A Pile of News - April 2024

A Pile of News: April 2024
A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors,
associated manufacturers, construction suppliers and affiliated engineers
who comprise PDCA.
By Matt Bisbee, PDCA

Originally sent April 1, 2024
Top of the Pile

Time is running out - The PDCA Project of the Year Awards program entry period closes FRIDAY. Submit Land, Marine, Earth Retention, Associate/Engineer, International pile driving project(s) to PDCA through e-file share, ASAP!

We're glad you're here! Q1, 2024 brings new members to PDCA; help us welcome and thank the following:
  • Contractors: AGM Marine Contractors of Mashpee, MA; Archangel Development Enterprises of Bluffton, SC; East Coast Marine Construction and Design of Daytona Beach, FL; MEB General Contractors of Chesapeake, VA
  • Associates: Corpac Steel Products Corp. of Aventura, FL; Dark Horse Metals of Liberty Hill, TX
  • Engineering Affiliate: COWI, worldwide
  • Government employees: Dwarika Mallick of MTA-NYC Transit Authority; Gavin Gautreau of LA Transportation Research Center; Derek Paille of LA-DOTD
  • Academic employee: Dr. Alejandro Martinez of UC Davis
  • Students: Jansen Billiot from LSU; Baris Elmas of University of Missouri
  • Government and academic employees may now join PDCA at NO COST; student membership is FREE

It's almost here  IFCEE 2024 The International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo comes to Dallas May 7 - 10. Registration is open, but rooms at The Hyatt Regency Dallas are SOLD OUT other nearby options are available. Don't miss the triennial collaboration from PDCA, ADSC, DFI and the Geo-Institute, featuring insightful programs and a huge equipment show.
From the Association & Chapters
Mark your calendars:
News and PHOTOS from the PDCA Blog:
Winner of the PDCA Driven contest
Congratulations, Interpipe Canada, you are this month's winner! Send an email to marian@piledrivers.org before the end of the month to claim your prize!
News from PDCA Companies
Giving back:
A man showing school children construction tools
  • Aggregate Technologies, Inc. sponsors The Water Cycle, a campaign of the Auburn University Chapter of Engineers Without Borders that will bring water solutions to developing countries.
  • Atlas Tube donates steel tubing to Mobility Worldwide, a charity that builds mobility carts for people in need. Steel is used in the frame and brake handles, giving a user the gift of movement.
  • Bottom Line Equipment introduces the American Hero program in which it donates 25% of rental revenue on certain heavy machinery and attachments to military and first responders.
  • Lodge Lumber Co. commends its employees who spent a Saturday morning supporting a charitable initiative in Houston that provides beds to children who need them.
  • Geo-Technology Associates, Inc. applauds its staff members in Somerset, NJ, who volunteered at the Franklin Food Bank to help with stocking and cleaning at the facility.

Acquisitions & expansions:
  • Cajun Industries, LLC expects construction of a 20K sq. ft. expansion at its equipment services facility in Port Allen, LA, to be completed this summer.
  • Kiewit grows its Lenexa, KS, campus with a new six-story, 177K sq. ft. building. It also gets a new common space, solar panels on the four buildings and EV chargers in the garages.

Government relations:
  • McCarthy Building Cos. expanded the Phoenix-Gateway Airport with a new 5-gate terminal, through federal funding. Officials from the Presidential Administration, along with U.S. Reps. Stanton and Gallego, and Mesa Mayor Giles participated with the builder in the widely publicized ribbon-cutting.
  • Bull Moose Tube sent engineering manager Richard Morales to Washington, D.C., to assist ASCE efforts to advocate for issues pertaining to infrastructure, resilience and Buy America. The Georgian met with his congressman, U.S. Rep. McCormick, who gave him a commander coin. He also met U.S. Sen. Warnock and staff for Sen. Ossoff.
  • S&ME, Inc. staff from South Carolina visited Washington, D.C., with ASCE to advocate for more U.S. infrastructure investment. Jonathan T. says the delegation met with U.S. Rep. Wilson, along with staff from the offices of U.S. Sens. Graham and Scott, and Reps. Clyburn and Duncan.

