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Stimulus Funds Spur Key Pa. Bridge Job

Mon July 20, 2009 - Northeast Edition
Mary Reed

Federal stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has been welcomed by the construction industry nationwide, and perhaps nowhere more so than in southwestern Pennsylvania’s Beaver County, which had the honor of kicking off the first transportation project funded by the ARRA to be awarded by District 11 of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).

The importance of the $10 million rehabilitation of the Beaver-Rochester Bridge carrying Route 51 over the Beaver River in a county with an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent — somewhat higher than the rest of the state — has been recognized by visits from several dignitaries, including Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell.

Mascaro Contracting LP, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., is prime contractor. A spokesman for the company described the project as the preservation of the Beaver-Rochester Bridge and surrounding ramp structures, replacement of expansion dams and rocker bearings, miscellaneous steel and concrete repairs, painting existing structural steel and other miscellaneous construction. Notice to proceed was received on May 18, 2009, and with no problems experienced, the company is on schedule for its completion date of Dec. 31, 2010.

Built in 1963, the main span is some 993 ft. (302.6 m) long. Approximately 15,000 vehicles a day use the bridge. Three of the five structures forming the span are now structurally deficient, but due to budgetary constraints the bridge had not been in line for repair in the near future.

“As of June 18, the project’s Phase No. 1 temporary traffic sequencing has been put in place. Concurrently, the painting subcontractor is installing the working platform under the main structure and working on enclosing the structure with tarps for the paint removal operations,” the company spokesman said.

“Current operations are for the procurement of long-lead items for the major work activities, e.g., structural steel and expansion dam repairs require as field measurements prior to fabrication and procurement,” he added.

Avalotis Painting Company, Verona, Pa., is the painting subcontractor; Strongstown’s B & K Enterprises Inc. of Strongstown, Pa., is handling roadway barriers, and Beth’s Barricades in Gibsonia, Pa., is responsible for signing. At present Mascaro Contracting has three employees on site, and their painting subcontractor is fielding six to eight men. At peak operation, Mascaro expects to use approximately 40 craftsmen per shift.

“Our equipment requirements include Ingersoll Rand 185, 450 and 1300 air compressors along with the painter’s sandblasting set-up. Other than that we will be utilizing small tools and a few JLG 60-foot manlifts,” Mascaro’s spokesman noted.

“Special reporting procedures will be required for this project,” he said. “This will include tracking total employees, hours, and payroll for the project.”

Since its inception in 1988, Mascaro has completed more than $260 million in highway projects. Recent PennDOT projects completed include the award-winning Hickory Street Bridge, Warren, Pa., State Route 8 Mae West Bend, Pittsburgh, Pa.; and State Route 22, Murrysville, Pa., projects. Work currently in progress includes the State Route 28 Etna Interchange and Liberty Bridge renovation projects in Pittsburgh.

Mascaro Construction Company LP, a family-owned business, was founded in 1988. It provides construction services to commercial, institutional, industrial and other clients. In 2000, the owners of Mascaro Construction Company LP founded Mascaro Contracting LP for the primary purpose of providing general contracting services to the heavy and highway market, and although each company is a separate entity, its management and ownership are the same. CEG

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