million project also required RBA to coordinate closely with multiple public agencies on the project and organize public presentations complete with illustrative presentation graphics. RBA provided a design to develop a park along a 1.5-mile stretch on both sides of the Bronx River with amenities for active and passive recreation. RBA’s design also included a 16-foot-wide path winding across both sides of the river via three bicycle and pedestrian bridges, as well as landscaping mocking the native river ecosystem and woodlands.
RBA has completed over 120 greenway project designs in its history, the most recent of which is the master plan for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway in New York City. Planning began with a series of public workshops from 2004 to 2007, where the community established goals for the space and phases of implementation. RBA began working on the design in 2009, which will connect Brooklyn’s greenway network with Manhattan’s greenway system once completed.
The company has also dramatically improved Roberto Clemente State Park along the shore of the Harlem River in the Bronx. RBA led the design team in a significant effort to restore the complex and transform most of the existing outdoor concrete spaces into a state-of-the-art waterpark with an oasis of lush landscaping.
RBA has managed to make 2012 a major year for all of its departments. In addition to the engineering and planning projects described, RBA’s architecture group has designed the New Cassell Community Center in North Hempstead, Long Island, which will be LEED Platinum certified.
The RBA team is already mobilizing to keep up with a steady influx of public-sector work coming down the pipeline, which will also allow the team to focus on growing its Philadelphia branch, Brown & Keener, which RBA acquired in 2010. Backed by 40 years of experience, The RBA Group Inc. will continue to make its mark on every community it reaches by always developing solutions that improve the quality of life.
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