What Labor Day Means to Us

The true meaning of many of our modern holidays tends to get lost in social activities, shopping blitzes and greeting cards. So when a holiday like Labor Day rolls around, our thoughts are more likely to turn to back-to-school sales, barbecues or one last weekend at the beach.

For the construction industry, Labor Day is immensely important – I’d even say it’s “our” holiday.

The Federal Department of Labor defines Labor Day as “a creation of the labor movement, dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers, saluting the  contributions they have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

One of the great things I get to do as CEO is travel to our thousands of projects around the country. When I do, I see firsthand the incredible work we are doing – building roads and bridges, airports and hospitals, schools, data centers, office buildings and much more.

I also have the honor of meeting many of the talented people – our co-workers – who are building those jobs. I am always in awe of the men and women who spend hours outside – this time of year, in the hot sun – translating drawings on a page into the creations that catch our eye and tug at our imagination.  We build those projects that make people say “Wow, look at that.” If they only knew what it took to create – and how much love, sweat and worry is left at every job site!

Here, in their own words, are some of our co-workers who make us proud to be builders and developers. Check out more stories from our workers who built the World Trade Center Oculus and Transportation Hub, here.

Thanks to them and the thousands of Skanska employees across the country for the work they do.

 2016-PHOTO-ManuelBarrios-smaller“It’s a rare opportunity to be a part of such a great construction firm like Skanska. It takes a certain type of person to work in the industry and I know I work hard. I want to make sure that I am able to provide our subs with the tools and access they need to complete our job. Anyway that I can help, if I can do it, I will. There’s nothing I can’t do. I have many certifications but I have no problem doing the dirty stuff, if something needs to be cleaned I’ll tend to it. I am just very grateful.” – Manuel “Manny” Berrios, Miami Science Museum Team


2016-PHOTO-DavidCulliver-smaller“The best part of my job is meeting new people, seeing what they do.  I love learning new things and how they impact our customers. I was inspired by a job superintendent to keep learning and that has made an impact how I work.”  – David Culliver, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital in Fort Lauderdale




2016-PHOTO-JamesThompson-smaller“I got into the craft after high school, recognizing the opportunity it held. The best part of my job is meeting different people and teaching my craft to others. My job is hard, but also fun, exciting and very rewarding.” – James Thompson, I-4 Ultimate, Central Florida




2016-PHOTO-TylerSmith-smaller“After working as a Field Engineer in Virginia, I was nominated for the CCTP program and am currently on rotation at the I-4 Ultimate Project with the Safety team. The best part of my job is the travel, seeing other projects and participating in other facets of the industry that I would otherwise not get an opportunity to do. This is a fantastic learning opportunity, it is enjoyable, challenging and offers an opportunity to see, do and learn something new every day.” – Tyler Smith, SGL Safety Department


2016-PHOTO-Joseph-Bruneau-smaller“I am originally from Haiti, so this is an opportunity to begin a career in my newly adopted country. The best part of my job is building Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) walls, watching them get longer and taller.  Our crew is more than a team, we are building lasting friendships and a camaraderie that has become very important and fulfilling for me.” – Joseph Bruneau, MSE wall crew



2016-PHOTO-LucindaCox-smaller“Showing others they can be productive and schedule-conscious while still being aware of their surroundings and making the right decisions to help protect the well-being of them and their coworkers is what I love about my job. It is challenging, it takes discipline and patience, but it is very rewarding to see people working safely.” – Lucinda Cox, Area 1 Safety Manager




Richard Cavallaro

Richard Cavallaro

President and CEO, Skanska USA

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Leadership Sets the Tone for Safety

May 2-6 marks Skanska’s 12th annual Safety Week – and the 3rd annual Construction Industry Safety Week, where we and 50 of our peer construction firms pause to take a closer look at how “safety is the thread that ties us together.”  To kick off this important week-long observation, we asked Rich Cavallaro, President & CEO of Skanska USA, to share his thoughts on the role of executive leadership in promoting a culture of safety. 

2016-05-02 PHOTO-RichCavallaroSafetyWeek

As President & CEO of Skanska USA, I believe that, for safety to be a priority, it’s up to me to set the first example. Because if leaders create the right culture, employees will see results, right down to every worker on every project site.

