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Contractor Puts Pedal to Heavy Metal, Speeds Down Highway 9

Wed April 19, 2000 - Southeast Edition
Diane Jowers

Boggs Paving Inc., which is based in Monroe, NC, is ahead of schedule on South Carolina’s first Construction and Resource Management Program project. The contract for $11.6 million, awarded under the new South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) program, is for the widening of Highway 9 in Chester County. Approximately 14.4 kilometers (9 mi.) of the two-lane highway between Richburg and Fort Lawn will be widened, to four lanes for the majority of the distance and to five lanes in the area near Fort Lawn.

The project requires moving 318,500 meters (350,000 yds.) of dirt. “We are using our Komatsu hoes for the extensive digging necessary for the installation of the drainage structures, and our Cat scrapers are working hard now too,” said Boggs Project Manager Arnold Mann. He and Boggs Project Superintendent Chad Malone are pleased with progress to date. United Contractors of Chester will do the bridge construction portion of the job.

Work on the project started in December of last year, and the scheduled completion date is October 2002. Mann and Parsons Brinckerhoff Project Engineer Joe Layman agree that they will finish the job ahead of time. According to Mann the only delays have been brief ones due to some minor utilities relocation problems. “It’s going so well that I think that we can plan to complete the project a year earlier than originally expected,” said Layman.

Parsons Brinckerhoff and the LPA Group (its partner company) are responsible for SCDOT Consultant and Resource Management Program projects in the eastern part of South Carolina. “Although this is the first project under the new program, we have had no real problems,” said Layman. He is responsible for construction engineering and construction management and supervises a staff of inspectors. “The key elements of our role are quality control and quality assurance, and we work with Boggs Paving and with the SCDOT District Office in Chester,” he said.

In a few weeks, Boggs Paving will begin a project to widen Highway 5, which becomes Main Street in Rock Hill, SC. This $3.5-million job, funded by York County, involves widening approximately 2.4 kilometers (1.5 mi.) of the highway from two to five lanes and extensive drainage, curb and gutter, and sidewalk work. “York County will use revenues from the one-cent sales tax for this project, and the county will do the engineering work,” said Mann. A.M. Tuck Company of Greenwood will do the culvert portion of the job, and Grant Contracting of Columbia will be responsible for the signalization work. “This project is scheduled for completion in the fall of next year,” said Mann.

In June, Boggs will begin resurfacing approximately 80 kilometers (50 mi.) of highway in York, Chester, and Cherokee counties in South Carolina. This project, like a similar one that Boggs is doing now in New Hanover County near Wilmington, NC, is a $3.5-million job. The company has almost completed work on I-485, the Charlotte Outer Belt, a $12-million project. “All of our work is in South Carolina and North Carolina. We are based in Monroe and have an asphalt plant in Wilmington. We will be opening an office and asphalt plant in Rock Hill this summer,” said Mann.

The company began operating as D.C. Boggs Construction Company in 1992. Although it started with small landscaping jobs, success came quickly. In 1993, Boggs patented “StreetPrint,” a process to imprint a brick pattern into asphalt, and started doing asphalt paving projects using rented equipment and subcontract labor. By 1994, the company was purchasing its own equipment and incorporated as Boggs Paving Inc. The private and public sector asphalt paving projects revenues increased rapidly, and in 1997, Boggs Materials Inc. and Boggs Transport Inc. were added to form the Boggs Group. “Our volume for 1999 was approximately $31 million,” said Mann. The company continues to grow under the direction of Drew Boggs, president, and Chris Boggs, vice president.

Boggs, which has approximately 350 employees, owns a great deal of equipment, including an airplane to expedite the delivery of parts. The company offers its customers turn-key site development. It uses tub grinders in its clearing and grubbing work and processes the debris for landscaping mulch. A large fleet of Caterpillar scrapers, dozers, excavators, compactors, and graders do much of Boggs’ earth moving work. The company also uses Komatsu excavators and Ingersoll-Rand compactors. “We depend heavily on our fleet of Volvo off-road trucks, too,” said Mann. The company’s services include concrete construction, stone base installation, soil stabilization, asphalt paving, and utilities (storm drainage, sanitary sewer, water distribution, and pump stations).

Parsons Brinckerhoff is based in New York. The company opened an office in Columbia last year shortly after the SCDOT approved two proposals, one from Parsons Brinckerhoff (for the eastern region of the state) and one from Fluor Daniel (for the western region), for the Construction and Resource Management Program. Parsons Brinckerhoff is the nation’s top revenue producing engineering firm in transportation work, has more than 200 offices worldwide, and is employee owned. Fluor Daniel, a subsidiary of Fluor Corporation, has more than 2,000 employees at its multi-purpose (sales, operations, and engineering) complex in Greenville, SC. Fluor Corporation is headquartered in Irvine, CA.

The SCDOT, which maintains the nation’s fifth largest state maintained highway system, developed the Construction and Management Resource Program to maintain efficiency and quality. Increased funding resulting from the efforts of the SCDOT, the State Infrastructure Bank, and the federal highway bill (TEA-21) had made it impossible for the SCDOT to manage its vast number of highway projects. “We did not think it feasible to hire new employees for the additional work. The cost in time and money for the office space, equipment, and training that would have been necessary was prohibitive, and we would have had to lay those new employees off later,” said SCDOT Chief of Staff Bob Probst.

The scope of work for Parsons Brinckerhoff and Fluor Daniel includes all activities necessary to plan, integrate, package, administer, and manage the development and construction of projects in both State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations, Councils of Governments (MPO/COG) System Upgrade Bonding Programs. Fluor Daniel and Parsons Brinckerhoff act on behalf of the SCDOT to ensure that all projects are completed on time, within budget, and in accordance with all applicable state and federal regulations.

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