A Pile of News - August 2022

A Pile of News: August 2022
A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors, associated manufacturers, construction suppliers and affiliated engineers who comprise the PDCA.
by Matt Bisbee, PDCA
Originally sent August 1, 2022
Topping the Pile this month...August is HUGE at PDCA as the 2022 Project of the Year Award winners will be revealed in Issue 4 of PileDriver magazine, coming to your inbox and mailbox in mere weeks. Sorry, but this publication contains NO leaks...gotta wait for PileDriver!

Speaking of awards The highly decorated Little Island Park off Midtown Manhattan was not entered into the POY Awards, but PDCA members on the job like Trevcon Construction, Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers and Weeks Marine prove to be key ambassadors for the industry. The Smithsonian Channel features an insightful analysis of the pile driving for this project on How Did They Build That? Through this program, we found a connection between pile driving and blockbuster movie 'Top Gun: Maverick'!
With her COVID-postponed wedding complete, join us in congratulating PileDriver and A Pile of News publisher Jill Harris, who finally married Erik Hansen on June 30...PHOTOS. Not sure how Erik likes it, but based on her endorsement deal, it'll be A&W Whistle Dogs for supper the whole first year!
From the Association & Chapters
Mark Your Calendars:
Chapter/Regional News:
  • PDCA Northeast Chapter 7th Annual Sporting Clays took place July 22 at Lehigh Valley Sporting Clays in Coplay, PA. The competitive shooting event attracted dozens from the region and Danielle Chiolo of Nucor Skyline won a special award as announced in the PHOTO coverage. 
  • The PDCA Texas Chapter and other partners joined J.D. Fields & Company to provide a free technical seminar in Houston in July. It explored design, construction and production of geostructures, unique to ports. PDCA member-presenters were J.D. Fields, Lloyd Engineering, McCarthy Builders and GeoQuip/HPSI. Attendees received 3.5 PDHs and a piling data packet.
  • The PDCA Texas Chapter also hosted a mixer at Weights and Measures in Houston on July 28. The networking event featured a presentation from Brandon Phetteplace of GRL Engineers about load testing and quality control of pile foundations. PHOTOS
  • The Foundation and Marine Contractors of New England held their 87th Annual golf outing in July in Framingham, MA. Brad Roberts of GZA GeoEnvironmental and Drew Floyd of Keller each stepped away from long-held officer positions with the organization. PDCA was proud to be an event sponsor and join the group for the golf, banquet and awards. PHOTOS.

Industry News:
  • NCCCO announces faster scoring for practical examination administrators by moving the existing paper recording system to a tablet. The transition is expected by the end of 2022.
  • South Carolina Ports, a big source of pile driving work for PDCA shops like Cape Romain Contractors, Palmetto Pile Driving, Parker Marine Contracting, S.J. Hamill Construction, Soil Consultants, Inc., Insight Group, Terracon, ICE, Inc. and others makes news. Barbara Melvin elevates from COO to president/CEO, becoming the first woman to lead a top 10 U.S. container port. Said Taylor Johnson of SCI, "SC Ports will continue to flourish under her leadership."
Congratulations, Keith Meitzler with Equipment Corporation of America,
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
Acquisitions & Expansions:
Governmental Relations:
Giving Back:
  • Bowen Engineering Corporation dispatched a team to Windsor Village Park in Indianapolis to volunteer on a park restoration project, part of the company's Day of Service.
  • Weeks Marine, Inc. staff participated in a beach cleanup at New Jersey's Sandy Hook, which coincides with a new sustainability program they've adopted. In addition, beach protection compliments a nearby maintenance project they're performing on a federal navigation channel.
  • GeoEngineers, Inc. Day of Giving program inspired staffers Bailey DuPont, Virginia Trudel, Matt McGavick, Sue Bator and Ally Suding to donate expertise to a Chelsea, MA park development.
People on the Move
  • Larry Moore ascends to the helm at GeoStructures, Inc. Moore is a past president of PDCA when he served a one-year term in 2018. At GeoStructures, he succeeds Mike Cowell as president/CEO; Cowell joins the board of the parent company. Meantime, Ben Lay, P.E. and Stewart Staton are promoted to regional vice presidents at the Terratest subsidiary. Valerie Merida, P.E., ENV SP, and Tom Prozinski also elevate.
  • Scott Webster, P.E. rises to president at GRL Engineers. The treasurer for the PDCA Board of Directors succeeds Pat Hannigan, P.E., who opts for a part-time role with the firm.
  • Fred Fuchs retires after 40 years with Boh Bros. in New Orleans. The outgoing VP did some math on his way out and calculated $10B in projects reviewed and 225 personnel supervised. Impressive stats for an impressive career, thanks for advancing the driven pile, Fred!
  • Steve Fike is a new grade foreman at Conti Civil, LLC in North Carolina.
  • Keith P. Nelson promoted to senior principal at ECS Mid-Atlantic and Matthew Sloan named assistant regional manager at ECS Limited in Florida. Victor McDuffee, P.E. also joins the firm. Licensed in seven states, the Illinois grad will operate from Raleigh, NC.
  • Reynaldo Abreu, Carmen Olazabal, Roberto Vasquez named South Florida office of EXP. The veteran consultants bring extensive port, marine, rail, bridge and more experience to the firm.
  • Kristen Daly, Matthew Jennette, Robert Magyar all promoted to associate at Geo-Technology Associates, Inc. Wayne Gibbs joins the firm as licensed P.E.
  • Lucas Miller tapped to fill the role of health and safety manager at GeoEngineers in Spokane.
  • Jemel Thompson to join the Grand Rapids, MI office of GZA GeoEnvironmental.
  • Clarence Droze onboards at S&ME, Inc. in Charleston, SC; Alexandria Smith in Chattanooga.
  • John Hall joins Southern Earth Sciences' Florida team in Tallahassee, while Joseph McLemore and Howell Logan onboard with the Panama City office.

