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Amid Lake Ontario flooding, MRB grows Rochester team

A local firm has added another member to its engineering team in Rochester.
MRB Group President Ryan Colvin, PE, announced the addition of Johanna Lang-Bentley, PE, to the firm’s engineering team in Rochester.
Lang-Bentley is a civil engineer with extensive expertise in hydraulic and hydrodynamic engineering systems design. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from University of Rochester in Biomedical Engineering, then earned a Master of Science degree in Sustainable / Industrial Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology. Her hands-on experience includes both large and small scale urban, coastal, and marine water projects, including serving as lead modeler in the Cities of Los Angeles and Vancouver.
“Right away, Johanna’s expertise will be a tremendous asset to Finger Lakes and Lake Ontario shoreline communities,” said Colvin. “Her extensive modeling capabilities will help leaders plan for the significant challenges ahead,” he said.
Recent reports about the rising water level in Lake Ontario have raised concerns on a state and national level about its impacts, while the imminent threat to major infrastructure is often managed by local governments – many of whom are facing the crisis alone.
The Tribune News Service recently reported that at 248 feet above sea level, Lake Ontario is already threatening to break the record set in 2017.
According to Colvin, there’s urgency about adequate preparedness for what’s to come. The flooding that occurred in 2017 cost billions in damages to properties and lost revenues for New York businesses. The further, less-discussed damage to municipal infrastructure struck a second blow, with structural, operational, and environmental impacts that continue to increase costs to taxpayers and users for water, sewer stormwater systems, and roads. While disaster relief funding can offset some of the costs, not all is covered.
“We help communities take action to protect their critical infrastructure. Investment in engineering and planning today can significantly reduce costs tomorrow,” said Colvin.
“We’ve been working with community leaders to prepare for ‘the new normal’. What are supposed to be ‘100-year events’ are occurring frequently,” he continued. “Having a trusted engineering firm as part of the local government management team is now more important than ever before.”
“Our teams help communities plan with more reliable information that also allows them to anticipate budgetary impacts,” Colvin said. “Johanna can identify threats, prevention, and response-options with skills she’s acquired in high-risk environments. She’s one of the best in her field and our clients will appreciate her expertise – especially in this time of need,” Colvin said.
“Johanna joins a strong and growing team of water and wastewater engineers at MRB Group that are regarded as go-to experts. We’re certainly proud of our award-winning projects, but it’s the disasters prevented and the problems precluded – that no one ever will see – they make the biggest difference. That’s where we help communities most,” Colvin added.
MRB Group has served the Central New York region for more than 90 years, providing engineering, architecture, and municipal services to support local governments, some for many decades. The firm currently works with more than 140 communities assisting with day-to-day operations like water and wastewater treatment, public works services, architecture for maintenance and rehabilitation of public facilities, and support for municipal operations including strategic planning, planning board services, and economic development.