From atop the roof of Hoboken Terminal in New Jersey, Urban’s Sita Mohan, EIT, looked across the Hudson River to lower Manhattan and reflects on how much her career has evolved since emigrating from India in 1995. “I came here as a graduate student with little work experience,” she said. “I have since found a career that I love where my work is valued and appreciated by the public.”
In another time, Sita could have made a stop in the Terminal, as it once was a busy hub for Ellis Island immigrants. Today, she is playing an important role renovating one of its buildings. Since 2012, Sita has been the Assistant Resident Engineer for the Terminal’s YMCA Building’s Roof and Façade Improvement. This $4.1 million effort is part of a series of projects slated to preserve the Terminal’s heritage as a multi-modal transportation center. Sita enjoys rehabilitating this building back to its original grandeur, as well as the day-to-day problem solving involved. “This project is the first time that I’ve worked with copper cladding,” she said. “I’m learning something new every day.” Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the YMCA Building was constructed in the 1920s above the baggage wing of the Terminal as lodging for railroad employees. Today, it houses NJ TRANSIT’s communication department.
Once the project is complete, Sita will be looking forward to her next assignment under Urban’s Task Order Contract (TOC) with NJ TRANSIT, which the firm has held since 2001. She has been a key consultant for Urban, working on several challenging TOC projects, including Newark Board Street Station, Metropark, and Hudson Bergen Light Rail 2nd Street Station. These TOC assignments, with contract values totaling $150 million, are vital to NJ TRANSIT’s mission of providing safe, reliable, convenient, and cost-effective transit service. “The public puts their trust in us daily,” she said. “We have an enormous responsibility to keep them happy.”
For Sita, delivering a product that safely serves the millions of men, women, and children who use it should never be taken lightly. “There is nothing better than seeing the project completed and everyone happy with its quality,” she said. “What makes it fun is when the client, contractor, and engineers are compatible, communicating, and meeting challenges head on – together.”