Robert A. Olmsted, the first director of long-term planning for New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and a transportation engineer, builder, historian and industry mentor for more than 60 years, died on Aug. 16 in Manhattan. He was 85. Olmsted—a descendent of Frederick Law Olmsted, the landscape architect who designed New York City’s Central Park—began his own industry career in the late 1940s as a Cornell University engineering graduate on the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. A protégé of Ole Singstad, the innovative structure’s chief engineer, Olmsted went on to work for other New York-area transportation agencies and on global engineering
The 2016 Summer Olympics boating and swimming events have put an international spotlight on what has been a long-running problem in Rio de Janeiro—untreated sewage and trash are clogging up major bays and waterways.