A Brave Decision

Several years ago, a subcontractor who had just completed work on one of our our sites moved on to a job on a competitor’s site, literally across the street from our project. He came to us asking for help. The subcontractor appreciated our approach to safety and asked us to share tips with the contractors at his new project, because he felt their commitment to safety stopped after simply saying the right things. He was hoping we would put aside competitive interests in pursuit of helping everyone work more safely.

It was incredibly brave of this subcontractor to approach us like this. And we agreed with what he was trying to accomplish. So our project team agreed to have the conversation with the competitor.  To me, it was simply the right thing to do – and speaks to the type of culture leaders can create where every person truly is empowered to speak up for safety. If leadership across our industry feels the same, we can create the same culture on every job site in the country.

Things that save lives shouldn’t be trade secrets.

If a Skanska project team has a chance to make a difference across the industry, sharing that information is the right thing to do. Similarly, listening to suggestions from outside, whether from our own crews or our competitors, is just as important. Every leader at Skanska is working to make sure we’re living that culture, even if it means tough decisions when we see potentially unsafe actions. Living that expectation, by every company and worker on every project, will make a difference.

Safety is what ties us all together.

As a participant in the annual Construction Industry Safety Week, we can help do our part to reinforce that incident-free work in construction shouldn’t be an exception. Instead, it should be an expectation. For Safety Week, we have planned a series of specific activities in every region of the country designed to help reinforce our company’s focus on safety.

The spirit of Safety Week comes alive when we work together to take steps that help save lives. Together, we must set the cultural expectations for working in our industry. Because in the absence of leadership, safety cultures will fail.  If we choose to lead, we can prove that construction doesn’t have to be dangerous work.

Richard Cavallaro

Richard Cavallaro

President and CEO, Skanska USA

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How do you build trust?

How do you build trust within your organization? This was the question posed to Skanska USA CEO Rich Cavallaro in a recent Fortune Leadership Insider column, where the most thoughtful and influential people in business contribute their advice on careers and leadership.  Check out Rich’s response below and stay tuned for more insights from the Skanska leadership team on Fortune and the blog:

Building trust starts with creating stability and confidence by leading with a steady hand: leaders should not overreact to ups and downs, because they will happen in any business. Also, leaders should never play the blame game. Problems will always arise so it’s important to get the team focused on the solution, rather than trying to assign blame. And I believe in taking care of my employees, which means ensuring that each and every one of them feels a connection to their work at Skanska. Through this, they become invested in the outcome of their individual contributions.

However, the single biggest element to building trust is creating an environment where everyone feels safe to speak up to contribute their ideas and expertise. In today’s multi-generational, diverse offices – where millennials work side by side with baby boomers – it’s especially important to make sure that all team members feel valued, respected and engaged, regardless of their gender, race, age or work experience.


Rich addresses a Skanska team on a Safety Week job site visit.

Inclusion directly impacts performance, especially when it comes to generating innovation. Inclusive groups facilitate more ideas, better ideas and different ideas. On an individual level, performance improves when a person feels included and that has a direct impact on the group. Employees who believe they have more of a voice will exert more effort on behalf of the group, going above and beyond the call of duty. I want my employees to trust not only me, but also the organization, and feel confident their contributions are valued and have impact.

I am a true believer in the power of team building, as there are so many examples of teams delivering remarkable results that could never have been achieved otherwise. We can learn valuable business lessons from sports — teams like the 1980 U.S. Men’s hockey team, which showed what happens when individuals subvert their egos for the good of the team. Take the time to carefully evaluate how teams are structured in your organization. By fostering an inclusive culture and encouraging all of the people within your organization to think and speak up, you will naturally create a culture where employees are happier, more loyal and collaborative. And always remember that trust needs to flow in both directions from employee to leader and vice versa.

This post originally appeared on Fortune.com.

Richard Cavallaro

Richard Cavallaro

President and CEO, Skanska USA

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Learning about safety from those to whom it matters most

Last week was Safety Week, one of my favorite times of the year. There is nothing more important to me, to Skanska and to the rest of the construction industry than safety, so that’s why seven days filled with extra efforts to create awareness about safety and to increase the focus on eliminating accidents is so meaningful to me.

I definitely hope you took every opportunity to participate in Safety Week events in your area, either on jobsites or at offices. I was happy to get out to some of our projects to talk about safety – and more importantly, to learn how we can improve at being safe. At each site, I made sure to talk with not just our project team, but also with many craft workers. Skanska is emphasizing the need for proper safety planning for each day’s activities, so that people approach their work with a fresh set of eyes and don’t get complacent. Craft workers are on the front lines, so it’s critical that they understand the importance of pre-task plans.


