Hudson River Seawall/Green Island Condo

CD Perry of Troy, N.Y., a is a heavy civil, marine and industrial contractor. The company was awarded a contract by Luizzi Brothers of Albany, N.Y., a private developer and site work contractor, to install 525 timber pile in support of the foundation for a seawall built on the face of the island on the shore of the mighty Hudson River. The overall project is a $65-million transformation of an abandoned oil terminal in Green Island, N.Y. to a luxury condominium site including a marina, restaurant and performing arts amphitheater, the latter of which CD Perry was contracted to install the permanent sheeting.
The timber piles were installed during the harsh winter conditions in upstate New York using a few classic pieces of machinery: a 1972 Vulcan 1 single acting air hammer powered by a 1979 newly rebuilt Ingersoll/Rand 750 CFM air compressor and combined with a newer 2015 Tadano Mantis 15010 telecrawler.
To increase efficiency for driving the piles, the holes were predrilled with a Kobelco SK70 mini excavator equipped with a rotary attachment, which kept ahead of the pile crew.
The timber pile phase of the project was completed on time and on budget with the coveted combination of safety and production.
The project team included a combination of CD Perry personnel: operations manager Lance Farrell; project manager Dan Espey; assistant project manager Jared Henkel; and crew members Todd Beauharnois, Toby Adair Don Emory and Nicolle Benjamin. Coordination between Luizzi Bros. project team members Chuck Pafundi (project manager) and Brian Gross (superintendent) and Alex Ryberg with GRL Engineers, the testing company, was critical to the project's success.
"The project faced some upfront challenges with the winter conditions, as well as the compressed overall schedule being one of the first activities on the critical path of a $65-million project holds a lot of responsibility," said Tyler Fane, general manager at CD Perry. "I'm very proud of our team in their accomplishment of providing satisfaction to yet another project owner, and getting the job done safely and efficiently."

Posted in PileDriver Magazine. Tagged as Edition 4, 2019.

Permanent Canal Closures and Pumps, Cofferdams and Permanent OPEN CELL™ Retaining Walls

