October 17, 2012
October 16, 2012
An aerial view of the Santa Teresa Rail Facility project site, which is located on a 2,200-acre parcel of desert near the U.S./Mexico border.
Trains can travel hundreds of miles at a stretch, but occasionally they need to refuel, swap containers, and undergo maintenance. Sundt is building one such facility for Union Pacific that will serve as an important point for the movement of goods along the 800-mile Sunset Route from Los Angeles to El Paso. Called the Santa Teresa Rail Facility, it is located on a 2,200-acre parcel of desert in New Mexico about two miles north of the U.S./Mexico border. The nearest sizeable city is El Paso, Texas, about 10 miles to the east.
The $400 million, state-of-the-art rail facility will incorporate fueling areas, crew change buildings, an intermodal block swap/switching yard and an intermodal ramp. Our $172 million heavy civil contract is for the project’s second phase, which involves constructing 26 buildings, installing a number of underground utilities (water, electric and sewer), concrete paving, and constructing the fuel facility and connecting it to a new fuel line. The team’s first and most significant construction milestone is the completion of the fuel facility by December 31, 2013.
“The fuel facility portion of the project is fairly complex because of the amount of mechanical piping involved,” said Sundt Project Manager Eric Weston. “We’re self-performing the majority of that work, which amounts to about $18 million of our overall contract. Sundt’s own crews are also performing the concrete paving – a package worth about $14 million.”
The project is scheduled for completion in 2014.
October 12, 2012
Sundt Construction, Inc. is pleased to announce that Jonathan Hunt has joined us as a senior project engineer in the Tempe office. He will lend his expertise to civil and industrial projects (Learn more here). Since Sundt believes that our people are the core of what we do, we wanted to get to know our latest addition. We recently spent a little time talking with Jonathan, and this is what we learned.
When not at work, how do you spend your time?
I enjoy travelling to other countries.
Where in the world would you most like to visit?
The far-east: China, Japan, Korea and Thailand would be amazing.
How do you take your coffee?
At work: hot and black but at my leisure it varies from cream and sugar to iced coffee.
What’s one thing on your bucket list?
I hope to get my pilot’s license one day.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
You can do anything if you put your mind to it.
What is it about Sundt that has led you to make your career here?
The importance that Sundt places on its people really attracted me to the company. We are truly valued here.
October 10, 2012
One of the 12 precast concrete arches that will form the sides of the reconstructed bridge. Each one is 163 feet long and weighs approximately 700,000 pounds.
Lifting a 700,000-pound concrete arch into an upright position and setting it aside safely on a busy construction site is no easy feat. Doing it twelve times – once for each arch that will form the sides of the reconstructed West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth, Texas – is officially hair-raising. That’s just one of the reasons Texas Area Manager Chris Cedar has a hard time sleeping at night. He’s overseeing Sundt’s $24.1 million project to reconstruct the 980-foot-long structure over the Trinity River, which will serve as a landmark gateway connecting the city’s downtown to its new cultural district.
The new bridge will feature two, 10-foot-wide pedestrian walkways and 12 precast concrete and stainless steel arches, which are being built by Sundt’s own concrete experts. Approximately 300,000 pounds of polished stainless steel within the arches and bridge superstructure will be illuminated at night with embedded lighting.
“Technically, this is a very challenging job,” Chris explained. “We cast the arches on site adjacent to the bridge, lying flat on their sides. Then we post-tension them and install the stainless steel rods that run from the top of the arch to the tie. Once they cure and get to 6,000 psi concrete strength, we rotate them up into the vertical position and slide them over into a storage area.”
Once all of the arches are complete (three have been made so far), they’ll be placed on both sides of the existing bridge at night. Then the old bridge will be closed and demolished and the new structure will be built in its place – in just 150 calendar days.
“Each arch takes about six weeks to complete, but the amount of time we spent planning the first one was enormous,” Chris added. “We spent a lot of time preparing and doing construction engineering up front so that everything went smoothly.”
September 14, 2012
One of the Infantry Moving (IM) targets at DAGIR. The long target in the foreground will eventually have rail attached to it, enabling a pop-up target to move back and forth. The six targets in the back will also be equipped with pop-up targets for small arms fire practice.
