"If I don't have 100 balls in the air, I don't work well. I get bored," says David Burrus, referring to his multitasking skills. His love of quantifying everything, combined with his need for a constant adrenaline rush—as evidenced by his penchant for sports, especially dirt-bike racing—made the Clark Construction project executive an ideal fit for the $280-million Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center.


"[Burrus] drives the job and steps up to the plate," says Michael McAlpine, project executive with STV Inc., the owner's representative on the project, which features North America's largest application of ETFE and intricate welding. "He stays on top of the issues and drives them to resolution. He pulls the right players together. These are important qualities when dealing with a complicated iconic building."


The new center featured a big cast of players, including HOK, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Thornton Tomasetti and a slew of subcontractors. Burrus points to the partnering on the hard-bid job as key to its successful execution. "It is such a cliché, warm and huggy," he says of partnering, "but this was a deliverable. Everyone was accountable as a partner. Every subcontrator, every representative—we all took it to heart and made it a conscious, daily decision. It just cascaded into everything we did. Any fights that we did have to have, any disagreements, we kept those in the office and got them settled so everyone in the field could continue."

Born in Oklahoma City, Burrus started his career building steel mills around the world. In addition to working on iconic structures such as ARTIC, he loves aviation projects, as well. The recently completed Tom Bradley International Terminal renovation at LAX is a favorite. "It was a $575-million renovation to a million-sq-ft terminal—while it was operating," he says. "I really liked the challenge. I cannot build a 10-story office building. I'd shoot myself."

But ARTIC is the apex, he adds, saying, "This is the cream of the crop."