On January 30, 2016, Carolinas AGC (CAGC) bestowed the 2015 Pinnacle Awards—the most prestigious recognition in the Carolinas construction industry—to five construction projects and an individual who has spent his career bettering the construction industry.
Pinnacle entries are judged on unique aspects and challenges; special values; project management; budget and schedule; and safety performance. Pinnacle winning projects enhance the Carolinas and advance the construction industry! (For photos of winning projects, visit www.cagc.org.)
Best Highway-Heavy Project Under $5 Million:
Goat Island Park, Phase II, Cramerton, NC
Blythe Construction, Inc., based in Charlotte, NC
Goat Island Park is part of a development plan which includes an 18-hole disc golf course, permanent corn hole and Ping-Pong facilities, an exercise pavilion, new playground equipment, an observation pier and a dog park. Phase II of the Goat Island Project provides bridge access to the park from the town of Cramerton, NC, and is a major part of the north to south section of the Carolina Thread Trail.
The bridge is a 10-foot wide pedestrian bridge with approach ramp systems, and spans a total of 365 feet. The project includes a recreational pier structure, the clearing, grubbing, and grading of 1,200 linear feet of asphalt and concrete trails, lighting, and restoration of a 50 foot riparian buffer.
A small project which came with a big set of challenges (including working over water, working close to neighbors and traffic, and working adjacent to Cramerton's Fire Department) was deemed "the jewel in our downtown" by Cramerton Mayor Ronnie Worley.
Best Highway-Heavy Project $5 Million and Over:
Macy Grove Road, Kernversville, NC
Blythe Development Company, based in Charlotte, NC
This $39.3 million dollar project consisted of widening and extending nearly a mile of Macy Grove Road to a multi-lane roadway and installing a new interchange with I-40 Business. In addition to the new compressed diamond interchange at Macy Grove and I-40 Business, 1.8 miles of I-40 Business were widened and improved to more safely accommodate 55,000 vehicles each day. This project also included three bridges, including one over I-40 Business, Norfolk Southern Railroad, and East Mountain Street.
The project's goal—to create a much safer access to the new FedEx distribution center, Kernersville Medical Center, and the new VA hospital—was successfully completed four months ahead of schedule. And, more importantly, the safety record while performing with such an aggressive schedule resulted in 181,068 man hours with no lost time accidents, including the multiple subcontractors who performed asphalt paving, concrete, pipe, erosion control, striping, and signals.
A North Carolina Department of Transportation representative commented that Macy Grove Road was "a great project and partnership all the way around—a very positive experience."
Best Building Project Under $5 Million:
Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center - Linear Accelerator, Huntersville, NC
Vannoy Construction, based in Jefferson, NC
The Novant Health Huntersville Medical Center Linear Accelerator project is a 4,902 square foot addition and renovation of an existing medical office building. The Linear Accelerator allows Novant Health to provide radiation oncology services such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy, volumetric modulated arc therapy, stereotactic body radiation therapy and stereotactic radiotherapy for select brain lesions.
Challenges facing this project included working in a very restrictive environment, tight site conditions and an even tighter project schedule. Additionally, much of the construction occurred afterhours to not interfere with hospital traffic—which also meant quiet time for the patients; therefore it was vital that noise and light be controlled and kept to a minimum.
Due to Vannoy Construction's involvement in the preconstruction phase, they were able to provide cost savings analysis and aid in delivering the project within budget with a zero recordable incident rate and zero lost work time.
Best Building Project $5 Million and Over:
High Point Regional Hospital Infrastructure Improvements, High Point, NC
Rentenbach Constructors, based in Greensboro, NC
High Point Regional Hospital is the city's largest center for medical care. With most of its power and utility infrastructure over 30 years old, the hospital was under constant threat from a failure of aging and strained mechanical, electrical and HVAC systems. The facility needed new emergency generators, new water chillers to provide air conditioning throughout the campus, and new electrical switchgear for both emergency and normal power delivery—the construction equivalent of a heart transplant. There was no room for error, as maintenance of the hospital's utilities was literally a matter of life and death.
One unique aspect of this project included how the contractor worked directly with hospital staff to plan the exact moment of each power transfer, ensuring that each department was notified, and each room, individual, and affected piece of equipment was identified. The team's planning, coordination, and communication with the hospital worked so well that fifty-five major electrical shutdown/transfer operations were accomplished without any incidents, injuries, or equipment damage.
A full "heart transplant" of High Point Regional Hospital was completed with barely a flicker of lights.
Best Utility Project Under $5 Million:
North East Interceptor Rehabilitation Phase 2, Wilmington, NC
State Utility Contractors, Monroe, NC
The last of 12 capital improvement projects for the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County, the Northeast Interceptor Rehabilitation Phase 2 Project included the replacement of 5,140 linear feet of 20-inch ductile iron force main between the Bradley Creek and Hewlett's Creek Pump Stations in order to make the city's sewer infrastructure safe and reliable for its residents. The areas to be replaced consisted of 5 different locations along approximately 3 miles of Greenville Loop Road and Oleander Drive in Wilmington.
One of the more unique aspects of this project was the method chosen for the replacement of the existing force main, called pipe bursting. Pipe bursting is a trenchless method where a new pipe is pulled through an existing pipe as the old pipe is split apart using cutter heads and pipe expanders to make room for the new pipe. To date, this project is the largest pipe bursting job in the country.
This high quality project was delivered within budget, on time, with no lost time accidents, and no spills which would have greatly affected the health of the community.
Build With The Best Award:
Carolinas AGC North Carolina Highway Director Berry Jenkins
A former Deputy Highway Administrator, Berry joined CAGC as the North Carolina Highway Director in 1997 after 32 years of service with North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). Berry has made a profound impact on CAGC members and the construction industry in the Carolinas over the years. He has strengthened the relationship between NCDOT and highway contractors through exemplary leadership of the CAGC/NCDOT Joint Committee and several other transportation specialty committees.
As a CAGC representative outside the DOT, Berry has accurately represented the importance of a contractor's perspective. He has brought timely decision making and a better understanding of North Carolina's infrastructure needs to both sides and to the legislature. His efforts have been felt throughout the industry and into the general public.