It is with much sadness that we inform the membership that Bob Warshaw passed away on January 13, 2010. Bob was named Civil Engineer of the Year by the Metropolitan Section of the ASCE in 2004 in recognition of his many contributions to the profession and projects in the New York Metropolitan area. Bob had a passion for engineering and was Parsons Brinckerhoff's (PB's) longest-serving employee ever, having over 56 years of dedicated service at the firm. His death is a great loss to all those who knew him.
Bob was an unforgettable presence with boundless enthusiasm for his work and a relentless drive to excel tempered by a warm collegiality. "To me, engineering is not just a job," he once said. "I do it because I love it." Certainly, few people have ever been as committed to their work and their job as Bob was.
Bob joined PB in 1952 and worked on countless highway and bridge projects both large and small, including the first Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel in Virginia, the approaches to the Newport-Pell Bridge in Rhode Island, and bridges for the Halawa interchange in Honolulu. A project of which he was particularly proud was the I-787 Interchange in Albany, New York, which included five levels of highways and a bridge over the Hudson River. Bob was often called "Mr. Long Island Expressway" for his extensive work on the LIE. For 12 years, he served as PB's Director of Engineering for Westway, a proposed underground highway in Manhattan along the Hudson River from 34th Street to the Battery.
One of Bob's most notable accomplishments was the seismic sliding joint he invented and patented in the late 1960s for the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) immersed tube tunnel across San Francisco Bay. Bob's design allowed the tubes to move in response to the movement of the earth, and enabled the Transbay Tube to withstand several earthquakes, including the 1989 Loma Prieta disaster, which measured 7.1 on the Richter scale. Among his most recent assignments was serving as project manager for the award winning reconstruction of I-84/I-87 Interchange in Newburgh, New York, which created a direct connection between the two interstates. Bob personified the engineering professions values of technical excellence, collegiality and putting clients first. He truly was one of the great engineers of our time and he will be sorely missed.