Gerard J. "Gerry" Carty, 91, a veteran New York City area engineer and contractor executive whose 65-year career included more than two decades of leading the Moles—an influential group of U.S. heavy construction professionals—died April 9, the organization confirmed.

Carty understood the challenges, rewards and importance of tunnels, foundations, sewer lines, dams and related infrastructure—and the skills needed for those who design, build and manage them. 

“Construction is risky and needs people who know the business,” he said in an interview related to his selection as the ENR New York Legacy Award winner in 2018. He joined the Moles in the 1970s and led it as executive director from 1993 to 2015, serving in an emeritus role until 2020 of the now 600-member organization. 

Carty “knew that the future of the industry requires the Moles to attract the brightest and the best,” John Kolaya, former president of Yonkers Contracting Co. and a former Moles president, previously told ENR. "He was the constant in an organization that continually changed hands.” 

Connections helped Carty land his first construction job in the early 1950s at Johnson, Drake & Piper, working first in bidding and estimating. Later he worked in the field on projects ranging from Chicago’s water tunnel to New York City’s Van Wyck Expressway and its Water Tunnel No. 3. Carty also joined Walsh Construction Co., rising to chief engineer and senior vice president.

As the Moles executive director, Carty highlighted heavy construction innovation, project realities and career potential. He expanded the group’s annual Student Day infrastructure project tours, begun in New York City in 1962, into a much-anticipated event now in multiple locations that attracts hundreds of college-level engineering and construction students to join members and other experts at major project sites.

"Gerry Carty was always available to younger professionals as a  calm mentor. He was willing to listen to your questions and provide senior level advice about project questions or career moves," says Cliff Schexnayder, former chief engineer of Nello L. Teer Co. and later a construction educator.  "Many of us owe him a great debt for our success in life and in the construction of projects."

He also was instrumental in creating a scholarship fund in the late 1990s that grew to more than $6 million in assets by 2018. The group's combined scholarship assets totaled nearly $7.5 million as of December 2022, with about $500,000 awarded to students last year. The Moles and some members’ firms endowed a $200,000 scholarship in Carty's name at his engineering school alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, in 2015. 

Carty, who fiercely protected the Moles' rules and traditions set by leaders and members, was elected its president in 1988. Later he was named a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

David Puza, executive director of the Moles since 2022, says that as the group "continues to grow and execute its current commitments to the engineering and heavy construction industry, it is building on the foundations established by Gerry Carty with his 44-year legacy and the influence he had on the entire organization.”

Details on memorial contributions can be found here.