April 12, 2017
April 5, 2017
The White Tanks project was once a massive area of dirt and mud.
Choosing a new project delivery method kept the Maricopa County Flood Control District from seeing its budget wash away during work on the White Tanks Flood Structure in Buckeye, Arizona.
In the past, the District constructed similar projects using Design-Bid-Build and sometimes faced change orders that nearly doubled initial bid values because of outside agency inspections during construction.
It’s now a flood control project that is coming in on time and on budget.
On White Tanks, the District decided to try Construction Manager at Risk and selected Sundt. Our Transportation Group partnered with agencies including the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the National Resources Conservation Service to write specifications exactly as the District expected, lowering the chances of costly change orders.
“It worked well,” said Preconstruction Manager Jeffrey Hamilton. “The only change order relating to additional cost was because of a flood event, and the District had a contingency to cover that.”
The joint venture with Rummel Construction consists of widening and extending an existing flood structure and adding upgrades, including an architecturally enhanced auxiliary spillway, drop inlet structures and principal outlet structures. While the initial contract value was $25.3 million, the team is looking to bring the cost down by about $1 million.
We’re delivering client value in many other ways, too, including using drone technology to provide required survey information to verify completed work for our payment purposes.
“This would be a difficult and costly task with a survey crew,” Project Manager Ryan Vlach said. “We found a drone company that was able to fly the site and provide the necessary information at a fraction of the time and cost.”
Preconstruction ended in January 2016 and construction began the next month. Even with a small change order extending the contract until August, the team intends to finish work by June.
February 24, 2017
Our work on the West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth also won a Build America Award in 2015.
Sundt’s reconstruction of the West 7th Street Bridge in Fort Worth recently earned a Best of Precast Award from the Precast Concrete Manufacturers’ Association.
We received the award in the bridge category along with Heldenfels Enterprises, supplier of the bridge’s precast floor beams, and the Texas Department of Transportation. We were the general contractor and our concrete crews worked on the precast arches. The bridge also won a Build America Award from the Associated General Contractors of America in 2015.
The bridge is the first of its kind built with precast, post-tensioned arches and floor beams. Each arch measures 24 feet tall by approximately 160 feet long and weighs more than 640,000 pounds. The 12 concrete arches were built offsite and installed in pairs along either side of the bridge.
Reconstruction of the bridge improved pedestrian access and safety and created a landmark gateway between Fort Worth’s downtown and cultural district.
We completed the 980-foot-long bridge for the Texas Department of Transportation a month ahead of schedule. It opened to traffic Oct. 9, 2013, in time for the holidays.
February 10, 2017
A team from Cal State University Sacramento won the concrete competition at ASC.
For the seventh consecutive year, Sundt made an investment in the future of the industry by supporting the Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Student Competition in Sparks, Nevada earlier this month.
ASC is the professional association for the development and advancement of construction education, where sharing ideas and knowledge inspires, guides and promotes excellence in curricula, teaching, research and service.
“The ASC competition is a great opportunity for Sundt to get to know some of the brightest college students in the country,” said Sundt Vice President of Concrete Operations Sean Lynch. “We’re proud to play a role in educating the next generation of problem-solvers and construction leaders.”
We sponsored the concrete solutions category of the Regions 6 (Rocky Mountain) and 7 (Far West) competition. A team from California State University Sacramento won.
Our team put real-life issues before squads of college students who were tasked with developing the best approaches to solving the problems. The objective was to provoke critical thinking, display technical and presentation skills, promote teamwork and enjoy the experience.
The teams focused on the six-story, cast-in-place Sun Stone parking structure at San Diego State University, which is located next to two six-story student housing towers that were to be constructed concurrently with the garage. This problem statement focused on self-perform concrete and the teams were assigned to build the frame of the garage (e.g. slab on grade, walls, columns and decks).
The event was attended by students from dozens of colleges and universities. The conference is also a good venue for us to recruit interns who eventually could become important contributors as employee-owners.
Our concrete group was represented by Dinesh Reddy Allam, Shawn Blubaum, Kira Bruun, Michael Canter, Jesse McDonald, Tyler Menard, Gates Molitor and Carolina Silvas. Michael Morales ran our booth at the job fair. Tom Case and Dan Haag attended from our executive team.
October 7, 2016
Sundt Project Manager John Lewis.
