NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The youngest female engineering leader for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is breaking barriers at the agency.
Amanda Rogers, 39, is an engineer of construction for the Port Authority, overseeing a massive bridge rehabilitation program.
She manages all 11 construction projects for the “Restoring the George” program at the George Washington Bridge.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime project to replace the suspender ropes on the George Washington Bridge,” Rogers said.
And she’s not just an engineer. She’s not even 40 years old and Rogers has worked her way up to chief.
Rogers’ parents are from the Bronx, and Rogers herself is a Connecticut native.
She began her career at the Port Authority after graduating Manhattan College in 2001.
“My mom told me I should probably be an engineer because I was good at math and science and I liked it, and I was lucky enough my high school offered a drafting class,” she said. “We used to camp in our backyard and I would want to build my own tent rather than pitch one.”
Rogers says years and years of planning and staging goes into the Restoring the George construction projects.
“I have 60 engineers working just in construction management, probably another 100 behind the scenes doing design work and traffic planning,” she said.
Most construction sites are male-dominated, so CBS2’s Alice Gainer asked Rogers, what’s it like being one of just a few females around?
“The truth is if you know the work and you do a good job, no one cares if you’re a male or female,” Rogers said.
She’s not treated any differently, except when it comes to the portable toilets, which are separated by gender.
Halfway through Rogers’ interview with CBS2, she started getting a lot of text messages.
Gainer: “Breaking news — during the course of this interview, we’ve found out you’ve been promoted?”
Rogers: “Yes, I have, so my new title is chief of construction of aviation projects.”
Gainer: “Congratulations, and that’s on top of all of this.”
Rogers: “I’m still gonna be involved in the Restore the George, yes.”
She’ll be overseeing work at the airports now, too.
Rogers gets up at 4:30 a.m. and says her day never really ends, checking on projects until she goes to sleep.
So what does she say to college students looking to take her job?
“Come and get it. There’s a ton of work out there,” she said. “It’s like the Frank Sinatra song. If you can build here, you can build it anywhere.”
When she does have free time, she says she loves to cheer on the Yankees and play golf.