Taking BCC into the Future
It takes a formidable team to make a mark on the highways and byways of Florida’s legendary road network. BCC Engineering has made history by securing some of the state’s largest projects for its impressive portfolio.
When it comes to complex projects in Florida’s Highways & Transportation sector, BCC Engineering is right up there with the best, ranking high on the South Florida Business Journal’s list of top engineering firms. The company has also been amongst Engineering News-Record’s top 500 design firms for the past two years.
Lauded for its capacity to execute projects of incredible scale and complexity, this industry giant, presently celebrating its 25th year in business, is headquartered in Miami, Florida. Its presence across the state includes offices in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, and Panama City.
The company is best known for its work on design-build projects in collaboration with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), which also includes Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise and all its districts. Today, the company has an expansive portfolio and it works on large-scale conventional design projects for public and private clients including acting as the client’s representative – essentially, the owner’s eyes and ears in Owner’s Rep./General Engineering Consulting assignments such as the $802 million I-395/SR 836/ I-95 Signature Bridge Project in downtown Miami.
In addition to FDOT and Expressway Authorities, the company provides its services to architectural firms, developers, private companies, and general contractors like Archer Western Contractors, Anderson Columbia Co. Inc., de Moya Group and Halley Engineering Contractors, among others. There are also scores of clients in local government and municipalities like that of Miami-Dade County, City of Miami, City of Miami Beach, City of Fort Lauderdale, and more.
BCC’s offering spans 10 extensive service areas that include planning, structural engineering and construction inspection services, as well as intelligent transportation systems (ITS), whereby information technology is harnessed for improved traffic management. Then there are its services in traffic operational analysis and travel demand analysis modeling that include policy planning, a robust understanding of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) guidelines and a host of other relevant functions. The company recently added a water resources team that will be in charge of stormwater modeling and the master planning and design of clients’ sea level rise and resiliency needs.
Working with the company is meant to be a joy, as its agile teams are fast and efficient. “From the time a potential project hits our inbox, it takes little to no corporate bureaucracy for us to go/no-go. We always seek to deliver the highest quality service and product [at] the right fee,” says Ariel Millan, P.E., Executive Vice President, highway design engineer and principal on all high-profile projects. In a short timeframe, everything – from due diligence to the scope of the job, contract particulars, and requirements in terms of delivery and budgets – is ascertained and processed.
Always aspiring to new heights, BCC Engineering ascribes part of its success to solid leadership, which the company believes starts from the top. Together with this, the work ethic, drive, and passion for innovation that have driven the company’s leaders from the start are what drive the entire team today. Despite the mammoth size of its projects, this team dismissed the idea of fostering a ‘corporate’ atmosphere from the beginning. Instead, a light-hearted, fun atmosphere creates a powerful sense of positivity that reflects in absolutely everything this team does. “From the passion of the leadership to the fun work environment, it is a unique company that all levels of the firm are proud of,” says Millan.
The leadership team believes in their employees as another great driver of the company’s success. “The main reason anyone should work with us is our staff,” says Millan. “Every BCC employee is an important key to our success.” The team’s insistence on critical thinking sets the company apart in many interesting ways. While many in the industry can do the same work, the BCC Engineering team insists on setting themselves apart by asking the right questions before projects commence. In fact, they question everything from the type of bridges and pavements used to the design criteria and methods, to the scope of services, in order to ensure that they do right by the client at all times across every aspect of each project.
BCC’s history is as awe-inspiring as its project portfolio. Starting out in 2006 with only 10 employees, Jose Muñoz and Ariel Millan took over the company with their original partners, Luis Rodriguez and Daniel Raymat. While the leaders were all experts in their fields, it took sheer guts and sweat equity to get the company to where it is today. Jose Muñoz and Ariel Millan first met each other as teenagers at Miami International Mall where they both worked summer jobs. As the two matured – along with their friendship – their careers started taking shape and the two decided to purchase BCC Engineering, which had originally opened its doors in 1994.