  • Pile Drivers, Inc. of Hollywood, SC, has been installing driven piles in and around Charleston for 50 years. The small, family-owned business has swum against a tide of consolidations and buy-outs, which have changed the face of the industry significantly, over the past two decades. Proprietor John King says that maintaining a fluid business model and adjusting to constant changes in the market, workforce and regulatory environment are the keys to survival.
People on the Move
  • Rod Kern, representing the Kern family's fourth generation at Equipment Corporation of America (ECA), earns promotion to vice president at the company. Also, foundation construction machinery veteran John Zito onboards as ECA's newest business development manager.
  • Onur Uzun elevates to GM at Copier Machinery, based in The Netherlands with U.S. offices.
  • Coleman Kitchens joins the Texas sales team at John Lawrie Tubulars.
  • Michael Muniz is the newest addition to the THI Pipe & Piling sales team and will manage a northeastern U.S. clientele from his Ohio base.
  • Nick Harrington named manager at American Engineering Testing, Inc.'s Sioux Falls, SD office.
  • Eric Hohmann will lead construction management for CRW Engineering Group, Inc. in Alaska.
  • Gerard Drohan, Jetinder Minhas, James Brickman, Sal D'Amico, Kyle Sidle, Cristos Zoupantis, Shawn Barca and JP Binard promoted to associate at Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers in NYC.

  • Aislinn Nagy of Balfour Beatty makes Engineering-News Record's National Top 20 Under 40 list. It notes her resume reflects $1.3B of commercial construction work across 10 market sectors.
  • Rob Soriano won the Unsung Hero award at a maritime industry gathering hosted by the Propeller Club-Port of Tampa. The port engineer for Orion Marine is a decorated USAF veteran who served in three foreign tours of duty and actively supports many maritime causes.
  • Marquia Wooten, a project engineer at Pacific Pile & Marine, has published a coloring book under the penname M. DeVonne. It highlights the contributions of black women in construction and is now available on Amazon. Her work on this and other volunteer initiatives caught the eye of city officials in Seattle who publicized her story.
  • Leon Topalian who helms Nucor Corp. takes a seat on the board of the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation. He also pledges to donate $2.5M in monetary support and steel.
  • Brad Roberts has raised more than $30K in charitable funds over several years of getting sponsored participation in the Boston Marathon. While Brad is sitting out this year, he is helping his GZA GeoEnvironmental colleague Kyle Szewczyk raise money for running this year's race.
  • Kathryn Petek, Sam Sideras and James Walters won the Shannon & Wilson Best Technical Publications contest for their presentation detailing a bridge retrofit in Oregon. Dr. Petek was the solo runner-up for her work outlining pile failure for large diameter open-ended piles.
  • Kevin Kundla became a retiree last Friday, with eyes on the Jersey Shore and Florida. This follows his 40+ year piling industry career which began as a dock builder apprentice and ended as BDM at Commerce Construction Corporation. His employer shares this warm farewell.
  • Jason Hunsberger retired after 29 years in fabrication and welding at Foundation. According to the boss, he always turned "crazy designs" from engineers into reality.
  • Tony Simmonds is retiring from GEOKON following a nearly 40-year career of positive contributions to the geotechnical instrumentation industry and successful development of leaders at the company. The outgoing EVP retains a board advisory role.
  • Linda Navin Murray helps families access grief therapy and other resources through the Cassidy Murray Foundation, inspired by a tragedy on the water. The Haley & Aldrich business systems analyst told her devastating story at a staff safety meeting, the firm stresses water safety.

Sending sympathies:
On the Job
Bechtel gives a shout-out to its partner Morris - Shea Bridge Company for its ES&H commitment, as their coordinated foundation work continues on the Corpus Christi Liquefaction Project.

