Preserving Arlington Memorial Bridge

White-Spunner Wraps Up Fairhope Wal-Mart Project

Fri June 22, 2007 - Southeast Edition
Beverly B. Nichols



Sometimes, prepping a site for a 200,000 sq. ft. (18,000 sq m) building can be tough.

But the crews of the Mobile, Ala.-based White-Spunner Construction Co. had it relatively easy.

“Note that the building site is a large, flat field so it did not require a great deal of preparatory work,” said Site Superintendent Burt Appleman as he looked over the 58-acre site of a new Wal-Mart in Fairhope, Ala.

On June 11 the contractor turned the finished project over to the retail giant, finishing a $20 million enterprise that began in August 2006.

He emphasized the ease in which this massive project had gone forward and the cooperative efforts among all who had been a part of the construction.

Approximately 23 sub-contractors contributed to the project. Advance Construction Services Inc. performed all of the dirt work, utility installation and paving.

“Our main concern involved managing the operations of all these companies so that they could complete their work and not conflict with each other,” Appleman said. “Occasionally, we’d get behind schedule but we’ll finish up on time.”

He added that l56,000 cu. yds. (119,340 cu m) of dirt were moved and 36,000 tons (32,700 t) of brick were laid underneath the store. Approximately 12,200 tons (11,070 t) of asphalt was used to create the parking lot.

Traffic Considerations

Since Wal-Mart’s new store is located in a rural area, albeit one that has been growing steadily more urban for several years, increasing traffic has caused concern. To relieve the increase that will follow new construction, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) can require developers to fund measures to alleviate anticipated problems.

In this instance, Wal-Mart is paying for a southbound, right-turn lane on Alabama l8l at County Route 44; a northbound left-turn lane and a southbound left-turn lane at County Route 32 and l8l. Advance Construction Services has completed a southbound lane on Alabama l8l and County Route 48.

It took 3,450 tons (3,130 t) of asphalt to build the turn lane.

ALDOT Maintenance Engineer Nick Amberger said the new lanes are based on the results of studies made to estimate increases in traffic once the new store opens.

Not only will the new lanes benefit motorists, they also complement a major construction project which is soon to be under way. ALDOT’s plan to widen l8l to four lanes, with appropriate signals, is now in the land-acquisition process.

White-Spunner Construction Co., founded in l98l, is noted for many major projects in Alabama as well as in other states. CEG