The Permanent Canal Closures and Pumps (PCCP) project is the capstone piece of New Orleans' extensive hurricane risk-reduction system constructed following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The project encompasses three separate pump stations and floodgate structures located at the mouths of three outfall canals on the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain. These three canals, running from the south to north, act as the primary conduits for discharging stormwater from New Orleans.
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, these canals were operated with pump stations located in a series two to three miles upstream of the mouths at Lake Pontchartrain. This left long stretches of levee on each side of the canals exposed to storm surges entering from the lake. Three levee failures occurred along these canals during Katrina two at London Canal and one at 17th Street Canal. The failures resulted in major flooding of the city, causing catastrophic damage and loss of life.
Following initial canal levee repairs after Hurricane Katrina, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), in partnership with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), took action to move the line of flood protection to the mouths of these three canals at the edge of the lake. By cutting off the storm surges from Lake Pontchartrain at the entrance to the canal, more than 10 miles of canal levee would no longer be exposed to storm-surge water elevations, significantly decreasing the risk of failure.
Initially, temporary pump station and gate systems were installed (the interim closure structures) at each canal to provide this increased protection. The goal of the PCCP project was to replace these temporary structures with permanent pump stations designed to protect against a 100-year storm surge and evacuate the stormwater from the associated design event. This closure system would also allow non-storm canal flows to bypass the pump station and flow directly to Lake Pontchartrain. During specified storm conditions, this bypass canal is closed off by lift gates to complete the floodwall protection at the mouth of each canal. Stormwater in the canals, collected from the New Orleans area, is then pumped over this flood barrier and into the lake.
The project was completed by the design-builder PCCP Constructors JV (Kiewit Louisiana South Co., Traylor Bros. Inc. and the M.R. Pittman Group, LLC) with Stantec, Inc. as the lead designer, PND Engineers, Inc. as the cofferdam designer, and GeoEngineers, Inc. as the cofferdam numerical modeler.
The PCCP project incorporated some of the deepest and largest excavations ever accomplished in this region and required a significant structure, along with careful construction sequencing, in order to successfully complete the project. Two cofferdams and two substantial permanent retaining walls were required for each site. For the small cofferdam enclosing the by-pass structures, a classical, braced-frame cofferdam was deployed with an excavated depth of 18 feet. The second, larger cofferdam enclosed the pump station footprint. The largest of these pump station cofferdams at the 17th Street Canal was 265 feet long and 165 feet wide. The deeper pump station cofferdams posed compelling challenges, given the 50-foot excavation depth and the necessity to limit interferences and penetrations from the cofferdam and the permanent structure.
The New Orleans area presents extreme challenges to a deep cofferdam. Common to most of the southern Louisiana region is a high water table. Underlying soil deposits are primarily composed of unconsolidated clays with occasional sand layers to a substantial depth below the surface. The history backdrop of the PCCP project included the notorious geotechnical failures near the site; the difficult, soft ground conditions; large magnitude of hydrostatic loading; the uniqueness of the cofferdam support system; and the need for unobstructed access to the subsurface permanent work.
After evaluating preliminary designs and overall costs of different cofferdam systems, the design-builder selected the OPEN CELL SHEET PILE™ system. An OPEN CELL system with a pile-supported tremie is an innovative and unique design application for a deep cofferdam.
The design was made complex by the project criteria, soft ground conditions and complex site layout. In addition, the pump station cofferdams needed to be fully un-watered to EL -50 feet without excessive ground improvement. The project footprint at each site was limited for by-pass structure and pump station due to the existing canals, levees and floodwalls where the design-builder needed to maintain canal flow throughout construction. This meant that each step of design required careful analysis and operations planning to protect the site and the city from storm and flooding events. This required detailed planning in the site layouts, operations and sequence of construction.
Innovative measures
The OPEN CELL cofferdam design was a unique application of the OPEN CELL SHEET PILE system. Rather than using the system to support an engineering fill structure, the system supported the in-situ soft soils of the site and retained and sealed the cofferdam on all four sides from water intrusion into the large field of construction. The design-build team advanced the OPEN CELL system design under an intense review process by the USACE, given that no guidelines existed for such a structure within the USACE's design practice. The team presented and defended this shoring method, which had never before been used for a project of this magnitude and historical legacy.
Meticulous force-based design, soil structure interaction numerical modeling and physical testing were all techniques used to present and gain USACE acceptance of the shoring design. The cofferdam in which the impressive permanent pump stations would be constructed was a short-lived but vital feature to enable the design-build team to bid, win and successfully deliver a major infrastructure project to USACE for the civil defense of New Orleans from storms and flooding.
For the pump station designer, the OPEN CELL cofferdam offered flexibility in design development of the permanent structure without any need to contemplate or coordinate the locations of obstructions or interferences from temporary cofferdam struts or braces.
For the construction team, the resulting cofferdam system enabled planning of work operations completely free of obstruction or interference, with optimal production rates and the ability to place large equipment near the face of the cofferdam and hoist large equipment and materials into the field of construction.
Unique application of piles
