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Power Curbers 8700 Saves Massachusetts Contractor

Wed December 06, 2000 - Northeast Edition
Construction Equipment Guide


Phil Capolupo of SPS in Boston, MA, was beginning to feel boxed into a corner on a highway interchange project in Woburn, MA.

The company had made a decision six months before the completion date to slipform 5,000 linear ft. (1,525 m) of bridge parapet and had planned to use a subcontractor for the work.

“The decision was economic,” Capolupo said. “If we had decided to [hand] form and pour the parapet, it would have taken six or eight months to meet the completion date.”

That would have meant a January start date on the handwork, instead of July.

“All the while we were thinking we had a contractor,” said Capolupo.

Three months after the decision was made, the deal with the sub fell through.

Capolupo then tried to get another subcontractor, but couldn’t, and SPS was forced to go into the slipform business.

Then, he thought he had a deal with a contractor in the Midwest to buy a slipformer, and that fell through.

By the time he met with Power Curbers, it was “the 11th hour.”

“At the 11th hour, [Power Curbers] came riding in on a white horse and saved me,” he said. “The completion date was set in stone. It would have been extremely embarrassing to miss that deadline on this high-profile project.

“When it came down to crunch time, a lot of people didn’t think we would get it done on time,” said Capolupo. The interchange leads to a new shopping center with both projects scheduled to open at the same time.

At this point, hand forming would have meant missing the completion date by several months.

The slipform work took a little more than four weeks, and the work was only one week off schedule. “That was due to the rebar subcontractor,” said Capolupo. “The slipform work went very well and we are super happy.”

Capolupo talked to Dyke Messinger, president, and John Brincefield, vice president, both of Power Curbers on a Monday and closed the deal for a used 8700 multi-purpose machine on Friday. “Power Curbers had three weeks to rehab and set up the machine, design and build the mold, get us trained and start pouring parapet,” Capolupo said.

“The most refreshing thing about dealing with Power Curbers is that we struck a deal with very little time and everything John and Dyke said they would do, they did,” Capolupo said. “There were no additional charges and there were no glitches.”

Prior to the decision to slipform, SPS had to convince the Massachusetts DOT that the wall would be durable in Boston’s cold climate where a lot of potentially damaging salt is used on the roads.

“Slipforming is not done here very often,” said Capolupo. “There is a reluctance to get involved in it. And when it is allowed, the state has let contractors use a mix design that would be more slipform friendly.”

With the I-93 project, however, the DOT allowed no deviation from the original mix design of 5,000 psi concrete with silica fume.

In fact, one of the earlier deals with the subcontractor fell through, according to Capolupo, because the guy didn’t think the wall could be slipformed with these specifications.

A Power Curbers’ field service engineer, Wayne Irby, went to Boston to perform a test pour for the DOT officials, who were skeptical. “Wayne pulled out parapet that was in spec on the very first run,” said Capolupo.

The silica mix is considered more durable than other mixes in cold climate areas like Boston with its freeze/thaw cycle.

“The theory that the high fume silica mixes don’t lend themselves to slipforming turned out to be false,” concluded Capolupo. “Power Curbers proved them wrong.”

For more information, visit www.powercurbers.com.

(This article appears courtesy of Power Curbers.)




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