Sunday, November 17, 2019

Plans to Pavement: How Unsung Hero Mark Cisneros is Getting N. White Chapel Boulevard Built

Greek mythology presents the story of Sisyphus, a ruler condemned to pushing a heavy stone up a hill, only to have it roll back down when it neared the top. Managing construction projects is not completely analogous to the eternal, futile work of Sisyphus (they do eventually conclude and leave us with something of value), but Mark Cisneros might agree that many days his management of the N. White Chapel reconstruction project feels like one hard step forward, two steps back. Yet Mark remains focused, and the project is proceeding successfully thanks to the tenacity and professionalism he brings to the assignment. For his great work, he is being recognized as one of the City’s important unsung heroes.

“Mark’s duties for this project encompass elements of technical aptitude, knowledge of the construction requirements, accounting and customer service,” said Director of Public Works Rob Cohen. “Mark takes true ownership of this project and keeps the project moving when tasks seemed to be lagging, often working with the project superintendent to keep the crews focused and advancing to the next phase. Mark understands the significance of the project to the traveling public and has worked hard and effectively to keep it on track.”

The project has required Mark to…

  • Carefully review contractor payment applications, verify the work was satisfactorily completed and certify the documents needed for payment approval;
  • make decisions in the field that are minor adjustments to the final product and keep the Public Works team informed of these adjustments;
  • keep meticulous notes based on daily observations of project activity, used to document conditions needed to negotiate with contractors on requests for additional time or scope of work changes or make corrections;
  • serve as the contact for all parties involved with the project. This includes coordination among residents, contractors, utilities, and staff. He addresses resident issues regarding site appearance, cleanup, traffic control, and other items;
  • conduct third party material testing. Mark reviews reports to confirm the contracted work meets engineering specifications. He also coordinates with utility providers to resolve conflicts, preventing project delays. He coordinates work and inspections.

“Mark is extremely passionate and takes pride in his projects. He realized the importance of this project to the City, both the organization and the public, very early on and simply refused to lose. He is a great motivator and is the reason that this project remains on schedule,” said Director Cohen. “This has resulted in great outcomes, like being able to open the outside lanes of the roundabout and Highland for the start of the school year.”

Mark’s work will continue as the project manager for Phase 2 of the project.