Sundt is nearing completion of the U.S. military’s first fully computerized target practice range at Fort Bliss Army Post, Texas, a high-profile project called DAGIR, which stands for Digital Air-Ground Integration Range. The $31.6 million heavy civil project, which will wrap up prior to Thanksgiving, included construction of 23 miles of tank trails, installation of 200 pre-cast concrete targets, and construction of six support buildings. The facility will be used to train U.S. soldiers and the armies of several U.S. allies for combat missions on the ground and from the air.
“This is a premier facility that will become a model for other such digital ranges around the country,” said Sundt Area Manager Fred Stone. “It’s high-tech, high-security, fast-tracked – you name it, it’s challenging. Sundt has an excellent track record of performing well under all of these conditions for the federal government, including at Fort Bliss, which factored into our being awarded the job.”
What makes the range unique is the fact that the targets are controlled digitally, which allows for the creation of unlimited combat scenarios. Sensors in the targets and the vehicles gather information that then becomes part of the review and feedback process. After soldiers complete a simulated mission on the range, they return to the After Action Review (AAR) building to view a recording and debrief with their superiors.
The 200 pre-cast concrete targets at DAGIR required approximately 11,000 concrete blocks, all of which were made by Sundt’s Concrete Division.
Sundt’s ability to self-perform all of the concrete work played an instrumental role in helping the team manage the tight schedule. Nearly 11,000 concrete blocks, each measuring 2x2x6 feet, were cast using an efficient assembly line approach that boosted productivity rates by more than 30 percent over what was originally projected.
The project’s location posed another challenge. It sits within a large parcel of undeveloped land that was used for target practice leading up to and during World War II. Because of its remote location and relatively open air space, it’s ideal for training missions, with one catch: an unknown amount of live ordinance is still scattered throughout the area. Even though the project site itself was cleared prior to Sundt’s arrival, the situation adds an additional layer of security that has affected the team’s daily operations.
“We have a very limited workspace that requires a lot of careful planning. You can’t just wander around out there,” said Stone. “If anyone deviates outside of the project boundaries, and lives to tell about it, they’ll be escorted off the base immediately. We have had to be very careful about respecting security measures – for our own safety as well as to protect the sensitive nature of what occurs there.”
The Sellwood Bridge project in Portland, Ore. The photo shows a view of the new location for the relocated truss (detour) bridge, looking east. Most of the structural steel for the new bridge columns has been constructed in the Willamette River. The bridge is scheduled to be moved early next year.
Sundt utilizes a variety of delivery methods to build projects for our diverse group of public and private sector clients. One of these – Construction Manager General Contractor, or CMGC – is particularly good at bringing team members together early in order to maximize teamwork. Early collaboration means better outcomes for clients and end users.
“CMGC is a highly collaborative process involving the owner, contractor and designer,” said Sundt Senior Vice President Jeff Williamson. “Early contractor involvement optimizes the design, which ultimately significantly reduces or eliminates future changes. The same process can be utilized to effectively manage schedule and environmental issues.”
Sundt and joint venture partner Slayden Construction are currently using CMGC on the reconstruction of the 2,000-foot-long Sellwood Bridge in Portland, Ore. The $160 million project involves moving the existing bridge deck and truss aside with hydraulic jacks, then placing it on a set of temporary piers and connecting it to temporary approach spans so that traffic can continue to use it while the new bridge is constructed.
“This project is incredibly complex and would no doubt be much more difficult using a traditional design-bid-build approach,” said Steve Schmitt, Heavy Civil Area Manager for Sundt. “One of the owner’s goals is to maintain traffic in the corridor during the reconstruction of the bridge and the adjacent traffic interchange. The design team and Slayden/Sundt each had ideas on how this would work with respect to the phasing of traffic, minimizing the construction footprint, and also minimizing the cost of temporary pavement or detours.
“The project is especially confined, as it is sandwiched between the Willamette River, a cemetery and challenging topography. In the collaborative environment fostered by CMGC, we were able to develop a plan that maximizes the production efficiency, maintains traffic, and limits the need for temporary pavement. In short: CMGC is playing a major role in helping us deliver a better product to the bridge’s end users.”