[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]
Project Name: Gold Creek Valley Filings 2 & 3
Category: Excavation/Site Development
Project Owner: Lennar Colorado
Location: Elizabeth, Colorado
Subs, Supplers, Equipment: Martin Marietta Materials, Southwest Concrete Pumping, Colorado Tap Masters, Ideal Fencing, R&S Walls, Rumler Rebar, GS Quality Welding, LMS Drilling, Superior Pipe Services, Sterling Crane, CDI, Colorado Barricade, Core & Main, Oldcastle Precast, Wylaco, Forterra, Pioneer Sand, Wagner, Hixon, Aggregate Industries, ARS Sand & Gravel, Apex Transportation, Ferguson Waterworks, East Jordan, GSS, Alliance Safety, Denver Wire & Rope.
The Gold Creek Valley project was slated to break ground at the start of 2019. However, it was delayed about three months due to powers outside of the control of Scott Contracting of Centennial, Colorado. Once construction was approved to begin and starting as soon as the scraper spread was mobilized, this project was plagued with wet weather. Unfortunately, nearly every small/scattered rain cloud and larger rain storm aligned itself overhead the project site as if the site were Joe from the Charlie Brown comics. During this time diversion ditches and sediment basins were moved in stages across the job to keep the sub-excavation efforts moving forward.
The project dried up and rain became infrequent starting with the month of May. On nearly the first day the sub-ex crew found expected production they also found claystone that was much too tough for even push-pull scrapers. A couple D10 dozers were moved to the site, to rip and remove all hard dig in sub excavation areas, creating a pile of claystone that was nearly 40 ft high and 1,000 ft long. Scott Contracting then pushed the fractured claystone out across a two-acre area and tilled that material. A new proctor was then created and the recovered material was allowed for use onsite rather than requiring an expensive import/export operation, saving the owner and the schedule a great deal of time and money.
In order to meet jurisdictional requirements for residential permits, public improvements in an entire filing/project would need to be completed. In addition, permanent surface on the main collector street running through the jobsite would have to be built, along with a precast conspan bridge. Scott Contracting did not get approval to start digging for or setting the bridge until snow had already fallen on the site. This bridge crossed a sensitive environmental area that limited the access window. Drilling for caissons, abutment pours, and set/backfill of the conspan occurred between snowstorms and flurries. 24-hour pumping and extensive use of blankets were employed as needed and ultimately bottom lift was placed across the span the day before a heavy snow storm that marked the end of bottom lift paving in any of the filings.
At times, in October, the site was home to up to five working subcontractors and seven full and various Scott Contracting crews. With the large number of personnel onsite, many of which were working 70-hour weeks, no injuries or property damage occurred.
Due to the extreme hours and exhaustive efforts put forth in September, October, and the start of November, Scott Contracting delivered to the client finished lots and required access, allowing building permits to be pulled and helping the client achieve its 2019 business plan.
The client even ran a pool betting on how late delivery would be but in the end, delivery was ahead of schedule and the SCI team was justly recognized and rewarded.
Projects like Gold Creek remind us of what a construction company can do when failure is not viewed as an acceptable option and when everyone on the team works together towards one common goal.
The client had targeted this project as a major portion of its 2019 business plan. Initially the project dealt with a three-month delay due to design and other issues outside the contractor’s control. A wet 2019 spring that seemed to hit the project site almost daily further complicated meeting an already tight schedule. The client essentially came to the conclusion that Gold Creek would need to be pushed off the 2019 books and into the 2020 business plan. SCI got wind of this doubt and was determined to make good on an early delivery date so the client could achieve its 2019 business plan. Despite the challenges, SCI was able to perform as promised.
“This project had multiple challenges including a conspan bridge over a wildlife habitat and a very compressed schedule. The challenge was presented to SCI and was met with smart planning, additional crews and good old teamwork to complete the ‘miracle mile’ of paving and site readiness which allowed Lennar the opportunity to start homebuilding construction five months earlier than originally planned,” said Ed Kubly, Land Area Manager, Lennar Colorado. “Time and again SCI has rose to the occasion when presented with a difficult path or schedule constraints all while maintaining professionalism and communications with the developer.”