C+S March 2020 Vol. 6 Issue 3 (web)

SZ: Tunneling and underground projects are among the riskiest en- gineering practice areas; solid engineering judgement and practical solutions that always have safety as a primary concern are paramount. Throughout the years, I have learned that the only way to successfully conquer great challenges is to rely on a team contribution, and having the courage to pursue one’s own vision and convictions. Often it is not easy, but while practicing perseverance, respect, and camaraderie that are very typical for the tunnel industry, it is possible. Courage is a big The Zlatanic File Sanja and husband Jusuf, a gastroenterologist in New York, have two sons, Viktor and Matthew. SELECT PROJECTS AMTRAK – Baltimore and Potomac (B&P) Tunnel in Baltimore, Maryland Preliminary engineering studies and environmental analyses of the B&P Tunnel to improve rail service, reliability and address a longstanding bottleneck alongAmtrak's busy Northeast Corridor (NEC). LA Metro – Crenshaw/LAX LRT Line, Los Angeles, CA Design of underground segment of this $2B design build program for HNTB as a lead designer of a DB team. MTA – Long Island Rail Road, East Side Access/ Grand Central Connection, New York, NY Design manager who led the design development of the Manhattan segment deep station alternative and was responsible for the delivery of the final documents that resulted in the selection of the deep station scheme for this $7.6 billion project. MTA Bridges and Tunnels (TBTA), Brooklyn Battery Tunnel Wall and Ceiling Rehabilitation, New York, NY Project engineer during the project’s construction stage, this project for MTA Bridges and Tunnels comprised tunnel ceiling rehabilitation, liner repair for damage caused by water leakage and roadway lighting improvements for the 9,717-foot-long (3,000-meter-long) Brooklyn Battery Tunnel – the second longest underwater crossing in the U.S. – connecting lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Republic of Turkey Ministry of Transport, Istanbul Strait Road Crossing (Eurasia) Tunnel, Istanbul, Turkey Category 3 structures, systems and facilities for this $1.35B Istanbul Strait Road Tube Crossing project of 14.5 km in length that includes 5.4 km of road tunnels and 3.4km Bosphorus Strait Crossing double-deck bored highway tunnel 13.2m in diameter, and 2km Asian and European side tunnel approaches (roadways, toll plazas, ventilation and system buildings and facilities). San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, Central Subway Project – Underground Stations, San Francisco, CA Underground stations of San Francisco’s Central Subway project as part of a tri-venture on this project that consists of 1.8 miles of twin tunnels 20-feet in diameter and three underground stations at a cost of $1.58 billion. Washington State DOT – Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Panel and technical oversight lead for $2.4 Billion design build project of 2.1 miles bored tunnel that replaces the Alaskan Way Viaduct along the central Seattle waterfront.

tenance requirements, as well as midtown Manhattan’s environmental constrains during construction. It was like “building a ship in a bottle.” Most of the tunnel spoil removal was going through the Queens access shaft a few miles away. The project, clearly the largest undertaking in New York City in a long time, is expected to open in a few years so the opening day is not that far away. Another example of grand conceptual thinking is Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s BART Silicon Valley Extension, Phase II, where we suggested a single bore concept to minimize construction impact through downtown San Jose. This is the first time this approach is being used in the United States. VTA as the owner and BART as an operator had demonstrated great stamina and willpower to work together to resolve technical challenges. They jointly conceived an operational scheme that responds to the needs of both users and op- erators. Working with savvy program managers on both sides is very helpful; they saw the value of the project from the beginning and worked tirelessly with the engineering team, side-by-side, to explore all challenges and potential paths to solve them. C+S: What’s your message to women who are thinking about entering the engineering profession in general, and tunneling in particular? SZ: Women play very important roles in the tunnel industry. I have no- ticed throughout my career that teams that have the benefits of diverse participation, especially when solving complex challenges and explor- ing innovations, are generally more productive. A few decades ago, there were a handful of us that had made this career choice; however, today many more young female professionals are interested in tun- nels and underground engineering. This has been very refreshing and encouraging. They will find this industry supportive and rewarding. I have never met a woman who expressed a regret about being in the tun- neling industry, so I guess this makes it a “happy” career choice as well. C+S: You’ve said New York turned out to be a great proving ground for you as many large tunnel projects took place there early in your career. Looking back at that time, what were the most important career lessons you learned? Celebrating the opening of the Istanbul Strait Tube Crossing with design build contractors and P3 concessionaire. Photo: HNTB


march 2020


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