The Wilson T. Ballard Company is a consulting engineering firm specializing in the planning and design of public works projects such as highways, bridges, transit systems, storm drainage systems, water distribution systems and sewage collection systems. We also provide related services such as field surveys; right of way plats; site planning and design; coordination with regulatory agencies; public involvement; noise and air quality studies; traffic studies; signing, marking and signalization design; hydrologic/hydraulic studies; natural environmental studies including wetland delineation and impact mitigation; and geotechnical and foundation analyses. In recent years we have also planned and designed numerous projects including sidewalks, bikeways and improvements to meet ADA requirements. Our services range from initial studies and preparation of environmental documents through preparation of contract documents and consultation during construction. Though we work throughout the mid-Atlantic region, the vast majority of our work is for government agencies in Maryland.
The company was founded in April 1948 by Wilson T. Ballard, Sr. A graduate of Cornell University, Mr. Ballard had served in the Army Engineers Corps during World War I. He then held a variety of positions, including Chief Engineer for Maryland and Delaware in the Federal Administration of Public Works, Consultant for the County Commissioners of Baltimore County, and Chief Engineer of the Baltimore City Housing Authority. From 1939 through 1947, he was Chief Engineer of the Maryland State Roads Commission.
Wilson T. Ballard, Jr., also a graduate of Cornell University, joined the Company in 1952. Following a period as design engineer and vice president, he became president of the Company in 1963, and served in that position until his retirement in 1994.
Ronald W. Rye graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1974 with a BSCE, and from North Carolina State University in 1975 with a MSCE. He began his career at The Wilson T. Ballard Company in 1970 as a co-op and in 1975 he was hired as a transportation planning engineer. He was promoted to the management team in 1981 and he became president of the Company in 1994, serving in that position until 2020.
The company’s first office was in the Equitable Building in Baltimore City. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the company remained in Baltimore City, with offices at 116 East Preston Street, 824 North Calvert Street and then 2510 St. Paul Street. In 1971, we moved to our current office in Owings Mills, Maryland and in 1992, a branch office was opened in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania.
Throughout its history, The Wilson T. Ballard Company has had complex and challenging assignments. The company’s first project was the surveying and design of 16 miles of US 240 from Frederick to Brink for the Maryland State Roads Commission. That was followed shortly by an 18-mile section from Brink to Chevy Chase. This road was later renamed I-70 and I-270. In subsequent years we worked on the planning and design of the expansion of I-270, including HOV lanes and collector-distributor roadways. One of our most recent projects has been the planning and design of the North Avenue Rising economic revitalization project, which improved mobility and transit reliability for residents along the 4.8 mile roadway corridor.
We have been fortunate through the years to have talented and dedicated employees. We currently have approximately 61 employees, of which 56% have been with the Company more than ten years and 33% have been with the company more than 25 years. Our staff includes professional engineers, professional transportation planners, certified planners, professional traffic operations engineers, professional surveyors, ecologists, and civil engineering graduates.
We are proud of both the challenging assignments we have undertaken and the longevity of our employees with us.
President, The Wilson T. Ballard Co.