March 21, 2018
March 8, 2018
Our team added and pressure-welded rails at the Gilbert Road project earlier this year.
Things are picking up at our Gilbert Road Light Rail project in Mesa, Arizona. These next few months are important to ensuring everything is up and running by spring 2019.
Our team has completed most of its underground utility work. We have finished about half of the new curb gutter and sidewalk and started work on the overhead catenary system foundation. Our first concrete pour around the tracks is scheduled for April 9.
Construction started in October 2016. Most major construction activities will be complete by the end of the year. We have a strong track record for Valley Metro, completing half of the 26 miles of the light-rail system operating in Greater Phoenix.
“Light rail revitalizes areas,” Transportation Group Manager Jeff Williamson said. “It’s important to communities.”
The 1.9-mile extension in Mesa will extend light rail on Main Street from Mesa Drive to Gilbert Road. The $184 million transportation project consists of two stations and a park-and-ride on the west side of Gilbert Road. The project will provide the ability to draw more light-rail passengers from the East Valley and bring greater development opportunities to central Mesa.
March 5, 2018
Anne Hatfield has operated heavy equipment for Sundt for the past 7.5 years.
When Anne Hatfield takes a vacation this fall, she is going with people who are in her line of work. It’s a tight-knit group that gets together every year to discuss their profession and enjoy each other’s company.
The group is meeting in the tiny, scenic community of Tofino on Vancouver Island this September. It’s the perfect spot for the International Sisterhood of Equipment Operators – a small group of female construction professionals who usually stand out on the job site.
“We mostly get together to get away and be around other women who have the same life experiences,” said Anne, who has been with Sundt for 7.5 years. “It’s kind of nice.”
Anne and her friends are accustomed to being the only female construction professionals on their projects. Their expertise working heavy equipment earns quick respect from their co-workers.
“I never had a problem fitting in,” she said. “Once I proved to them I could do what they were doing, they were always very accepting of me. I guess I was a novelty.”
Anne has worked on transportation projects in Arkansas, Arizona, California, New Mexico, North Dakota and Texas. Most of her work involves using equipment such as scrapers, loaders, bulldozers and backhoe, making her a valuable person to have around.
“I don’t remember having any down time,” Anne said.
Anne is working on our Ina Road/I-10 improvements in Tucson. She has been on the project for the past year, allowing her to spend time at her home in nearby Oracle.
“It’s been really nice to be home,” she said. “It’s good to be around family.”
Anne was a late bloomer in construction, getting started in her 30s. She was working nights at a rehab hospital when she decided it was time to make a radical career change. She was hired by a residential construction company in Phoenix as the housing boom sparked up.
“The company was training anyone who wanted to learn, because it was so short-handed,” Anne said.
Anne made her way to Sundt a few years later. While women on the site are still rare, they are getting more company all the time.
“I am seeing more female engineer interns during the summer,” Anne said. “It seems like more and more women are getting into the field.”
Anne is one of hundreds of women who work for Sundt Construction. This article is part of a series celebrating Women in Construction Week.
Interested in pursuing a career with Sundt? Please click here for more information.
January 17, 2018
Sellwood Bridge won a Build America Award.
Two of our joint venture projects earned big awards during last month’s Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Convention in New Orleans.
The Sundt/Slayden Joint Venture’s work on Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Oregon received the AGC’s Construction Risk Partners Build America Award for best new highway and transportation project.
The Sundt-Rummel Joint Venture earned the Marvin M. Black Excellence in Partnering Award for its collaboration on the White Tanks Flood Retarding Structure (FRS) for the Flood Control District of Maricopa County.
The Sundt/Slayden team replaced the 1925 Sellwood Bridge with a 2,000-foot-long structure across the Willamette River. The project required leaving the existing bridge open, building a replacement next to the old bridge and then moving the new bridge into place. The shoofly method minimized bridge closures to avoid negatively affecting the thousands of drivers who use the bridge each day. It cut roadway closures to less than the 30 days called for in the contract, saved $5 million and took a year off the project schedule.
