Tag Archive for 'infrastructure'

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AEM Poll: Infrastructure Unites Voters in Divisive Election Year

infrastructure-poll-advisor-infographic-embed-81116_1AEM Infrastructure Poll Draws National Attention

A poll commissioned by AEM to gauge voter perceptions and attitudes about the current and future state of U.S. infrastructure has drawn wide national attention from the press.

Released on Tuesday, the poll was conducted as part of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative, an ongoing effort to develop a long-term national vision for U.S. infrastructure.

Press coverage included the following, among many others:

An analysis of the results is available here.

AEM Release:

Poll: Infrastructure Unites Voters in Divisive Election Year

With 90 days left before Election Day, a national poll released Tuesday by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) found that half of registered voters say the nation’s infrastructure has gotten worse over the last five years, and a majority of voters said roads and bridges are in “extreme” need of repair.

The findings were part of a new national poll commissioned by AEM to gauge voter perceptions and attitudes about the current and future state of U.S. infrastructure amid a high-profile election. The poll found that registered voters, regardless of political affiliation, recognize the declining state of the nation’s infrastructure as an issue that should be addressed and believe that the federal government should do more to improve infrastructure across the board.

“Americans across the political spectrum understand the dire state of U.S. infrastructure and believe that the federal government should do more to improve our infrastructure,” said Dennis Slater, president of AEM. “Voters recognized that increased federal funding for assets such as roads, bridges, and inland waterways will have a positive impact on the economy, and they are looking to the federal government to repair and modernize.”

The national poll identified a number of key findings, including:

  • Nearly half (46 percent) of registered voters believe that the state of the nation’s infrastructure has gotten worse in the last five years.
  • A significant majority (80 – 90 percent) of registered voters say that roads, bridges and energy grids are in some or extreme need of repairs.
  • Half (49 percent) of the surveyed population feel that the federal government is primarily responsible for funding repairs to the nation’s infrastructure.
  • Seven out of every 10 registered voters say increasing federal funding for infrastructure will have a positive impact on the economy.
  • More than eight out of every ten Americans consider water infrastructure (86 percent), solar powered homes (83 percent) and smart infrastructure (82 percent) as the top three important innovations for the future of infrastructure.
  • Voters across the political spectrum think that the federal government should do more to improve the nation’s overall infrastructure, with 68 percent of Republicans, 70 percent of Independents and 76 percent of Democrats sharing this sentiment.

Registered voters also feel that government across the board should be doing more to improve the nation’s overall infrastructure, with 76 percent of individuals surveyed wanting more from state governments, 72 percent looking to the federal government to do more and 70 percent expecting more from local governments.

“Both presidential nominees have voiced their strong support for infrastructure investment,” said Ron De Feo, CEO of Kennametal and chairman of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative. “The specific ideas and proposals they offer over the next 90 days will be critically important, and voters should consider them carefully on Election Day.”

The national poll was conducted as part of AEM’s ongoing efforts to develop a long-term national vision for U.S. infrastructure. An analysis of the national poll results is available here.

About the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) – www.aem.org

AEM is the North American-based international trade group providing innovative business development resources to advance the off-road equipment manufacturing industry in the global marketplace. AEM membership comprises more than 850 companies and more than 200 product lines in the agriculture, construction, forestry, mining and utility sectors worldwide. AEM is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with offices in the world capitals of Washington, D.C.; Ottawa, Canada; and Beijing, China.

Steel Erection Projects Win Awards

SEAA calls for entries for 2016 Projects of the Year

Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA) announces the winners of its annual Project of the Year competition. Winners are selected by an independent panel of judges. Projects are recognized for their complexity, and companies are awarded the Project of the Year for overcoming challenges while maintaining safe work standards. Four steel erectors were recognized at SEAA’s 43rd Annual National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., for jobs that were topped out in 2015.

Award Company Project Photo Gallery
Class I Erection Contract up to $500,000 LPR Construction, Loveland, Colo. I-255 Florida Pedestrian Bridge, Aurora, Colo. https://flic.kr/s/aHskzC7z8t
Class II Erection Contract $500,000 to $1 million Gabriel Steel Erectors Inc., Montgomery, N.Y. 625 West 57th St., Manhattan, N.Y. https://flic.kr/s/aHskCkTsob
Class III Erection Contract over $1 million to $2.5 million CSE Inc., Madison Heights, Va.


