We in the West Link: Behnam Shahriari, Head of Construction Engineering, tells us about his role in the project.
What is your background and how did you become involved in the West Link Project?
I have been building tunnels for over 20 years. I began as a construction supervisor out on the sites, which have given me important experience that I have put to good use in other professional roles. I have worked for about 12 years at the Swedish Transport Administration's office in Gothenburg and in many different roles. Among other positions, I have worked as Project Manager, Senior Manager for Tunnel Safety and Unit Manager for Engineering and Environment within the department for the Transport Administration's major projects. Before I started working in the West Link Project, I was involved in several other big projects, including construction of the West Coast Line and the construction of roads and railways between Gothenburg and Trollhättan.
What does your role in the West Link entail?
In my role as Head of Construction Engineering, I am responsible for areas such as geotechnical-, rock- and hydraulic engineering, constructional works, risk/safety and general design. I also have contractual responsibility for many of the measuring works we will be carrying out in Gothenburg prior to the construction of the West Link, for the satellite measurements and for the work with property inspections.
What is the greatest challenge with the West Link Project from your point of view?
The greatest challenge is to construct a facility with the least possible impact on the surroundings. Regardless of whether it is a question of nature, property, infrastructure or traffic, we are working to make sure that the disruptions will be as small as possible during the construction period.
How do you solve this challenge?
By working closely with my colleagues – both internally at the Swedish Transport Administration but also with our external consultants. I like challenges and complex projects, and I have great respect for the complexity that surrounds a project like the West Link. But through teamwork we can find the most suitable solutions to our challenges.
What do you enjoy the most in your work?
To be able to work with engineering and the challenges in a complex project in which I learn something new every day.
What do you do to relax?
I like to travel to big cities, or to sunshine and warm weather. But I also appreciate doing a few laps every week on the running track.
Do you talk a lot about the West Link in your free time?
That certainly happens. Since I like my job and am proud of what I do, I like to talk about the West Link if the subject comes up. Many of the people in my surroundings are for a development of the city, they want a better infrastructure and see the West Link as an important part of the future Gothenburg.