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Young Tunneller of the Year

Erica Frederickson

Just two weeks after graduating from university in 2011, I started my career in the tunnelling industry. I got my first taste of tunnels as a Field Engineer with Traylor Bros., Inc. on the NYC MTACC LIRR East Side Access Queens Bored Tunnels and Structures project. Looking back, I had no real idea of what to expect, other than I thought underground construction seemed “cool”. I did not expect to continue working for the same company and industry for 11 years, but there is something special about the tunnelling industry that hooked me.

Since that first job, I have worked on three more tunnel projects in three different cities across North America: the DC Water Blue Plains Tunnel in Washington, DC; the LACMTA Westside Purple Line Extension Section 1 in Los Angeles, CA; and the Second Narrows Water Supply Tunnel in Vancouver, BC. Each project has had its share of challenges, triumphs, stressed out moments, and opportunities for growth. But most of all, I remember each project for the friendships formed with my incredible colleagues who call tunnelling their career, and for the reward of providing essential infrastructure that will improve the lives of millions for many years to come.