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Urban Project Management Driven by Experienced Project Manager

By Rebecca Colone

November 9, 2020

RS&H's urban project manager Zach Gill at an interstate construction site.

Zach Gill, PE, assistant project engineer, has relocated twice with RS&H, each time stepping into increasingly significant roles on technically challenging projects. Along the way, he has grown both his career and the RS&H Transportation-Construction Management practice.

Now, he tackles roads and highways in one of the country’s most congested and highly traveled interstate corridors – and he maintains a high standard of quality and leadership throughout.


Chicago Roots Offer Vast Experience

From early on in his career, Zach began working within and alongside the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to assist on major transportation and construction projects, and ultimately solve their largest challenges.

A milestone for Zach was his work on Illinois Route 171, a $32 million IDOT bridge project. The project took place on a main connection between the Chicago suburbs of Lyons and Summit. Route 171 then crosses over the main expressway from Chicago to St. Louis – an area that sees heavy commuter traffic.

The team was tasked with the widening and rehabilitation of nine bridges, and throughout the project, Zach served as the trusted contact for the client. To ensure IDOT was informed, Zach stepped infrequently, even alerting the team to damaged or failing structural steel to avoid future issues.

This was just one project in an already impressive record of work, and it was this record that led Zach to continue building upon his project management skills with RS&H in Texas.

“Ever since I met Zach at a Chicago White Sox game to help bring him onto our RS&H Texas team, I knew that he would be a great leader for our company,” said Shane Rixom, Vice President. “He showed leadership skills that he has since parlayed into his many roles within our company.”


Urban Areas. High Traffic. Complex Solutions.

While in Austin, Zach played a key role in two major design-build projects: US 183 South and MoPac.

“Zach’s potential is limitless,” said Steven Byars, Vice President. “He has shown a drive and adaptability that typically starts to wane with some people at his experience level. It’s been fun watching his progression.”

The 183 South project site was positioned on the east side of Austin, and since the project involved rebuilding two interchanges that provided access to the airport, the client - Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority – referred to it as “the gateway” to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

The client needed to navigate challenges posed by increases in the surrounding population, traffic volumes and vehicle crashes, and act on construction challenges proactively.

“This was a traffic-heavy location in one of Austin’s most important arterials,” said Zach. “So, I developed a method for tracking open items on the project using the project documentation system to make the process as smooth as possible.”

As the lead assessor, Zach oversaw inspectors on the site to ensure major expansions to the four-lane divided highway were completed successfully.


Massive Projects Out West

After a string of complex projects in Texas, Zach relocated to Colorado with RS&H. This time he took on a key role leading the Central 70 project, a $1.2 billion public-private partnership and RS&H’s first construction project in the state.

“Zach has been critical to the success of this project,” said Adam Mercer, Vice President. “While serving as the Colorado Department of Transportation’s construction assessment team, Zach has shown he’s a reliable teammate.”

The client wanted to maintain access to the north-south streets during construction. So, Zach and his team worked with the city and county of Denver to build the local street bridges underneath an existing interstate viaduct that was built in the 1960s.

To remain efficient while in construction, the team also coordinated two weekend-long full interstate closures to demolish the bridges that had been replaced, while completing all interstate drainage crossings.

To ensure this and other phases of the project went smoothly, Zach’s team worked around the clock with the contractor.

“Our client and the contractor were impressed by our team’s proactive approach to ensure the project stayed on schedule,” said Zach. “The extremely short timeline was a testament to how well we were able to work together.”


Proactive Approach to Projects

As Zach has built his experience while working on major roadways across some of the nation’s busiest cities, he has also learned a thing or two about what it means to work alongside a client.

“I’ve learned how to be proactive, and how to identify and resolve issues before they can become a larger problem,” said Zach. “Learning this skill, in addition to listening to the client’s needs, has been a huge takeaway throughout my career.”

To learn more about how Zach can manage construction of your most complex transportation projects, contact him at zackery.gill@rsandh.com.


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Topics: Our People, Construction Management, Our Culture, Transportation, Colorado, News, Austin, Chicago, Texas

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About the Author

Rebecca is a corporate communications specialist with a love for good stories – and RS&H is full of them.

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