When Tina Galbraith joined LDG as a construction inspector in 2015, she immediately put to work her decades of well-rounded experience into the firm’s high-profile projects. She began with LDG’s rapid bridge replacement program for PennDOT, inspecting construction of 5 structures in just 18 months, providing an opportunity to work on projects from demolition to construction through substantial completion, something she had never done before.
Then in 2018, she was assigned to the firm’s first project as a prime contractor for the County of Allegheny, overseeing the rebuilding of a 2.1-mile stretch of Thompson Run Road, a highly traveled artery in Pittsburgh’s North Hills. As an official Transportation Improvement Program, it received federal funding, meaning that additional oversight was required by PennDOT.
The work has involved rebuilding Thompson Run Road and a host of 100-year cross pipes including excavating and navigating through a spaghetti-like network of underground utilities, some non-functional or even abandoned. To accommodate a host of unexpected discoveries at the site, the project required Galbraith to request 25 change orders for work above and beyond the original contract while remaining on schedule.
At the high point of the Thompson Run activity, Galbraith was monitoring 10 separate contractor crews simultaneously. Then when a portion of the road buckled and collapsed during a landslide in March 2018, the project took on even more complexity, with contractors having to remove more than 4,000 cubic yards of earth, add underground water drains and a rock apron to dissipate water runoff, and install a diaphragm wall (D-wall), a reinforced concrete wall built on-site.
The role of a construction inspector, on a client’s behalf, is to monitor a construction contractor’s daily activities to assure that work is performed to contract specifications and established industry standards. The inspection review provides further protection to the client against defects and deficiencies in the work. In carrying this out, Galbraith interacts frequently with her client counterpart, county project manager Jeanna Fisher.
While construction inspection typically has been a male-dominated field, Galbraith has a passion and drive that allow her to establish her own identity and control and to be both tough and calm in difficult situations.
Says Galbraith, “The key to good management is establish a team relationship, good communication and knowing where to find answers. Our goal is to meet Allegheny County’s highest and best interests and contribute to the future safety of travelers for generations to come.”