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’D’ Construction Steams Ahead for Union Pacific

Wed December 16, 2009 - Midwest Edition
Peter Suanlarm

Union Pacific Railroad covers 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country. So, when any work is done at one of the company’s rail yards, the project tends to be just as expansive.

Union Pacific Railroad tapped Illinois-based “D” Construction as subcontractor for Ragnar Benson to work on the 800,000-sq.-yd. (668,900 sq m) intermodular project at the company’s rail yard in Joliet, Ill.

“The PCC costs approximately $40 million and the aggregate portion that we are constructing on the project is more than $150 million,” Bill Savoree, project superintendent of “D” Construction said. “The biggest challenge this year has been the above normal rainfall. So we’re really glad we purchased the polyroll attachment for our texture cure machine.”

To tackle such a large project, “D” Construction called on Finkbiner Equipment Co. for back up.

Finkbiner, a GOMACO dealer, supplied the contractor with three GOMACO machines to work on site — a TC-600 texture/cure machine, a GHP-2800 4-track slipform paver and a Integrated Dowel Bar Inserter (IDBI), which attaches to the GOMACO GHP-2800.

The purchase was completed on April 10 and the machines were delivered from GOMACO in Ida Grove, Iowa, the last week of August.

“For the project we purchased a new GOMACO 2800 4 track with compact IDBI and a GOMACO TC600 through our GOMACO dealer Finkbiner Equipment,” Savoree said. “We also purchased a LMGS through Leica Geosystems to enable us to pave without stringlines. We are placing the aggregate with a JD blade and dozer using GPS and bring the stone to final grade using an asphalt paver, which is also running off the Leica stringless system using robotic total stations.”

“D” Construction installed a 10-in. (25 cm) aggregate base over lime modified soil.

Then, the contractor placed jointed concrete pavements ranging in thickness from 8 to 18.8-in. (20 to 47 cm).

“On average we are placing about 4,000 to 5,000 cubic yards per day depending on the thickness we are paving,” Savoree said. “We try to complete each paving run in two days, so if there is a problem on one day we have to make up for it on the next day. Our biggest production day to date was 6,400 cubic yards.”

“D” Construction placed 225,000 cu. yds. (172,000 cu m) of concrete and 450,000 tons (408,000 t) of stone.

Ragnar Benson is the general contractor but there are numerous contractors working on different elements of the project.

“Ragnar Benson broke the project up into individual contracts like earthwork, paving, electrical, etc.,” Savoree said.

Currently, the project has between 65 and 90 people on site everyday, depending on how many trucks are running.

World of Concrete

Savoree, Darin London and Tom Vancura, all of “D” Construction, met Finkbiner’s team in Las Vegas for the annual World of Concrete.

The “D” Construction team went there to look at a machine that GOMACO had on display.

“Brad Barkema from GOMACO and I took Bill and Darin down to Phoenix in early March to watch a machine that was running on an Arizona state highway job, using the IDBI technology,” Chad Cailteux of Finkbiner, said. “Shortly thereafter, we received the order for all three machines.”

Finkbiner Equipment is a 40-year-old company that has specialized in servicing the road and highway contractors in Illinois and surrounding areas.

Finkbiner Equipment Company is headquartered in Burr Ridge, Ill.

GOMACO Corporation is headquartered in Ida Grove, Iowa. GOMACO equipment will slipform concrete streets and highways, airport runways, curb and gutter, sidewalks and recreational trails, safety barrier, bridge parapet and irrigation canals. Support equipment includes grade trimmers, concrete placers, concrete placer/spreaders and texturing and curing machines. The company also offers equipment to finish flat slabs, bridges and slopes. GOMACO will consult on equipment for large or unique concrete paving projects.

For more information on GOMACO, visit

For more information on Finkbiner, visit

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