Unlike a braced cofferdam and closed cell structure, the OPEN CELL structure mobilizes the available soil resistance via the large exposed diaphragm area of the tailwall system. The tailwall is simply a long series of flat web sheet pile that extend into the retained earth at junctions between each curved face arc. Adhesion and friction of soil to the flat web sheet pile creates a portion of the net resistance. The extensive series of interlocks in each tailwall, acting similar to the deformation on rebar, mobilizes the balance via bearing against the soil fabric. The two mechanisms and the selected spacing of tailwall elements create a block of mechanical stabilized soil, with the face arc retaining the forces arising from earth and hydrostatic pressure, as well as from equipment. This configuration is also highly efficient, given that steel sections are almost exclusively working in tension. A simple analogy is that the face arc of the OPEN CELL system is like the canopy of a parachute, and the tailwall mimics the effect of shroud lines anchoring the face arc to the surrounding soil. In soft ground, the mechanism is most effective, since even with weak soil the available capacity can be mobilized across a large area.
Given the extreme hydrostatic pressure in the unwatered condition, the OPEN CELL cofferdam design for PCCP captured and utilized the driven pipe piles to provide stability at the base of the excavation and to augment the lateral capacity of the tailwall system. While OPEN CELL walls were able to safely support the excavation work prior to unwatering the cofferdam, the extreme earth, equipment and hydrostatic loading on the cofferdam system after unwatering required additional support. For this support, the design-build team incorporated the lateral and vertical support of a tremie-placed concrete seal slab and permanent piles in the bottom of the cofferdam to support the base of the OPEN CELL cofferdam walls. This component was common to all three project sites.
The cofferdam and tremie slab acted as an integrated system to enable the design-builder to perform the deep excavation required to build the pump station foundation and superstructure in a dry work environment. The tremie slab was sealed, which meant the slab resisted full hydrostatic 1.6 tons per square foot of uplift and soil heave pressure under the slab without venting or water pressure relief pumping from under the slab. The challenge of the sealed slab was to develop a system strong enough to safely support the uplift pressure, yet efficient in order to limit the depth of excavation to place the seal slab. A conventional gravity-supported seal slab would have needed to be over 30 feet deep to resist the 51 feet of water head pressure at the base of the slab. This slab depth would have resulted in additional excavation and cofferdam wall undermining.
In order to optimize the concrete seal slab, the design-build team incorporated the tension capacity of the permanent pipe piles designed to support the permanent pump station structure. By "nailing" the temporary concrete seal slab to the underlying soils, the slab achieved additional uplift resistance against the large hydrostatic forces. At the 17th Street pump station cofferdam, 465 separate 24-inch- and 30-inch-diameter pipe piles and adhesion to perimeter cofferdam sheet piles helped to provide uplift resistance hold down the concrete seal slab.
A single shear ring welded to head pipe pile provided reliable mobilization of the concrete seal tributary to the pile section. Concrete adhesion to the temporary cofferdam sheet piles provide vertical resistance to uplift around the perimeter of the cofferdam. The design-builder was able to achieve high production rates and tight tolerances while driving the permanent piles through highly turbid waters within the cofferdam prior to unwatering. The final top elevation of the permanent piles were 50 feet below the water surface. This underwater pile driving was made possible by the use of hydraulic impact hammers.
Cost saving measures
The OPEN CELL cofferdam represented a material savings on steel versus a traditional braced frame cofferdam alternative. However, the primary cost saving associated with the cofferdams was the efficiency of construction after the sheet piles were installed. The OPEN CELL cofferdams provided a free field of construction within the cofferdam excavation across a large area. Cost-saving efficiencies were realized in the excavation of the cofferdam and the construction of the permanent structures within the cofferdam confines. This free field of construction allowed for the placement of large permanent equipment, formwork panels and material quickly and safely without having to adjust or allow for internal bracing and the sequential removal or re-strutting of cofferdam walls and walers.
The robust strength capacity of the OPEN CELL cofferdam system also permitted the construction crews to place heavy equipment loads near the cofferdam face without additional pile supports to distribute the load away from the walls. This free field of operation outside of the cofferdam also resulted in efficiencies and cost savings in construction.
Innovative project management
The PCCP project was developed as a design-build project the first major project of its kind for the USACE, MVN District. Under this context, the design of the pump station, pump station cofferdam and permanent retaining walls were developed concurrently in order to compress schedule and deliver the project on time. In order to execute the project successfully, the cofferdam design and subsequent start of construction needed to occur before completion of the permanent pump station design. Simultaneously, both the pump station and pump station cofferdam designs were subject to independent design review by USACE and their engineering and agency partners.
The cofferdam design was developed based on the initial design development and general project criteria of the pump station and surrounding support structures. Modifications to the cofferdam occurred in real-time as design progressed on the permanent pump station and surrounding structures. The open field of the OPEN CELL cofferdam allowed for additional flexibility and optimization for the permanent structure design because internal bracing or re-strutting of the cofferdam walls was not required.
Management or mitigation of environmental considerations
The OPEN CELL cofferdam system proved to be an optimal and robust solution to achieve the stated USACE design objectives for the PCCP project. These objectives were consistent with the project mission to provide for public safety and property protection within New Orleans.
The city and surrounding areas are now better protected as a result of the project. The threat of adverse environmental ramifications from wide-spread flooding of the surrounding neighborhoods and city are immense as evidenced by the results of Hurricane Katrina. The application of this innovative support of excavation method using driven pile technology will continue to grow and evolve to address new environmental issues that arise from society's demands and new pressures arise from the effects of climate change.

