AROUND MORETRENCH: Moles Students Day Takes to the Water

April 13, 2015

Since 1962, Students Day has been an annual event of the Moles, an organization of the heavy construction industry.  Each year, participating engineering students  and faculty  members tour a major construction site and learn about key aspects of the work from experts  with participating firms.  The event  is developed under the guidance of the Moles Education Committee, currently chaired by Moretrench Vice President of Engineering Paul Schmall, Ph.D., P.E.,  and stems from the organization’s continuing  commitment to developing and  supporting future engineers and construction professionals.    
This year, the day-long event, held on April 10th was focused on the  new Tappan Zee Bridge, a 3.1-mile long, twin span cable stayed structure.  Scheduled for completion in 2018 at a cost of $3.14 billion, this is the single largest bridge construction project in the history of New York City and is being built under  the management of Tappan Zee Constructors, LLC (TZC), a  design-build joint venture of  Fluor Enterprises, Inc., American Bridge Company, Granite Construction Northeast, Inc., and Traylor Bros., Inc.

To best see the work in progress, the 350 students and faculty, drawn from 20 colleges and universities, boarded the 165-foot cruise boat ‘The Brooklyn’  and viewed  the construction at eye level from the water.  The day began with a welcome  from Walter Reichert of TZC, which hosted the event, and a presentation from Robert Palermo of  GZA Geoenvironmental Inc.  Points of interest on the tour included the main span piles and pile caps, as well as the armada of cranes and barges performing the work.   The group also had the opportunity to see one of the world’s  largest floating cranes in action.  Dubbed the “I Lift NY,” the massive crane has a 328-foot boom and will be used to install large sections of the bridge, some of which weigh 1,000 tons.

Along with Moretrench, major construction firms with volunteers for the day’s activities included  Kiewit, E.E. Cruz, Railroad, Weeks Marine, Ferreira, Schiavone, and Yonkers.



Moretrench and the Moles

Moles members are leaders in their profession who are dedicated to promoting the industry and supporting their colleagues through outreach programs, networking opportunities, and student scholarships.   Moretrench  has long been actively involved with the organization, with staff members serving  on various committees.  Company President & CEO Art Corwin, P.E. has served as Moles President, as has former Moretrench President John Donohoe, P.E.    Both Donohoe and another former Moretrench President, Robert Lenz, P.E.,  were recipients of the Moles Member Award for Outstanding Achievement in Construction.  To learn more about the work of the organization, please visit