Capriati Construction Corp.

The busy U.S. 95 Northwest Corridor in Las Vegas is undergoing a major five-phase improvement to increase safety and decrease congestion. The Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT) awarded Capriati Construction Corp. the $69 million first phase, which includes extensive work that only an experienced firm can handle.

“We started last August, and the job is on schedule and will complete in spring of next year,” says Capriati Chief Estimator and Project Manager Shane Surber. “As far as current progress, we are really spread all over the project. Everywhere we can be, we are. We have operations undergoing on the entire project.”

The first phase covers approximately six miles from Washington Avenue to Ann Road. Project specifications include widening of the north- and southbound lanes from six to eight lanes and will accommodate a new high-occupancy vehicle lane.

The team will also widen two existing bridges, one at the Gowan Road and 95 underpass and the other at the Cheyenne Avenue interchanges. The Cheyenne interchange will consist of a loop ramp that will better accommodate heavy traffic. At the north- and southbound interchanges at Rancho/Ann Road, Capriati will construct a new bridge on each side to improve efficiencies for vehicles entering and exiting the highway. This interchange is close to Las Vegas’ Sante Fe Station Casino Hotel, resulting in lots of traffic.

“They are improving access to that facility,” Surber says. “It’s a very busy part of town and the Sante Fe Casino has a lot of traffic congestion. So this will improve traffic flows on the 95 and improve on and off ramps at that location.”

In addition to these improvements, Capriati is constructing 18- to 32-foot-tall sound walls along the entire stretch to help control traffic noise for residents. The height of each color-stained wall is determined by the road’s elevation in a given spot. Capriati says soil conditions in some areas required Capriati to install retaining walls before it could erect sound walls.

As of May, the project was 30 percent complete. Capriati is performing all the work on site except the asphalt paving, electrical work, traffic control and highway striping and signage. Surber says the team effort has gone well as Capriati and its subs demolish the existing bridges, lay foundations for the new bridges and widen the roads.

Meets Weekly with Subs

On projects of this size and complexity, Surber says regular meetings are vital. Every week, the team conducts a one-month look-ahead meeting and subcontractor meetings are scheduled weekly. “We have to plan weekly, daily and throughout the day,” he says. “We are very detail-oriented and planning is one of our biggest things, as well as preplanning. We have to know where we need to go, how to get there and what to do when we get there.” These meetings keep Capriati on the same page as its key partners, which include Southern Nevada Precast.

Surber says this type of highway work is typical of Capriati’s portfolio. Nearly 99 percent of the company’s work is with government entities, and Surber says working with NDOT is always a collaborative effort. “We, at Capriati, and NDOT emphasize partnerships,” he says. “We have regular partner meetings every quarter. We meet to go over the status of the project and any issues we have had, how they were handled and how to improve relationships and keep good relationships throughout the project.”

Capriati fosters this spirit of cooperation on all of its projects, no matter the location. Capriati was formed in 1993 in Rhode Island and moved to Las Vegas in 1996 due to the state’s plethora of work at the time. Surber says the company has maintained its volume despite the recession, due in part to federal stimulus funds that focus on infrastructure projects. For the past year-and-a-half, the company has been a licensed contractor in Arizona. In April, it received contractor licenses to work in both North and South Dakota.

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