Civil

Construction is not uncommon on the Homestead Extension of Florida’s Turnpike (HEFT) as the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) endeavors to keep traffic moving smoothly and safely in one of the state’s busiest metropolitan areas.

The HEFT, also known as the Ronald Reagan Turnpike, is the southern extension of the Florida Turnpike. The 48-mile-long expressway runs around the west and north sides of Miami extending from U.S. Route 1 in Florida City, near Homestead, to the Turnpike mainline. The roadway is used both by commuters and travelers to the Florida Keys Everglades National Park. Heavy traffic congestion is not uncommon, leading FDOT to rely more heavily on express lanes to resolve the problem.

Sustaining heavy damage from Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29, 2012, the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) in East Rockaway, N.Y., was in need of several short-term quick fixes to get up and running as soon as possible. 

“The Bay Park STP was partially submerged and the major electrical systems, pumping facilities and processes were inundated with salt water from the nearby bay area,” according to the joint venture overseeing the project. This sustained damage caused the plant to halt operations.

The facility’s shutdown was considered a public health emergency because its operation was imperative to prevent sewage from backing up into homes and streets. Immediately following the disaster, Hazen – as well as future joint-venture partner, Arcadis-U.S. of Highlands Ranch, Colo. – assisted critical response teams to get the facility operational. The future joint venture team created an emergency repair program that included a workflow process to track damage assessments, work orders and costs. 

People often look at Dan Jones cross-eyed when he talks about parks as infrastructure. But as the chairman and CEO of Louisville, Ky.’s 21st Century Parks, Jones understands the expensive consequences of city planning that neglects public space. 

In 2009, McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, issued a report titled “Preparing for China’s Urban Billion.” The report created a blueprint for how the Asian giant could create the infrastructure needed to accommodate 350 million more urban residents by 2030. In more than 500 pages, the report never once mentions public parks. Jones questions the quality of life those billion urban dwellers will have, pointing out that every great city of the world has an equally great park system. “Parks are not an afterthought,” Jones says. “They should be on a list with roads and bridges and housing.”

When the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project is complete in early 2019 it will open up underserved portions of the Los Angeles region to new public transportation options and bring light rail closer to the Los Angeles international airport. “It’s very important for the residents of the Crenshaw and Inglewood areas to connect to this network,” explains Jim Gardner, senior project manager for Walsh-Shea Corridor Constructors.

Walsh-Shea Corridor Constructors is a partnership between Walsh Construction Company and J.F. Shea Construction Inc., both of which have an extensive history of completing mass-transit projects. The collaboration began in 2011 when Walsh-Shea bid on the $1.3 billion construction project for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The total cost of creating the route is $2.058 billion, including property acquisition, and the project is one of 12 developments  being paid for through a half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

Indiana’s Superior Construction Co. places great emphasis on safety.

As northwest Indiana grew, so too did Superior Construction Co. The general contractor started in the 1930s by offering its services to a variety of markets, including commercial, heavy highway, petrochemical and municipal, the company says.

As the Gary, Ind., region expanded, Superior Construction built many of the city’s landmark structures, including Saint Mark’s Church, Lew Wallace High School and the Memorial Auditorium.

Decades later, Superior Construction remains a major player in northwest Indiana’s construction market and places a primary focus on safety to remain a leader. For example, every subcontractor, supplier and service company under contract with the general contractor is required to enforce a safety program equivalent to or more stringent than Superior Construction’s.

Every project requires the right combination of talents to be completed successfully. Austin Power Partners (APP) has brought that mixture for its project at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

APP is a joint venture between local and out-of-state firms. This includes Austin Commercial, a Dallas-based commercial and industrial builder, and Power Construction Co. LLC, an 88-year-old firm based in Chicago that operates strictly in and around northern Illinois.

Some managers keep their employees at arms’ length, but Allied Projects Ltd. maintains a culture of closeness and transparency, President Michael Brunner says. “We try to keep people engaged and involved in what’s going on,” he declares.

“That pays off in dividends,” he continues. “I think everyone enjoys knowing what the business is about. It makes it easier to ride out the economic ups-and-downs.”

Based in Calgary, Alberta, Allied provides electrical contracting services for construction projects and service work for building maintenance programs. Brunner co-founded the company with two partners in 1996.

Headquartered in Chicago, Walsh Construction has many years of experience in the construction of tunnels, as well as wastewater and water treatment plants. That experience is being put to good use on the Black River Tunnel project in Lorain, Ohio. 

The project is meeting a major environmental need for the state. With heavy rain often causing sewage to spill over into the Black River and then travel to Lake Erie, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency tasked Lorain with finding a way to stop untreated sewage from polluting the local waters. The Black River Tunnel project first broke ground in August 2012, and it is scheduled for completion in August. 

When it is completed, the system will consist of a 19-foot-diameter tunnel with two deep shafts, one 180 feet deep with a 36-foot diameter, and the second shaft will be 116 feet deep and its internal diameter will be 30 feet. Financing for the $52 million project is coming from local ratepayers as well as a loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority.

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