Volkert & Associates Inc.
A History of Award-Winning Infrastructure
Inducted in 2003
Millions depend daily on infrastructure designed by Volkert & Associates, ranked 198 in Engineering-News Record’s Top 500 U.S. design firms. Alabama’s Hall of Fame has inducted three Volkert projects — I-10 Twin Bridges over Mobile Bay, McDuffie Coal Terminal, and Cochrane/Africatown USA Bridge; and last year, CEO Keith King was selected.
The Mobile-based engineering and architectural firm was organized in 1925 as Doullut & Ewin in New Orleans. After World War II, Southern Industries brought the company to Mobile. By 1950, the firm had a new name, Ewin Engineering Corporation, and was being recognized for prominent projects including Mobile’s Ladd Stadium, Providence Hospital, and work at Alabama State Docks.
David G. Volkert, P.E., came to Mobile in 1946 with Southern Industries. In 1954, he acquired controlling interest in Ewin. Design projects during this time included the Port of Miami, McDuffie Island sewage treatment plant, and the District of Columbia stadium (now RFK Stadium). Volkert award-winners included the Lake Pontchartrain causeway (New Orleans), Capital Beltway bridge on I-495 (Maryland), and the roadway to L’Enfant Plaza (D.C.). In 1963, the company became David Volkert & Associates. Mr. Volkert served actively in the company until his death in 2001. T. Keith King, P.E., became president and CEO in 1983 and added chairman of the board in 2000.
The 1970s were busy years, culminating in 1978 with the opening of a Birmingham office and the selection of the I-10 Twin Bridges over Mobile Bay, as one of the top engineering achievements in the nation. Volkert engineers planned miles of interstate highway, including the I-59/I-65 Interchange and I/59 and I/20 in Birmingham, tunnels, a subway station, and bascule bridges. This era saw Volkert continuing and expanding the firm’s clientele for water and sewer facilities, which has grown into a primary service area, particularly for utility providers in Mobile, Jefferson, and Baldwin counties.
By the 1980s the firm’s impeccable reputation, particularly in transportation engineering, was far-reaching. Seeing opportunities in new federal bridge inspection mandates, Volkert developed teams to assist cities, counties, and states in the continuous inspection of their roadway bridges. Volkert expanded its airport design work and marine projects including its Hall of Fame project — McDuffie Coal Terminal.
During the 1990s, another Hall of Fame project, the Cochrane/Africatown USA Bridge, joined Volkert’s list of infrastructure projects along with I-565 in Huntsville, I-165 in Mobile, the Perdido Pass bridge, and the Foley Beach expressway. In this period, Volkert Construction Services expanded the firm’s construction engineering services for state, local, and county departments of transportation.
Volkert’s Foley office serves the growing vacation and retirement home market in Baldwin County with land planning, engineering, and environmental services. Other areas of specialization are design and program/construction management for commercial, health-related, and educational facilities offered by the architectural group, and a full range of environmental services provided by Volkert Environmental Group.
Across the decades, Volkert branched out through the Southeast. Its 600 employees occupy thirteen regional and design offices, plus field offices for construction and right-of-way services. Professionalism and licensure are expected of Volkert staff, and the company provides in-house workshops to supplement specialized training to assure the up-to-date certification required by the firm’s clients. Volkert employees own the corporation’s stock, thanks to a 1975 stock option plan. Led by CEO King’s example, employees share Volkert’s devotion to good causes — civic, charitable, professional, and, especially, educational.
Volkert & Associates’ corporate vision is to participate in the expansion of the nation’s infrastructure, while enhancing the environment and quality of life by focusing on the highest standards of professional practice, client satisfaction, growth and development, and public service.