A Pile of News - May 2024

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A Pile of News: May 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 May 1, 2024
Top of the Pile

Everything I love as a deep foundations construction professional will be at IFCEE 2024, beginning NEXT WEEK in Dallas, TX. Don't miss the triennial event conceived by a PDCA visionary (more on that later) who inspired a partnership among PDCA, ADSC, DFI and the G-I. IFCEE takes place May 7 - 10 at the Hyatt Regency Downtown Dallas. Thanks to the sponsors who make it happen.

Sand in my boots? If you're on a plane headed to IFCEE, or just have some time to sit and relax, make sure to read the latest digital edition of PileDriver magazine Issue #2, 2024.

Thought you should know The 2024 PDCA Project of the Year Awards program brought in a large field of entries and stiff competition. Good luck to contestants, including the member who rushed in an entry so they could get to the Morgan Wallen concert in time, the night before the singer was arrested in Nashville yikes! Winners will be revealed in the August issue of PileDriver.

Spin you around: Winners of the 2023 Project of the Year Awards will be honored during a luncheon/ceremony on May 10 at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. You must register for your FREE plated lunch and to help celebrate excellence in pile driving and significant industry contributors. If you're in the area, plan to attend the 90-minute event and help the honorees admire their new trophies.
From the Association & Chapters
Mark your calendars:
News and PHOTOS from the PDCA Blog:
  • Pacific Coast Chapter is taking applications for the annual PDCA Chapter Scholarship, available to high school and college students pursuing a construction career. The deadline to return your completed application is July 1; awards will be announced in August.
  • Pacific Coast Chapter members gathered on April 26 for the annual Scholarship Shoot. The popular event at Birds Landing brought 130+ shooters and raised funds for students pursuing higher education in construction management and/or engineering.
  • Gulf Coast Chapter members met in April for business and a night at Baton Rouge TopGolf.
  • How did IFCEE begin? Read the history behind IFCEE, the event that convenes the entire deep foundations industry every three years. PDCA Technical Committee chair Mohamad Hussein of GRL Engineers/Pile Dynamics inspired its birth in 2009 and tells the story.
Winner of the #PDCADriven contest for May 2024
Congratulations, Pollyanna Cunningham, 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:
Giving back:
Government relations:
  • McCarthy Building Companies, through a JV, will overhaul Southern Gateway Park in the historical Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, an initiative funded through a federal grant. US-DOT Sec. Buttigieg and Mayor Johnson stood with construction teams for a photo opp. Famous Oak Cliff native and NBA legend Dennis Rodman didn't make it.
  • Atlas Tube sister company Z Modular hosted U.S. Rep. Biggs at its Arizona factory to show a proprietary technology boosting affordable housing. In 2023, Z Modular was a winning Project of the Year entry for Texas Pile, which founded its San Marcos, TX, community. Elsewhere, Arkansas Gov. Sanders led economic development stakeholders in celebrating news that Atlas Tube's Mississippi County factory gained a $120M growth investment.

  • Shannon & Wilson celebrates 70 years in business. The firm opened in Seattle, where it has impacted many high-profile piling projects. Among them is T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners, for which it performed studies on 1,750 twenty-four-inch diameter piles driven into dense, glacial soils. Today, the firm has established a national footprint through its geotechnical engineering practice...and the Mariners host the Braves at noon.
People on the Move
  • Michael Bencaz named corporate safety director at APC Construction. The New Orleans contractor also introduced Mike Vavasseur as business development manager.
  • Dallas Weems and Jason Landry appointed new VPs at Beard Construction in Port Allen, LA. Weems will oversee corporate risk, Landry will lead BD and marketing.
  • Kristen Severs welcomed to McCarthy Southern Region as VP, Human Resources.
  • Kenneth Loper elevates to VP, Operations at Orion and its Houston concrete team.
  • Scott Williams, VP of the PDCA Gulf Coast Chapter, begins as division manager on specialty foundations at Sealevel Construction in Thibodeaux, LA.
  • Dan Winters takes a new job as a territory sales manager at Meever USA, and Emma Adams is a new addition to the steel supplier's inside sales team.
  • Kevin McLaughlin, P.E., starts as regional manager in southeast Louisiana at Tolunay-Wong Engineers, Inc.

Sending sympathies:
  • Junior Gonzalez (20012024) had recently earned a promotion and was approaching his fourth anniversary with Lodge Lumber in April, if not for a tragedy on March 30. Today, he is fondly remembered as "a great young man...on an upward trajectory with the company," according to CEO J.W. Lodge. Junior's surviving dad has been at the company for more than 30 years. J.W. coordinated a GoFundMe to help Junior's family with expenses, which reached its goal.
The Lodge Team
Junior Gonzalez, center, (sunglasses) standing with the Lodge team on St. Patrick's Day
  • Gregory Langford (19572024), president at Mason Forest Products near Hattiesburg, MS, passed away in March. The loving granddad was a 39-year timber piling veteran.
On the Job
ASAP Group makes more real estate in downtown Miami through construction of a seawall around a small extension off Brickell Key. ASAP was a sub on this job for a private commercial center.

