December 15, 2017
November 22, 2017
Sundt Preconstruction Manager Cade Rowley.
Cade Rowley has spent all 20 of his years in the construction industry with Sundt. Cade, the Preconstruction Manager for our Transportation Group, is a registered civil engineer, member of the Board of Directors for the Arizona Chapter of Associated General Contractors of America and AGC’s Board of Governors.
Cade holds a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University.
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Early in my career, I was on a very difficult project. I had the opportunity to leave Sundt and pursue a less stressful and less time-consuming career with the US Forest Service. Fortunately, I had a strong Project Manager as a mentor who assured me not all projects were the same. I took the risk to stay with Sundt and it played out well for me and my family.
What does a Preconstruction Manager do?
Besides stress out on bid day, I manage all estimating and preconstruction work in our four Transportation Group offices (Tempe, Arizona; Irving, Texas; San Antonio and Salt Lake City). Manage the budgeting and buyout process for all transportation projects. Review and execute subcontract agreements and purchase-order agreements for all Transportation Group work. Collaborate with Preconstruction Managers from Industrial, Building and Concrete to enhance self-perform opportunities across all groups.
What’s unique about preconstruction for transportation work?
Every project we look at is unique due to site conditions and the environment we are working in. The cost of the work varies greatly due to the geology of the earthwork, site conditions such as working in traffic or in the open, existing underground utilities, weather, etc. We also do a lot of design-bid-build commonly referred to as hard-bid work. In many cases we only have three to four weeks to review hundreds of pages of plans and specifications and provide a price that we are financially committed to.
Dog person or cat person?
Definitely a dog person! My wife even had to leave her cat with her parents when we got married.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received?
No success can compensate for failure in the home. What we do at work is very important and gives us the ability to support our families and the ones we care about, but we have limited time with our children before they grow up. I encourage everyone who works with me to make time for their families. A happy home life usually leads to a more productive work life.
Seen any good movies lately?
I really enjoyed the movie “Only the Brave” about the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew.
November 13, 2017
Sundt’s Transportation Group is turning the two-lane roadway into a four-lane divided highway in Central Arizona.
It’s a smart way to build a road.
Sundt is using Intelligent Compaction (IC) for the first time on our Thousand Trails Road improvements for the Arizona Department of Transportation. IC is the compaction of road materials such as soils, aggregate bases or asphalt pavement materials, using vibratory rollers equipped with an integrated measurement system, an onboard computer reporting system and global positioning system-based mapping.
Compaction is necessary to attain high quality and uniformity of pavement materials, ensuring longer-lasting performance.
“Using IC on the project gives us the ability to monitor compaction efforts in real time and let us know when it has obtained the required compaction on the aggregate base course (what’s under the surface layer) as well as the asphalt,” said Senior Project Manager Eric Weston.
Our Transportation Group is turning the two-lane roadway into a four-lane divided highway in Central Arizona between Camp Verde and Cottonwood. The job site is about 20 miles from the award-winning Cordes Junction project we completed in 2013.
The project team will replace the barrier on an existing bridge for future westbound lanes, construct a new bridge for future eastbound lanes and build a new multi-modal pathway. The work consists of seven roundabouts, earthwork, aggregate base, asphaltic concrete pavement, bridge construction, drainage improvements, curb and gutter, sidewalk and other related work.
“The biggest challenge so far has been dealing with traffic on State Road 260,” Eric said. “During the day, SR260 is very busy with local as well as vacation traffic to Cottonwood and Sedona.”
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.
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.