Primco, Terex Tools Build Span Over Elkhart River

Mon August 15, 2005 - Midwest Edition
Kate Zanoni

Primco Inc. is a family-owned contractor specializing in paving and bridgework, and although the company started out small, it is currently taking on a big project –– constructing the bridge spanning the Elkhart River in Goshen, IN.

The job consists of a 1.5-mi. (2.4 km) stretch on County Road 17 that will end where it ties in to County Road 28. At approximately $15 million, 80 percent of the project is funded by Elkhart County and 20 percent by the state.

Construction began in July of 2004 and is scheduled for completion on Oct. 31, 2005. Project Manager Corey Hensinger, of Primco, mentioned a few special features of the job, which include the construction of a temporary bridge structure for access to the job site.

According to Hensinger, the bridge will be one of the largest that Primco has ever built. The bridge deck alone will use 70,629.3 cu. ft. (2,000 cu m) of concrete.

The 730-ft. (222.5 m) project’s primary bridge structure requires six spans of eight Bulb Tee beams, each of which is 100 ft. (30.5 m) long and weighs approximately 75 tons (68 t). At least two to three more beams will be required for the turn lane.

Hensinger said it is a challenging job, especially due to the bridge’s immense size, but added that Primco welcomed the opportunity to tackle the difficult task.

He also said that one of the advantages of this job is the large quantity of on-site sand that provides extra drainage. Last year, Primco only lost two days on the job as a result of inclement weather.

Soil content was another major factor, particularly in driving the piles for the bridge. The piling for the bridge went from 70 to 90 ft. (21.3 to 27.4 m) — much deeper than the 30 to 50 ft. (9.1 to 15.2 m) minimum.

Primco is using a Terex HC80 American crane and a Terex HC165 American crane, which were supplied by MacDonald Machinery Company, to complete the job.

In addition, Hensinger said that there are approximately 18 workers on the job site daily, including the subcontractors.

Contractors working on the job site include:

• Niblock –– dirt excavating, pipe work and asphalt paving

• LSI –– signal work

• Eagle Ready Mix –– supplying concrete

About Primco

Primco’s jobs are concentrated in a 70- to 80-mi. (112.7 to 128.7 km) radius of Fort Wayne, IN. The company works approximately 25 to 30 jobs at any given time and has 80 to 90 employees.

Dennis Frederick, father of President Todd Frederick, started the company in 1968, and the company’s relationship with MacDonald Machinery has been longstanding. The first generation at MacDonald Machinery, Ben Johnston began doing business with Dennis Frederick. His son Todd continues the business partnership with MacDonald President Mark Johnston to this day.

For more information, call 260/478-1548. CEG