Skip to main content

Drive 288 Human Interest Piece

Drive288 is committed to communicating progress, construction updates, and other details with the traveling public. As the events of Hurricane Harvey have tested our mettle, we came out not only Texas Strong, but #hoUStonStrong. Our team has rallied together and come out stronger after the hurricane, but we wanted to give you an inside peek at the names and faces that have made us 288Strong.

Meet Greg Snider, Enrique Martin, and Fernando Arranz. These men have the vision that keeps Drive288 moving forward. Greg is the Project Manager of TxDOT, the entity all our construction is housed under, Enrique serves as the CEO of BTG, lead developer of the construction project, and Fernando is the Project Manager of the Almeda-Genoa Constructors, lead contractors.

 

How did you come to work with the Drive288 project?

Greg: My previous assignment with TxDOT was managing Segments F1, F2, and G of the Grand Parkway, a 38-mile greenfield design-build project on the northwest side of Houston. The project was on the cusp of transitioning into the Operations phase when the SH 288 contract was awarded. During this period, I was asked to manage the Drive288 project.

Enrique: As part of the ACSID organization, I was seconded to this Project in August 2015.

Fernando: I came to work on the Drive288 Project in June 2015 as a Construction Manager. I’ve worked for Dragados my entire career, so the company transferred me from a different highway project. As of June 2017, I have assumed the role of Project Manager with AGC.

What has been the most rewarding part of your work with the Drive288 project?

Greg: I would have to say working with the Drive288 team: my TxDOT staff, BTG, AGC, REL, our Independent Engineer and my GEC. Every day, I am surrounded by knowledgeable and experienced staff excited to work on such a vital corridor, fundamental to the growth and development of this community.

Enrique: One of the best parts has been forming a reliable team of hard workers who manage all aspects and parts of the Drive288 Toll Lanes Construction Project.

Fernando: It’s amazing to see how the construction progresses with the great team of professionals that make up Drive288, as we are really working together as one.

As the project continues, how will your work with the project change?

Greg: Looking forward, I hope to continue to work with our partners in the community and stay focused on minimizing the impacts of the project on the daily commuters and community. In the following years, the project will transition from design & construction work to operation & maintenance. As the progression of these project phases occurs my area of focus will transition as well.

Enrique: Currently we are concentrated on construction, but as the project progresses, there will be a moment close to the substantial completion where everybody will have a look at O&M.

Fernando: More work and less sleep.

How long have you been working in the construction industry?

Greg: Out of my 13 years of experience, about 7 years have been in construction.  

Enrique: Around 27 years.

Fernando: It’s been about 18 years now.

What have been some of the difficulties of the project for you, and how have you overcome them?

Greg: At times, working with the various stakeholders has been a challenge. Most of these obstacles can be overcome with proactive communication and forward thinking. Although concerns may arise through the remainder of the project, the level of communication will initiate innovative solutions for a project of this magnitude, as well as our partners.

Enrique: Just the day-to-day workload can be difficult to manage sometimes. Thankfully, we all have a good team right now in BTG.

Fernando: Every day is a challenge for different reasons, so it’s really hard to select just one.

What are you most looking forward to as work on the project continues?

Greg: I’m most looking forward to the day we can all celebrate a ribbon cutting, on time, standing side-by-side with our partners in the community, and the SH 288 team. The experience of being one of the first to drive down the new SH 288 toll lanes will be one I never forget.

Enrique: I’m looking forward to meeting all the deadlines and milestones, and keeping my composure throughout all operations.

Fernando: I am looking forward to opening traffic to our first connector. I can’t wait to see how much the public is going to enjoy the new road.

 

 

 

 

 

Women in Construction: Ashley Neighbors-Evans

“Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.”- Michelle Obama

The Drive288 project prides itself on establishing a work environment of diversity and inclusivity, with equal and fair treatment for everyone on the project. Mirroring the unique diversity of Houston, its team of workers come from all walks of life and take pride in the individual challenges and triumphs that brought them to the Drive288 project.

There is one worker in particular who knows a thing or two about overcoming a challenge. Meet Ashley Neighbors-Evans. Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, Ashley is a traffic engineer and a graduate of Florida A&M University. As a teenager, she slowly developed a passion for the construction field, spending her summers renovating old homes with her uncle. With five years of construction experience under her belt, she has also worked on the massive, $2 billion I35W-I820N North Tarrant Expressway project in Fort Worth—moving up the ranks as a Project Engineer/Project Manager to infrastructure, as a Traffic Coordinator/Traffic Engineer.

“I chose to be an engineer because I knew it would be exciting and challenging,” said Neighbors-Evans. “Engineering is a field that not only solves world problems but also impacts people’s lives.”

Entering a male-dominated industry, the road to Drive288 was not always easy for Ashley. She knew she had hurdles to overcome, but she was more than “up for the challenge.” Fresh out of college, she found herself applying to jobs without receiving any leads in return. Eventually, she took a step of faith and purchased a one-way ticket to Virginia in search of a job. Knocking on door after door aggressively job-hunting, she received her first job offer with a small 8A firm in Washington, D.C.

“Being the only woman in a group of men is a challenge, but it has been important for me to realize that people who do not respect me because I am a female are the exception and not the rule. I honestly embrace those experiences now because they have empowered me to be more assertive and straightforward.”

The Drive288 project is grateful to have workers like Ashley, and she is just as grateful for the cohesive atmosphere on the team.

“I really love the work environment. I like how everyone works together, as a team, coming from all different backgrounds, to get the job done,” she said. “Everyone has been very welcoming and respectful.”

 

A note from Ashley:

“I would like to thank all the strong women in my lineage who inspired me to be the best I can be, and who also taught us that we could be whoever we wanted to be. Because of you, I am where I am today and I thank you!”

Scroll to top