All projects are important – from the iconic super stars to the mundane quality of life improvements, we approach all of our work with the same dedication and reverence for the science and craft of engineering.  But every once in a while a project comes along that we just can’t wait to get to work on; those special opportunities that give even the most seasoned and experienced engineer a case of the goosebumps when they are awarded…and still do when we drive past them. Join us this week as we talk about these projects that make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Today is our Throwback Thursday Edition!

At left is an image many are familiar with – Dulles International Airport which serves our National Capital Region.

Dulles Airport was dedicated in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy after a four year design and construction process. President Eisenhower selected the site (what was then Chantilly) for the proposed airport in 1958 and neo-futuristic architect Eero Saarinen was chosen to design the now iconic main terminal (his original sketch is on the left). But before designs could be finalized, the A/E team needed solid data on the substrata – they turned to F&R to provide a subsurface exploration and laboratory testing program which formed the basis for final facility design and construction.

That’s right, the photos dated June 1958 below depict F&R’s drilling team on the future site of Dulles International Airport. If you’ve traveled through the Northern Virginia/DC area it’s pretty hard to believe that it was an unpopulated expanse of forest just 70 years ago – we humans can really move into a place!

Unfortunately there is no one on staff from those days to share project details (“The rig had square wheels and we had to push it uphill!”) but we are so proud of them and their part in shaping the built world.