Alberto Mendoza, superintendent of Technology Construction, at the Palo Verde Meadows site, with a Cat D6T dozer behind him.
The exclusive community of Palo Verde Meadows in Bullhead City, Ariz., offers $500,000 lots that include a boat dock with a sheltered marina off the Colorado River. That's a lot of money, especially if the boat dock is useless because you can't motor out of the marina.
Historic lows of the Colorado, coupled with river silt buildup, have rendered the marina inaccessible. As a result, a contractor was called in to dredge it, but with two caveats — one, it couldn't disrupt the upscale community while dredging, and two, the job would begin on Oct. 1, but would need to be completed by Dec. 31. Why so quickly? The razorback sucker fish.
This critically endangered species is located in that part of the Colorado River and has been federally protected since 1991. The razorback spawns in late winter and early spring, so the marina would have to be finished by that crucial time of the year.
Technology Construction (TC) of Prescott, Ariz., was awarded the million-dollar project and is a contractor known for handling unique and difficult jobs, like the Palo Verde Meadows one.
Mike Ottmann, owner of TC, and his dad, Robert Ottmann, founded his business in 1989 and is celebrating his company's 27th year in operation. Ottmann started the business with a backhoe, doing septic tank installation and digging footings. He grew the company, which now operates in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado. In addition to the Palo Verde Meadows job, TC is currently completing a $3 million job and is starting a $5 million job for a new casino in 2017.
Alberto Mendoza, superintendent on the Palo Verde Meadows project, has been with TC for more than 20 years. With a crew of eight, Mendoza set out to reopen the marina in time.
Six barges were shipped from Seattle, Wash., to the Colorado River in Bullhead City, Ariz. A Caterpillar 345CL excavator with long reach was placed on a barge and began dredging the channel.
More than 60,000 cu. yds. (45,873 cu m) of river material was removed. A Caterpillar 330CL excavator loaded the material into two Cat haulers, and a Cat D6T dozer was used in the fill area.
“The river material is like sandpaper and the crew has worn out one excavator bucket so far,” said Mendoza.
TC has had a long relationship with Red Mountain Rentals of Chandler, Ariz., and once again, turned to the rental company for the right equipment to complete the marina project. Red Mountain was able to supply TC with the 330CL excavator, two Cat haulers, and the Cat D6T dozer.
“Our relationship with Technology Construction goes back to October 2002,” said Grant Getman, chief financial officer of Red Mountain Rentals.
Patrick Hazelton, sales account manager of Red Mountain, takes building relationships with his customers very seriously.
“It takes time to create a relationship with a customer,” said Hazelton. “Over the past few years, a lot of time was invested in building a relationship with Technology Construction, both through the office and being there in the field. And I can't do it alone. The entire team at RMR works together for the customer.”
Red Mountain Rentals provides heavy equipment to customers for rent or for sale. Its service team is dedicated to quick response and will service equipment in their shop or on the job site.
TC purchased the Cat 345CL with long reach arm from Chris Lohman, owner of South Mountain Tractor of Chandler, Ariz. South Mountain Tractor inspects, purchases, sells and consigns heavy earthmoving equipment to meet its customer's needs.
South Mountain Tractor Company conducts thorough inspections of each piece of equipment, and consignments are well documented and photographed.
Because of the equipment recommendations from Red Mountain Rentals and South Mountain Tractor Company, Technology Construction was able to easily obtain the right equipment needed to dredge the marina quickly, efficiently and on time.
“Construction dredging presents widely differing challenges than conventional land dirt moving and grading,” said Mendoza. “It takes added time and effort to train a crew to adjust to these challenges.”
Ottman understands the challenges faced by Mendoza and his crew on this particular job. Making sure the crew is up to speed is key.
“Mendoza has superb patience and skill in training dredging crews to meet the challenges,” he said.
The crew has done their best to make sure there is as little disruption as possible for the residents. It will be worth the effort in the end.
“The homeowners of Palo Verde Meadows will be able to use their docks again,” said Mendoza. CEG