October 7, 2016
September 21, 2016
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.
January 29, 2013
Sixty goats were on the grounds at the Sellwood Bridge project in Portland, Oregon.
Some of our subcontractors at the Sellwood Bridge project have horns, hooves and a healthy appetite for brush. They prefer night work, take daily power naps together and never request time off.
That’s because they’re goats. No kidding.
The goats were tasked with removing brush from the site and they will come back in the spring for more work.
The Slayden/Sundt Joint Venture transportation project in Portland, Oregon, has had a commitment to green measures from the beginning. Having 60 goats working together to get rid of brush eliminated waste that would be generated by humans thinning the thicket by hand. The City of Portland asked the team to clear the trail on the east side of the Willamette River on the $228 million project.
The lively livestock spent a couple of weeks onsite this month and are returning in the spring to eat blackberry vines.
The animals are owned by Goat Power, a husband and wife who travel the Willamette Valley with their four-legged friends in a refurbished bus. The goats go from one job to the next, working months at a time.
But the bearded wonders won’t completely replace humans on the Sellwood cleanup crew: People will still remove old vines and trim trees.
July 13, 2012
Introducing…Shane Malkowski, a new project manager in Sundt’s Heavy Civil Division. Prior to joining Sundt, Shane spent 13 years in the consulting engineering field designing and managing transportation and infrastructure projects in Arizona, Utah and Texas. In order to show him the customary Sundt welcome, we subjected him to our usual list of nosy questions.
We’re glad you’re here. What led you to Sundt?
The company’s great reputation, ambitious growth strategy and desire to pursue design-build and other alternate project delivery methods.
What’s the most challenging project you’ve ever worked on, and why?
The $210 million US 290 design-build project in Austin, Texas. Managing the short, nine-month design schedule with 120 staff in 10 different offices made the project challenging.
What are your favorite kinds of projects?
Rural highways are the best; I enjoy getting out into the country. It doesn’t matter if it’s the desert, plains or mountains; I enjoy getting out.
If you weren’t working in construction, what would you be doing?
Flying an airplane.
Is there something people often ask you when they find out what you do for a living?
Why is traffic so bad?
Where would you most like to travel?
The Marshall Islands; it looks like the most tranquil place on earth.
What career advice do you have for younger people just starting out?
My advice would be to follow your instincts, work hard and learn everything you can.
What’s the strangest/most interesting/most remote location you’ve ever had to go to for work?
The most interesting location I have worked was Austin. It’s a great city: lots of culture, great BBQ and football.
Is there a historical construction project that you would have liked to be a part of?
I think the Panama Canal would have been a great experience. The ingenuity and adversity those engineers and workers overcame was amazing. The project was a game changer for international commerce.
March 9, 2012
Americans should be seeing more transportation improvement projects soon as increased federal funding becomes available.
Given the state of the economy, it seems like Americans have to look a little harder than usual for good news these days, but some came our way recently when Congress passed the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4348). The bill authorizes new investment in federal highway and transit projects through September 30, 2014 – providing much-needed improvements in our national infrastructure and much-needed jobs for our struggling industry.
Many in the construction and transportation industries worked hard to urge legislators to approve the measure, and we at Sundt applaud them for their good work.
Steve Sandherr, Chief executive officer of AGC of America, noted, “The passage of the twenty-seven month transportation bill ends nearly three years’ worth of temporary extensions that have made it increasingly difficult for state and local officials to plan for, fund, and execute major new infrastructure projects. The new highway and transit bill should allow construction to finally begin on many long-delayed, vital projects. In addition, this bill will make it easier for a host of long-contemplated projects to move through a regulatory review process that until now was hopelessly inefficient.”
We agree, and we’re glad to see Congress moving ahead with initiatives that will benefit all Americans now and for many years to come.
Sundt and a joint venture partner recently expanded the Loop 101 High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes in Phoenix, Ariz.
You don’t have to be a traffic engineer or city planner to know that our country’s transportation system is in desperate need of help. Consider this statement from a recent white paper produced by the Bureau of National Affairs: “As of 2006, more than half of total vehicle miles traveled on the federal highway system occurred on roads that were not in good condition. More than one quarter of the nation’s bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.”
Making the problem worse is the fact that new infrastructure projects haven’t kept up with demand. According to the same white paper, between 1980 and 2006, vehicle travel miles increased by 97 percent for automobiles and 106 percent for trucks. But in the past 30 years the total number of highway lane miles grew only 4.4 percent.
The situation – some say a crisis – is especially worrisome for businesses because the harder it is for them to transport goods and services, the costlier it becomes. A higher cost of doing business translates to lower profitability and less money for hiring employees, which inhibits the economic recovery. Simply put: deteriorating infrastructure is a danger to public safety, harmful for the environment (think of all those vehicles idling in congested traffic because there aren’t enough roads), and bad for our nation’s economy in more ways than one.
Many experts, including the leadership of Sundt, agree that now is the time for bold action to turn the situation around.
“Initially, the federal government needs to pass a long-term transportation bill that is at or above the current funding levels. A five-year plan would give the states the stability they need to move forward with construction projects,” says Jeff Williamson, senior vice president and manager of Sundt’s Civil Division. “Ultimately, broad-based public awareness and education need to occur to create the will for a major investment in our infrastructure if this nation is to remain competitive in a global economy.”