Cianbro strengthened its place in American and military history with completion of the new Senator John Warner Maritime Heritage Center in Alexandria, VA. Named for the late statesman and former Navy secretary, the waterfront learning facility is now home to artifacts like a replica of the 18th century ship Providence

East Coast Marine Construction & Design delivers a stunning sunrise in this job site photo as it breaks ground on another Daytona Beach, FL, seawall, to mitigate rising waters.

Pacific Pile & Marine is the low bidder for a $76M redevelopment of two berths on Terminal 91 at the Seattle Port, according to reports in the Daily Journal of Commerce.

Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction crews are in Salt Lake City suburb, Sandy City, where they are building a new interchange with a bridge to ease congestion on Bangerter Highway. Nucor Skyline steel is being installed with a piling hammer from International Construction Equipment.

Russell Marine LLC assists erosion control in Sugarland, TX. Colby Smith and crew install weir structures on the Brazos River. Also, East Coast crews expand the Wando terminal for South Carolina Ports with pile extraction and construction of a new pier for the Coast Guard, which involves a sheet pile bulkhead.

Junttan hosted professionals from PRECO-MSE at its Finland factory for a tour and meetings with its teams in PDA and engineering. This, after the contractor installed piles from Interpipe Inc. Canada at a Montreal jobsite where it used its PM16 rig.

Professional Service Industries is on a Bossier City, LA, job site performing dynamic monitoring using Pile Dynamics, Inc. instrumentation for a Boh Bros. Construction crew while it drives steel H-piles.

TRC Companies, Inc. is assisting the City of Lockhart, TX, with infrastructure needs, including the development of a master plan to address needs of the water and wastewater systems.
A group of people having fun in a bowling alley
Employee morale is a priority at Foundation in Oakley, CA. Staff recently went bowling event and the annual Horseshoe Tournament is coming back on June 1.
Notes from the Virtual Field
Do you like to see explosions? Minnesota contractor Veit often performs demolitions before pile installations. It recently pulverized an old power plant in Wisconsin and a local videographer caught the event with multiple camera angles. See the 60 second clip  it's better than CGI-enhanced scenes in modern movies!

We're Manson Construction... of course we'll produce a trendy social media video to celebrate our exceptional women in construction!

Technology is wonderful, except when it's not: ChatGPT can be useful in construction but should stay in its lane. Shana Opdyke-Carroll calls the foul when the software generated this image of a fake geotech performing a test. She and the real geotechs at D.W. Kozera, Inc. can dispel the mythologies.

Texas Hold 'Em  If this social media post from Eustis Engineering were set to music, we would hear the new country song by Houston native BeyoncĂ© accompanying the field crew as they tested soils from the Texas cattle ranch.

College student co-ops and interns at construction companies gain real-world experience and keep a talent pipeline flowing into the industry. But sometimes, they can teach the ole dogs some new tricks. Richard E. Pierson Construction Co. commends co-op Shane from Drexel University for his insights to PM's about HCSS civil construction software.

It's no secret that pile drivers often hear references to pro wrestling (among other things), however, a unique comparison came in a February blog post from the Greater North Dakota Chamber. The author writes about her childhood and her dad, who was a big WWE fan. She ties that to complimenting PDCA for its work on behalf of members and concludes the column proclaiming that Frank Peters is a far better executive director than Macho Man Randy Savage ever could be. You gotta read it!

Thanks for reading 'All the piling news that's fit to print.' PDCA commends its members for the work you do, both in and outside of the industry. If you have something you would like to share with the thousands who receive this publication each month, please send in your news tips to matt@piledrivers.org. Meantime, submit your Project of the Year entries, ASAP. Register today to attend IFCEE. And if you're reading this early on April 1, go saran wrap the toilet at your office before your colleagues arrive...it's April Fool's Day, after all!

Posted in A Pile of News PDCA Monthly e-newsletter.

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