Civil

I-84 is one of the most important highway corridors in the state of Connecticut, and for years the highway has been strained to keep up with the daily demands placed on it by the traffic that streams through it. In order to alleviate the congestion and better prepare the I-84 corridor for the future, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) has begun a massive project to widen I-84 through Waterbury, Ct.., and make significant improvements to the connected infrastructure. Lending their expertise to the project is the I-84 Constructors JV, which consists of leading Northeast general contractors Empire Paving Inc. and Yonkers Contracting Co., Inc. 

“Currently, the section of I-84 through the project limits experiences heavy traffic congestion due to high traffic volumes, steep topography, lack of roadway capacity and design deficiencies in ramps and weave areas,” CTDOT says. “The implementation of the proposed project will improve traffic flow along I-84 and local nearby streets and reduce current and future traffic congestion along the mainline and the connection streets, ramp weaves, and accident rates. These traffic enhancements will result in improvements to air quality, noise, aesthetics, and the quality of life.”

If there’s a large infrastructure or building project underway in Chicago, there’s a very good chance that Walsh Construction or II In One Contractors Inc. are involved. The two firms individually have worked on projects including underground stormwater tunnels, new and reconstructed bridges and roads, as well as new runways and other improvements at both of the city’s major airports. They are joining forces to replace a nearly 100-year-old public transit station.

A Walsh/II In One joint venture last fall began work on the reconstruction of the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA)’s Wilson Street Red Line station in the city’s Uptown neighborhood. The $203 million project involves completely rebuilding and modernizing the station, which was built in 1923. The project is one of the largest projects involving a Chicago elevated train – or “L” – station in the transit agency’s history, the CTA says.

Peltz Companies performs only a handful of roller compacted concrete (RCC) projects each year, but the size of those jobs keeps the company busy. “We focus on one to three projects a year,” President Terry Peltz says. “Staying small has allowed management to dedicate the time and resources to each project to ensure quality workmanship and profitability. Though opportunities for expansion have presented themselves, staying small has been a key to Peltz Companies’ success.”

“We’re located in western Nebraska, where very few roller compacted concrete projects exist,” says Peltz, who runs the company with his brother, Jim. But location hasn’t gotten in the way of the company’s success. Peltz Companies has constructed significant projects in major metropolitan areas throughout the country since winning its first bid for RCC work 30 years ago. When not busy with RCC projects, Peltz performs as a general construction contractor in western Nebraska.

Construction industry professionals understand that the market carries a diverse set of challenges that frequently are beyond the control of the contractor. For example, changing market conditions in 2007 resulted in a significant number of jobs being eliminated through 2010. As public funding started drying up, capital projects were deferred and market sectors became crowded. It was during this period that contractors such as Pacific Pile & Marine (PPM) had to adjust to an increasingly unpredictable marketplace. 

The Seattle-based heavy civil and marine contractor opened in 2008 at a time when the construction market was heading into a state of decline. Despite the economic downturn, PPM continued to expand its portfolio of services and grow its presence in core markets throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Alaska, Montana and Canada. 

In the past three years, the municipal drinking water in Bend, Ore., has been recognized as the best tasting in the Pacific Northwest by the American Water Works Association. The water — which is sourced mainly from a surface watershed as well as a deep well facility – has been noted as being clean, crisp and having a nice aftertaste by judges during an annual association contest.

The high quality of Bend’s water supply will soon improve even further. Construction manager Mortenson Construction earlier this year completed placement of a 10-mile, 30-inch pipeline that will carry water from the watershed, known as Bridge Creek, through the Deschutes National Forest and a local neighborhood to a water chlorination facility. 

When Laura Wilkas joined her family’s company, Monroe Tractor, as the marketing manager four years ago, her first major undertaking was to rebrand its image. In rethinking its brand, the equipment supplier matched its marketing overhaul with internal efforts to improve service to commercial and agricultural customers and added more product specialists. The result, Wilkas says, is that Monroe Tractor today is better able to deliver on its brand promise: “We’re there to keep you doing your job.”

The rebranding created a consistent message and customer experience, no matter which of its 11 New York locations customers visit. “It has been rewarding to see that it is catching on and our associates are supporting our message to our customers,” Wilkas says of the initiative. With the initial phase of the rebranding in place, Monroe Tractor is now looking at how it can best support current customers and reach new customers. “As my grandfather always said, if you take care of the customer, the business will grow,” Wilkas says of the philosophy.

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. 

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