Identifies Bay Bridge Problems
MD - The jury is out on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge's deck resurfacing
problems, but no one is taking responsibility yet. An independent
overview team, commissioned by the Maryland Transportation
Authority, released its report in February on the recent problems
with the resurfacing of the bridge's westbound span. The team
identified six major problems and provided recommendations
for safeguarding future resurfacing work.
Resurfacing of the 30-year-old deck began in 2002. Cianbro
of Baltimore, Md., was the contractor on the project, which
called for complete replacement of 21 decks and concrete overlays
on 95 spans. Cracks began to appear in 2003 and as the problem
began to worsen, the MTA called for an independent team to
investigate the problems last year.
The overview team's report outlined six factors believed
to have contributed to the failure of concrete used. The bridge's
6.5-in.-thick decks are considered thin compared to most decks
built today with a minimum thickness of 8 in., according to
the report. Other factors in the report include inadequate
preparation of the substrate surface; use of matrix restorer
and epoxy bonding agent on the substrate; properties of the
concrete mixture itself; cold temperatures in which much of
the concrete was placed; and inadequate curing methods used.
In its report, the overview team did not determine responsibility
for the problems. That issue will be examined by the state's
Office of the Attorney General.
Mike Hart, vice president and Mid-Atlantic regional general
manager at Cianbro, said the report substantiates the company's
claims about its work on the project.
"We did the work per the specifications and per our
client's directions," Hart said.
Cianbro continues to finish phase one of the bridge project
with work on the center lane scheduled for completion by Memorial
Prior to moving forward with future work on the bridge, the
team recommended full-depth deck replacement for subsequent
deck renovations and prequalification of consultants, contractors
and suppliers to ensure the parties involved are qualified
to undertake the work successfully.
The team also recommended 21 specific technical safeguards
to adhere to in any future overlay work. The safeguards call
for careful attention to each detail of surface preparation,
concrete placement and curing.
Following the report's release, Maryland Transportation Secretary
and MTA Chairman Robert Flanagan announced that he directed
the authority to adopt a "fresh approach" to rehabilitating
the Bay Bridge. The MTA will utilize the recommended guidelines
when completing the construction of the center lane this spring.
Mike Hart of Cianbro said the company would do additional
work as MTA requests it.
The remainder of the rehabilitation plan will be delayed
as the MTA considers adopting the recommendations. The job
was scheduled for completion in 2006, but Flanagan said it
will likely be delayed until 2007.
SEPTA Project on Hold After Contractor
PHILADELPHIA, PA - The future of the Cobbs Creek portion
of the Market Street Elevated Reconstruction project remains
up in the air following the termination of contractor PKF
Mark III of Newtown, Pa., from the $74 million project by
the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in
The termination followed a complaint against SEPTA filed
by PKF in October. The complaint alleges that SEPTA breached
its contract on the Cobbs Creek portion of the project, causing
significant delays and overruns. The case is pending.
Upon terminating the contract with PKF, SEPTA General Manager
Faye Moore released a statement claiming that PKF "failed
to meet the agreed upon standards of the contract."
SEPTA claimed that PKF's contract violations included defective
interim support towers and failure to meet the schedule. As
of Nov. 1, the project was 712 days behind schedule.
Pete Getchell, president of PKF Mark III, said the delays
were caused by SEPTA and other contractors. Getchell said
the parties had significant disagreements about quality requirements
and that sometimes it would take months to hear responses
"We became concerned about eight months into the job
when it was clear that we were going to have tremendous difficulty
getting things approved," Getchell said. "SEPTA
and the project manager [Jacobs Engineering] were interfering
in our work. It became clear that they wanted to dictate how
the work would be done."
Getchell added that the company has successfully worked on
other projects with SEPTA, including the $30 million Franklin
Transportation Center project, which it completed in 2003,
and the $27 million Girard Avenue Rail Infrastructure Renewal
project, which was completed last year.
PKF's lawsuit states that for reasons it can't determine,
"SEPTA has taken inconsistent approaches to the administration"
of contracts on the three different jobs.
