Traylor Bros. Inc. has built its reputation in the construction industry as a company that will take on complex, innovative and challenging projects that other firms shy away from. “We service a niche market,” Vice President Thad Pirtle says. “We do work that most of the time no one wants to touch because it’s so challenging. We do work under cities, on live rail lines and on bridges over major rivers.”
The Evansville, Ind.- based company was founded in 1946 by William Traylor, a civil engineer and inspector for the city of Evansville. By 1956, Traylor had bridged the Ohio River and bored his first mile of tunnel. Careful attention to methods, equipment and design of special equipment and excavation support schemes was Traylor’s personal focus. Today, the company is under the leadership of the third generation of Traylors – Co-Presidents Christopher and Michael Traylor.
Traylor is divided into three operating divisions: national heavy civil, underground and mining. The heavy civil division provides comprehensive, cutting-edge heavy civil construction services. Traylor has completed more than 135 complex bridge construction and rehabilitation projects across the nation, as well as piers, wharfs, transit terminals, locks and dams. Its underground division is focused on constructing tunnel projects in North America by using state-of-the-art technology to complete projects in soft ground to hard rock. Tunneling methods include mixed shield/slurry, earth pressure balance, and hard rock tunnel boring. Mining is the company’s newest division and focuses on shaft, decline, underground development and facilities construction from conception to completion.
The completion of the new eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in September 2013 was a major accomplishment for state transportation agency Caltrans and a host of contractors including Oakland's own Silverado Contractors. The project – which cost $6.3 billion and took 11 years to build – finally put to rest concerns about the bridge's ability to withstand an earthquake akin to the 7.1-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, which collapsed a portion of the span.
Although traffic is now moving on the bridge, another large project is currently underway: the removal of the now-closed 2,400-foot-long and 70-foot-wide cantilever portion of the east span, which rises 400 feet above San Francisco Bay at its highest point. A joint venture of Silverado Contractors and California Engineering Contractors is working to demolish the cantilever and related truss structures piece by piece.
With mobile communications, the whole rental car industry is in a state of flux as legacy companies compete with Internet start-ups that offer car rental by the hour and locations all over cities.
“Because of the cell phone and other technology, the rental car business is changing,” points out Bob Bolton, director of design and construction for the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. “There’s a bunch of companies that are starting to show up that are changing the rental car model.”
Those changes are being incorporated in the new rental car center that is being built as part of the north side development at San Diego International Airport. “More than 95 percent of the cars being rented at this airport now will be contained in this building,” Bolton states. “Right now, we have plans for 16 brands, and there is capacity in this building to add more brands. This building is designed to be flexible and accommodate the technology and the industry of the future. These facilities are set up for 30 years of business.”
Overaa Construction's commitment to teamwork and history of successful projects throughout Northern California make it the ideal fit to perform a massive overhaul to two water treatment plants in the state's capital city.
“Usually the companies that take on work of this size and complexity are large, national companies,” says Jeff Naff, vice president of water and infrastructure projects for the Richmond, Calif.-based company.
“We are a mid-sized regional company that has its own team of craftsmen, instead of having to pull a team together from all over the country. All of our people have been with us for a long time, which gives us the ability to perform a high-quality and safe project in a complex environment.”
Founded in 1907, Overaa is a fourth-generation family owned contractor with experience in a variety of project types including energy and power-related facilities, educational buildings and commercial buildings.
infrastructure improvements can be complicated projects. But when successful, they are immensely important to cities, towns, residents and travelers. One such undertaking has been the ongoing Austin Bluffs Corridor project in Colorado Springs, Colo. Currently, the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority (PPRTA) and Lawrence Construction are working on the third and final phase of the important project.
Voters in Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, Green Mountain Falls and El Paso County formed the PPRTA in 2004. It is tasked with addressing the region’s infrastructure and transit needs. Lawrence Construction is a Littleton, Colo.-based general contracting company with nine decades of innovation and experience in heavy-highway bridge and roadway construction in Colorado.
“We are a heavy civil construction company that works on road and bridge projects, and we do some mine work, too,” Project Manager Dave Morris says. “We like to think of ourselves as a company that can excel on design/build projects and demonstrates innovation in construction.”
Lawrence Construction earned the contract for phase three of the Austin Bluffs Corridor project through a best value RFP process, not a low bid process.
After more than 500 bridges in Massachusetts were declared structurally deficient by the state’s DOT, a $3 billion statewide Accelerated Bridge Program [ABP] was implemented in 2008 to reduce that number. Since the program began, the total number of structurally deficient bridges in the state has dropped from 543 to 405 and thousands of construction jobs have been created.
As of August 2013, ABP has completed 138 bridge projects, has 38 bridge projects in construction and an additional 22 bridge projects scheduled to start construction within the next calendar year. Over the course of the eight-year program, more than 200 bridges are to be replaced or repaired. To complete those bridges, MassDOT and the Department of Conservation and Recreation will rely on the use of innovative and accelerated project development and construction techniques. Because of this, projects will be completed on time, on budget and with minimum disruption to people and to commerce.
One of the busiest and most congested railroad intersections in the United States is receiving a well-needed upgrade.
Austin, Texas-based contractor Jay-Reese Contractors Inc. in June 2013 began work on the realignment and improvement of the Tower 55 intersection near downtown Fort Worth, Texas. Jay-Reese is performing $21.5 million worth of contracts on the project, valued at a total cost of $101 million. The project is slated for completion in September 2014.
“Once complete, the Tower 55 Project will relieve freight rail congestion south of the juncture of Interstate 35 West and I-30, where five major freight and passenger rail routes converge and up to 100 trains pass every day,” the city of Fort Worth says. “It will also increase rail capacity, making it more efficient for freight shippers and improving passenger rail reliability and performance.”
Jay-Reese’s contract includes installing additional tracks running north, south and through the Tower 55 intersection serving the BNSF and Union Pacific rail lines; improving track alignment and switches to move trains through the area faster; building new and structurally improved bridges and drainage structures near the area and improving city arterial streets, intersections and grade crossings.
The first new hospital the Department of Veterans Affairs has opened in close to two decades is now setting the standard for the VA’s approach to hospital design and construction. Located in North Las Vegas, Nev., the new VA Medical Center Complex is a model for future VA projects, emphasizing patient-centered care and a robust flexibility that will allow the facility to endure for a century.
“Over the first 20 years that the VA had a presence in Las Vegas, it had a system of outpatient clinics with multiple locations,” says Steve Stern, special assistant to the director, capital asset manager. “Inpatient services were offered through a joint venture with the Air Force at Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center. We didn’t have adequate capacity, and the widely spread-out system was expensive, tough to manage and, most importantly, very confusing for the patient. Consolidation allowed us to improve efficiency and streamline the process for the veterans seeking services.”