Liberty University Fine Arts School of Music, Lynchburg, Va. https://flic.kr/s/aHskDVZrjD
Class IV Erection Contract over $2.5 million Bracken Construction Co. Inc., Jackson, Miss. University of Mississippi Basketball Arena, Oxford, Miss. https://flic.kr/s/aHskDMLYEQ


“Each year, I am amazed at the increasing complexity of steel erection projects SEAA members undertake,” said Project of the Year committee chairman Alan Sears. “These projects are representative of the unique challenges steel erection contractors must overcome. Teamwork with the fabricator, engineer, and detailers is often essential to creative, cost-effective completion of structural steel construction jobs,” he said.

SEAA is now taking nominations for projects topped out in 2016. Submissions must be received by Feb. 3, 2017. SEAA membership is a requirement. Projects are judged by a panel of experts with a broad range of experience and knowledge regarding structural design. Information regarding SEAA Project of the Year can be found here:


Class I Erection Contract up to $500,000: Pedestrian Bridge Project Faces Adversity Similar to an Action Movie Script

Erector: LPR Construction

Fabricator, Engineer and Detailer: Big R Bridge

GC: Kiewit

Contract Value: $308,000

Total Steel Erected: 126 tons 

unspecifiedBefore a 14 ft. x 192 ft. pedestrian bridge was successfully installed over I-225 in Aurora, Colo., the job faced a fire, a car crash, lightning storms and a ticking clock. The bridge connects the Florida RTD Station Platform and Medical Center of Aurora, part of a larger project to extend light rail service to Denver International Airport.

LPR Construction, the steel erection contractor, pre-assembled four sections of the bridge, weighing more than 195,000 pounds each, inside a highway clover leaf, nearly a mile from the construction location. During the pre-build phase someone set fire to equipment parked in the construction zone and later a speeding driver crashed through road barriers, hitting a bridge arch. No damage was found after thorough inspections and the bridge structure was turned over to General Contractor Kiewit.

The second phase, transporting and setting the bridge pieces took place over two nights while the Interstate shut-down to traffic. According to Peter Radice, Senior Project Manager, determining how to set the pieces on trailer dollies and backing the trailer into place required significant pre-planning. LPR worked with Apex Trucking to provide heavy hauling services. A 500-ton Liebherr all-terrain crane rented from RMS Crane was used to lift the bridge pieces. All sections were moved to the permanent location the first night with time to spare. The arches and main truss were scheduled to be set during the second night, but heavy rain and lightning delayed start time by more than three hours. “Lifting the main truss and putting camber back into the arches was the hardest part of the job,” said Radice.

Class II Erection Contract $500,000 to $1 million: Perfect Sequencing, Creative Ironworker Positioning Secret to Modern Day Pyramid Completion

Erector: Gabriel Steel Erectors Inc.

Fabricator: Orange County Ironworks LLC

Detailer: KVD Detailers

GC: Hunter Roberts

Total Steel Erected: 200 tons in Top of House (500 tons total)

unspecified-1Sister companies Orange County Ironworks and Gabriel Steel Erectors, based in Montgomery, N.Y., were privileged to play an integral role in the fabrication and steel erection of one of Manhattan’s newest residential high rises. Appearing on the skyline like a half pyramid, the VIA Building on West 57th Street, was recently named winner of the Best Tall Building Americas by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. The 34 story building houses more than 700 rental units and 45,000 sq. ft. of retail space. Lots of natural light and spectacular views are made possible by the unusual shape.

The shape presented challenges for the fabricator and erector team. “Most structures are built on a grid pattern. This building was X, Y, and Z coordinates. Each piece of steel had to be sequenced exactly, or it would negatively impact the placement of the next piece of steel,” said Matthew Messing, who is Senior VP of Operations for both Orange County Ironworks and Gabriel Steel Erectors. “We used a 3D erecting plan to pre-design every piece in order,” said Messing. The steel was lifted with a Favelle Favco M220D luffing tower crane. In addition, significant coordination was required with mechanical contractors during construction in order to interface the façade of the building with integral window washing and exterior building maintenance systems.

The biggest challenge came as the building reached its peak. Extending 10 more floors above the occupied space is the tip of the pyramid, which Messing refers to as the Top of the House. This portion of the job alone required 200 tons of steel. No floors existed in the all steel frame, so Gabriel Steel had to build temporary flooring in order to give Ironworkers access. Because space was so tight, Gabriel Steel used a unique aerial lift solution to position Ironworkers for connecting and bolting. The company rented a Teupen Leo23GT and Leo 18GT from United Rentals. The lift is ideal for setting up in as little space as possible, with variable position stabilizers, rotating basket, and articulating and telescoping boom.