Those conversations will stick with me. Pre-task planning involves paperwork, and I wasn’t sure if crews were feeling overwhelmed by the paper. But nearly all the workers I spoke with told me they weren’t. One of our electricians at one of our New York University projects said it best: “Pre-task planning is a necessary part of the job. It’s good – it makes you aware of what you’re supposed to be doing.” A few years ago, crews were telling me the opposite, that the paperwork was a hassle. It’s great that craft workers are now champions of the need for these checks and balances, and are seeing the benefits.

Crews also told me how important it is that pre-task plans are communicated:  not just throughout the crew doing that particular activity, but to crews doing adjacent work as well. If everyone understands what is going on, they can keep themselves out of harm’s way. I also heard about the effectiveness of programs – like that at our Bayonne Bridge project – that regularly bring together project management and craft workers to discuss what those workers need to do their jobs as safely and as efficiently as possible. That’s the kind of teamwork and understanding that leads to successful projects.

Additionally, craft workers spoke of how helpful it is to have images that aid in understanding upcoming project activities. We’re doing some of that already, and will soon be doing more through a safety platform we plan to roll out later this year, as well as through greater use of virtual design and construction models. Such images are particularly beneficial to those who speak English as a second language.


I left these Safety Week visits inspired. Again and again, I met people who were enthused and engaged about safety. People like Lee McPhie, a carpenter with Local 926, who said: “I try to set an example with how I work. We all keep each other safe.” That’s the kind of mindset everyone needs to have for the construction industry to stop hurting people.

There’s no reason our industry can’t be safer. There’s no reason everyone can’t go home the same way they went to work in the morning. And the lesson I ask everyone to take away from this Safety Week is that proper pre-task planning is the tool we need to be injury free, every day and everywhere.

Richard Cavallaro

Richard Cavallaro

President and CEO, Skanska USA

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From the State of the Union: a brighter light for U.S. infrastructure

U.S. infrastructure, from our roads and bridges to our courthouses and water systems, is in great need of investment. So the White House’s recent effort to increase private sector participation in public infrastructure projects through Build America, a government-wide initiative to increase collaborative infrastructure investment and economic growth, is an encouraging step towards increasing public-private partnerships in the U.S. – and I’m looking forward to further P3 announcements that I’m expecting President Obama to address tonight during the State of the Union address.

As you may know, in a P3, public money is leveraged with private investment to fast-track critical projects, for which the long-term responsibility to maintain that infrastructure falls to private partners.  Skanska is currently working on two of the nation’s largest P3s – Elizabeth River Tunnels in Virginia and I-4 Ultimate in Florida. Both these projects will help transform transportation and accessibility in their respective regions, while generating many well-paying jobs. P3s are a leading way to get major infrastructure done in our country today.


The Skanska-led consortium behind Orlando’s I-4 Ultimate public-private partnership project will widen and reconstruct 21 miles of interstate highway, greatly improving that region’s mobility.

Initiatives like Build America are a positive indication that the federal government supports states, municipalities and private enterprises that work collaboratively to create partnerships that benefit the American public by improving core infrastructure. In a fact sheet released on Friday that previews some of what President Obama might address in his State of the Union address tonight, the White House laid out new steps that federal agencies are taking to bring private sector capital and expertise to help improve U.S. roads, bridges, ports and drinking water systems. These steps include a new Water Finance Center at the Environmental Protection Agency, driving the Rural Opportunity Investment Initiative at the Department of Agriculture and leveling the playing field for municipalities seeking P3s by proposing the creation of a new kind of municipal bond, Qualified Public Infrastructure Bonds, so that governments can more easily work with the private sector to advance the public interest. All these efforts will go a long way to helping get more P3 projects off the ground.

Now and into the future, P3s will be essential for fixing our crumbling infrastructure. There is such a tremendous need for repair and little public money to pay for it, and meanwhile there’s plenty of private money on the sidelines waiting to be invested.

These latest initiatives to boost P3s hopefully generate many critical projects and elevate the conversation in Washington to find creative, alternate solutions to simply raising taxes or doing nothing.