In the early days, the team was known for their expertise in structural work, but over time they evolved according to each leader’s industry expertise and contribution. The company’s rise to stardom was swift but solid and the team outgrew its offices within the first six months. Sonia Martinez, the company’s former Chief Financial Officer, played a particularly prominent role in helping to establish the business. Despite her sad and untimely passing, the team continues to honor her contribution in making BCC Engineering the shining beacon of success and integrity that it is today.
While there have been umpteen successes over the years, the company’s greatest moment remains the Palmetto Expressway’s Section 2 & 5. The largest of its kind in Florida at the time, this was the big break that the team had been working toward. Putting everything on the line, BCC Engineering walked away from the bidding process with the highest technical score, securing the projects – along with the company’s future. Section 2 became the pinnacle of many participants’ careers and, just as they thought it couldn’t be topped, Section 5 commenced. As one of America’s largest interchanges, this project boasted 47 bridge structures that would challenge this team’s talent and tenacity in a way that no other project has.
Now, there is Tampa’s Gateway Expressway, a $554 million project that was awarded in 2017. BCC Engineering is collaborating with Archer Western and the de Moya Group on what is set to be a four-year project. Owned by the Florida Department of Transportation, the expressway comprises dedicated elevated express lanes in Pinellas County across the region’s most important transportation corridors. When complete, it will offer road access from Bayside Bridge toward Ulmerton Boulevard and will pass alongside St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport before flowing into the Gateway corridor. More express lanes will be made available in the direction of US Highway 19 North, whilst keeping non-toll lanes in use.
With such gargantuan projects come fantastic opportunities for growth – which is why the company is known as a great name to have on one’s résumé. But, despite appearances, it is not all work and no play. Dubbed by an employee as the “Google of engineering,” there is more than enough opportunity to have fun, too. After all, unstructured social time drives creativity and creativity drives innovation, one of the company’s greatest strengths.
There are around 200 people who make BCC Engineering the trusted industry partner that it is, and management is decentralized, with teams reporting directly to profit center leaders who take care of the day-to-day leadership on the ground. With so many great people contributing their time and effort to the company, its executive leadership team believes in maintaining a happy work environment at all times.
To this end, the company’s new headquarters’ gym, basketball court, and shower facilities ensure that staff members have the opportunity to remain active and positive without the hassle of schlepping around the city to reach a fitness center. The open lounge and coffee breaks during the day ensure that everyone stays connected and has a few moments to let off steam. “We have passionate staff in every office who provide innovation and a work ethic that we are proud of,” says Millan. Employees also have an attractive list of benefits, including health insurance and retirement packages as well as paid time off, employee development and community involvement opportunities.
There are many causes and foundations that benefit from the company’s philanthropy, with cancer, diabetes and autism groups being particularly close to its heart. And it doesn’t just contribute funds, either. Employees spend time to help where they can and the company has even employed staff through the de Moya Foundation, a group that focuses on creating job placements for young adults with disabilities. Once placed, de Moya supports these team members by providing guidance and independence to citizens who are now engaged in an economic endeavor. Other groups that benefit from BCC Engineering’s support are Habitat for Humanity, His House Children’s Home, the March of Dimes, the Boys & Girls Scouts of America, United Way, and many more.
In a changing world, keeping ahead of the technology curve and industry demands remains key to the company’s own growth and development. “As an industry, we need to continue to hold the highest standards of public safety and design in the projects we design and build. Our system is tried and true,” says Millan. To this end, as the company celebrates its 25th anniversary, it is focused on continuous technological upgrades and growth and learning with particular regard to 3D modeling software.
New technology is integrated with great care on an individual project basis ensuring logical, intelligent continuous improvement. As vehicle technology improves and develops, the company foresees that it will significantly affect Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS). Due to the complex nature of this field, it is especially in this arena where the company advocates strong leadership. For this reason, it is making pertinent efforts to remain up to speed with the evolution of the automotive industry in order to develop road and highway technology in tandem with market demands.
Heeding the responsibility that comes with the terrain, BCC Engineering is forging its plans to expand into the American Southeast market and beyond. Of course, trust and integrity remain key components to its growth. “When people come to us, they know we’re going to give them honest answers to their questions. We have a very honest approach especially with regard to the ‘why’ when clients get work done,” says Millan – which is why BCC Engineering is set to remain one of Florida’s premier industry leaders.