Among the changes that PKF claimed in its lawsuit caused
the delays were inaccurate surveys, guideway deck design changes,
disagreements over beam cambering and a third rail design
The lawsuit also claims that SEPTA and its engineer unreasonably
interpreted specifications on the job which led to the rejection
of temporary towers, caisson concrete, web-girder beams and
The project manager, Jacobs Sverdrup of Tullahoma, Tenn.,
and the project designer, DMJM/Harris of Philadelphia, would
not comment on the case and deferred to SEPTA. SEPTA representatives
would not comment on specifics of the case while it is pending,
but SEPTA spokesman Richard Mahoney said PKF "simply
did not perform, by any stretch, the agreed upon contract
in terms of getting the job done with any type of quality
Getchell said any case against his company simply doesn't
"We've never walked away from a job before," he
added. "When have you heard of a contractor walking away
from a $70 million job? It just doesn't happen."
Tompkins Selected to Build New Physics
WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. General Services Administration
recently selected Tompkins Builders of Washington, D.C., to
construct the new Physics Laboratory for the Food & Drug
Administration at the White Oak Federal Research Center near
Silver Spring, Md.
The $41.3 million contract included the construction of 135,000-sq.-ft.
of laboratory space, which will accommodate the FDA Center
for Devices and Radiological Health. Kling is the architect
and Heery-Tishman is the construction manager.
The contract marks the beginning of the third phase of the
FDA's consolidation on the new White Oak campus. Tompkins
completed the first phase of the project in 2003. When all
phases are complete, the new campus will replace 3 million
sq. ft. of outdated facilities scattered throughout suburban
Construction on the third phase began Feb. 1 and is expected
to be completed in February 2007.
Skanska to Design/Build Naval and Space
ROCKVILLE, MD - Skanska USA Building of Rockville, Md., was
recently awarded a design/build contract for the new Naval
Network and Space Operation Command Center at the Dahlgren
Naval Surface Warfare Center in Virginia. The $17 million
contract was awarded by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command
Washington. Kling of Washington, D.C., is the architect.
The project will include a new 75,000-sq.-ft. building that
will be linked to existing Building 1700. The project also
includes 15,000-sq.-ft. of renovations to 1700, site improvements,
and a 550-space parking lot.
The new facility will be used to operate and maintain the
Navy's space and global telecommunications systems and services
for promoting innovative technology solutions.
The project is expected to be completed in March 2006.
L. F. Driscoll to Build $98 Million AtlantiCare
BALA CYNWYD, PA - L.F. Driscoll of Bala Cynwd, Pa., was recently
selected as construction manager on the $98 million expansion
to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center City Campus in
The seven-story 198,000-sq.-ft. tower will be built adjacent
to the existing hospital. It will include a new emergency
department, radiology department, intensive care unit with
26 rooms, two medical/surgical floors with 30 private patient
suites, new rooftop helipad and two floors for future expansion.
The project also includes the renovation of 26,000-sq.-ft.
of the existing hospital space and construction of a pedestrian
walkway form the Caesar's Transportation Center over Michigan
Avenue for the hospital.
Groundbreaking is scheduled for September 2005 with completion
Hensel Phelps Lands $84.4 Million Naval
CHANTILLY, VA - Hensel Phelps Construction of Chantilly,
Va., was recently awarded the $84.4 million design-build contract
for the new Presidential Helicopter Support Facility at the
Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland.
The project represents one of the largest construction projects
in the Navy base's history. It will house the Marine Corps'
new Marine One Helicopter Squadron. The project is scheduled
to be completed by July 2006.
The 213,000-sq.-ft. support facility will include a hangar
deck, stripping and painting aircraft areas, parking apron,
taxiway access and an adjoined support building. Located on
a separate site, a new Air Traffic Control Tower will be constructed
along with a small building renovation.
The project architects are Giuliani Associates Architects
of Washington, D.C., and HNTB Architecture of Washington.
Thornton Tomasetti-Cutts of Washington, D.C. is the structural
engineer. M.C. Dean of Dulles, Va., is the electrical engineer
and Southland Industries of Dulles is the mechanical engineer.
Bovis Breaks Ground on $46 Million High-Rise
MD - Bovis Lend Lease of Bethesda, Md., was recently selected
by KSI Services to provide preconstruction and general contracting
services for the Midtown Alexandria Station condominium project
in Alexandria, Va. The $45.8 million high-rise project includes
369 units and is located on 3.5 acres adjacent to the Huntington
Metro Station. Dorsky, Hodgson & Partners is the architect.
KSI is a Virginia-based real estate developer.
The 16-story 603,159-sq.-ft structure features a penthouse
level, six floors of above-grade parking, pool, exercise room
and party room. Construction began in February and is scheduled
for completion in Spring 2007.
