The UCA of SME hosted its annual one-day George A. Fox Conference Feb. 7 with a record turnout of more than 500 in attendance at the New York Hilton Midtown. The mark surpassed last year’s total attendance of 480.
The keynote presentation was given by Laura Mason, Executive Vice President, Capital Delivery for Amtrak. Amtrak is involved on two major projects – the Gateway/Hudson Tunnel Project in New York and the Frederick Douglass Tunnel in Baltimore. Fittingly, her topic was “Building a New Era of Passenger Rail in America.”
Highlights of the conference included in-depth discussions of the Gateway/Hudson Project and the Frederick Douglass Tunnel, as well as the $7-plus billion Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 project in New York. Other projects discussed included the RiverRenew Tunnel in Alexandria, VA; the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions in Seattle, the VTA’s BART Silicon Valley Phase II Extension in San Jose, CA; and New York DEP’s Shaft 17B and Shaft 18B Project. Also discussed were presentations on ground freezing, drill-blast tunneling and a tunnel industry update.
The conference began in 2000 as a regional conference and featured George Fox, former president of Grow Tunneling, as the keynote speaker. When the event was held again in 2002, it was renamed the George A. Fox Conference in honor of Fox, who passed away in 2001. The Fox Conference is traditionally held the day before the annual The Moles Awards dinner.
Victor Paterno, Project Executive Skanska USA, served as the chair of the program committee, finishing his two-year term. Sanja Zlatanic, Senior Vice President and Chief Tunnel Engineer for HNTB’s National Tunnel Practice, is the incoming chair.