Environmental Considerations in the Planning and Design of Transportation Projects


Environmental Considerations in the Planning and Design of Transportation Projects

Greg Benz, Senior Vice President, WSP USA, RA, AICP

3:30 p.m., March 21, 2024   |   129 DeBartolo Hall

Transportation services and facilities are integral to our communities, economies, environment, and well-being. While much of the focus of transportation facilities planning and design is on structural and systems engineering, a major component of a project is in the realm of environmental planning, design and engineering.

The term “environment” as used in this lecture includes natural, social, cultural, and economic considerations, including social equity, environmental justice, and sustainability. The process and content of meeting environmental compliance requirements and regulations will be reviewed.

Environmental protection, mitigation and enhancements, such as stream restoration, wetlands replacement and habitat protection will be demonstrated as will environmental engineering features such as stormwater management, using a current under-construction rail transit project. Integrating environmental considerations and engineering into the planning and design of transportation facilities makes a big difference in shaping, protecting and enhancing our world.

Greg Benz has over 45 years of experience as a transportation planner, designer, and project manager. His experience includes projects throughout the United States and around the globe. Greg is a senior vice president and board director with WSP USA (formerly Parsons Brinckerhoff), having held numerous business management roles, including most recently serving as WSP- USA’s Director for Technical Excellence & Innovation. Greg began his professional career with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

He holds a bachelor of architecture from the University of Notre Dame (’76) and a master of urban planning from Princeton University. He is a registered architect, a licensed professional planner, a life member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, a fellow of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, and an elected emeritus member of the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board.

His spouse of 45 years, Ann Greenburg Benz, Bachelor of Architecture, Class of ’76, was in the first class of women accepted to ND.