Prolific Designer of Iconic Transportation Tunnels Dies at 88


Walter C. Grantz, who oversaw the design of many iconic transportation tunnels including the I-95 Fort McHenry Tunnel in Baltimore, Boston’s Ted Williams Tunnel, and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel’s parallel crossing, has died. He was 88.

Grantz, P.E., a Life Member of ASCE, applied his talent at immersed-tube design over 40 years with Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, then capped his career as chief engineer of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District, leading construction of the Bay’s Parallel Crossing Project from 1995 through 1999.

A native of Argentina, Grantz followed in his father’s footsteps. He was born while his father led construction of a line of the Buenos Aires Underground.

Grantz too would go on contribute internationally, one project being the Marmaray, a rail tunnel connecting Europe and Asia in Istanbul, Turkey, which benefited greatly from his design studies and construction. Other collaborations took him to Peru, Italy, Thailand, Scandinavia, and East Pakistan.

In the United States, among his other achievements were the Portsmouth Marine Terminal, and the original and second Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnels.

Grantz generously shared his expertise, and became a mentor to many. He authored 30 papers. He described the immersed-tunnel method for an article in Invention & Technology magazine and, “for the price of a copy for his grandchildren,” was technical advisor for a children’s book, Dig a Tunnel. He was active in the International Tunneling Association.

In his spare time Grantz combined a love of photography and flying. His aerial shots were used in many classic billboards and brochures about the Hampton Roads and Chesapeake Bay bridge crossings.


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