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Getting to Know the ‘Bridge Brothers’: Tom

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

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Each week, PaintSquare Daily News, in partnership with 4th Coast Productions, will be introducing you to a different worker featured in the new documentary Bridge Brothers. This week’s interview subject is Tom Soulounias, a superintendent working with the Corcon Inc. crew that worked on the Commodore Barry Bridge and Walt Whitman Bridge jobs featured in the film.

Courtesy of 4th Coast Productions

This week’s interview subject is Tom Soulounias, a superintendent working with the Corcon Inc. crew.

(This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)

PaintSquare Daily News: How long have you been in the industry, and what specifically do you do as part of your job currently?

This is the end of season 28. Right now, I supervise. I've got crews. I just watch things, make sure things run smooth.

Are there are projects you’re currently working on right now?

Yeah, the Walt Whitman Bridge. I’m going to be starting the Betsy Ross in a little bit. In a few weeks we should be starting that one.

Get your copy of Bridge Brothers today!

Is this something you plan to do for life, or do you plan to transition to a different career eventually?

Life? After 28 years of this, I don’t think there’s much left. I got a few years left. Imagine, 28 years being away from home.

I’ve been at three of my son’s 28 birthdays. I’ve been at two of my daughter’s 22 birthdays. I was at my wedding; that’s for sure. After that, there was nothing for 15 to 20 years. The last eight years, my wife comes up and stays with me for our wedding anniversary. So we miss everything out of real life. That’s why we get to retire a little bit earlier than everybody else.

What is your life like when you're not on a job?

I don’t want to get too sentimental, but like with the coworkers, we’ll grill once in a while, we’ll go out. The highlight of my day is to go to the gym, outside of work. Then I’ll come home, take a shower, cook, eat; that’s it.

I lost my personality doing this work. You lose everything. You go find normal people sometimes, and you can’t even carry a conversation. It happened to me a few times through the 28 years. Sometimes I’ll go meet random people I’ve never met in my life, and they’ll look at you like, “Who is this guy?” You just want to try to have a conversation with someone else other than coworkers, talking about the bridge. It’s hard.

What did you hope the film would portray, and how did it live up to your expectations?

Actually, it came out very nice. I didn’t believe it was going to be so nice, but it came out pretty good. And there was always talk, because I was there from the beginning. We were trying to make a series; we were trying to do this, trying to do that. They were bouncing around. I think it came out pretty good.

How did you feel when you first found out you were going to be part of this film?

Honestly, I was so busy at work, when Louie told me, “Take the guys and show them around,” I was like, “I don’t have time for this.” I mean, I had 60 people on the job at the time and I’m like, “I’m going to babysit now.” And they were strapping cameras on me, and I’m sure they didn’t use all the film I filmed. It was a little tough, but it was all right afterwards.

It was definitely hard in the beginning.

Bridge Brothers runs 1 hour and 40 minutes, and is available as a DVD/Blu-Ray set, which comes with a 24-page booklet. The film is available via Technology Publishing Company's TPC Store.

   

Tagged categories: Bridge Brothers; Bridges; Corcon Inc.; NA; North America; Program/Project Management; Workers

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