Posted in PileDriver Magazine. Tagged as Edition 4, 2019.

PDCA Project of the Year Awards

Congratulations to this year's Project of the Year Award winners! The PDCA Project of the Year Awards recognize companies that demonstrate ingenuity, hard work and commitment associated with their driven pile construction projects.
Thank you to all companies who took the time to submit an entry into the Project of the Year Awards. PDCA received a multitude of entries for the 2019 Project of the Year Awards and would like to thank the panel of volunteer judges, who grade each project by assigning a score in a variety of categories, such as innovation, cost savings and managing environmental considerations. All of the projects we received were deserving of an award, and our judges were presented with a very difficult task to determine the winners.
Start planning your entries into next year's awards program!
PDCA Associate or EngineeringAffiliate Member Category
Project Name: Permanent Canal Closures and Pumps Project
PDCA Engineering Affiliate Member: PND Engineers, Inc.
Read about this project on page 62.
Land: Less than $500,000
Project Name: Hudson River Seawall/Green Island Condo
Contractor: C.D. Perry
Read about this project on page 71.
Land: $500,000 to $2 Million
Project Name: Foundation Support for International Shipping Company
Contractor: GeoStructures, Inc.
Read about this project on page 75.
Land: $2 Million to $5 Million
Project Name: Valero Refining C5 Alkylation Project
Contractor: Cajun Industries, Inc.
Read about this project on page 78.
Land: Greater than $5 Million
Project Name: Salt Lake City International Airport Redevelopment
Contractor: Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Co. LLC
Read about this project on page 82

Posted in PileDriver Magazine. Tagged as Edition 4, 2019.

PDCA Associate Member of the Year Award

For the PDCA 22nd International Conference and Expo 2019, PDCA introduced a new award into the annual awards program. The PDCA Associate Member of the Year Award was created to acknowledge PDCA associate members who work toward the greater good of every other associate member and who strive to make the organization as a whole stronger and more unified.
The inaugural award was presented to Gerry McShane, the director of piling sales with Service Steel Warehouse, after multiple PDCA members nominated him to be the recipient. Service Steel, a PDCA associate member since 2014, is a structural and foundation steel distributor specializing in the distribution of steel from stock nationwide.
McShane's commitment to PDCA is obvious: he chairs both the PDCA Education Committee and the PDCA Steel Sheet Pile Committee. He and his fellow Education Committee members worked tirelessly to organize the PDCA 22nd International Conference and Expo 2019, resulting in an agenda packed with expert speakers and relevant topics. The Steel Sheet Pile Committee has spent countless hours updating outdated documents relating to steel sheet pile installation, corrosion and cost comparison. Those three documents the Steel Sheet Pile Installation Guide; the Steel Sheet Pile Corrosion Guide; and the Retaining Wall Cost Comparison Guide are now available through PDCA by visiting www.piledrivers.org.
McShane was not thinking about earning an award when he signed up for his various roles with PDCA.
"I was very surprised!" he said of receiving the award. "It was a great surprise."
"Gerry is absolutely deserving of this inaugural award and is a tremendous role model for members striving to follow in his footsteps," said Scott Callaway, PDCA president. "He's 'all in' with PDCA and I am extremely happy to see him be recognized for his commitments to this organization."
McShane attributes his active role in PDCA for some of Service Steel's success in the deep foundation construction market.
"The foundation sales distribution team [at Service Steel] involves engineering, sales and providing all the accessories that sheet piling demands, like fabrication, coating facilities, galvanizing, in addition to supplying a broad range of sheet piling, pipe piling and H-piling," said McShane. "[Being involved in PDCA] gives general exposure for the company. Service Steel is a relatively new company in the foundation sector, so getting exposure to the name and getting the community to know our people and service offering is a big asset."
McShane also has advice for other PDCA associate members who want to become more active participants in PDCA.
"I think they should be very involved in the committees," he said. "It's a great way to get familiar with PDCA's activities, it's a great way to get their name out there and it's a great way to be involved in an active community."

Posted in PileDriver Magazine. Tagged as Edition 4, 2019.

