Jacobs mission supervisor helped deliver $2.5B NY transit mission in on time

This text is one in a sequence of conversations with girls leaders within the building trade. Click on right here for previous discussions.

Certainly one of Eva Chan Hu’s favourite initiatives additionally occurs to be a really high-profile one: The $2.5 billion extension of the Lengthy Island Rail Street, which wrapped up in October on time and beneath funds.

headshot of Eva Chan Hu

Eva Chan Hu

Permission granted by Jacobs


The New York Metropolis-based deputy industrial supervisor for Jacobs has labored on the LIRR mission because it launched in early 2018, and had a couple of completely different roles alongside the way in which. She began on the contract administration facet managing 20 sub-consultants. From there, she moved into threat administration, and later took on the position of deputy industrial supervisor. 

The growth provides an extra 9.8-mile-long third monitor to LIRR’s Most important Line, rising passenger capability, assuaging congestion, enhancing general rail companies and enhancing rider and automobile security. Jacobs labored with three way partnership associate Arup to supply mission administration oversight for the mission.

Right here, Hu talks with Development Dive about challenges on the LIRR mission, how she received into building and her recommendation for younger girls contemplating a profession within the trade.

This text has been edited for brevity and readability.

CONSTRUCTION DIVE: How lengthy have you ever labored in building?

EVA CHAN HU: I’ve nearly 25 years {of professional} expertise and I’ve been working with Jacobs for 15 years.

Inform us concerning the LIRR mission.

Engaged on the LIRR mission has been an actual profession spotlight. It’s been difficult however so rewarding to see it come to fruition. This railroad was constructed 100 years in the past when the inhabitants was a lot smaller, so having solely two tracks — one going east and one going west — labored. However because the inhabitants grew, so did demand. The railroad was already being run at capability, and if something occurred, with simply two tracks, every thing got here to a halt. A fallen tree, unhealthy climate, icy situations, a prepare breaking down — the railroad stops. 

The brand new third monitor serves as a buffer so if one thing occurs, a backup is accessible to deal with the load. The growth additionally will increase capability by 50%, with commute occasions diminished by nearly 40 minutes, saving time and offering reliability. It’s been actually rewarding to work on a mission that delivers such a big group affect.

What did you be taught by engaged on such a large mission, particularly through the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Threat administration performs a vital position on a high-profile megaproject just like the LIRR growth mission. We needed to be 5 steps forward, anticipating each state of affairs, pondering of potential outcomes and discussing every of them with the crew. With a mission of this scale, we had been up in opposition to a vital deadline and needed to overcome a number of sudden challenges to ship the mission on time and on funds, most notably, the COVID-19 pandemic. 

I’m from Hong Kong, and a few years in the past, town skilled a small outbreak of extreme acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Once I heard about what was occurring in Wuhan in late 2019/early 2020, it jogged my memory of the SARS outbreak. I alerted the crew, warning them this had the potential to change into a critical situation. 

We began discussing potential dangers, one among which was how the virus would possibly affect the availability chain. In fact, none of us knew we had been dealing with a pandemic, however because the virus unfold, we moved from threat administration to disaster administration, and earlier than we knew it, we had been working 100% remotely. 

The state of affairs was very fluid. We needed to adapt to produce chain points and different disruptions and develop an alternate schedule so work on the mission may proceed uninterrupted. 

We needed to act quick and in only a matter of days, we established programs and methods of speaking — a complete new working setting — as a result of stopping the mission wasn’t an possibility. 

What led you to decide on building on your profession?

I’ve an undergraduate diploma in civil engineering and a grasp’s diploma in finance and administration. I pursued a profession in civil engineering as a result of I needed to construct issues, however I shortly realized engineering encompasses a lot greater than I imagined, with infinite alternatives for studying and progress. 

Having levels in each engineering and finance and administration has enabled me to shift my profession into areas I get pleasure from, corresponding to planning, profit price evaluation, monetary modeling and threat administration. 

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