Meet the Keystone Award Finalists - Part II 

The 2017 Keystone Award finalist list was released in late June. The finalists have completed their final submission documents and the judges have cast their ballots.  The identity of the winners of the 2017 Keystone Awards will remain a secret until the awards gala on November 9th.

Today’s story features the transportation & infrastructure construction projects on the finalist list.  Reading about these projects will provide you with additional insight on the stellar projects completed within the last two years by AGCMO members. 

The winners will be unveiled at the Annual Construction Awards Gala on November 9th at Ameristar Spa & Casino.  Sponsorships  are currently available.  Watch your snail mail and this newsletter for reservation information for the Awards Gala. This is a “do-not-miss” event!

Transportation & Infrastructure Project Finalists:
GC / CM / Prime
Project Under $25 million


Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc.
Project:  Columbia I-70 Bridges Design Build
Owner:  Missouri Dept. of Transportation
Project Location:  Columbia, MO

Emery Sapp & Sons (ESS), along with design partner Parsons Transportation, was one of four design-build teams competing for the $17.5 million Columbia I-70 Bridges Design-Build project with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). 

Competing teams were given the project budget and asked to provide design and construction proposals to replace six deficient and functionally obsolete bridges on I-70 in Columbia within a 16 month time frame.  Teams also were encouraged to provide optional improvements at the three intersections of Business Loop I-70 (West Blvd.), Rangeline Road (MO Rte. 763) and Garth Avenue along the corridor.  This process was designed to foster innovative and cost-effective ideas for delivering the project, which is critical given Missouri’s insufficient transportation funding.

The winning proposal replaced the six deficient bridges with five new structures; three of which were slid into their permanent position.  The expanded scope also included building a “Dog Bone” roundabout at Rangeline Road and dual lane roundabouts on the north and south sides of I-70 at the Business Loop 70 Interchange.  All of the work needed to be performed while keeping access to all four lanes of I-70 open to 80,000 plus vehicles per day.


Herzog Contracting Corporation
Project:  Rte. I-29 Resurfacing Andrew & Buchanon Counties
Owner:  Missouri Dept. of Transportation
Project Location:  Saint Joseph, MO

This $9.6 million project included 13.5 miles of 2.75% SuperPave on Interstate 29, a key highway corridor running through Andrew and Buchanan Counties, including the St. Joseph metro area.  It carries a majority of the volume of traffic for the region, including local, as well as large interstate commerce between Kansas City and Omaha.  Segments of this project saw a daily traffic count so high that it necessitated night time only work.  These traffic counts drove our decision to complete the vast majority of the project at night, allowing for a safe project for both the working personnel and the traveling public.

With the decision to complete the project at night, the complexity, safety concerns, and scheduling issues increased dramatically.  Along with the night work schedule, we were constructing SuperPave asphalt mixes.  These introduced complexities of their own due to the nature of the product.  The SuperPave method, like other mix methods, creates several trial aggregate-asphalt binder blends, each with different asphalt binder content.  Then, by evaluating each trial blend’s performance, optimum asphalt binder content can be selected.  In order for this concept to work, the trial blends must contain a range of asphalt contents both above and below the optimum asphalt content.  Therefore, the first step in sample preparation is to estimate optimum asphalt content.  Trial blend asphalt contents are then determined from this estimate.  Herzog worked closely with MoDOT field personnel to inspect the material and construction of the project to ensure the final product met or exceeded MoDOT standards.


Millstone Weber, LLC
Project: I-70 Fifth Street Exchange
Owner:  Missouri Dept. of Transportation
Project Location:  St. Charles, MO

Nearly half of the traffic crossing the Blanchette Bridge enters and exits I-70 at Fifth Street and First Capitol Drive.  This area is one of the busiest segments of I-70 in Missouri, and motorists were facing confusing intersections, intensive lane changing, and short merging areas.  While several adjacent roads had been upgraded in recent years, the Fifth Street Interchange had not been updated.  The existing partial cloverleaf interchange, constructed in the 1970s, was outdated.  The I-70 Fifth Street Interchange Improvements Project was the “missing piece” which would connect recent and current upgrades in St. Charles, thus improving traffic flow and safety throughout this busy corridor.

In August 2015, the St. Charles County Council passed an ordinance authorizing an agreement between St. Charles County, the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission and the City of St. Charles for funding this project.

The project included building a Diverging Diamond Interchange at Fifth Street, new ramps to Fairgrounds Road, and connecting the two interchanges with one-way outer roads.  I-70 was widened to four lanes in each direction under the First Capitol Drive overpass (Route 94) to increase capacity and reduce weaving on I-70.  The interchange provides access to many of the region’s attractions including Historic Main Street St. Charles, St. Charles Convention Center, the Family Arena as well as a host of local businesses, shops, restaurants, hotels and employment centers.