John T. Parker, Jr. Industry Ambassador Award

John T. Parker, Jr. of Parker Marine Contracting in Charleston, S.C., was, by the standards of anyone who knew him, an amazing person. Parker passed away at the age of 50 in January 2015.
Parker was an active member of the pile driving community for nearly three decades and his passing greatly affected members of the industry, especially in the South Carolina region. To honor his memory, PDCA created the John T. Parker, Jr. Industry Ambassador Award for a person who positively impacts the driven pile community through their own passion and promotion of driven piles.
At the PDCA 22nd Annual International Conference and Expo, the John T. Parker, Jr. Industry Ambassador Award was bestowed on John King of Pile Drivers, Inc., to resounding applause.
King is a well-known face at various PDCA events and an exuberant proponent of the driven pile. He was also a close personal friend of Parker's and was touched to win this award.
"I can't wait to show [John Parker's] wife," said King. "John Parker was a once-in-a-lifetime guy. He never met an enemy; he never said a bad word about anybody."
King highlights how much Parker cared for the employees of Parker Marine Contracting to emphasize the type of person he was.
"I've never met anyone who loved his employees more than he did," said King. "John could tell you the names of all of his employees' wives and children, and even knew where those children went to school. He knew so much about each individual employee. He was just a great ambassador for Parker Marine."
As much as Parker was an ambassador for his company, King has been an ambassador for the driven pile industry at large. He is a past-president of PDCA, the current president of the PDCA of South Carolina Chapter and an active member of several PDCA committees. For King, it all comes down to believing in the driven pile.
"I believe it's the best product on the market," said King. "Driven piles have very few flaws. People think we vibrate, but we don't. People say we're noisy, but we've worked on that with modern equipment. I'm always promoting piles. I think it's the best product for deep foundations, especially in [the South Carolina] market."
King is a proud supporter of the driven pile and of PDCA and commends the good work of his fellow members.
"There are so many members who deserve awards like this, but we'd be up there giving out awards for four hours," he said.
"I couldn't be happier to see John receive the John T. Parker, Jr. Industry Ambassador Award," said Jason Moore of Palmetto Pile Driving, Inc. in Charleston and the current PDCA vice president. "If it's possible to support the structure on a driven pile, John's going to ask the question. John believes in his product and he believes in the mission of PDCA. And John is going to make sure that you're aware of his product and PDCA to the benefit of all in the driven pile industry. All he asks is that we do the same. I can think of no stronger advocate for the driven pile!"
King offers advice to other PDCA members to support PDCA's cause: "Be dedicated to what you do and promote driven piles. And not even necessarily promote it, but don't hurt it. Don't go out there and try to make a quick buck and do it all."

Posted in PileDriver Magazine. Tagged as Edition 4, 2019.

PDCA Committee Chair of the Year Award

The various PDCA committees are comprised of volunteer members and are the lifeblood of the organization. Committee members and their respective chairs work diligently every year to accomplish a wealth of activities that promote and improve the driven pile industry. While all PDCA committees and committee chairs work tirelessly to give back to the entire membership, only one chairperson can be selected to hold the honor of PDCA Committee Chair of the Year. The recipient of this award, selected by the Board of Directors, is the person who shows dedication, commitment and exemplary leadership, not only to their committee and its tasks, but to all of those in the driven pile industry.
At the PDCA 22nd Annual International Conference and Expo, PDCA selected Pollyanna Cunningham with International Construction Equipment, Inc. to receive the Committee Chair of the Year Award for her tremendous efforts with the PDCA Communications Committee and dedication to PDCA, its members and its overall cause.
Cunningham has chaired the PDCA Communications Committee for 10 years, after having been asked in 2009 to step into the role. Despite her decade-long commitment, she was surprised to hear her name called for the award this year.
"I was completely shocked; I had nominated other folks to win!" she said. "I didn't expect it. I am grateful and excited, all rolled into one."
It's Cunningham's sheer enthusiasm for PDCA that made her the frontrunner for the Committee Chair of the Year award.
"For as long as I can recall at least for the last six years that I've been on the board and in an executive committee position Pollyanna has been consistently engaged," said Scott Callaway, president of PDCA. "Either as a committee chair or as a board member, her engagement has been unwavering. She's got a lot of energy and that shows in everything she does. Out of everybody in the entire organization, Pollyanna has been consistent in her engagement and her activity with PDCA, but especially as a committee chair."
The main function and focus of the PDCA Communications Committee is to plan and coordinate the content of PileDriver magazine, the monthly PDCA e-newsletter and www.piledrivers.org. In the past year, Cunningham has also spearheaded exciting new developments in PDCA's suite of communications, including revamping the association's website and launching the all-new PDCA mobile app.
"We took a look at the website and the PDCA app, and we did get the app launched and running," said Cunningham. "We're hopeful to begin working in different and new sectors to integrate all of this technology together."
Most PDCA members are very familiar with Cunningham and her quest for articles in PileDriver, proving how effective she is when it comes to managing and representing the Communications Committee.
"I love the fact that [representing the Communications Committee] gives me a window to see and talk to other people," she said. "With this role, I feel like it gives me almost a special mask; it gives me the confidence necessary to go out and start talking to people to find out what's going on in business and help them get their message out there."
Cunningham clearly holds a passion for PileDriver magazine and is eagerly anticipating the magazine's upcoming editions.
"We are getting really excited about the steel edition, which is Edition 5," she said. "And we're going to prove that steel and concrete work together and put a full edition together on those job stories for Edition 6. For Edition 1 [2020], we're going to bust out with a full concrete edition. But we won't forget about our friends in timber or anywhere else, and we have to get a new focus on all the equipment manufacturers. I really am looking forward to that."
The Communications Committee is actively seeking PDCA members to join and participate.
"We have fun," said Cunningham. "It's a great way to meet other PDCA members and really get networked and get to know people."
To join the PDCA Communications Committee or to request more information about any of PDCA's committees, phone the PDCA office at 904-215-4771.

