Self-anchored suspension span tower, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge East Span.

Credit: Noah Berger

Brian Maroney, Greta Ericson Distinguished Service Award

Engineering Safety for Toll Bridges
Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dr. Brian Maroney, chief engineer for Caltrans’ Toll Bridge Program, is widely recognized not only for his extensive engineering knowledge, but also for his ability to explain highly technical issues in layman’s terms.

A 32-year Caltrans veteran, Maroney served as chief engineer on one of the most difficult and high-profile construction projects in Bay Area history: the erection of a seismically safe replacement for the aging East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Maroney’s job required managing complex, and often innovative, engineering and seismic safety techniques, as well as constant public presentations to explain various aspects of the project to elected officials, city and county staff, the media, legislators, and the public. Ever the professional, Maroney’s technical competency was matched by his unfailing grace under pressure.

“Taking something extremely complex and challenging, breaking it down into its component parts, and only then moving forward with a plan, once a clear path has been found: this is what Dr. Brian Maroney does best,” said MTC Executive Director Steve Heminger. “During the new span’s construction, Maroney, the consummate teacher, made sure that every person in the room understood, on the most basic level, the work involved in the building of the new span.”

Maroney has managed numerous other projects during his Caltrans career, including seismic retrofits of the Antioch and Dumbarton bridges, a number of railroad spans and most recently, the successful implosion of a massive pier as part of the demolition of the old Bay Bridge East Span. As chairman of Caltrans’ Structures Design Earthquake Committee, he has reviewed thousands of projects. He also is an adjunct assistant professor at the University of California, Davis, where he teaches engineering classes.

Maroney is being honored with MTC’s Greta Ericson Distinguished Service Award, named after the founder of MTC’s awards program.

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