Amidst heightened security, contractors are working on a massive project to move people safely and efficiently at one of the world’s busiest airports.
At the D/FW International Airport in Irving, TX, the Automated People Mover Guideway (APM) is being described as a “state of the art” system for transporting passengers between terminals.
The new APM is part of DFW’s $2.6-billion capital development program.
Hensel Phelps Construction Co., a Colorado firm with a Dallas office, is construction manager for the APM project. The firm awarded McCarthy Construction the contract to complete two segments of the APM in Terminals E and F, and the connection between terminals known as “Southgate.”
Due to its expertise and professional track record, McCarthy, a 137-year-old construction company with a division in Dallas, was also awarded similar work in Terminal B, and the connection to Terminal A.
Under the most recently awarded contract, McCarthy will build an elevated guideway section between Terminals A and B that will support the people mover vehicles. This portion of the project is known as the “Northgate” guideway section, which will span the International Parkway tollway within the airport.
“With this project’s accelerated schedule and location at a busy airport, there is no time for a learning curve,” explained Paul O’Donnell, Hensel Phelps project manager. “McCarthy has the systems in place to keep this project moving. Also, their experience with complex construction projects will be extremely helpful as they work over traffic on the main tollway into the airport and around operating terminals.”
McCarthy’s segment of the overall project stands at more than $50 million and will require 150 workers.
“The addition of this new contract to our portfolio has doubled the scope of work that McCarthy is performing at D/FW Airport. We are pleased that our airport construction expertise and performance has resulted in the opportunity for McCarthy to construct two of the largest portions of the APM,” said Michael J. McWay, president of McCarthy--Texas.
To complete the project, which is being constructed around the perimeters of the existing terminals, McCarthy requires multiple suppliers to fulfill the added equipment needs.
Cranes are among the most essential pieces of equipment. Even though McCarthy has cranes in its own fleet, the accelerated schedule and the lifting needs of the project demanded more and larger cranes.
One of the suppliers is CONMACO-RECTOR, the Terex crane dealer for north Texas.
According to Danny Eastep, the dealer’s general manager, a review of the project specifications concluded that renting seemed to be the best avenue for acquiring the needed equipment.
“Fortunately, we had the right mobile cranes in our rental fleet, and since making an outright purchase of the required equipment would be economically unfeasible, McCarthy was able to take advantage of our inventory,” said Eastep.
“Since the heaviest objects to be lifted ranged between 18 and 54 tons, we opted to provide three Link-Belt mobile cranes--a 140-ton HC-238
A, a 140-ton HC-238B and a 200-ton HC-258.”
The CONMACO cranes were placed in the airport operational area, which is the most secure section of the airport, and requires multiple security checks to even enter.
The cranes owned by McCarthy and supplied by CONMACO-RECTOR and Davis Rental are being used to lift 17,300 linear ft. (5,273 m) of Type 1V pre-stressed concrete girders, 15,500 linear ft. (4,274 m) of U54 concrete slab girders, 20 structural steel bents at the stations, 528 pieces of concrete column pre-cast at 18 to 54 tons (16.2 to 48.6 t).
According to Jerry Mayer, McCarthy project director, all the suppliers have proven helpful whenever any of the rental equipment needed servicing.
“The coordination factor is extremely important in being able to complete a project of this magnitude, and making sure that the equipment is operating at optimum performance is imperative,” said Mayer.
Gary Harding, CONMACO-RECTOR president, agreed.
“Since our equipment being used on this project is so important, we dedicated a service technician to be on call 24/7. Our cranes are operating in the high-security Airport Operational Area, and that required our technician to go through a special background check, and take classes to receive his security clearance in order to work in this sensitive area.”
Work will continue in Terminal B, starting with cast-in-place pier caps, precast substructures, concrete beams, guideway deck and 31 of the existing lighting structures will be removed to provide room for replacements. Future contracts for emergency walkways and station construction will follow.
Because D/FW is the world’s third busiest in cargo, and fifth in passenger traffic, serving more than 60 million passengers a year, for 11 of the 18 months of the project, much of the work is being completed at night between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
The project will conclude with horizontal deck and beam work in Terminals A and B, which will all be completed on the day shift.CEG
Amy Sandling Crawford of C. Pharr & Co. contributed information for this story.
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