Richard Cavallaro

Richard Cavallaro

President and CEO, Skanska USA

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7 cost-effective ways to make U.S. infrastructure more resilient

On May 6th, the White House released the third U.S. National Climate Assessment (NCA), concluding that the impacts of climate change – including sea level rise and storm surges, extreme weather events, higher temperatures and heat waves – are affecting the reliability and capacity of our nation’s infrastructure in many ways. This is the latest in a series of warnings about our infrastructure: the American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that in order to remain operational, U.S. infrastructure needs as much as $3.6 trillion in investments by 2020. Now is the time to act.

At Skanska, we’ve been thinking about this very topic for some time. I recently delivered a presentation on the need to make U.S. infrastructure more resilient to climate change at the annual Journalists Forum on Land and the Built Environment, a conference organized by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Harvard University.

New Orleans flooding

In New Orleans, a National Guard helicopter helps close a breach in a canal during Hurricane Katrina, which caused more than $150 billion in damage.

We’ve seen far too many images like the one above. Infrastructure design criteria have long been based on historical records, but given changing weather patterns our history likely doesn’t reflect our future. Indeed, NCA 2014 concludes that sea level rise, coupled with storm surge, will continue to increase the risk of major coastal impacts on infrastructure, including flooding of airports, ports and harbors, roads, rail lines, tunnels and bridges. We need to change how we design and build. And we need to think of ways to spend less but have more impact. Here are seven cost-effective strategies for making our infrastructure more resilient.

Subway1. Protect subways from flooding.  An easy way to do this is to elevate air grates that are typically embedded at grade in sidewalks. Simply raising these by about a foot or two can keep subways dry and add an artistic flourish to the streetscape. It’s a low-cost change with a potentially big impact. Likewise, raising the entrance to a subway station can prevent water damage. This does mean that pedestrians must go up to go down, but there are ways to make these types of entrances handicapped accessible.

2. Move critical elements to higher ground. Many buildings have important functions on their ground floors, such as emergency rooms, and have mechanical and electrical operations in the basement. Such configurations – which have typically been very convenient – were devastating to New Orleans’ hospitals during Hurricane Katrina. The replacement facility our joint venture is building there – called the University Medical Center – will have sacrificial administrative functions on the ground level, emergency and operating rooms on higher floors, and mechanicals on the roof. It’s a straightforward design approach with major ramifications for resiliency.

3. Bury electrical wires. One of Hurricane Sandy’s lessons is that something must be done about the poor state of electrical infrastructure. Millions of people in the New York/New Jersey region were without power for nearly a month due to Sandy knocking down overhead electrical lines. While burying many lines at once would be prohibitively expensive, why not start by undergrounding the most critical lines first? Eventually, our infrastructure will be more secure, with less of an upfront investment.

4. Use infrastructure in new ways. How? Turn underground parking garages – or even tunnels — into temporary water collection facilities during storms. While these structures can eventually be pumped out, by diverting a deluge they may save homes or sensitive buildings from being destroyed. In Washington, D.C., the National Coalition to Save Our Mall has proposed building a parking garage and water resource facility under a portion of the National Mall’s grass panels. Large cisterns in the facility would collect rainwater for mall irrigation and, during periods of heavy flooding, act as a floodwater retention basin. The project could be built with private money and paid for through parking fees at no cost to the public.

5. Use nature. Cities can also design more natural ways to mitigate disaster. In New York there’s a proposal to add 80 acres of new parks, wetlands and tidal salt marshes along the edge of Manhattan. Dredged material from harbor-deepening projects combined with geotextiles could form artificial barrier islands help reduce the impact of rising waters. Wetland plants can help absorb energy out of storm surges and protect coastlines

6. Plan together. Too often during big storms, crisis management becomes chaotic. During Sandy, many agencies were all vying for the same resources, such as water pumps. Plans, processes and procedures need to be coordinated to an even greater degree to ensure that those resources go to the most critical needs first.

7. Design infrastructure for a longer lifespan. While building a tunnel with the strength to survive a 500-year flood – perhaps with a floodgate and higher-strength concrete — may cost more upfront, it’s less expensive than having to rebuild the tunnel later.

There are many creative ways to improve resiliency. But the value of forward thinking and wise investments in infrastructure will become apparent when it matters most. And, as the 2014 NCA report demonstrates, when it comes to U.S. infrastructure, we cannot afford to wait.