The new bridge has an open steel deck arch structure, 6-foot bicycle lanes and two 12-foot sidewalks. It also meets the latest seismic standards.
White Tanks FRS earned the Marvin M. Black Award.
White Tanks FRS is a 1.3-mile-long, 20-foot high structure that provides flood protection to about 1,000 residential and commercial properties and agricultural land. The project was built using the Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) method.
The Marvin M. Black Award is presented to construction projects that epitomize the principles of partnering. Contractors honored with the award stand out for their ability in signing a formal partnering charter, achieving a common goal, honoring all stakeholders, resolving conflict, improving communication on the project with all audiences and incorporating team-building activities.
We maintained the budget and avoided costly change orders by bringing in the joint venture during design and by partnering with outside agencies, including the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the National Resources Conservation Service, to write project specifications and work plans.
January 12, 2018
Despite wet conditions, we completed our work on US 175 in Texas seven months ahead of schedule.
US 175 in Henderson County, Texas is bigger, safer and open well ahead of schedule despite conditions that often worked against our crew, which numbered as many as 50 craft professionals at a time.
The county, located 35 miles west of Tyler, Texas, saw 115 inches of rain in 2016. Seventy of those inches came during the spring, when our team was working on critical portions of the job, including constructing several large cast-in-place box culverts and four bridges and excavating 800,000 cubic yards of dirt.
“The soil is sandy and prone to washing out,” said Area Manager Abel Ortiz. “It was just a messy job site. Lots of water. The crew did a good job of managing all that.”
Construction of the drainage box culverts was a challenge under the conditions and the earthwork operations suffered significant delays. We had an answer that kept the Texas Department of Transportation project on track.
“The team made up for most of the lost time by double-shifting the dirt work operations during the summer,” Abel said. “We had five dirt crews going around the clock. At one point, crews were moving 20,000 cubic yards of dirt per day.”
The work turned US 175 into a four-lane divided highway that bypasses the small town of Poynor. The old roadway had two lanes with no shoulders in a rolling hill area, making it extremely dangerous.
Work started in October 2015 and was completed in January 2018, seven months ahead of schedule.
“The crew was able to manage the adverse weather very well,” Abel said. “That kept the owner happy.”
Sundt Heavy Machinery Operator Jesse De Haro.
Heavy Machinery Operator Jesse De Haro has been with Sundt for more than 10 years, working on projects across the Southwest.
Last year, Jesse became one of dozens of Sundt craft professionals to earn NCCER-Plus Certification. The assessment is broken into two parts. Knowledge verification is a written test that assesses the employee’s knowledge of a subject matter within an area of expertise, such as pipefitting, industrial concrete or ironworking. The second part is the performance verification, a hands-on demonstration that measures the employee’s ability to perform skills in a particular area of expertise. Craft professionals carry the certification throughout their careers.
A Tucson native, Jesse is working at home on the Banner-UMC project. Previously, he was across town on our Ina/I-10 improvements.
What made you want to work for Sundt?
My dad connected me with the company and I really got close to a lot of guys. I felt like they were family. I still feel that way.
What has been your favorite project?
I’m kind of biased on that. My first job was the Fourth Avenue underpass. It couldn’t have been a better job as a 21-year-old. I got to work at home.
What’s the best part about your job?
Besides building cool things and saying I was a part of it, I like meeting good people when I go out of town. People who see this as a career. I’m open to teaching green guys who are willing to pick it up. I like to see people prosper and become part of the Sundt culture.
What are your hobbies?
I love to spend time with my young daughter. I collect DVDs and Blu-rays and try to work out when I’m not too tired.
Where do you get your best advice?
I turn to a lot of my superintendents … people I’ve worked for over time and built relationships with. They help me with work and personal things.
If you weren’t in the construction industry, what would you be doing?
Maybe a mechanic. It’s become more of a hobby. I really like what I do.