Donohoe Begins Construction of The Sterling
at The Metro
WASHINGTON, DC - Donohoe Construction of Washington, D.C.
recently began construction of The Sterling at The Metro in
North Bethesda, Md. The site is located near the White Flint
Metro Station. The 16-story luxury condominium building will
have 197 units with parking for 330 cars. The building, which
was designed by VOA of Washington, D.C., will feature a community
room and fitness center. The exterior features ornamental
streetlights, a pocket park and a residential courtyard with
a pool and gardens. The building will also include 15,000-sq.-ft
of professional/commercial space. Donohoe Real Estate Services
will handle leasing for the space. The Donohoe Companies developed
HITT Renews Contract for Pentagon IDIQ
WASHINGTON, DC - HITT of Washington, D.C., recently renewed
its multiyear indefinite quantity contract for construction
services at the Pentagon and at least five other Pentagon
Reservation facilities. The deal marks the second time the
company has been awarded a multiyear IDIQ performance contract
for construction at the Pentagon. Facilities included in the
contract are Federal Office Building #2, the U.S. Court of
Military Appeals, Hybla Valley, and the Pentagon Heating and
The initial contract term is one year with a maximum of $5
million per year and four additional one-year options based
on performance. The scope of the contract includes but is
not limited to repairs, renovations, new construction and
alteration to facilities and utilities.
HITT's previous Pentagon contract expired in July 2003, but
was extended until December 2003. Under that contract, HITT
performed more than six million sq. ft. of tenant-occupied
renovations on three campuses, including the Pentagon, Navy
Annex and Hybla Valley facilities.
Forrester Awarded $16 Million Renovation
ROCKVILLE, MD - Forrester Construction Interiors Group of
Rockville, Md., was recently awarded the $16 million 2000
N Street Renovation in Washington, D.C. The 300,000-sq.-ft.
project includes the complete conversion of a hotel into a
306 unit apartment building. WDG Architects of Washington,
D.C., is the architect. Archstone Smith is the owner. Construction
started in February and is expected to be completed in the
The renovations will include new kitchens, upgraded bathrooms,
new wood floor, carpet and finishes in all rental units. The
ground floor will include a new entrance canopy, a redesigned
lobby with upgraded finishes and the construction of a new
leasing office. The Plaza level will include a tenant storage
area, new fitness center and laundry room. The exterior courtyard
will be improved with a new pool and extensive new landscape
Perini Completes Acquisition of Cherry
JESSUP, MD - Perini Corp. of Framingham, Ma., recently completed
the acquisition of Cherry Hill Construction of Jessup, Md.
Cherry Hill, which serves the Mid-Atlantic and southeast regions,
has approximately $130 million in annual revenues. Cherry
Hill has approximately 300 employees. The company specializes
in excavation, foundations, paving and construction of civil
infrastructure. Perini purchased 100 percent of Cherry Hill's
capital stock for approximately $20 million in cash.
Cherry Hill will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Perini and Cherry Hill's senior management will continue in
that role. John A. Loftus, a senior vice president of Perini,
will serve as president and CEO of Cherry Hill. David Openshaw,
a 15-year veteran of Cherry Hill, will serve as executive
vice president and general manager.
Construction Groups Line Up to Bid on Nats
BETHESDA, MD - Clark Construction Group of Bethesda, Md.,
Hunt Construction Group of Indianapolis, Ind., and Smoot Construction
of Washington, D.C., is the first group of contractors to
officially throw their hat in the ring to bid on the future
home of Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals.
The three companies formed a joint venture to pursue the
project. The team members have a 30-year history of working
together on large public projects throughout the United States.
Combined, the companies have been involved in building fifteen
major league facilities, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards
in Baltimore, Md., and Citizens Bank Ballpark in Philadelphia,
Clark worked with minority-owned Smoot Construction to build
the $650 million, 2.3 million-sq.-ft. Washington Convention
Center. Clark and Hunt's most recent joint ventures include
two expansions of McCormick Place convention center facility
in Chicago, which totaled $1.5 billion.
Calvert Mercer Lombard Grant Street Developer
BALTIMORE, MD - Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, upon the
recommendation of the Baltimore Development Corporation, recently
selected the CityScape development team to redevelop a site
bordered by Calvert Mercer Lombard and Grant streets.
The group's proposal includes 300 apartments, retail space
of approximately 6,500-sq.-ft. and a 542-space parking garage.
Project costs are estimated at more than $71 million.
The group includes Calvert & Lombard LLC, Calvert &
Lombard Parking LLC, Joseph Haksins Jr. and Savannah Development.