100 YEARS AND COUNTING

Founded in 1915 by Clarence W. Hubbell, the engineering firm of Hubbell, Roth & Clark, Inc. began a journey that would take the small engineering firm from humble beginnings in downtown Detroit to a leading consulting engineering firm with six offices throughout the state of Michigan.

Faced with designing a solution to combat the staggering number of deaths attributed to Typhus and other water borne diseases, George Fenkell, commissioner of public works for the City of Detroit, soon retained Clarence to review a survey on the pollution of the Detroit River and provide recommendations. Although Clarence presented detailed plans in 1916 for treating the raw sewage that had been discharged into the Detroit River, it would take 23-years for the City to enact Clarence’s recommendations.

Today, the resulting Detroit Wastewater Treatment Plant designed and completed by HRC, is recognized as one of Michigan’s Top Ten Civil Engineering Outstanding Achievements of the 20th century. HRC’s early reputation for providing innovative solutions to complex engineering challenges paved the way for the firm to emerge as one of the leaders in designing many of the major infrastructure projects for the City of Detroit. The Detroit, HRC partnership has continued to grow and strengthen into the 21st century.

World War II brought with it new engineering requirements, with HRC answering the call through the design and implementation of sanitary and industrial wastewater plants for a number of facilities including: Selfridge Airbase, Chrysler Tank Arsenal and the Ford Willow Run Bomber Plant.

The boom following the war presented an opportunity for the development of new production and testing facilities throughout our state. HRC counts the General Motors Proving Grounds in Milford, the General Motors Technical Center in Warren and the Ford Motor Company complex in Monroe, among its many notable projects.

As the company expanded, HRC added services to meet regional needs by designing municipal drains, interceptors and collection systems to prevent the flow of polluted discharges into lakes and rivers and eliminate neighborhood flooding. As the population of Southeast Michigan rose by more than 200,000 from 1975 to 2005, HRC embraced emerging technology and developed expertise in roadway design and structural engineering to accommodate the need for improved road networks and bridges.

A partnership in 2002 with Lawrence Technological University brought with it an award-winning solution to the Bridge Street Bridge reconstruction project in Southfield. The team prepared the design on what would be the first of its kind bridge, reinforced with carbon fiber rather than steel.

With the strength of more than 200 employees and now headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, HRC is proud of its unwavering service to municipal, industrial and private clients. The company has retained ownership throughout its more than 100-year history and descendants of its founders are still leaders in the firm.

centennial plaque honoring hrc