“This project presented challenges on every level, from detailing to engineering to coordination, fabrication, trucking, logistics, and erecting,” said Messing. “It was the combined effort of a tremendous team of individuals working on all these aspects that led to the success of the project.”

Class III Erection Contract over $1 million to $2.5 million: Small Steel Sequences Provide Solution to Tight Job Site

Erector: CSE Inc.

Structural Engineer: Fox & Associates

Fabricator: Lynchburg Steel & Specialty

Detailer: Virtual Steel Technologies Inc.


Contract Value: $2.3 million

Total Steel Erected: 1,072 tons

unspecified-2A new School of Music for Liberty University’s Fine Arts department in Lynchburg, Va., was completed ahead of time and under budget due to close collaboration between CSE Inc., the steel erection contractor, and local steel fabricator, Lynchburg Steel & Specialty.

Two buildings housing a 1,600-seat auditorium and concert hall and four-story educational center with practice studios, the new School of Music is part of a larger $500 million campus rebuilding campaign. The job site was pinned in by train tracks on one side, adjacent structures, and a single access road on another side. For this reason, there was no room to stage iron for steel erection. “There was barely enough room to set up a crane,” said Ronnie Ranson, Vice President of Steel Erection. Instead, CSE worked with Lynchburg Steel to deliver small sequences of steel. “The ability to work with a local fabricator was the only way to cost-effectively accommodate the complicated steel schedule,” said Ranson. In addition, months of erection time was eliminated from the schedule by pre-fabricating the seating at Lynchburg’s shop, rather than erecting on site.

Two other interesting aspects of the project included the design of the roof connection and the practical use of catwalk frames. Designed for optimum acoustics, the concert hall roof is a semi-circle with a step down conical shape. Structural framing consisted of four 100 ft. long trusses weighing up to 20 tons each. Arranged in a spoke formation, the trusses were attached at a single connection point with more than 120 bolts. Lift plans for placing the trusses with a 350-ton Grove all-terrain crane and Manitowoc 888 crawler crane were designed using 3D Lift Plan.

In addition, limited floor access meant aerial work platforms could not be used to install hundreds of feet of catwalks, which house Audio/Visual equipment. Once again, CSE relied on the fabricator to prefabricate the catwalk frames so they could be lifted into place as complete units. Later other trades the catwalks in place of AWPs to install the A/V equipment.

Class IV Erection Contract over $2.5 million: Full Court Press Delivers Winning Strategy for Ole Miss Basketball Arena

Erector: Bracken Construction Co., Inc.

Structural Engineer: AECOM Design

Fabricator: Steel Service Corp.

Detailer: MMW Inc.

GC: B.L. Harbert International

Contract Value: $3.7 million

Total Steel Erected: 2,700 tons

unspecified-3The University of Mississippi broke ground on a new basketball arena, part of a larger university expansion project, in July 2014. Contractors were given just 16 months to complete The Pavilion, a multi-purpose facility with an arena that seats 9,500 people. In order to be ready for the 2016 basketball season, contractors had to maintain a full court press throughout construction. Bracken Construction, the steel erection contractor, did their part by completing steel and pre-cast erection in just 21 weeks.

The three-story arena’s structural steel frame features a barrel rolled steel truss roof system.

The curved roof, constructed of eight main trusses, supports a roof that covers the 230,000 sq. ft. arena. The main trusses each weighed 60 tons. With only one access road available to construction traffic and laydown space at a premium, steel erection contractor Bracken Construction devised an efficient method for truss construction.

Using the bowl of the stadium, which was only 90 feet wide, each truss was delivered to the site in pieces for field assembly. Once assembled in a vertical plane, the three truss sections were hung in place separately and connected in the air at each splice point. The two end sections were lifted into place using two 300-ton crawler cranes set up on each side of the arena bowl, and one 200-ton crawler inside the bowl to erect the center section. “It took some creative thinking to figure out how to erect the trusses to the proper elevation and set the camber,” said Ben Wadlington, CEO, who said this was the first time in the company’s 60-year history that it hung trusses in this way.

In all, Bracken placed 6,835 pieces of structural steel and 422 pieces of structural and architectural precast, finishing ahead of schedule, demonstrating their ability to manage the Xs and Os of the game plan.

About Steel Erectors Association of America

Founded in 1972, SEAA is the only national trade association representing the interests of steel erectors, fabricators, contractors, and related service providers. The association promotes safety, education and training programs for steel erector trades, including its Ironworker Craft Training curriculum. The association works in partnership with other steel construction, design, and steel product organizations to protect the interests of those who construct steel structures. Learn more at www.seaa.net.

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