Work Speeds Ahead on Replacing Century-Old Bridges With Tunnel

Contractors Earn Build Alabama Awards for Jobs Well Done

Mon February 26, 2007 - Southeast Edition
CEG



Nine contractors from around the state were honored in 13 categories at the Seventh Annual Build Alabama Awards Banquet Jan. 12 at The Club in Birmingham.

Contractors are recognized for some interesting projects as well as their safety records and for a lifetime of service with induction in the Alabama Construction Hall of Fame.

“Our state is extremely lucky to have so many highly skilled, responsible contractors working to build a better Alabama,” said Alabama AGC President Henry T. Hagood Jr. “Their work is highly visible. When we see an AGC emblem on a job-site sign we know that a contractor with integrity and skill is building the project.”

The award winners are:

New Building Construction

B.L. Harbert International LLC in Birmingham, Ala. — 505th Command & Control Wing Center in Hurlburt Field, Fla. (U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District).

The 505th Command & Control Wing provides training and support for Air Force Special Operations personnel and allied forces. Its new center at Hurlburt Field, Fla., provides the wing with a modern facility to consolidate its operations. The project included construction of two buildings, a training center (or “Warrior School”) and an operations building, as well as extensive off-site improvements to site utilities and communications for the Air Force’s 505.

Approximately 95 percent of this work had to be done within the first 18 months. With careful scheduling, two major (and several minor) structures were demolished and removed in a phased sequence. The new buildings are framed with structural steel and load bearing masonry. They have steel stud and sheathing exterior walls with split face CMU veneers and standing seam metal roofs.

New Design-Build

Brasfield & Gorrie LLC in Birmingham, Ala. — Jenkins Brick Jordan Plant in Moody, Ala. (Jenkins Brick Company).

The Jenkins Brick Jordan Plant is the largest and most efficient brick plant in the world, with the capacity to manufacture 136 million bricks per year.

The project included the design-build of 177,000 sq.-ft. (16,400 sq m) of manufacturing space, a raw material grinding facility, new offices, a locker and break facility, paved storage, a van dock and a rail dock and spur.

Approximately 1,750 sq. yds. (1,500 sq m) of roller compacted concrete was laid in one day and then used for parking and storage. A keystone block retaining wall with Tensar earth reinforcing allowed equipment to be installed as the wall was being built.

The plant will supply all the brick for the new Moody City Hall, create more than 50 new jobs, and reduce greenhouse emissions in the area. Because it is located near landfill gas, which is used as a natural resource, it is being considered for the EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program annual achievement award.

New Construction Management

Brice Building Company in Birmingham, Ala. —Bryant-Denny Stadium north end zone expansion in Tuscaloosa, Ala. (The University of Alabama).

The two-year construction process included six phases and 17 trade packages.

Among the challenges was stadium use during the 2005 football season. Several access points for the stadium were located within the limits of the construction site, so Brice coordinated a game day access plan with police and fire department personnel, relocated utilities and laid a crushed limestone walking surface.

The project consisted of a new sound system and an entertainment system in the north end zone that provides patrons with access to radio, television and DVD programming. The foundation system consists of 100 drilled piers up to 70 ft. (21 m) deep. The project even incorporated additional parking for the School of Communications.

The university’s main telecommunications duct bank had to be lowered approximately 4 to 6 ft. (1.2 to 1.8 m) to accommodate future grades. The entire length of Pine Street had to be excavated to allow for the lowering of the duct bank. The area then had to be filled and properly compacted to restore Pine Street before the end of spring break week.

New Heavy Industrial Construction

More Than $5 million

Brasfield & Gorrie LLC in Birmingham, Ala. — Jenkins Brick Jordan Plant in Moody, Ala. (Jenkins Brick Company).

On a project of this size, strength is important. Steel fibers were used in the concrete to minimize reinforcing bars in the manufacturing building slabs. The steel fibers were mixed with plastic fibers to minimize surface cracking in the slabs as well.

Tensar earth reinforcement of a keystone retaining wall system was designed to support the load of 40-ton off-road articulated dump trucks. Trucks deliver raw materials to three 21-ft. tall material hoppers. Once raw material is collected and ground, it is conveyed to the plug mill for mixing. The brick mixture is extruded into a slug that is colored, texturized and cut into bricks.

Kiln cars carry the bricks into one of two 330-ft. long tunnel driers and then to the 520-ft. ong kiln where they are baked at 2,000 degrees. Connected to a 6-mi. pipeline and compressor, the kilns burn methane gas captured from a nearby landfill reducing the level of greenhouse gas methane released into the atmosphere.

New Municipal Utilities Construction

Brasfield & Gorrie LLC in Birmingham, Ala. — Catoma Water Pollution Control Plant in Montgomery, Ala. (City of Montgomery).

A major component to this $16 million project was a new 40-ft. diameter (12 m) cast-in-place pump station. It was built above ground and sunk to its sub-grade elevation approximately 56 ft. (17 m) below finish grade. In addition to the pump station’s unique construction techniques, two 40-ft.-deep (12 m), cast-in-place junction boxes had to be constructed to operate below the project water table in close proximity to Catoma Creek.

The project also included major upgrades to the plant power supply system and instrumentation and controls system. A fiber optic control system was installed in the new and existing portions of the treatment plant. These and other critical work activities had to be properly coordinated and installed, all while ensuring the owner’s existing operations remained uninterrupted and without any detrimental impact to an adjacent water resource as well as surrounding neighborhoods.

