Small Business Spotlight: Fisher Associates

May 02, 2019 09:13 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) -- If you've driven over a bridge or through an intersection in town, chances are you've seen the work of Fisher Associates.

The consulting, engineering and professional services company has worked on some of the area's more interesting projects. 


The diverging diamond interchange on South Winton Road and Interstate 590 was like nothing ever attempted before in New York. It was called unconventional and innovative and that's why the state turned to Fisher Associates.

"It wasn't a well-known type of interchange, and so they knew they needed some kind of visual model showing how traffic would traverse through the interchange to really make people understand it," said Fisher CEO Roseann Schmid.

The Rochester engineering firm has been taking challenging situations and creating concepts and solutions for 35 years. 

"I've always been interested in how things are built, from the time that I can remember," said Schmid.

Fisher Associates provides services ranging from bridge and roadway design to traffic studies, pedestrian safety improvements and land development. The company did the traffic analysis for the diverging diamond and presented simulations to the public.   

News10NBC's Brett Davidsen: "What was the takeaway from that project? What did you learn from it?"

Roseann Schmid: "A picture is worth a thousand words."

Fisher also worked on the Frederick Douglass-Susan B. Anthony Bridge and the two-way street conversion project on Clinton and Saint Paul streets. The company also worked on the Bulls Head neighborhood revitalization, the Auburn Trail, and even did a traffic study for the new World Trade Center site in New York City.

With about 120 employees in all, 55 in Rochester, Fisher Associates is growing, and recently moved downtown to promote the city's re-birth and designed the new offices to attract young people with an open concept and a variety of different work spaces.

The firm also brings in 12th graders from the Rochester City School District monthly for career training, demonstrations and some hands-on experience.

"It's twofold," explained Schmid. "It's to help them as students who might not be exposed to these opportunities otherwise, but it's also to help our industry. Some of our disciplines are dying disciplines."

Schmid says a growing sector of their business is in wind farms, working with developers to help get them to the sites to build the turbines. But her favorite project to have worked on was in Corning where Fisher Associates transformed the Corning Center Way Arch Bridge -- an historic bridge rehabilitated and converted for pedestrian use.

"It was all pavement and we actually put a linear park on the bridge," said Schmid. "So it really turned out to be a great resource and beautiful resource for the community." 

A picture of the bridge hangs in the office.

"We said we have to make this a landmark structure for them. It's a centerpiece for their community."

Schmid says it's gratifying to see their concepts brought to fruition. 

"There's a short period of time from when you design something to when you actually see the benefit of it because it's actually built and you see it. That's the most rewarding part."

To learn more about Fisher Associates, click here.

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Brett Davidsen

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