April 2, 2014
March 24, 2014
Bridge builders large and small worked out their design ideas with newspaper, tape … and lots of patience and creativity.
What’s it like to design and construct a landmark bridge? How does teamwork affect the process of bridge construction? Employees from Sundt and Slayden Construction recently used a fun, hands-on approach to help a group of first graders at Faubion Elementary School in Portland, Ore., explore that question. Slayden/Sundt is the joint venture team reconstructing Portland’s Sellwood Bridge for Multnomah County – a $213 million transportation construction project that will improve safety and traffic flow over the Willamette River.
The professional engineers and young engineers-in-training spent several hours brainstorming design ideas for a model bridge constructed of newspaper, constructing prototypes, and then testing them for success with toy vehicles. Their design ideas (some successful, some less so) included tunnels, triple-decker lanes, corkscrew spiral on-ramps, trampoline bridges, bird nesting nooks, murals, long slides, snack dispensers, and swimming pools. Many hours, glue sticks and stacks of newspaper later, the kids (and probably a few adults, too) had learned a lot about construction and the value and challenges of working with others.
“Multnomah County’s School-based Outreach Program is a not only a great way for students to learn about the Sellwood Bridge project; it also gives the kids a glimpse into possible future career paths or areas of study,” said Matt Fisher, Sundt Project Engineer. “I was quite surprised at the enthusiasm and engagement of the first graders – they had a lot of fun and came up with some interesting and fairly sturdy bridge designs!”
Designed as an open-spandrel steel arch structure, the new Sellwood Bridge will complement its surroundings while providing ample space for all modes of travel. It will have two vehicle lanes in each direction on the west end (which narrow to one lane in each direction on the east end), two six-foot-wide bike lanes, and two 12-foot-wide sidewalks for pedestrians.
The team is using an innovative “shoofly” (detour) approach to complete the challenging project while reducing costs and minimizing disruptions to travelers. It involves lifting the old bridge deck and truss with hydraulic jacks and moving it off to one side, placing it on a set of temporary piers, and connecting it to temporary approach spans so traffic can continue to use it while the new bridge is constructed. The bridge translation was successfully completed in January of 2013 (more info here). The entire project will be complete in 2016.
To see a time-lapse video of the bridge translation click here.
March 5, 2014
Minot’s remote location makes procuring materials for the paving project a significant challenge.
Sundt’s extensive airfield paving experience helped it win a challenging project at Minot Air Force Base near Minot, N.D. The $32 million heavy civil construction project involves repaving the central, 8,900-foot-long stretch of the base’s runway – a task that will require approximately 41,400 cubic yards of concrete and 35,650 tons of asphalt. (The two ends of the runway were already repaved by other contractors under separate contracts.)
Sundt’s other recent military airfield paving projects include construction of a $23 million apron and taxiway at Cannon Air Force Base near Clovis, N.M., and a $24 million Auxiliary Landing Field for the F-35B at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in Yuma, Ariz.
The project will begin at the end of this month and is scheduled for completion on September 30.
February 26, 2014
An aerial view of the project’s direct connector bridges from Loop 375 west to I-10 east and I-10 west to Loop 375 east.
Sundt is beginning the final stages of a $68 million project to improve a segment of Loop 375 Transmountain Road near El Paso, Texas. The team is finalizing the grooving of the bridge decks and putting the final finishes on the stamped concrete under the new bridges. Overhead sign structures are in place and landscaping is about 70 percent complete. What’s left before the project is complete in mid-May? Traffic signalization, electrical work below some of the bridges, and asphalt paving.
The heavy civil construction project includes widening the 3.5-mile stretch of roadway from two to four lanes (with frontage roads), building four grade-separated intersections, hiking and biking trails, and exit and entrance ramps. The project also includes direct connectors from Loop 375 west to Interstate 10 east and I-10 west to Loop 375 east.
January 10, 2014
Sundt created a 3D model of the new sewer line to identify potential conflicts with other utilities.
Don’t like conflict? If it’s utilities you’re talking about, 3D modeling might be the answer. That’s how Sundt identified potential problems – and showed our client how to solve them – on a roadway reconstruction project in El Paso, Texas.
“After evaluating the planned sewer line corridor and comparing it to the existing utilities, we found several potential conflicts,” said Rob Manning, Sundt Project Manager for the $14 million Country Club Road widening project. “We collected data by uncovering the actual utilities through potholing, then took GPS survey shots of each utility and created a 3D model that includes the planned sewer line placement. We presented our findings and suggestions to the city and its engineer, and they used the information to redesign that portion of the project.”
Two CAT 345 machines installing the 18-foot-deep, 18-inch sewer line along Country Club Road
The heavy civil construction project involves reconstructing two miles of Country Club Road in a well-established area of the city. Lined with prominent, high-value homes and many businesses, the roadway is badly congested and sits atop several aging utilities that need to be replaced (and whose exact location wasn’t known until Sundt began investigating). Sundt’s scope includes widening and reconstructing the roadway with continuously reinforced concrete paving, replacing the water and sanitary sewer lines, and installing sidewalks, lighting, landscaping and a traffic roundabout.
It stands to reason that a cutting-edge light rail construction project would make use of innovative communication technology to keep the public informed about the project. That’s exactly what’s happening in Phoenix, Ariz., where Sundt and joint venture partner Stacy & Witbeck are constructing a major extension of the city’s light rail system, known as the Northwest Extension.
While the public awaits the heavy civil construction project’s completion in April 2016, they can use an application developed by the project team to stay connected with area businesses and get project updates. The “NWExtension” app, available for free in the Apple iTunes store, contains coupons, business promotions, route information, construction updates, information about community groups, traffic impacts and more. The idea for the app grew out of the team’s business assistance efforts.
“The project team has done a phenomenal job helping us out – way above and beyond what anyone would expect,” said Luis F. Granda, who works for a company that until recently owned a car wash on 19th Avenue, where most of the construction is taking place. “I think the app is an incredible idea. I have it on my phone right now. I know that our customers have downloaded it and that it has helped our business because it has so much great information.”
In 2008, Sundt and Stacy & Witbeck completed more than half of the original 20-mile “starter” section of the Valley Metro Light Rail transit system (Line Section 4 and Line Section 5), plus the system’s maintenance and operations facility.