GC / CM / Prime Contractor
Project $25 million or more


Emery Sapp & Sons, Inc.
Project:  The South Lawrence Trafficway (K10)
Owner:  Kansas Dept. of Transportation
Project Location:  Lawrence, KS

As part of the 2009 T-WORKS transportation program, the South Lawrence Trafficway (SLT) was identified as the number one priority for the state of Kansas and has the highest economic benefit of all the projects in the T-WORKS program.  After years of delay, the project finally moved forward.  The SLT Project (K10) is a six-mile, four-lane freeway that moved existing K-10 onto a new alignment.  It begins at the south junction of the U.S. 59 and K-10 interchange and reconnects the existing K-10 on the east side of Lawrence.  The project included the creation of more than 300 acres of new wetlands as well as bike paths.  It also relocated sections of Louisiana Street, 31st Street and Haskell Avenue that run alongside the Wakarusa Wetlands.  31st Street was also extended on the east side of the city.

ESS with its 22 subcontractors and 20 suppliers completed the following work on the project:

• 21 bridges
• 3,900,000 cubic yards of grading
• 525,500 square yards of concrete paving
• 102,000 feet of noise wall
• 225,000 cubic yards of foundation stabilization
• 2,368,000 linear feet of prefabricated vertical wick drains
• 322,500 linear feet of stone columns
• 530,000 square yards of lime stabilization
• 22 reinforced concrete box culverts
• 19,000 linear feet of storm sewer

The project is expected to have an economic benefit of $3.7 billion to the region.


Goodwin Brothers Construction
Project:  Liberty Utilities Center
Owner:  City of Liberty, MO
Project Location:  Liberty, MO

This is the first project in the State of Missouri utilizing Design-Build delivery to receive State Revolving Fund (SRF) financing and the largest treatment plant in the state to utilize Design-Build delivery.  The success of this project served as a catalyst for Design-Build legislation in Missouri and sets the bar for other cities considering Design-Build delivery.

The City of Liberty had been outsourcing treatment to a neighboring community for decades.  With the ever increasing and potentially unknown costs to continue outsourcing, the City decided to review alternatives.  With the assistance of outside consultants, studies revealed that the City could construct new treatment facilities at a cost of up to $95 million.  User rates would be significantly less than outsourcing and treatment capacity would be increased.  With this, the City put the project on the August 2013 ballot for issuing $95 million in bonds.  The citizens of Liberty returned a resounding 91% approval.  The City estimated that outsourced treatment was costing users close to an additional $1.0 million per year.  Ultimately, Liberty and their D-B team provided facilities to meet the City’s development and regulatory needs for generations with stable, predictable user rates.


KCI Construction Company
Project:  Loop Trolley & Maintenance Facility
Owner:  Loop Trolley Transportation Development District
Project Location:  University City, MO

The Delmar Loop originally got its name from the streetcar turnaround in a two-block area where four different streetcar lines came together near the Delmar Gardens Amusement Park.  The streetcars were shut down in the early 1950s as a result of the Great American Streetcar Scandal, and when the streetcars were replaced with buses the Loop retained its name.  Almost 50 years later, Blueberry Hill owner Joe Edwards had a vision to bring streetcars back to the revitalized Loop area and connect this area to the popular Forest Park in the City of St. Louis just a few miles away.  20 years later that vision is coming to reality as The Loop Trolley.  The system will use replica historic streetcars, after early plans to refurbish original era cars was abandoned for various reasons.  The cars will traverse the 2.2 mile route, which is built entirely on public right of way, and have a total of 10 stops including The Pageant, 2 MetroLink stations, Crossroads Prep School, and the Missouri History Museum.

The Loop Trolley Transportation Development District is a political subdivision of the state of Missouri and was established to build, own, operate and maintain the trolley system.  Housing this company and the maintenance operation will be the building at 5875 Delmar Blvd., which is a historic building that was once an auto dealership and was the home to Delmar High School until 1980.


Specialty / Subcontractor
Project Under $5 million


Acme Erectors, Inc.
Project:  Kiener Plaza
Owner:  City of St. Louis
Project Location:  St. Louis, MO

Located near Gateway Arch Park in downtown St. Louis, the $23.7 million renovation of Kiener Plaza is part of the $380 million CityArchPark project.  Commissioned by the Gateway Arch Park Foundation, this project aims to refresh and improve the Gateway Arch grounds and surrounding areas.  Centrally located between the City Gardens, the Historic Courthouse, and Busch Stadium, Kiener Plaza is a hub for locals and tourists alike.  The renovation includes a children’s playground, a concert lawn capable of hosting over 2,000 spectators, a splash pad, and a new and improved fountain to house “The Runner” statue – a treasured symbol of St. Louis’s history.  ACME Erectors stepped up to the challenge of installing over 1,200 lineal feet of intricately curved pre-finished handrail, attaching (by hand) the playground fencing made of airplane cable mesh, and moving and storing “The Runner” statute to help complete the project on time and within budget. 

“The Runner” statute is modeled after Harry J. Kiener, a St. Louis athlete most widely known for his position on the USA Track Team during the 1904 Olympics held in St. Louis.  Removal, storage and installation of “the Runner” posed a unique challenge.  There were no plans detailing how the statue was anchored in the original fountain.  A crane was utilized to lift the artwork from its base and to prevent damage, a specialty wrap resembling a shirt was fabricated to put around the statue.  It was then stored in a specially-built foam-lined crate and stored during construction.

