July 2012

Rebar: Raising the Bar for Reinforcing Steel

Local 416 is Building Orange County

The journeymen and apprentices of Local 416 (Los Angeles) are building the Coastline Community College-Newport Beach Learning Center, in Newport Beach, Calif. Hailing itself as the first LEED-platinum facility in the golden state, it has approximately 122,000 square feet of space and a green roof overlooking the Pacific Ocean/Newport Beach. The unique thing about the building is all the vertical elements (except elevator core) leans seven degrees, for the full height of the building 45 feet tall about five and a half feet out of plumb.

Pacific Coast Steel, Local 416 ironworkers placed approximately 1,500 tons, in foundation, walls, and decks. The project had challenges with the lean, all the wall openings, boundary elements, and the long laps at the intersections and bracing of the columns to have the right lean. Pacific Coast Steel was able to meet the schedule with the help from Foremen Antonio Hernandez, Mike Marshall, journeymen Saul Ponce, Saul Lizalde, Valentin Castelan, Benjimin Medina, apprentice Ramiro Vasquez, and General Foreman Ron Dominguez. The project is being done on time and under budget thanks to everyone's hard work!

Pacific Coast Steel Places Rebar for New Public Safety Building

In November 2009, more than 65 percent of Salt Lake City voters approved a $125 million general obligation bond to fund the construction of a new public safety building. The facility, which includes a new emergency operations center, will serve Salt Lake City residents, visitors and businesses and better meet the needs of Utah's capital.

The building includes four levels of office space above grade, two levels of secure parking garage below grade, and comprises approximately 172,000 sq. ft. of program area with an additional 143,000 sq. ft. of secured parking. The public safety building will house Salt Lake City's police, fire, and emergency operations departments. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker commented, "We are excited to begin the process of construction of the public safety buildings. I promise that this construction process will be transparent and efficient. It will be on time, on budget and a beautiful green building that this city can be proud of."

Pacific Coast Steel (PCS) began placing rebar for the project in September of 2011 with the scheduled concrete completion date set at September of 2012. By this date, PCS will have placed over 6,000,000 pounds of reinforcing steel with over a third of this weight placed in the base slab which consisted of a three foot thick mat with #11's at 16 inches on center each way, top and bottom. According to Frank Sutera, regional operations manager for PCS and 30-year union contractor, the rebar in this mat was installed with "record production." The Rocky Mountain region of PCS performs work in the states of Utah, Idaho and Montana. PCS currently employs approximately 75 ironworkers from Locals 14 (Spokane, Wash.), 27 (Salt Lake City), 29 (Portland, Ore.), 118 (Sacramento), 416 (Los Angeles), 732 (Pocatello, Idaho), and 847 (Phoenix).

Dave Madsen, a 21-year ironworker from Local 27 is in charge of the job, which employs 8-10 ironworkers from Local 847. To date, the project is injury and incident free.

Mega Project for AGF Steel

The new Highway 30 on Montreal's South Shore is finally being built.

The skills and knowledge of ironworkers have again been put to good use as the project presents many challenges, such as a tight schedule including winter work and the crossing of several rivers, a navigation canal and the Saint Lawrence Seaway connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean.

At its peak during summer 2011, there were 190 reinforcing ironworkers working on site from Local 711 (Montreal, Quebec), Local 842 (St. John, New Brunswick), and Local 7 (Boston).

In total, 42,000 metric tons of reinforcing steel will be used to complete the project. Both day and night shifts were used and are still being used.

Serge Gendron, engineer and owner of AGF Steel, assigned his son Maxime, also an engineer, to supervise the project. Maxime was assisted by four other engineers and four superintendents.

Mr. Gendron said AGF received full cooperation from Local Union 711's officers and members, and he is grateful to all those who participated in making this project a success.

How to Get It Done: Local 847 (Phoenix) Contractor Pacific Coast Steel Knows How to Get It Done

For the Rocky Mountain region of Pacific Coast Steel, placement of reinforcing steel in bridges has become as easy as ABC as evidenced by the record setting completion of the Sam White Bridge in American Fork, Utah, on March 26, 2011. The Sam White Bridge is just one of the 59 new, rebuilt or modified bridges that makes up the Utah Department of Transportations (UDOT) I-15 Corridor Expansion, known as the I-15 CORE. The $1.725 billion three-year project is UDOT's largest to date and involves 24.3 miles of construction in Utah County from Lehi to Spanish Fork, Utah.

Pacific Coast Steel (PCS) began placing rebar for the project in June of 2010 with the scheduled concrete completion date set at June of 2012. By this date, PCS will have placed over 20,000,000 pounds of reinforcing steel while expending nearly 80,000 man-hours. Approximately 120,000 cubic yards of structural concrete will be poured along with over 3,000,000 cubic yards of asphalt paving. "It's so great to see Pacific Coast Steel be a major part of the largest bridge expansion in Utah's history," says Frank Sutera, regional operations manager for PCS and 30-year union contractor. The Rocky Mountain region of PCS performs work in the states of Utah, Idaho and Montana. PCS currently employs approximately 75 ironworkers from Locals 14 (Spokane, Wash.), 27 (Salt Lake City), 29 (Portland, Ore.), 118 (Sacramento), 416 (Los Angeles), 732 (Pocatello, Idaho), and 847 (Phoenix).