Bowen Engineering Corporation installs sheet pile for a new substation under construction in Indianapolis. Crews use a Hercules Machinery Corporation SP100 hammer to drive the steel.

Commerce Construction Corporation drives more than 1,000 LF of steel sheets with an ICE hammer for rehabilitation of Pier 1 in the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Herbert F Darling Inc. is featured on YouTube showing foundation construction for Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Park pedestrian bridge. Is that 30 feet of snow on top of this job site? #Buffalo

MEB is in Yorktown, VA, preparing to install 240+ foundation piles at Tabb Pressure Reducing Station & Offline Storage Facility. Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering performed pile testing using a PDA from Pile Dynamics, Inc., while a PILECO Inc. D19 hammer does the driving.

Sealevel Construction has been awarded a $315M contract to construct the Houma Navigation Canal Lock Complex which will involve a variety of foundations. The installation will keep marine traffic moving and provide necessary conservation protections to southern Louisiana.

Tectonic Engineering Consultants, Geologists & Land Surveyors is the Special Inspector of Record on a project designed to protect flood-prone Hoboken, NJ, and nearby communities. The $480M resilience project involves installation of sheet and H-pile, performed by American Pile and FoundationJunttan and Liebherr machinery are spotted on the job site.
In the News
WMAR-TV Baltimore aired a live report from a fundraiser that several area organizations hosted in support of the families of the fallen workers who were victims of the Key Bridge collapse in late March. Shana Carroll was interviewed on camera. The D.W. Kozera, Inc. president was among the local volunteers to organize this event. Issue 3 of PileDriver magazine features an in-depth interview with Carroll about her engineering career that issue is coming your way in June.

Delaware Business Times reports on unique fortification for the Delaware Memorial Bridge, where Richard E. Pierson Construction is installing a veritable defensive line by the substructure, designed to rebuff a catastrophic collision like the Key Bridge. The $95M collision protection system should be complete in 2025. According to ENR, the contractor worked with Hartman Engineering and Nucor Skyline to design and procure sand-filled, flat steel sheet cells to defend adjacent bridge piers.

WITN-TV Greenville, NC airs a news story about safety in road construction zones. Eric Yates, a regional manager for Balfour Beatty, was among those interviewed by the reporter.

USA Today published news and pics of the Concorde jet in transit via the Hudson River. A Weeks Marine barge returned the iconic aircraft to its home at the Intrepid Museum in NYC.

Construction Briefing interviewed Bechtel's Catherine Hunt Ryan about women in the trades.
Notes from the Field
Here on the third rock from the sun Social media had no shortage of photos of PDCA members standing in parking lots wearing Max Headroom sunglasses and pointing their iPhones to the sky on April 8. It was solar eclipse mania! See links to eclipse coverage from some who were close the line of totality, including Lloyd Engineering in Houston; D.A. Collins Construction in Wilton, NY; and Hammer and Steel in Hazelwood, MO. No burnt corneas were reported.

Snoop Dogg knows about burnin' The rap legend helped Justin Bright choose the words for his LinkedIn post that starts, "Drop it like it's hot," as he described a GeoQuip D8 driving timber at Foxfire Park in Virginia Beach. The Cianbro foreman includes video, so you can see the heat for yourself.

Drop it like it's large and awkward maybe a crane barge launch is something you see every day, but you always watch the splash. Thanks to C.J. Mahan Construction, you can repeat this video of their new 400-ton vessel launching, on its way to the Chickamauga Lock & Dam project.

When the sun sinks down over the water, Naples, FL, is as good a place as any to watch it. Just look at this photo by Kena Yoke of her crane silhouetted against the glorious sunset. And if you're CCO-certified and looking to relocate, Island Piling may be looking to grow as it continues installing driven pile foundations for SW Florida, still recovering from 2022 Hurricane Ian devastation.

You can buy yourself flowers As a child, did you anonymously drop baskets of blooms on neighbors' porches on May 1? May Day is a tradition started in Europe and is also observed in the U.S. Florida might be an exception because, instead of a vibrant bouquet, someone left a large lizard at the entrance to the sheet pile yard at Meever USA in Green Cove Springs, as seen below.
A large lizard at the entrance to the sheet pile yard at Meever USA
Thanks for reading the May 2024 installment of A Pile of News. We appreciate all of you who have sent us content for this publication; remember, if you want us to consider your news for future editions, please send that to matt@piledrivers.org.

Appearances in PDCA publications like this newsletter or PileDriver magazine are exclusive to members. If you are not a member, AND you've read this far, why not consider joining PDCA, even if it's just to get your name in print? Trust us, there are FAR MORE benefits. Enroll today.
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