662-843-3432       MAILING: PO Box 117, Cleveland MS 38732       OFFICE: 125 S. Court St., Cleveland MS 38732

December 2, 2023

Eley | McPherson Engineering

Local firm with new name still providing 

top-notch services to Cleveland and beyond

By Aimee Robinette

The Bolivar Bullet

Eley|Barkley, P.A. may have changed its name to Eley/McPherson Engineering, but the same precision and excellence continues. 

“Eley|McPherson Engineering was first established in January 1984 by Robert B. Eley, PE, PLS, offering civil engineering and land surveying services. Originally known as Eley Engineering, PA, the firm thrived serving private clients, municipalities, and counties in Bolivar County and the Mississippi Delta,” said Bob Eley, of his company.

In 2011, Bob’s son-in-law and daughter, Ross and Lara Barkley, joined the Cleveland office, adding architecture to the list of services and changing the name to Eley|Barkley, PA. 

“In 2019, Ross and Laura moved the architectural offices to Oxford and Josh McPherson, PE became part owner in the Cleveland office,” Eley explained. “As a result of this new ownership, the Cleveland office changed its name to Eley|McPherson Engineering, continuing to offer civil engineering, land surveying and material testing services in Bolivar County and throughout Northwestern Mississippi.” 

The firm has extensive experience in surveying, design and construction engineering for highways, bridges, roads and streets, drainage, water supply, wastewater collection, wastewater treatment, solid waste disposal, stormwater collection, survey, mapping, and construction materials testing. 

“Eley|McPherson Engineering has had the opportunity to serve as county engineer for Bolivar County and city engineer for numerous municipalities throughout the Mississippi Delta. Our comprehensive list of services enhances our ability to provide our clients with a high degree of skilled technical expertise,” said Eley. 

His knowledge of every bridge, road and plat of the county and many surrounding municipalities is unmatched and he has worked hard to do the most with whatever budget that is available.  

Eley didn’t always want to be an engineer. “I decided I wanted to become an engineer after my first year and a half of college. I changed from pre-med to engineering and transferred to Mississippi State from Delta State in the spring semester of my sophomore year, which was January 1974. I graduated in 1977,” he said.

He has kept up with changes in his profession which has been mostly technological.

“Engineering has changed a great deal from when I first started. Of course, computers and GPS would be the two greatest changes. When I first started engineering school, we were still using slide rules, optical transits and steel tape measures,” he said.

One thing that hasn’t changed is Eley’s appreciation for the people he works with on a regular basis. “First and foremost, I enjoy working with so many great people, including our great employees and our diverse clientele. But, a close second would be that we work with great clients to solve sometimes very difficult problems, which is both challenging but also extremely rewarding.”

That includes the Bolivar County Board of Supervisors and the residents within. 

“I have been the county engineer for Bolivar County since 1989. It has been a great privilege to serve the people of Bolivar County as their county engineer for the past 32 or so years. Although many changes have occurred over the years, serving the people we work with and the quality of the services remain our primary focus.

“Solid engineering and quality control has always been at the forefront of our company’s philosophy. We strive to serve our clients with the utmost in quality, integrity, transparency, value and genuine concern for what is best for them. We also work hard at developing and maintaining long standing relationships with our clients. As I always say, the engineering work is the easy part, it’s the relationships and always doing what is best for the client that’s hard,” said Eley.