Project Manager John Lewis has been with Sundt since 1996, filling a variety of roles: Field Engineer, Project Engineer and Superintendent.
Born in Tacoma, Washington to a military family, John moved every couple of years, setting him up for a career of going from one jobsite to another.
How did you get involved in construction?
I started in architecture at Arizona State University and quickly learned that I would rather be building and managing projects than drawing and designing them. After two short years of architecture school I changed my major to construction management. One of the best decisions I ever made!
What was it about Sundt that convinced you to work here?
My first intention, some 20 years ago, was to get an internship. I heard from several people that Sundt was a good company that specialized in several kinds of work. Once on board, I quickly learned that Sundt is a good company with a great reputation in the community. It was also nice to see that several employees had been with the company for many years, a testament that Sundt has created a good culture with good people that I wanted to be a part of. The ESOP was also a good motivator to join the Sundt team.
Which project are you working on?
I’m currently working on the Biomedical Sciences Partnership Building in downtown Phoenix. I’ve had the good fortune to be able to work on this campus for the last five years. The project is a 10-story research/administrative labs, roughly 245,000-square-foot cast-in-place concrete structure. The copper façade matches the previously completed phases. It’s a must-see project in the downtown area.
What do you like to do when you’re away from work?
The family and I enjoy travelling; we try to take a significant trip each year. We also enjoy spending time at the kids’ sporting events. My son plays competitive basketball and my daughter is in competitive cheer and volleyball. We also enjoy camping up north as well as at the sand dunes in California.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Treat people like you want to be treated. As we all know, in this business, the likelihood of dealing with the same person sometime down the road is inevitable. There are many occasions where I see someone years later and they always have something nice to say because even in cases when interactions are not positive, I’ve always treated them with respect.
Larry Luke, Sundt’s Area Manager for its new Salt Lake City office.
Larry Luke is serving as Area Manager for the new office and is responsible for forming partnerships with clients and subcontractors in the region. It’s an important market. Sixty percent of Utah’s population live in the Salt Lake Valley and the state’s population is estimated to increase 19 percent by 2020, from 2.77 million to 3.31 million.
Larry recently spent a few minutes talking about our expanded presence in Northern Utah and our many qualifications and innovative approaches to project delivery.
What are Utah’s strengths as a market?
Utah has a growing economy and population that has created a steady need for new infrastructure in the areas in which Sundt operates (Transportation, Industrial and Building). Utah has a healthy economy, balanced state budget and the ability to either self-fund projects or obtain either federal or private-market funding. The owners are not only programming and funding new construction projects but they also have a reputation for treating contractors fairly and believe in partnering. Public market owners, such as Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), Utah Transit Authority and counties and cities, and private markets have projects that are either in the planning phase, design phase or already scheduled to be advertised.
From a personnel perspective, Salt Lake City is an area where many people want to live due to the proximity to recreational opportunities, strong family atmosphere and relatively low cost of living.
Sundt participates in joint ventures on many of its projects. What kind of expertise would we bring to JVs in the Salt Lake market?
Sundt is known in our industry for being not only a long-standing reputable company with a strong balance sheet, but also one with excellent experience on a variety of different projects. Through our people, we are also known for being an innovator and leader in Construction Manager General Contractor (CMGC), and use of technology for 3D modeling, virtual design and construction, use of automated machine control, parametric estimating, and design-build value engineering. Owners like UDOT have been on the forefront of CMGC projects, design-build, accelerated bridge construction and intelligent design and construction (IDC). We believe Sundt’s strengths in these areas will make us stand out and be able to offer joint-venture partners and owners a value that is unique from other local contractors.
What are Sundt’s strategies for developing good subcontractor relationships there?
Like any other local market, it is important to have personal relationships with our subcontractors and suppliers and show them that Sundt will treat them fairly, pay timely, honor fair bidding and price-evaluation practices and include them as partners in the project planning.
What trends do you see in the Salt Lake market?
I think we will continue to see an emphasis on value-based selections such as CMGC and design-build, especially for projects greater than $75 million. UDOT is interested in developing its IDC process and evolving the design and contractors into utilizing 3D electronic design files to replace paper plan sheets as legal construction documents. I think we will also see more opportunities that involve a combination of Transportation, Industrial or Building. For example, the upcoming Salt Lake prison or Utah Transit Authority Mountain Accord project, development of ski resort expansion projects or local cities’ needs for water improvement projects.