The new and improved Kiener Plaza brings a fresh spin to the historic downtown area of St. Louis while continuing to honor a local icon. 


Power UP Electrical Contractors
Project:  Kiener Plaza
Owner:  City of St. Louis
Project Location: St. Louis, MO

Kiener Plaza, encompassing nearly two acres of downtown St. Louis real estate, was dedicated in 1962 to the City of St. Louis as a connector between the St. Louis Arch, the Mississippi River and the Old Courthouse.  The need for updated infrastructure and amenities was long overdue to restore the original vision and intent of making Kiener Plaza a central hub for activities and opportunities that welcome downtown visitors to the City of St. Louis.  The revamped space connects pedestrian corridors, a large event lawn that holds nearly 3,000 people, a bicycle parking grove, shade garden with tables and chairs, benches, fountain garden, and a children’s play garden.  More than 140 new trees were planted so that people can enjoy a relaxing park setting during their workday or weekend visit to Kiener Plaza.  The park was expanded about eight feet south toward Market Street, where a median was removed to prevent the loss of traffic lanes.  Additionally, that stretch of Market Street also now has a 20-foot pedestrian walkway.  Power UP Electrical  provided and installed 14 city street lights, 14 tall sidewalk lights, 32 park lights, 62 tree lights, 8 moonlights, 115 color changing programmable lights, and 25 fountain lights, in addition to providing for all of the electrical power requirements. Power UP also installed scaffolding on the exterior roof of the Metropolitan Square Building’s 42nd floor (over a block away) where custom-engineered and manufacturing brackets were installed to support eight 14,000 lumen light fixtures which now shine on to the plaza at night.


GC / CM / Prime Contractor
Building / Industrial Construction
Project $100 million or more


Alberici Constructors in a Joint Venture with Stanley Consultants, Inc.
Project:  Edgewater Unit 5 AQCS Project
Owner:  Alliant Energy
Project Location:  Sheboygan, WI

The $200+ million Air Quality Control System (AQCS) project at Edgewater Station added two dry flue gas desulphurization trains at Unit 5.  Owned and operated by Alliant Energy’s Wisconsin utility, Wisconsin Power and Light, the 430 MW pulverized coal plant is located on Lake Michigan in Sheboygan, WI. The project was completed to reduce emissions to enable the 414-megawatt plant to continue to operate in compliance with new regulations for the foreseeable future.  Alberici led the joint venture with Stanley Consultants, Inc., who provided the engineering.

At first glance, this Engineer/Procure/Construct (EPC) project looks like a standard scrubber and baghouse system, but in reality, it stands head and shoulders above the competition in areas important to the owner and energy customer.

EPC projects are not known for encouraging communication and collaboration but rather as a way for the contractor to keep the owner at arm’s length.  This project flipped that notion on its head, replacing a cold shoulder with a warm handshake.  Partnering, proactive communication and collaboration between Alliant Energy, JV partners Alberici Construction and Stanley Consultants, and vendors created a harmonious atmosphere.  The result was a highly successful project with few change orders, completed ahead of schedule and under budget.  Unit 5’s extreme turndown capabilities allow it to operate efficiently from 430 MW gross to its minimum load of 60 MW gross.  Because of this turndown capability and its ability to not limit the unit’s ramp rate, it has been able to operate economically within the demands of the current power market.  The addition of a traditional scrubber and baghouse system could have limited this degree of flexibility.  However, the technology was structured and delivered in a manner that doesn’t constrain the unit’s flexibility and allows it to meet emissions requirements at all times – low loads, maximum capacity and when ramping up and down.  This extreme range provides more flexibility to accommodate renewables, the distributed power grid and market requirements.


MC Industrial, Inc.
Project:  Boeing Composite Center of Excellence
Owner:  The Boeing Company
Project Location: St. Louis, MO

The Boeing project signifies the growing economy in St. Louis, a local business making an optimistic impact on the community by stimulating jobs, a positive collaboration of state and local governments and a true partnership between Boeing stakeholders, engineers and contractors.  This 425,000- square- foot manufacturing and paint facility was a design-build project.  The facility consists of the 115,000 -square foot drywall enclosed layup space with a 30- foot vertically clear hard ceiling that meets clean room standards, small and large parts work stations, trim cells, autoclaves, non-destructive testing areas, freezers, ovens, automated ultrasonic scanning systems, paint and prep booths, administrative space, 3,600-ton central utility plan to manage HVAC system, load center unit substations, site stormwater retention and detention basins and parking areas.

While the sheer scope of constructing a project this size under tight time constraints was a daunting task, the completion date was accomplished despite one of the wettest summers on records in St. Louis while auger cast piles and building foundations were in full-swing.  The Paint Facility, added to the project along the way, met its building occupancy date by building upon the streamlined relationship of MC Industrial, the engineer and Boeing.  With the implementation of Advanced Work Packaging, effective Change Management, and detailed Start-Up Planning, the design and construction team could provide a facility to Boeing on a compressed schedule in which all parties could take pride.

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