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Brubacher Returns to Applecross Development

Mon January 17, 2011 - Northeast Edition
Mary Reed

East Brandywine Township in southeastern Pennsylvania’s Chester County lies in an area as charming as its name, being largely composed of valleys set amid gentle hills. Much of its history has been as quiet as its surroundings, although the area saw conflict during the Revolutionary War, most famously the Battle of Brandywine about 24 miles away at Chadds Ford as troops commanded by the British general Sir William Howe marched on Philadelphia.

Since Philadelphia is located fairly close to East Brandywine, there has been an increasing number of residential developments in the area in recent years.

One of the largest such developments is the Applecross Country Club and Development, an 860 acre community featuring more than 600 new homes and an 18-hole private golf course designed by Nicklaus Designs, founded by golfing legend Jack Nicklaus.

The Applecross project began in early 2007. It is on schedule and recently passed a major milestone when its golf course opened for play in July 2010.

Brubacher Excavating Inc., based in Bowmansville, Pa., worked on the job from 2007 onward and returned to the project earlier this year to carry out site improvements for the northern phases on the project.

“The project was constructed in multiple phases. Earthmoving activities required detailed planning and foresight in order to minimize double handling of material and balancing of each phase. Brubacher Excavating worked hand-in-hand with both the owner of the project and the design engineer on solving problems, adapting to changing conditions, and offering valuable ideas on the construction of future phases,” according to Project Manager Ron Spadafora, who along with Project Engineer Steve Dale serves as team leader for the Brubacher project operations team.

“Brubacher has contributed several cost-saving items including project sequence modifications, grading recommendations for site balancing, and existing utility locating to verify tie-in points and avoid potential conflicts,” Spadafora added. “All of these items have helped expedite the project schedule and reduce costs.

“The project is unusual given its size and scope in the current market. Construction of this complex project involves moving nearly two million cubic yards of dirt, installing miles of underground utilities, a waste water treatment plant, bentonite-lined storage lagoons, and road widenings carried out by PennDOT,” he added. “Thus far, all bulk earthwork including road grading and house pad grading has been completed, and all sanitary sewers, storm sewers, waterlines and utility road crossings have been installed. Portions of the new roadways in the development have been paved.”

A particular consideration for Brubacher Excavating is its blasting work, which is being carried out near a water reservoir adjacent to the development.

Brubacher also performed this type of specialized work in 2007, when it used Reedrill 345 and Atlas Copco D7-11 hydraulic track drills to handle drilling and blasting work during the preparation phase. At that time the company shot more than 14,000 cu. yds. (10,703 cu m) of rock between February and September, as well as cut and fill operations in the residential areas and on the golf course.

“We are currently performing curb, grading, and stone installation for new roadways. As many as 40 of our employees have been working at Applecross at any one time,” company President Keith A. Brubacher said in October. “However, Earth Care Inc. was subcontracted to perform erosion and sediment control work including silt fence, seeding, and mulching, etc., and Eisenhart Crane Service was subcontracted to provide crane services for setting large pre-cast structures.”

Remaining work includes utility installation outside the roadways, grading for final basin configurations, cart path installation, and completion of curb, stone and paving for the remaining roadways, all of which Brubacher will carry out.

The estimated substantial completion time for work currently contracted to the company was October 2010. Final completion for the entire Applecross project is expected to be in 2014, but will heavily depend on new home sales.

The Applecross development features a clubhouse and restaurant, an all-season recreation center with an Olympic-size outdoor swimming pool, an indoor pool, a children’s splash pad, a Jacuzzi, and tennis courts, a pool and fitness complex, and various other amenities. In addition to the newly opened golf course, Applecross boasts a 10,000 sq.-ft. sports pavilion, outfitted with state-of-the-art cardio and weight-training equipment, and offers personal training and specialized exercise and wellness classes such as yoga, pilates and aerobics. CEG

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