The 49-year-old spoke at the Cheraw Rotary Club meeting Monday, walking the group through the construction of Charleston's new Arthur Ravenel Bridge.
As project manager of the $632 million project, Watson worked on a design-build basis and finished the job a year ahead of schedule and under budget.
"This was the biggest project I've ever done personally and the biggest for our company (Tidewater Skanska Inc.)," Watson said. "Now that it's been completed, the bridge is the longest cable-stayed bridge in the Western Hemisphere, with only the countries of Japan and China having longer (bridges)."
Watson's work on the project has earned him a great deal of publicity, from magazine articles to newspaper spreads.
Cheraw Mayor Andy Ingram presented Watson with a town proclamation honoring his leadership in managing the construction of the bridge.
Watson said all of the notoriety was appreciated, but he was doing his job.
"The last four years this project has pretty much just consumed my life," Watson said. "It was very demanding, but overall it was a good challenge and a good experience."
Operating on a design-build basis made the project even more difficult because Watson had no set of blue prints to follow.
"The fact you're having to design as you go requires you to be pretty flexible," Watson said.
In order to get the job done as efficiently as he did, Watson divided it into five parts.
"We had five construction sites going at once, so when all of those were complete, it wrapped up the job," Watson said.
According to Watson, the finished project will sustain a 7.3 scale earthquake and a category 5 hurricane. The bridge is also guaranteed to last 100 years with minimal maintenance.
"And that's not saying it will just fall down in 100 years," Watson said. "It can last forever if it's properly maintained."
For more informaton on this story, please read the Aug. 18, 2005 edition of the Cheraw Chronicle/Chesterfield Advertiser.