November 13, 2017
November 7, 2017
An installed bat box sits under the new Ina Road bridge waiting for its occupants.
At our Interstate 10/Ina Road project near Tucson, some of Sundt’s constituents have wings and enjoy nestling under an old bridge. They wedge themselves into one-inch crevices to roost between the bridge’s beams. When they leave their homes in the evenings to hunt, they draw people from across the region to watch their night flight.
Our work to widen the interstate involves taking down and replacing the Ina Road bridge where Mexican free-tailed bats spend much of the year. It’s their hangout.
Each box has a one-inch crevice the bats use to enter their homes.
Arizona Game and Fish officials estimate about 1,000 bats spend the winter there instead of relocating to Mexico and 25,000 stick around Southern Arizona in the summer. Fortunately, the project team and Arizona Game and Fish Department have devised a plan to make sure the bats aren’t homeless.
The new bridge, which sits next to the old one, has seven bat boxes that replicate the conditions under which the mammals have been living. Each of the boxes has one-inch openings for the bats to crawl into. The boxes provide cooler conditions in the summer and warmer in the winter that bats like.
The old bridge will be coming down early next year and the team is spending time now making sure the bats find their new home. When the winged creatures take off at night, crews are sealing the areas where they have been resting. The construction team has been spraying bat urine on the boxes to draw the residents to their new homes.
Now that’s dedication, proving we’ll do whatever it takes to make clients happy, including those whose nightly foraging has become an enjoyable ritual for Tucson-area spectators.
September 20, 2017
The consolidated rental car center at San Diego International Airport brings together 14 agencies under the same roof.
Sundt’s work at the consolidated rental car center at San Diego International Airport has landed a big award.
The project last week earned an Associated General Contractors Build San Diego Award for Excellence in Building Construction (Public Work). The center is a two-million-square-foot structure that brings 14 rental car companies together under one roof, including a customer service building, maintenance, fueling and washing and a 5,400-car ready/return area.
It’s the first major component of the airport’s long-range plan to reduce traffic congestion and bring passengers closer to transportation nodes. The centralized facility is helping improve air quality by cutting the number of shuttles around the airport from 81 to 16, all of which use alternative fuel.
The new rental car center is the largest concrete structure in San Diego and generated approximately 4,600 construction jobs. Local businesses received $186 million in construction contracts, including $70.4 million for small businesses.
Construction on the center, a joint venture with Austin Commercial, was completed in December 2015.
Sundt employee-owners John Messick, Rob Foster, Jared Mette and Brad Kirsch accept the Build San Diego Award.
September 13, 2017
The Gilbert Road Extension will include one of only two roundabouts on a light-rail project in the country.
Sundt has a wealth of experience working on light-rail projects for Valley Metro in the Greater Phoenix area. Still, there’s a first time for everything.
Our joint-venture team completed the award-winning Northwest Extension last year. In 2008, the team finished more than half of the original 20-mile starter section of the Valley Metro Light Rail transit system, plus the system’s maintenance and operations facility.
But our work on the Gilbert Road Extension in Mesa, Arizona has a new wrinkle. Part of the scope is constructing a roundabout to create better traffic flow and eliminate the need for expensive traffic signals. The roundabout will be the first of its kind at a four-way intersection in a light-rail system and only the second overall in the United States.
The roundabout will be located at the busy intersection of Main and Horne streets and will allow cars, bikes and pedestrians to move freely. When a train is present, east- and westbound traffic will remain free-flowing without a traffic signal.
“A typical roundabout provides cost savings when eliminating the traffic signals required at conventional intersections. The cost of signals can range between $500,000 and $750,000,” said Preconstruction Manager Jeff Hamilton. “A roundabout on a light-rail project has more complexities associated with controlling a portion of what would typically be a free flowing intersection in all directions.”
Because the train will take priority in the east- and westbound directions of Main Street, north- and southbound traffic on Horne has to be controlled with a signalized gate.
“This was a challenge in the design phase,” Jeff said. “The preconstruction team worked with traffic engineers to produce a final design that accounted for the space needed to build a functional roundabout with the appropriate radii that would stack enough vehicles in the cue for north- and southbound and still provide free-flowing movements east- and westbound when a train was present.”
The $113 million Gilbert Road Extension includes 1.9 miles of track, two stations, one park and ride transit center. Guideway and track construction should begin this winter and substantial completion is scheduled for the end of 2018, targeting a May 2019 opening.
August 7, 2017
The new portion of Kellogg Drive has two northbound lanes, two southbound lanes, a center median and two full-length bike lanes.
Sundt recently completed the relocation of about 2,600 linear feet of Kellogg Drive, a major campus road, as part of a student housing replacement project at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
“We could not be more pleased with the progress and results we are achieving with our design team and the University in this Collaborative Design-Build project,” Sundt Vice President and Regional Director Robert Stokes said.
The new portion of Kellogg Drive took three months to complete and is open to commuters. It has two northbound lanes, two southbound lanes, a center median and two full-length bike lanes.
“A major challenge of this early work was to mitigate the impact on the constant flow of traffic in and out of the campus,” Robert said. “We had to maintain two lanes of traffic during construction, which was difficult because major portions of the new road were in the same location as the existing one.”
We used a drone to take aerial photos of the site to help the process.
“The ability to overlay current site photos with the proposed improvement plans enhanced our subcontractor coordination and allowed the University to communicate project impacts to the entire campus,” Robert said.
The completion of the realigned road allows construction to begin on the new $140 million, 305,000-square-foot student housing complex, which consists of two mid-rise towers with 980 beds and a dining hall that can accommodate 680 people. The new facilities will replace the campus’ aging residential halls, providing students with modern living spaces that offer the latest technology, green features, and designed indoor and outdoor program spaces.
We are teaming with HMC Architects, EYRC Architects, Spurlock Landscape Architects, Brailsford & Dunlavey, P2S, Saiful Bouquet, Psomas, A.O. Reed and Rosendin Electric on the project.
Sundt Intern Ana Padilla (second from left) and her winning teammates at the American Society of Civil Engineers Student Competition in Fort Lauderdale.
Sundt Intern Ana Padilla was part of the winning team at the American Society of Civil Engineers Student Competition in Fort Lauderdale last week.
Ana, a University of Arizona student, and her team were given the task of completing a cost estimate, construction schedule and bid proposal for a challenge project, and present it to the owner and panel of judges. Throughout the competition, addendums would surface when the team least expected it in order to simulate a bid-day experience.
“I was very lucky to have worked with such a great team of students across the nation that were knowledgeable about the construction industry, which we learned through our internships,” said Ana, who works with our Transportation Group on our Ina Road/I-10 project. “It was an incredible experience and one that I would recommend for all students.”
Ana’s role in the competition was to help estimate quantities and prices for the team’s project, as well as write portions of its written proposal. Her seven-member team included students from Florida Atlantic University, Lehigh University, Rowan University, Syracuse University, University of Iowa and University of Kansas.
“Throughout my internship with Sundt, I was able to learn how to do quantity take-off and write formal documents that would be turned in to the owner,” Ana said. “The experience greatly helped us in competition.”
The five days at the conference were packed with workshops, activities and events in which attendees gained professional development experience. The only time teams had to work on the challenge was after workshops and activities ended. Out of more than 100 applicants, only 35 students were chosen to attend. The conference was paid for, including airfare, hotel, registration, meals and more.
“I am so grateful to ASCE Construction institute for this great experience, as well as the University of Arizona and Sundt Construction who gave me the tools and knowledge needed to succeed,” Ana said.