NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A major construction project to increase the lifespan of the George Washington Bridge is underway.

Nearly two dozen engineers of the future got an up-close look, way high up.

CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis got an exclusive look at the high school students’ once-in-a-lifetime tour.

One by one, the students got on the bus this morning. Normally, they’d be getting ready classes like macroeconomics, but not Thursday.

“I’m a little nervous,” said Stuyvesant High School Junior Saumya Grover.

The assignment for the 20 future engineers from Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Technical High Schools? A tour of one of the world’s busiest spans – the George Washington Bridge, through the eyes of an engineer.

First they attended a briefing, then suited up in safety gear. Then they stepped out of the their comfort zone and took their education to new heights.

“If you had one word to describe how you’re feeling, what would it be?” DeAngelis asked.

“Shocked,” said Brooklyn Tech senior David Ioffe.

Ioffe wore a GoPro to take video from his perspective.

“This is so cool,” he said.

The students climbed up the tall, curved suspension cables.

“As you can tell when we were walking up here, the farther you go up, the steeper it is. You probably feel it in your legs right now,” said Amanda Rogers. Rogers is the senior engineer of construction for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. She led the tour highlight the “Restoring the George” program, a nearly $2 billion investment made up of 11 projects. They’re designed to ultimately give the 88-year-old bridge a longer life.

“What do you want them to take away from this?” DeAngelis asked.

“Maybe they’ll say, ‘I remember that day. I was out there. That was really cool and I can do that with my career,” Rogers said.

If you ask the kids, they’re already on board.

“I want to think of a way to make this more efficient. They were saying many projects they have and how much it costs,” Ioffe said.

“Already thinking of being on the team here?” DeAngelis asked.

“Yeah, I think that’s what you need to do as an engineer. I’m already in that mindset,” he said.

“Remembering everything we learned in class, it’s seeing how it’s applied in the real world. It’s amazing,” Grover said.

“It does solidify wanting to be an engineer,” Brooklyn Tech senior Senthia Ahmed said.

The engineers of today encouraging the engineers of tomorrow: A picture perfect glimpse into the future.



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