Staying On Track
Capital Project Manager Ryan Brodwater plays a key role STA projects around the Spokane region. He oversees contractors and construction, and helps keep projects on schedule. But when the severity of the coronavirus pandemic became apparent, he had to do something he’d never done before — temporarily apply the brakes.
“The first thing we did when the coronavirus hit was back up and evaluate how we were doing things,” Brodwater recalls. “We looked at contractors, and the sites and the projects, and considered how we could keep everyone safe. That was our number one priority.”
Soon STA was asking contractors to certify that they were complying with state orders and following safety guidelines.
“When we go out on a job, we want to see that everyone is being safe — that they’re protecting themselves and others,” Brodwater said. “As a public agency we need to make sure we’re doing our part, and that the way we impact the community is positive. The way we operate during COVID-19 is just another example of that.”
Even with a temporary slowdown for an evaluation period, the Planning team managed to keep current projects on track during Spokane’s construction season.
“We paused to consider the impacts of COVID-19 on our projects and reevaluate how we can work safely. We got it figured it out and pressed on.”
Brodwater’s biggest projects are pushing ahead full steam without any schedule impacts. They include mplementing High-Performance Transit on the Monroe-Regal Line and overseeing bus stop upgrades on the Division corridor.
The Division upgrades are particularly complicated. STA is adding new shelters, sidewalks and other enhancements for customers and the public.
For Brodwater, it’s another chance to interact with the local community.
“I love the community aspect of my job most of all,” he said. “I love meeting with neighborhoods and businesses, hearing their concerns and their needs, and seeing how we can better serve them. STA has such a positive impact on the region, and I get to be a part of that.”
As a bus rider himself, Brodwater sees the impact on a daily basis.
“Improving transit across the region is good for everybody,” he said. “But for me personally, it’s about bringing people together. Every morning I see people riding the bus and and chatting. For me, that’s a huge part of it — the role of public transit in bringing people together.”