April 12, 2017
April 7, 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.
April 5, 2017
Sundt Senior Project Engineer Chris Elison.
Sundt Senior Project Engineer Chris Elison has been with the company for nine years, getting a job after serving an internship as a student at Arizona State University. He graduated from ASU in 2008 with a degree in Construction Management.
Chris was Acting Project Manager on the Valley Metro Northwest Extension, a light-rail project that recently won two Build America Awards, considered the Oscars of the construction industry.
He and his wife were married in 2013 and celebrated the birth of their first child in January. Chris was born in Philadelphia and raised in Minnesota before moving to Arizona to attend college.
The project you just completed, the Valley Metro Northwest Extension, won two Build America Awards for the joint venture team. How did the team earn those honors?
The project was highly complex in an urban environment, but as a team we took the time to understand the needs and expectations of Valley Metro, the City of Phoenix and local stakeholders. In order to complete the project, innovative techniques and outside the box thinking were used, including GPS/Building Information Modeling on the excavator for utility work and the creation of a smart phone app to help distribute information to the community. We were able to finish the project ahead of schedule and on budget. In addition, the team had a highly successful partnership due to partnering sessions, team building and being co-located.
What’s your next project?
I will be on the Gilbert Road Light Rail Extension working with Valley Metro and Stacy and Witbeck again. It is a 1.6-mile extension running from the current end of the line in Mesa to Gilbert Road on Main Street.
What’s the most interesting thing about working in construction?
Every day poses a new and interesting challenge and no two days are alike.
You and your wife had a baby not that long ago. How has that changed your life?
It has changed my perspective on life and my priorities have changed. I put my daughter’s needs before my own. We are also very, very, very tired.
Where do you like to travel?
My wife and I are big fans of warm weather, beaches and umbrella drinks. These are some of the reasons we chose to have a destination wedding in Mexico, one of our favorite places. Some of our other favorite places include Hawaii, Jamaica and St. Lucia. We also enjoy cruising the Caribbean.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
I remember my dad telling me, “Establishing trust is a long journey, losing trust is a short trip and earning that lost trust back is a lifetime.”
April 4, 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.
March 29, 2017
Arizona residents are passionate about improving education in their state. The strength of our classrooms has a direct impact on the health of our communities.
Expect More Arizona is a nonprofit advocacy organization working to ensure every child receives an excellent education. Expect More Arizona’s priorities include early literacy, teacher recruitment and retention, post-secondary attainment and more.
Today is Arizona Gives Day, an important opportunity to support the meaningful work of great organizations such as Expect More Arizona. Sundt has contributed $5,000 to support the cause of improved education and workforce development.
Private support makes it possible for Expect More Arizona to raise awareness of important education issues and create opportunities to support students and teachers locally and statewide.
Learn more about the organization or donate here.
Sundt Regional Vice President Ian McDowell stands next to a mining truck, one of the pieces of Caterpillar machinery that will be developed in Tucson.
Sundt is in the preconstruction phase of a project that will add hundreds of well-paying jobs to Downtown Tucson.
We have been chosen as the construction manager at risk for Caterpillar’s 150,000-square-foot surface mining and technology headquarters. The building will have room for approximately 600 engineers, product development and support positions working on the next generation of mining equipment, vehicles and technology. The state of Arizona estimates the economic impact to the region at $600 million.
In February, members of the design and construction team toured several Caterpillar sites, including manufacturing facilities in Milwaukee, and Peoria and Decatur, Illinois.
“We saw facilities where they are able to produce 25 or more massive machines each day when operating at peak capacity. It was incredibly impressive,” said Sundt Regional Vice President Ian McDowell.
Our team was also given a tour of the Caterpillar Visitors Center in Peoria that highlights the company’s rich history and innovative technology.
“Everyone talks about autonomous vehicles these days, but few people realize that Caterpillar has been a pioneer of this technology,” Ian said. “Autonomous mining equipment is a reality today because of some of the work Caterpillar has been doing, including developing remote driving technologies that allow people to sit in a control booth in Tucson and operate machinery on a different continent.”
Caterpillar has more than 100,000 employees worldwide. The company was recently named one of the Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies for the 16th consecutive year. Drawing the company to Tucson was a big accomplishment for the city.
“Beyond jobs and other economic benefits, having a Fortune 100 company choose Tucson is an affirmation of how far the city has come and will signal to other potential companies that this is a vibrant and thriving place to locate other businesses,” Ian said.