Posted in PileDriver Magazine. Tagged as Edition 4, 2019.

Professional Engineer's Service Award

Each year, a panel of distinguished PDCA members is given the task to select one engineer who has made a significant contribution to the association, the driven pile industry and the engineering profession at large and bestow upon that person the Professional Engineer's Service Award. The recipient can represent the geotechnical, civil or structural engineering disciplines, and must have displayed exemplary leadership, technical innovation and practices that strengthen the engineering field of driven pile as it relates to deep foundations and earth retention systems throughout their career.
This year, the panel selected Scott Webster with GRL Engineers, Inc. to receive the Professional Engineer's Service Award. Webster is a geotechnical engineer who has worked with GRL Engineers, Inc. for nearly three decades he has managed the company's North Carolina office since the early '90s in addition to running GRL's offshore operations and is also the recently appointed treasurer on the PDCA Board of Directors.
"In his 27-plus years with GRL, Scott has been intimately involved with the driven pile industry," said Scott Callaway, president of PDCA. "He recently volunteered his time as a member of the PDCA Board of Directors and is now serving as treasurer on the Executive Committee."
"It was this unwavering commitment to PDCA along with his numerous professional contributions to the driven pile industry that we selected Scott to be this year's recipient of the Professional Engineer's Service Award," added Jason Moore, PDCA's vice president.
Despite Webster's tenure in the industry and active participation on the board, he wasn't expecting his name to be called for an award during PDCA's 22nd Annual International Conference and Expo.
"[I was] very surprised," he said. "I just didn't expect it. I'm honored and pleased."
GRL Engineers has long been a staunch supporter of PDCA, and Webster says that he is happy to be able to continue that legacy. He adds that he's been enjoying his involvement on the board.
"[Being a part of the board is] something I very much enjoy and it's something I look forward to," he said. "It's nice to meet all the people involved in our industry and make new friends."
What Webster enjoys most about working in the driven pile industry is being able to flex his problem-solving capabilities.
"I enjoy the variety of projects and variation of conditions and problems to tackle," he said. "The size of a project doesn't matter to [GRL] little jobs or big jobs they all have their own issues that need to be resolved."
It's that opportunity to overcome project challenges with creative solutions that Webster pinpoints as a critical reason that engineers need to be involved with PDCA.
"The biggest advantage of being active in PDCA is to find out what people are doing and what issues they're facing," he said. "You can find out information that will help you in the long run. You may not run across the problem someone is having [in the immediate future], but if you ever do, that information is there, it's available and it's helpful to you."

Posted in PileDriver Magazine. Tagged as Edition 4, 2019.