New Building Construction

Less Than $5 Million

Brasfield & Gorrie LLC in Birmingham, Ala. — Shelby Baptist Medical Center Emergency Department in Alabaster, Ala. (Baptist Health Systems).

The Shelby Baptist Emergency Department project moved the existing emergency entrance in the back of the Alabaster location to the front of the campus for greater patient service and convenience.

The hospital’s old community center has been redesigned into a new emergency department that is double the size and much better equipped.

Designed to accommodate more than 45,000 patients per year, the newly renovated Emergency Department added 20 private exam rooms and seven private trauma bays including two that can be accessed from the exterior of the facility in the event of chemical or biohazard contamination.

This well-designed emergency department has a large, hotel-like entrance and waiting area, increased triage areas, a new registration area with a security office, a family consultation area and a redesigned ambulance entrance. The second busiest emergency department in Birmingham now has a newly redesigned and expanded facility.

New Design-Build Less Than $5 Million

Brice Building Company in Birmingham, Ala. — East Alabama Medical Center, Cancer Center Phase I in Opelika, Ala.

East Alabama Medical Center constructed the initial cancer center for the hospital in 1992. This project upgraded the facilities. But the construction site was situated inside an existing open courtyard with only a 6-ft. (1.8 m) opening between three adjacent buildings. So equipment was lifted over the buildings using a crawler crane. Subcontractors and vendors also required transportation to and from distant parking areas because of limited lay-down area.

Due to the access of the site, Brice chose to use 75 helical piers in lieu of conventional foundations. The foundations would have to hold a linear accelerator vault comprised of 500 cu. yds. (380 cu m) of poured-in-place concrete, with the typical wall and soffit ranging from 3 to 7 ft. (0.9 to 2.1 m) in thickness. The vault was constructed to enable the use of a Linear Accelerator machine valued at more than $3 million.

The renovations also included a learning library that enables cancer patients, their friends and families to research information.

Renovation Building Construction

Caddell Construction Co. Inc. in Montgomery, Ala. —Terminal C: George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas (Continental Airlines).

The $62 million renovation of six separate concourses was completed while 40 million passengers passed through Terminal C in total safety and comfort. The project site covered 333,000 sq. ft. (31,000 sq m), including a pilots’ lounge, first-class passenger lounge, aircraft support facilities and new retail spaces.

The terminal facelift features ultra-smooth terrazzo floors, curved vaulted ceilings, high-end finishes in the Presidents Club and Pilots Lounge; HVAC, communications and security systems; echo domes with perfect acoustics at corridor intersections, glass curtain walls and architectural details throughout. Not one passenger-service-hour was sacrificed to this project. And the project was completed with zero non-conformance quality citations and zero lost-time accidents after more than 870,000 man hours.

Renovation Construction Management

Doster Construction Co. in Birmingham, Ala. — The Grand Hotel: Hurricane Katrina repairs and renovation in Point Clear, Ala. (PCH Holdings Inc.)

Since its construction in 1847, the Grand Hotel has been a Confederate hospital, a training ground for the Army Air Corps during World War II, and the Queen of Antebellum Southern Resorts. After Hurricane Katrina, the nine buildings and surrounding 20 acres were devastated by water — 8 ft. in the lobby of the hotel’s main building. Regional power losses, lack of available workforce and limited mobility challenged the restoration, yet Doster re-opened its doors just six months after the hurricane while modernizing all facilities.

A chilled water loop now connects all of the buildings to one chiller plant. Drainage, asphalt and stamped concrete at the Porte Cochere allow better drainage and a more refined appearance. The original wood foundation of the main building was replaced. Fire-rated access doors, ceilings and new sprinkler heads are some of the fire safety enhancements.

Elevators for the North Bay House were modernized while marble wall panels and new beveled glass brought the elevator lobby back to life. In the fun camp and game room, bright colors were chosen for the walls and joy carpet, which is covered in game boards, was installed on the floors. The two hospitality suites received all of the finishes of a typical guestroom, with the addition of new millwork bars and Axminster carpet.

Renovation Highway Construction

Hosea O. Weaver and Sons Inc. in Mobile, Ala. — Gulf State Park Improvements in Gulf Shores, Ala. (Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources).

This project, too, is a recovery from hurricane damage. Hosea O. Weaver and Sons used a new pavement recycling technique where the existing pavement was pulverized in place. The pulverized asphalt-base-mixture was reshaped and compacted to form the base for the roads and campsites.

Just months after the process began, Hurricane Ivan devastated the Gulf Shores area and covered the entire project. Following months of clean up, Hurricane Katrina struck the area. Despite of a lack of utilities, fuel and aggregates, the park served as an important location for displaced individuals. The AGC said this project is a symbol of the community focus of its members who left their homes to aid in the effort, returning later to complete the jobs they started.

Renovation Design-Build

The Pennington Group Inc. in Birmingham, Ala. —W/P Properties in Homewood, Ala.

Though the basic floor plan remained constant, the building took on a dramatic change in appearance. A new second floor added 2,400 sq. ft. (220 sq m). Installation of a new grand stair inside of the building provided a fresh new look as well.

A wireless computer network and a conference room were added in addition to several features to enhance the security of the space. Due to the complex details and sophisticated materials used, The Pennington Group worked closely with the owner. Execution relied heavily on the strengths of field personnel and specialty contractors to ensure the completion of the new office space for W/P Properties as well as The Pennington Group.

Although the framing for the second floor took time and several unusual finish materials were analyzed, the project was completed on time.