Richard Cavallaro

Richard Cavallaro

President and CEO, Skanska USA

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Introducing Skanska Power Week

This week on the blog, social media and in person at the Power-Gen International conference in Orlando, we’ll be discussing the latest trends in energy and power. As a nation, we have seen tremendous changes in the way we consume energy and power our homes and workplaces. On the consumption side of the equation, we have done a good job at reducing how much power we use, but we need to continue to innovate and find the most energy-efficient processes and products available. On the energy production front, America is now poised to become an exporter of oil and natural gas in the next decade. Domestic energy production holds great promise for the construction industry. The market is growing, from the need for new cleaner gas-fired plants, to retrofits, run of river hydroelectric, and new combined cycle natural gas plants.

At Skanska, we’re excited to participate in this changing energy landscape. From implementing energy-efficient practices on our projects and in our offices to building new, higher-performing power plants, we’re investing in the future of power and energy in the U.S. Follow #SkanskaPowerWeek on the blog, on Twitter (@SkanskaUSA) and Facebook, or visit us at Booth #4679 at Power-Gen to learn more.


Richard Cavallaro

Richard Cavallaro

President and CEO, Skanska USA

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The Road to Resilient Infrastructure

There are several obstacles to overcome before we can start building more resilient infrastructure. Public budgets are stretched thin. This leads to a focus on getting the lowest cost in the short term, rather than the best value in the long term. Post Hurricane Sandy, there’s more talk about building resilient but, regrettably, it’s often just talk. Frequently, there’s no money for redundant systems and equipment, such as additional power feeds in case one source is lost. This is because resiliency isn’t a high enough priority for many owners. As memories fade, so does our resolve to make sure we better handle the next storm.

Another challenge is the interconnected nature of our cities, especially given utilities, transit, and transportation. This requires effective coordination between numerous government agencies. Large-scale coordination like that is always challenging.

A new system of infrastructure financing – such as an infrastructure bank – is needed to generate funds to upgrade and build more weather-resilient systems. Obama proposed the Partnership to Rebuild America in the 2013 State of the Union address. This would use $10 billion in public money to leverage private investment. It’s a good idea, because we’ve seen that private companies want to invest in public infrastructure. It’s what Skanska does.

9 -  Midtown Tunnel

The Skanska team’s $2.1 billion Elizabeth River Tunnels PPP project in southeast Virginia includes such resilient elements as raised tunnel entrances to guard against floodwaters.

Finding money through partnerships

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have been common in Europe and Canada, and they are becoming more common in the U.S. PPPs work best when there’s a critical infrastructure need but not enough public money to achieve that. Maybe it’s a highway that needs to be built, or a bridge, or a courthouse. In the U.S., more than 30 states have passed laws enabling PPPs.

P3 legislation_map

States with P3 legislation. Photo credit: Federal Highway Administration.

PPPs help with resiliency because they encourage a long-term view of each piece of infrastructure. If you’re a company that is potentially going to be signing a contract to build a bridge and then maintain it for 30 or perhaps 50 years, you’re going to build that bridge extra strong because you know the up-front investment to make it stronger and longer lasting will save money in the long run.  Government doesn’t have that same contractual obligation, and not having that can promote short-term thinking given public funding constraints.

America’s infrastructure needs work. Fortunately, the technology exists to fix many of our structures to make them more resilient and less susceptible to failure. We need to take action now, instead of scrambling to clean up our messes in the aftermath of another disaster. Building resilient is about being thoughtful and proactive. It’s about recognizing the risks inherent in our world today and making the conscious decision to protect our cities and citizens from the unthinkable.

Click below to see and hear my recent presentation on building resilient infrastructure prepared for the Journalists Forum on Land and the Built Environment at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Richard Cavallaro

Richard Cavallaro

President and CEO, Skanska USA

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Building resilient infrastructure

Natural disasters have been hitting the U.S. with a frequency that seems to be increasing. The effects of hurricanes like Katrina and Sandy, and most recently, the terrible tornadoes in Oklahoma, have raised major concerns about the state of our nation’s infrastructure and its ability to withstand and quickly recover from these kinds of catastrophes.