In Sympathy:
  • Sidney O. Dewberry passed away in July. The founder of Dewberry, the highly respected consulting firm bearing his name, is remembered for starting a "single-office, six-person civil engineering and surveying practice in Virginia" in 1956. The firm became a nationwide consulting enterprise with more than 2,000 employees and 50 offices from coast to coast.
On the Job
ASAP Group installs sheet piling to form a cutoff wall for an intake/discharge structure at the west basin storage reservoir near Lake Okeechobee, all part of Florida's plan for Everglades restoration.
Blue Iron Foundation and Shoring breaks out the Giken to assist a rehabilitation and installation project in Huntington Beach, CA for a new flood wall on the Talbert Canal.
Foundation Constructors was "driving the piles all the way to bedrock" for Tidal House, a residential high-rise that will be just one component of a brand-new San Francisco neighborhood.
Kokosing leads a JV on Phase 3 of the new lock in Sault Ste. Marie, MI. The USACE awarded the initial contract at $1.068B. Construction begins this summer on a new lock chamber and wall rehab.
RJ Gorman Marine Construction has a piling crew on the calm waters of Florida's Gulf Coast; the team uses an ICE® International Construction Equipment hammer to drive a steel H-pile.
Sealevel Construction completed one of the largest flood control structures in the U.S. The Bayou Chene installation brings flood protection to six south Louisiana parishes. The $80M structure will combat backwater flooding from the Atchafalaya River and safeguards approximately 30K residents.
GeoEngineers, Inc. had a team performing geotechnical services at the former Suffolk Downs in Boston.
J.D. Fields & Company, Inc. dispatched 50K lineal feet of U.S., 8.625" x .500w steel pipe for installation on the jobsite of the Nome, AK airport rehabilitation.
Triad Metals International supplied 60K square feet of PZC 26 sheet pile from existing stock for installation at the Fort Wayne, IN Deep Dewatering Pump Station and tunnel project.
GEOKON fulfilled a unique job involving Egypt's wonderous pyramids; the instrumentation developer sent a large order of devices for Metro Line project linking Cairo to the Giza Pyramid Complex.
Geo-Technology Associates, Inc. (GTA) contributes to the newest iteration of the Great Wolf Lodge, an expansive indoor waterpark brand popping up around U.S. markets. The firm provides geotechnical engineering, testing and construction observation for the forthcoming, Perryville, MD location. 
Media Hits
Bloomberg Law features a contractor trend toward chin straps for hard hats. Safety head at Clark Construction Kris Manning says it has been their standard since 2017, and estimates 25% of subs voluntarily use them. SVP Keith McCoy at Balfour Beatty says they move to mandatory chin straps this summer.
News2-TV, Charleston, SC follows the lead of the most recent PileDriver magazine and features its version of the cover story on Conti Civil, LLC's job. The Spring/Fishburne Drainage Project in the historic city eliminates flooding at a major intersection, which, according to Charleston Mayor Tecklenburg, is a "world class drainage project." 
Signal Soundings carries an article authored by Russ Morris, the VP of risk management at Russell Marine LLC, that takes an in-depth look at Safety Management Systems (SMS). Extra, extra! There's more! The Vindicator of Liberty, TX puts the company on the front page, above the fold in its coverage of construction for the new Union Pacific Railroad Bridge northeast of Houston.
Notes from the Field
Put a ring on it A suggestion that J. Fletcher Creamer & Sons has embraced. As part of its program that provides lunches for employees during summer months, a company office in Maryland had onion rings on their menu. A social media post designed for employee recruitment shows a happy group posing with the shiny rings (which likely shine because of grease 😉).

Not ready for prime-time players (but they're close!) Apex Steel Pipe & Piling runs a unique internship program that incorporates a vintage SNL theme, a black-tie-only dress code, onsite golf practice and a masterful TikTok campaign, among other things. Check out Coneheads, which has a webpage, guest speaker series and short social media videos by executive producer Blake Barineau.

So Biff wants to be a Buff History enthusiasts might be interested to learn that Canal Barge Company recently transported a very special relic from WWII. The patrol-torpedo boat PT-305 has been fully restored to its original specs and brought back to life as an initiative of the WWII Museum in New Orleans. The marine transporter delivered the vessel back to the museum for permanent display.

What sells and what is sold to us is youth Regarded as the first planned city in the U.S., New Haven, CT thought it was time for new billboards. Crews obtained an ICE® International Construction Equipment vibro to install dozens of 48" x 108' columns to display the ads along I-95. Being the birthplace of hamburgers, lollipops, frisbees,and more, New Haven has plenty of homegrown goods for the marketplace.

With July 2022 and the All-Star Break in the books, we want to throw a little more love at a fun and productive summer month. Did you know that the home of the AL East-leading Yankees (at the time of this writing), Yankee Stadium contains pipe piles from Atlas Tube's parent company? Another note, the month started with a couple big holidays for the U.S. and Canada, which we referenced in this space on July 1. But Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction played the TikTok Taught Me game to inform us about a big holiday in Utah on July 24, which we missed...so Happy Belated Pioneer Day!

Now we are in the dog days of summer. If you're a Georgia fan and anticipating a repeat championship, you may call them the Dawg Days, since football kicks off in late August. (For good measure, David Price at Linde-Griffith calls for Delaware in the FCS).  Before you get too comfortable in front of your TV or at your tailgate parties, don't forget to update your PDCA account so that your company appears as you intend in the 2023 PDCA Membership Directory. We need any employee, contact or other revisions completed at your earliest convenience, but by Sept. 30 at the latest.
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