New Gilbane Transportation Center of Excellence Offers Expertise to Expanding Market

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Karen Arpino Shaffer, Gilbane’s program director for the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) Green Line extension, takes lead role in the company’s Transportation Center of Excellence

Karen Arpino Shaffer, Gilbane's Transportation Center of Excellence leader

Transportation is transforming,” says Arpino Shaffer. “That’s what I love about this market. Transportation plays such an important role in communities and brings new opportunities to people.

Driven by growth in our nation’s transportation systems coupled with the need to revitalize aging infrastructure, transportation planning and construction is more important than ever. Identifying a critical need for specialized expertise in transportation projects, Gilbane Building Company has created a Transportation Center of Excellence(COE). This program brings together the company’s top transportation construction professionals – from estimators to regulatory experts to operational experts – to share best practices, cutting edge trends and first-hand knowledge for the benefit of clients nationwide.

“The value the COEs bring to clients goes beyond a certain type of project experience. Our teams are made up of people who have lived it from the client side, who understand the drivers of your specific type of construction and how to approach it,” says Bill Gilbane, Jr., president and COO. “This type of collaboration is critical for transportation projects, which face ever-changing demands.”

Gilbane’s Transportation COE will be sharply focused on innovative and collaborative project delivery for transit, rail systems, airports, marine ports, intermodal facilities and more. From the Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport Capital Improvement Project to the historic restoration of Union Station in Washington, DC to the MBTA Green Line rail extension in Boston, Gilbane’s transportation teams know that to support the needs of a 21st century economy, we must invest wisely in our transportation systems.

The Transportation COE will be led by Karen Arpino Shaffer, a vice president with Gilbane who has worked on significant transportation projects in both the public and the private sectors, as both a client and a builder. “Transportation is transforming,” says Arpino Shaffer. “That’s what I love about this market. Transportation plays such an important role in communities and brings new opportunities to people. From a new train station to an intermodal system at an airport, it all starts with the needs of the community. I spend a lot of time listening to people and educating them about how projects will affect them.”

Transportation is one of several market-focused COEs that Gilbane offers to its clients, ranging from healthcare to life sciences to mission critical. These organizations maintain a focus on the unique attributes of their markets but share the philosophy of client advocacy—from Lean project approaches to innovative cost modeling methods to sophisticated technology solutions.

About Gilbane, Inc.

Gilbane provides a full slate of construction and facilities-related services – from pre-construction planning and integrated consulting capabilities to comprehensive construction management, close-out and facility management services – for clients across various markets. Marking its 140th year in operation and still a privately held, family-run company, Gilbane has more than 60 office locations around the world. To find out what the next 140 years have in store, visit

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Kristy dosReis
Gilbane Building Company
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