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B&K Enters Recycling Business During Interstate 85 Project in Ga.

Tue February 26, 2008 - Southeast Edition
Jeff Cronin

Along a well-traveled Georgia highway, B&K Construction is experiencing a few “firsts.”

As a subcontractor on the widening of a 14 mi. (22.5 km) stretch of Interstate 85 between Highways 34 and 74 southwest of Atlanta, B&K is performing its first public sector job.

And, with the KPI-JCI FT2650 jaw crusher and Pioneer FT4240 impact crusher, the contractor is doing its own recycling for the first time.

B&K looked toward Stafford, a dealer that the contractor has worked with in the past when selecting its new crusher.

Mark Vanness, vice president of operations, said he was first attracted to the KPI-JCI machines because they are domestically produced with American components. But beyond that, the jaw crusher is totally mobile — a feature Vanness said will be beneficial in future projects. In some scenarios, he said the crusher can be set up as part of a train and can spit graded aggregate base (GAB) right back out onto the project. Vanness said the I-85 project likely won’t allow for the train set-up because of the way it is phased and the availability of lanes.

Stafford Territory Manager John Urrutia said B&K founders Bess and Terry Morgan “are very thorough with it comes to their evaluation process of products and buy what is best for B&K.”

The FT2650 can crush up to 500 tons (453 t) an hour. “That’s a tremendous amount of material,” Vanness said.

Because of the crusher’s relatively compact size, Vanness said it will come in handy on many of the B&K’s private sector jobs. The FT2650 will be able to fit onto smaller lots and handle demolition debris.

Even though the sale is complete, Stafford’s job isn’t over.

“We are very committed to making sure that we have parts on the shelf and trained service technicians that can be delivered to the customer’s site and get the job done right the first time,” said Jeff Goodman, vice president and general manager for Georgia. “Stafford goes to great lengths to provide support to our customers with a three-tier approach: Stafford salesmen, the crushing and screening manager and product support. With this type of system, our customers can focus on adding to their bottom line and expanding their businesses.”

Back at the I-85 job, the crusher is responsible for processing 10-in. (25.4 cm) concrete pavement. It is producing ballast and GAB, all of which will be going back into the job. The ballast rock will be used to sure up undercut areas where the dirt is soft. The GAB will be placed under the new lanes. In total, more than 80,000 tons (72,500 t) of recycled material will be produced in the process.

B&K has access to a fleet of 30 pieces of heavy equipment and has approximately 30 workers at the I-85 site, who are working five to 10-hour shifts, depending on the weather; winter in Georgia means a lot of moisture.

The move into the public sector has opened a lot of doors for B&K.

“The opportunities are quite substantial there at this particular point in time,” Vanness said, “especially with the Fast Forward initiative.”

Announced in 2004, the Fast Forward program earmarks $15.5 billion to help relieve congestion and promote economic growth throughout the state. With an expedited schedule, work that would normally take 18 years is expected to be completed in six.

Vanness said B&K has experience in all of the areas of expertise needed to complete road projects.

“We can take care of a lot of avenues for them with pretty simple lines of communication,” he said.

While working on a state DOT project is new for B&K, Vanness is a veteran of the process. Prior to joining B&K last year, he worked at James Cape and Sons in Wisconsin, where he managed projects since 1995. Before that, he worked for Wisconsin paving contractor Zignego Contractors, where he started in 1968.

His move to the South brought an introduction to working with new materials. “It’s all granite in the South,” he said.

Crews back in Wisconsin deal mostly with limestone.

“It makes a lot of difference in the concrete paving and crushing processes,” he said.

Vanness doesn’t expect the work at I-85 to be B&K’s last foray into new territory. The company will continue to diversify, while trying to never forget its roots. He said the company has always been willing to take on projects that others refuse.

“It’s that heritage that we’re bringing forward into the public sector,” Vanness said. “We’re not afraid to try anything once.” CEG

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