Hurricane Sandy caused damage worth billions. During the Superstorm, water from the Hudson River cascaded into the city’s streets, and poured into our subterranean World Trade Center PATH Hall project. The lower levels of the site filled up with 165 million gallons of water.


photo credit: david_shankbone via photopin cc

Sandy hit close to home for my fellow New Yorkers and I because we lived through it. Several Skanska employees lost their homes, and our company set up a fund to help them. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Lower Manhattan was blacked out with no electricity. The subway system was shut down. New Yorkers are used to going fast – then suddenly, we couldn’t go at all.

The design criteria used to create the infrastructure that surrounds us is based on what’s happened in the past regarding such factors as weather and seismic activity, but with changing weather patterns, history likely doesn’t reflect our future. We need to change how we design and build. If we had more resilient infrastructure and if we had operated it in smarter ways, would the impact from Sandy have been less? Definitely.

Our big problem: U.S. infrastructure isn’t resilient

Resilient means being able to flex and not break under added stress. But our infrastructure can’t handle that – it’s already at its limits.

This March, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave a D+ grade to U.S. infrastructure. ASCE predicts a $1.6 trillion infrastructure funding shortfall by 2020.  This is a major problem.

Here’s an example of non-resilient infrastructure: during Hurricane Sandy, Manhattan’s tunnels didn’t have basic systems for blocking water, such as plugs or floodgates. These are features found on many other tunnels worldwide that we could also be using in the U.S.

Our infrastructure problem originates with a mindset that focuses on disaster relief rather than disaster avoidance. We’re kicking the can down the road – we’re quite good at that. But thinking smarter and paying a little more money up front can save a lot of money later. Ed Rendell, former Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia mayor, said that when it comes to investing in our infrastructure: “The cost of inaction is greater than the cost of doing something.”

Each hurricane easily costs us billions to rebuild and recover. Instead of continuing to spend money to clean up, we could make some smaller, smart investments to protect our citizens. What we see is that America is really good at recovering from these disasters but not very good at preparing for them.

We need to accept that there’s nothing practical we can do to fully protect ourselves from the impacts of extreme weather. If we’re talking about another Sandy, the water is going to come. We can’t stop it. The question then becomes how do we best manage and channel that extra water, and at what scale?

Building with resiliency in mind

Mega projects to stop floodwaters that such countries as the Netherlands and the U. K. have undertaken aren’t necessarily the best solution for the needs of the U.S. We don’t have to make giant investments to make our infrastructure more resilient. You can spend less money and still get a big impact. We need to plan and build new infrastructure with resiliency in mind. It may cost  more initially to get that added protection, but doing so will provide long- term value and still be more manageable a cost then with mega projects


The University Medical Center that Skanska is building in New Orleans is a great example of building to resist a hurricane. The structure is replacing another hospital that was ruined by Hurricane Katrina. Here’s how this new hospital will be ready for another mega storm.

– The medical floors are located on the second floor – 17 feet above ground level to be out of the reach of flood water (the ground floor is non-critical administrative space that is intended to be sacrificed during a major flood).
– Emergency room entrances are located on the second floor, which will be reached via a vehicular ramp.
– All major mechanical and electrical equipment is on the roof.
– There’s a seven-day back-up supply of potable water.

Everything critical has been raised up. Following Sandy, other hospitals that are planning building projects are taking the time to rethink those plans to make sure those facilities will have the proper level of resiliency.

Power lines atop wooden poles – technology that hasn’t changed for probably a century – is another issue infrastructure issue in many American cities. These power lines are knocked out too easily when storms come through. As lines are replaced or upgraded, we should be burying those lines underground in watertight vaults and raising substations out of reach of most typical flooding situations.

PSE&G – an electrical utility in New Jersey – is investing $3.9 million to harden its system. As a nation, we’re coming to recognize that these changes have to be made. The next step is establishing the platforms and framework for achieving a more resilient infrastructure across the U.S.

Better protection through improved operations

But we don’t have to wait to make major investments to be more resilient in face of our next natural disaster. We can start by responding more smartly following natural disasters so we can get our infrastructure up and running as quickly as possible.

For example, as Sandy approached New York, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority  shut down the transit system and moved trains and busses to higher ground to prevent damage. They also removed signaling equipment as an additional precautionary measure. Because of this smart thinking, when the water levels went down the subway and bus lines could restart more quickly because there was less damage.

Click below to see and hear my recent presentation on building resilient infrastructure prepared for the Journalists Forum on Land and the Built Environment at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.

Richard Cavallaro

Richard Cavallaro

President and CEO, Skanska USA

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