January 15, 2013
December 26, 2012
A large crowd turned out for the Northwest Extension groundbreaking ceremony last Saturday. Mike Howard (center), the project’s community coordinator, showed his team spirit by writing SSWJV (Sundt/Stacy and Witbeck Joint Venture) on the back of his head.
Employees from Sundt Construction and Stacy and Witbeck took part in a community celebration last Saturday to celebrate the groundbreaking of a major heavy civil construction project that will help relieve traffic congestion and improve air quality throughout the Phoenix area.
Valley Metro’s Northwest Extension is a 3.2-mile extension of existing light rail facilities that will include three stations and serve approximately 5,000 riders per day. It is being constructed by Sundt/Stacy and Witbeck, a joint venture partnership, and will be complete by early 2016.
During the first 18 months of the project, the team will perform extensive utility relocations and removals throughout the corridor. Water, storm, sewer, gas, private irrigation, power, telephone, and cable are all being replaced, followed by the road and track phases, which include all new curb, gutter, sidewalk, driveways and 3.2 miles of double track.
“Here at Sundt/Stacy and Witbeck JV (SSWJV), we are very excited to bring our successful construction methods to the Northwest Extension,” said Mike Howard, the project’s community coordinator. “It is one of the country’s premier facilities in both aesthetics and functionality. From 2004 to 2008, SSWJV built more than half of the original 20-mile “starter” section, the 10-mile section from 26th Street and Washington Street to the east terminus at Sycamore Drive and Main Street in Mesa. SSWJV also built the Maintenance and Operations Facility located off of 48th Street, east of Washington Street.”
December 20, 2012
Bikes, bikes and more bikes filled a room at Fort Bliss last week, where they were waiting to become Christmas presents for 75 children.
When you’re a kid, there’s nothing like getting a new bike – especially when it’s been left under the tree by Santa Claus. Seventy-five children in El Paso, Texas, had the thrilling experience of discovering a brand new set of wheels on Christmas morning as a result of a bicycle collection drive led by Sundt for Operation Santa Claus. Operation Santa Claus is a nonprofit organization that has been serving Fort Bliss and El Paso since 1957. Its mission is to provide every needy child in the area with a new Christmas toy.
The bikes were purchased and donated to the organization by Sundt employees working on a $43 million heavy civil construction project at Fort Bliss Army Post, plus several vendors and subcontractors associated with the project. Sundt is performing extensive infrastructure and site development work for the future William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss, which will provide state-of-the-art medical care to our men and women in uniform.
Operation Santa Claus also received a $1,000 grant from the Sundt Foundation, which was used to purchase more bikes in addition to the ones that were donated by Sundt employees. The Sundt Foundation was established in 1999 by Sundt Construction, Inc., as a way for its employee-owners to give back to the communities in which they work. In addition to sponsoring volunteer activities, the Foundation distributes grants every quarter. The money to fund those grants is raised primarily through contributions from Sundt employees, which are then matched dollar-for-dollar by the company.
Since its inception the Foundation has made grants totaling more than $5 million to hundreds of worthy organizations. Most grants are awarded in communities where Sundt has an established office or major project underway. Employees can also direct their donations to charitable organizations that benefit members of the military and their families.
November 30, 2012
Approximately $3,000 worth of food was collected through the Sundt Foundation’s holiday food drive in El Paso, Texas.
Weight loss experts say you shouldn’t equate food with love – but in some cases, the comparison couldn’t be more appropriate. Sundt employees working at eight different federal, heavy civil and K-12 school construction projects in El Paso, Texas, showed their caring for the community by participating in a holiday food drive that netted more than 600 pounds of donated edibles (valued at approximately $3,000). The donations were given to two area nonprofit organizations that provide assistance to individuals and families in need: Reynolds Home in El Paso and Families and Youth Inc., in Anthony, N.M.
August 8, 2012
BIM is being used to construct the West 7th Street Bridge project in Fort Worth, Texas, as shown above. Sundt is a recognized expert in applying BIM to horizontal construction projects, a process known as Virtual Design and Construction, or VDC.
Building complex, difficult projects is one thing. Communicating plans for those projects so that owners can visualize and understand them ahead of time is its own challenge – particularly when it comes to heavy civil construction such as roads, bridges, rail and other infrastructure.
Sundt is using building information modeling (BIM), a standard construction technology, in novel ways to solve this problem. By utilizing BIM as a communication tool during the proposal process, we have distinguished ourselves as an industry leader when it comes to innovation and creativity. The Sellwood Bridge project in Portland, Ore., is a great example of the innovative use of BIM in action.
This brief video, created by Autodesk (makers of 3D design software for the engineering, design and construction industries), explains how Sundt is pushing the capabilities of BIM beyond its original purpose.
An image from the animated VDC model of Sundt's Sellwood Bridge project in Portland, Ore. The model shows the entire construction sequence and then pauses to demonstrate how traffic flows through the site.
BIM is to vertical construction as VDC is to horizontal construction. If this sounds more like an SAT question to you than a cutting-edge way to build better heavy civil construction projects, read on.
Virtual design and construction (VDC) can transform the construction of horizontal infrastructure projects like highways and bridges. Sundt has become an expert in the use of VDC and the many advantages it offers clients: better communication, fewer change orders and requests for information, the elimination of rework, increased productivity and quality, shortened schedules, creation of computerized as-built drawings and specifications, and – most importantly – reduced costs.
Want to know more? Eric Cylwik and Kevin Dwyer, two Sundt employees who have become leading experts on VDC, have authored an article on the subject that was posted today on the website of ENR magazine. You can find it here.