Northwest Construction & Excavating of Rockaway, N.J., recently completed prepping the site for St. Michael’s Church Day Care Center, a 5-acre (2 ha) plot adjacent to St. Michael’s Church in Netcong, N.J., which will be used for St. Michael’s Church aftercare program.
Amid the rolling hills of western Morris County, N.J., the day care center will sit on the side of a small mountain along a busy Route 46. Northwest had its work cut out as crews had to cut away massive amounts of rock and dirt for the project.
The first phase of this project consisted of clearing hundreds of trees and stumps from the entire 5-acre site. Northwest brought in its tree clearing team and completed the first phase within the deadline. To save St. Michael’s money, Northwest sold the trees and stumps to Campbell’s Soup Company. The trees and stumps would be recycled for plant energy.
During phase two of the project, Northwest cut an access road into the mountain, cleared top rock, stripped and stockpiled topsoil, installed 29 catch basins and 3,000 ft. (914 m) of storm pipe, cut a pipe trench across Route 46 for the storm pipe hook up and installed more than 3,000 ft. (914 m) of sewage pipe ranging from 8 to 24 in. (20.3 to 61 cm) in diameter.
For all of this, Northwest brought in its heavy equipment consisting of John Deere excavators and dozers from JESCO to remove the 15,000 yd. (13,716 m) of top rock, 8,000 yd. (7,315 m) of topsoil and more than 30,000 yd. (27,432 m) of fill dirt.
“JESCO is the first company I call when it comes to construction equipment. Their outstanding service keeps my company meeting deadlines,” said David Ur, president of Northwest Construction & Excavating.
Northwest also had to blast and hammer 25,000 yd. (22,860 m) of additional buried rock to meet grade specifications.
“Once we removed the topsoil and top rock we found that the majority of the mountain was either solid rock or filled with massive boulders. We brought in our blasting crew and rock hammers to loosen up the rock in order for us to continue to excavate the site and meet our grade requirements,” said Joe Vaia, co-founder of Northwest Construction & Excavating.
With the site full of rock and fill dirt, Northwest came up with another idea to save St. Mike’s money.
“We had an enormous amount of material at the site and I knew that we could recycle it or sell it to save some money,” said Ur.
Northwest found a buyer for the fill dirt and used its sizable dump truck fleet to haul 30,000 yd. of it to Newark, N.J., which would use the fill dirt for capping a public park.
Once the fill dirt was removed, Northwest brought in a rock pulverizer and crushed thousands of yards of rock, which the company then used for the parking lot bedding and the detention basin wall. Originally, the detention basin wall was to be built with keystone, an expensive block that would create large steep walls on the side of the project. Northwest met with its engineers and decided to use the natural rock on-site and came up with a plan for a 3 to 1 pitch — for every 3 ft. (.91 m) high the wall rose, it also would go 1 ft. (.3 m) back. The town approved the plan and Northwest moved forward with the natural rock detention basin wall.
Another issue the contractor faced was the surplus of large boulders that were excavated and blasted from the mountain. Again, Northwest decided to use these massive rocks instead of keystone for stonewalls that line the access road and other parts of the project.
“We recycled 90 percent of the rock on-site enabling us to save St. Mike’s four percent of their overall project cost. We’re always looking for ways to become more efficient and save our clients’ money,” said Ur.
As the project went through its various phases, Ur and Vaia realized something was missing.
“St. Mike’s and the day care center are situated on a very steep mountain side with little room for a playground or even a large parking lot where kids could have recess,” recalled Vaia. Northwest looked over the site plan and found a small area behind the day care center.
“We came up with a plan and decided to donate a park. We cleared a 2-acre site behind the project and surrounded it with natural large rocks, spread topsoil and planted grass and trees. Now St. Mike’s and the kids will have some room for outdoor activities,” said Ur.
About Northwest Construction & Excavating
Northwest is staffed with a host of professionals ranging from civil engineers to environmental soil engineers, providing services such as site management, soil sampling, creation of sampling plans and in-house data analysis, to name a few.
Northwest Construction & Excavating is a full-service construction company capable of handling contracts of varying scope and complexity. The company focuses on environmental soil remediation. Northwest provides a number of construction and environmental services such as soil/media removal, excavation protection systems, on-site remediation, consolidation, containment and capping, groundwater collection systems, UST remediation and more.
For more information call 973/784-4655 or visit www.northwestnj.com. CEG STAFF