The Sam White Bridge was built utilizing the ABC (Accelerated Bridge Construction) method. The 354-foot, 3.8 million-pound structure was built in an adjacent "bridge farm," hoisted 21 feet in the air, and moved 500 feet across eight freeway lanes before being placed onto support columns already constructed over I-15. The entire two- span structure was moved using two sets of SPMT's (self-propelled modular transporters), which are hydraulic jacks on wheels all controlled by a single joystick. The Sam White is the third of six ABC bridges that will be completed by PCS, and is the longest two-span bridge moved in the Western Hemisphere. "Building the bridge using Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) eliminated the need for as many as ten full freeway closures," Dal Hawks, I15 CORE project director, said. "This reduced traffic delays and benefited the state's economy by keeping people, goods and services moving while the bridge was being constructed." Dean Ottley, project coordinator for PCS was involved in the 2001 I-15 expansion and agreed, "This project seems to be less confusing with fewer closures." The Sam White Bridge was UDOT's 23rd ABC bridge move which is nearly double the number of ABC bridges than all other states combined.

Kyle "Pinky" Carothers, a 35-year Local 27 union ironworker and project superintendent for PCS, responded when asked about his biggest challenge, "Logistics. With 59 bridges spread out over 24 miles just getting the right people and the right material to the right location all on time can be very challenging." To date PCS has not had a lost-time injury on this project while working in excess of 25 men per day.

North America's First Fully Digital Hospital Built by Local 721

Local 721 (Toronto, Ontario) reinforcing ironworkers are at work for Harris Rebar on the new Humber River Regional Hospital. Local 721 members are placing between 12,000 and 15,000 metric tons of rebar on the project.

Forty-two reinforcing ironworkers are working on the new 1.7 million square foot hospital. Four tower cranes are up, and by summertime, eight cranes will be spread over the 30-acre site. The crew is expected to grow to over 60, and ironworkers have placed over 1,200 tons in raft slabs.

Mayo Clinic Proton Therapy Cancer Center

(Scottsdale, Ariz.)
Local 847 (Phoenix)

JD Steel Company, Inc., is building the caissons for the first phase of the Mayo Clinic Proton Therapy Cancer Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. Mayo Clinic's plans call for constructing a 100,000-square-foot building to house the proton therapy equipment needed for four treatment rooms. The equipment includes a cyclotron and a mammoth 100-ton, three-story motorized machine called a gantry. During the building phase of the $180 million project, a total of 500 construction jobs will be created. When fully operational, the proton beam program will employ more than 250 new staff members, including physicians as well as physicists. Proton technology affords doctors superior control and placement of the beams, which can penetrate deep into the body and release the maximum amount of energy closer to the tumor while limiting exposure of healthy cells.

The project involves building 220ea caissons ranging from 3 to 8 foot in diameter and 20 to 80 feet long. The larger caissons have 36ea #11's and are in excess of 12,000 lbs. each. Lawrence Young, a member of Local 29 (Portland, Ore.) is the general foreman and his foreman is Local 847 (Phoenix) member Jesus Mosquedo. Dave Robles, field superintendent for JD Steel and 29-year rodbuster commented, "It's nice to be involved with a project like this that has the opportunity to save so many lives." Mayo Clinic estimates it will treat about 1,200 patients each year after its Arizona proton center opens in late 2014 or early 2015.

It is important to point out that this project was originally slated to be awarded to a non-union company. The International's Organizing Department got involved and was able to turn this around resulting in the project being awarded to a Local 847 signatory contractor. Local 847 sends sincere thanks to Bernie Evers and his entire team for all their efforts on the project.

Mile High Rodbusters Installs Reinforcing for 400MW Wind Farm

Mile High Rodbusters, a Denver-based Local 847 (Phoenix) contractor, is placing 12,000 tons of rebar in the foundations for the Los Vientos Wind Farm in Lyford, Texas. The wind farm, to be sited on 30,000 acres of leased land, will be capable of generating enough electricity to power approximately 60,000 homes. Duke Energy Renewables will build, own and operate the 400-megawatt (MW) Los Vientos I Windpower Project in Willacy County, approximately 120 miles south of Corpus Christi and 20 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

Duke Energy Renewables, part of Duke Energy's Commercial Businesses, is a leader in developing innovative wind and solar energy solutions for customers throughout the United States. The company's growing portfolio of commercial renewable assets includes nine wind farms and four solar farms in operation in five states, totaling approximately 1,000 megawatts in electric-generating capacity.

The Los Vientos project involves Mile High Rodbusters placing approximately 140,000 lbs. of rebar in each of the 171 foundations. Each foundation is 6'6" thick and consists of a bottom mat of #11's at 6"OC each way and a top mat of #9's at 6" OC each way. In addition, each foundation contains approximately 750 cubic yards of concrete. The schedule calls for three foundations to be completed each day, which translates to 420,000 lbs. of rebar placed, and 2,250 cubic yards of concrete poured every day, six days a week, in order to achieve commercial operation by December 2012.

Wanzek Construction, a MasTec, Inc. company, is the general contractor for the project and has been in operation since 1971. Wanzek's dedicated wind teams have installed more than 3300 MW of wind generation capacity across the country for some of the biggest names in the industry.

Mile High Rodbusters was started in 2008 and owned by third generation ironworker Brad Garcia. His father and project manager on Los Vientos, Bob Garcia Sr., who started his ironworking career in 1973, described the project as "challenging." "Any project that calls for the placing company to install 10-11 truckloads of rebar every day is challenging and compounded by the fact that the project is spread out over 76 square miles."