Presidential Award for Distinguished Service

The Presidential Award for Distinguished Service is an annual award given to a person who has made significant, ongoing and long-term contributions to PDCA and the pile driving industry through effective leadership, support and participation. For 2019, the board unanimously had one person in mind as the clear winner.
Members of PDCA are undoubtedly familiar with Steve Hall; for nearly 14 years, Hall has represented PDCA as its executive director, and has done so with dedication, passion and unwavering belief in the driven pile.
Hall retired from his role at PDCA in February. To honor his contributions to the association and industry at large, at the PDCA 22nd Annual International Conference and Expo, association president Scott Callaway presented Hall with the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service.
"I was very, very surprised [to hear my name called for the award]," said Hall.
Regardless of his surprise, the board could not think of anyone better suited to receive the award this year.
"Steve Hall received the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service because of his dedication and commitment to PDCA throughout his 14 years as executive director," said Callaway. "He has been a true leader and a believer in the driven pile industry to the better of us all."
Hall says that when he originally proposed the idea for the Presidential Award for Distinguished Service to the board in 2008, the intention was to recognize members who demonstrated a strong commitment to PDCA in a volunteer capacity.
"It was so unexpected on my part because I'm not a member," said Hall. "I had a job to do and I wanted to do that job to the best of my abilities. There are a lot of people deserving of this award. I never expected that I would be selected [or that I was even being considered to win]. I guess the best way to describe it is honored."
When Callaway, current PDCA executive director Frank Peters and vice president Jason Moore announced Hall as this year's award recipient at the dinner reception during the annual conference, Hall was visibly moved and received a standing ovation from the crowd of PDCA members. Hall was so overwhelmed that he almost didn't register what was happening.
"When they called my name, to me the award is so special that it evoked a bit of an emotional response from me," said Hall. "By the time I got up to the front, I had tears in my eyes. I think I probably noticed everyone standing up but because it was such an emotional experience, my vision was pretty narrow. The whole night was totally overwhelming."
Based on the reaction of the crowd, Hall has much to be proud of regarding his career with PDCA.
"Speaking generally, [I'm most proud of] the growth of PDCA from the time I began as executive director to the time that I retired," he said. "And equally as important, the elevation of the stature of PDCA within the industry. I think that we became more viable, we were looked at by others in the industry and government as a significant contributor to the progressiveness of driven pile. I'm proud of that. I'm proud of the fact that we made some tremendous strides in just about every aspect of PDCA. That wasn't always easy to accomplish."
As much as he enjoyed his time in the PDCA office, Hall knew that it was time for him to retire.
"There comes a time when you should retire, and you'll know when that is," he said. "I knew that my time to retire from PDCA was when I left in February. I can say that I'm enjoying it thoroughly."
Hall has plans to travel with his wife, Cathy, using the travel fund raised by PDCA members as a retirement gift, and has been staying busy with various volunteer opportunities, such as getting involved with a no-kill animal shelter as well as the Wounded Warriors program. He also completed a photography course at the University of North Florida and already has several camping trips under his belt.
Above all, when he reflects on his career, Hall hopes that PDCA members have benefitted in some way through his role with the organization.
"I always said to the people who worked with me is that the PDCA members are the ones that pay our salaries and we have to be cognizant of that," said Hall. "We have to do our very best jobs [for them]. I hope I did that well and that the people I represented through PDCA felt like they were represented as best they could be.
"I hope that people, when they find their place in this world, that the satisfaction they get in their jobs is like the satisfaction that I got working with PDCA. It was such an opportunity and a pleasure to work with such a dedicated group of members."

Posted in PileDriver Magazine. Tagged as Edition 4, 2019.

Thank you to our sponsors

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Posted in PileDriver Magazine. Tagged as Edition 4, 2019.

PDCA 22nd Annual InternationalConference & Expo 2019

The PDCA 22nd Annual International Conference & Expo has come to an end, and what an exciting few days it was!
More than 250 driven pile professionals gathered at the Four Seasons Resort Orlando Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Fla., from July 9 to 12. Delegates enjoyed in-person committee meetings, a lively trade show hall, relevant educational presentations, PDCA awards programs and much, much more. PDCA also debuted the PDCA Store, full of merchandise for members to show off their association pride and help accomplish an item from the 2019 strategic plan: increase PDCA's visibility.
PDCA extends its sincerest appreciation to all who supported, attended and participated in this year's annual event. The PDCA Education Committee worked diligently to put together an excellent program for the week, and those efforts proved successful.
Congratulations to all individuals and companies who took home PDCA awards, and PDCA was honored to be able to officially celebrate Steve Hall in his retirement at this year's annual reception.
The PDCA staff hopes to see you again at the 23rd Annual International Conference and Expo 2020, taking place at the Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix, Ariz., May 6 to 9, 2020.

Posted in PileDriver Magazine. Tagged as Edition 4, 2019.