Top Jobs: Overall Winner (Excavation/Site Development Category) Mirada Community Development

Mirada community in San Antonio
[EDITOR’S NOTE: In each issue, Utility Contractor will profile NUCA’s Top Job winners. These projects present the association’s best and most innovative work that keep our country’s utility networks operating at peak performance. To nominate your project for Top Jobs, visit: nuca.com/topjobs]

Founded in 2003, Tampa-based Metro Development Group has specialized in residential land development and master planned communities throughout Central Florida. The company’s portfolio includes more than 40,000 developed lots across more than 70 communities.

One of Metro Development Group’s most recent projects is the Mirada community in San Antonio, Florida, located about 30 miles north of Tampa. The project consists of the development of 211 single family and multi-family lots, one of the first large-scale housing developments in the area.

To help develop the property, Metro turned to NUCA member Burgess Civil LLC to build the underground utility systems and the roadways for Parcels 18 and 21. Founded in 2014, Burgess Civil performs a mix of residential and commercial development in the Central Florida area.

The type of work is not out of the ordinary, but some of the means and methods to perform the work were unique. On multiple phases of the projects, Burgess Civil had to lay sanitary sewer of depths up to 22 ft below existing ground. The depths allow sewers to flow by gravity from distant points of the development and minimize the use of pump stations.

Laying sewer in excess of 20-ft deep is a challenge in itself, but what made the project even more challenging was the fact that all of the clay soils encountered in the pipe trenches were deemed unsuitable to remain under the roadway per county specifications.

Clay can shrink or swell depending on its moisture content, and due to the high groundwater in the area, the county is concerned that the shrink-swell cycles can negatively impact the roadway. Any clay soils encountered had to be replaced with clean fill.

To minimize disturbance of the clay soils, Burgess Civil teamed with NUCA member National Trench Safety (NTS) to use double stacked trench boxes to shore the 20-ft deep trenches.

“Our goal was to keep the pipe trench as narrow as possibly but within OSHA compliance. Any clay soils that we did not disturb were allowed to remain in place. Anything that was excavated could not be placed back under the roadway,” said Burgess Civil founder Ben Burgess.

In addition to NTS, Burgess Civil worked with Ferguson for water and sewer pipe needs and Mack Concrete for precast structures. Lastly, Burgess Civil worked with a variety of equipment suppliers for its equipment fleet, including Linder Komatsu, Ring Power CAT, Flagler Volvo and Trekker Tractor.

Burgess Civil began Phase 1 of the project in October 2018 and completed its work in April 2019. Phase 2, which entails extending utilities and roadways constructed in the previous phase, is expected to begin soon and be completed before August, allowing Metro Development to further home building.

Burgess Civil’s willingness to tackle a difficult project with attention to detail and with a fast-paced schedule, will help benefit the community by providing affordable housing in the San Antonio area.

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