Top Jobs: Water Distribution Category

Academy Sports Commercial Development
The site needed nearly 90,000 cubic yards of imported material while disposing of roughly 28,000 cubic yards of unsuitable material.

Academy Sports Commercial Development

[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]

The Academy Sports commercial development is an expansion of the Broadway Shops in Columbia, Missouri. Emery Sapp and Sons Inc. was contracted to perform the site’s mass grading and excavation, box culvert extension, placement of granular base, paving of curb and gutter, and installing numerous underground utilities including sanitary sewer, storm sewer, water and the conduit for electrical and data lines.

The site of the development sits directly above Hinkson Creek, the largest watershed for the city of Columbia. The site needed nearly 90,000 cubic yards of imported material while disposing of roughly 28,000 cubic yards of unsuitable material. During peak production, there were 18 to 20 dump trucks hauling in material from the nearby borrow site.

One of the chief elements of the project was the sheer depth at which many of the utility lines and the box culvert had to be installed, ranging from 30 to 65 ft.

Challenges and Innovative Solutions

The largest challenges faced were both the sheer depth at which the utility lines had to be placed and the nature of the site itself. The building pad’s elevation needed to match the existing, neighboring shopping center and roadways while the utility lines, especially stormwater, had to tie in to existing outflows and match the natural watershed that borders the property.

Given the size of the pipes used and the nature of the soil, an open-cut trenching technology was used. Emery Sapp and Sons crews utilized technologies such as trench boxes and temporary shoring to safely install the new utility lines at depths up to 65 ft. To further ensure both safety and production, 349 Caterpillar Excavators were selected because of their increased power and reach.

Another major factor was completion time of the project. Columbia’s local economy is largely driven by the University of Missouri, and the store itself needed to be open for the start of the fall semester and football season or miss out on the year’s biggest revenue-generating months. This constraint meant multiple crews working together to expedite the timeline. The store was able to open ahead of schedule.

Other parties involved on the project included: Columbia Ready Mix; Carter Waters; Water and Sewer Supply; Precision Precast. “We are only able to meet deadlines if every contributor meets them, as well as maintaining quality thresholds. Without healthy relationships with those we depend upon the success of the entire project suffers. Columbia Ready Mix, Carter Waters, Water and Sewer Supply and Precision Precast time and again deliver quality products in a timely manner. They are suppliers for nearly every project we build,” Emery Sapp and Sons reported.

Now completed, the Academy Sports store is expected to create over 100 new jobs for the Columbia area while providing a much-needed competitor in the sporting goods market. Before, there was only one quality sporting goods store, this should lead to more competitive pricing and a better variety in selection for residents.

With that said, Academy Sports will not be the only store in the new complex, it is just the anchor. This newly created commercial space provides opportunities for corporate franchises and local entrepreneurs alike.

Before the development, not only was the real estate undeveloped despite its proximity to a shopping center, but it posed a potential erosion problem to the Hinkson Creek watershed below. Now, the City of Columbia has an additional source of revenue, more jobs for residents, better options for consumers, and an up-to-date newly installed stormwater control system to help manage a waterway regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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