CalContractor - 2021 Building & Infrastructure

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Issue 9 - 2021

MAGAZINE STRONGHOLD ENGINEERING, INC. Celebrates 30 Years of Uncompromised Value, Quality and Leadership

“Building Construction Excellence” 30 Years Since 1991

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©2021 Caterpillar. All Rights Reserved. CAT, CATERPILLAR, LET’S DO THE WORK, their respective logos, “Caterpillar Corporate Yellow,” the “Power Edge” and Cat “Modern Hex” trade dress, as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.


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2021 Building & Infrastructure

06 16 20 26


STRONGHOLD ENGINEERING, INC. Celebrates 30 Years of Uncompromised Value, Quality and Leadership ATKINSON CONSTRUCTION Guy F. Atkinson Construction Wrapping Up RosamondMojave CRCP Rehabilitation Project on SR 14 in Kern County HAZARD CONSTRUCTION COMPANY Performing State Route 78 RHMA Overlay Project in Escondido VOLVO CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT Announces First North American Electric Machines’ Pilot Results

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PUBLISHER: Kerry Hoover

EDITOR: Brian Hoover Senior Editor

GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Aldo Myftari FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION: Please call: (909) 772-3121 CalContractor is published twelve times each year by Construction Marketing Services, LLC. Copyright © 2021. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. P.O. Box 892977, Temecula, CA 92589

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Bakersfield 9150 Golden State Hwy. Bakersfield, CA 93308 661.387.6090 Corona 22099 Knabe Rd. Corona, CA 92883 951.277.7620 Fresno 4501 E. Volvo Ave. Fresno, CA 93725 559.834.4420 Lakeside 12345 Mapleview St. Lakeside, CA 92040 619.441.3690 Sacramento 8594 Fruitridge Rd. Sacramento, CA 95826 916.504.2300 San Leandro 1944 Marina Blvd. San Leandro, CA 94577 510.357.9131 Turlock 1275 Venture Ln. Turlock, CA 95380 209.410.6710

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By Brian Hoover, Senior Editor

“I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” – Psalms 18:2

Far Left: Beverly Bailey, CEO, Stronghold Engineering, Inc. Middle Left: Scott Bailey, COO, Stronghold Engineering, Inc. Left: Alyssa Digangi, Director of Business Development, Stronghold Engineering, Inc.

The Beginning In early 1991, Beverly Bailey was working in the real estate industry, while her husband, Scott Bailey, was making a living as an electrician. The hard-working young couple had two children at the time, Brandon (7) and Kyler (1 ½), with another (Alyssa) on the way. They were determined to raise their children with at least one parent at home. The only way they could accomplish this was through self-employment. So, in Oct. 1991, Scott and Beverly Bailey started Stronghold Electric from the kitchen table of their home in Moreno Valley. From a single $3,000 investment, the Baileys and 6

their team members have worked hard to become one of the most successful general engineering contractors in Southern California. The Baileys had long noticed a trend of poor service within the electrical construction industry. Their immediate goal with Stronghold Electric was to provide their clients with the very best in services and responsiveness. So, with only a handful of employees and clients, the married duo worked hard to grow and transition into a large, award-winning design and construction firm that goes way beyond electrical construction. As more divisions and trades were

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added, the decision was eventually made to change the company name to Stronghold Engineering, Inc. to better represent their growing list of services. Today, Stronghold Engineering, Inc. (Stronghold) provides full-service design and construction support services, including design-build, engineeringprocurement-construction (EPC), vertical, civil, solar and high-voltage electrical construction, along with other new construction and modernization services. Over the past 30 years, Stronghold has constructed numerous ground-up facilities, along with a variety of technically challenging repair and C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M

renovation projects for historical and non-historical facilities. Having exceeded $2.5 billion in jobs completed, Stronghold has performed many significant contracts including, seismic upgrades, large civil, infrastructure, solar and electrical projects. Beverly Bailey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Stronghold Engineering, Inc. Company CEO Beverly Bailey points out that Stronghold’s most recent and perhaps fastest-growing division is in the rail and heavy civil general engineering arena. “We acquired a company a year and a half ago whose sole focus was on civil work. Since then, we have performed a great deal of railroad construction work, as well as jobs for Caltrans and other agencies,” says Beverly. “Environmental

restoration, debris removal, and work for the Army Corps of Engineers used to represent a moderate portion of our portfolio, and we are once again ramping back up in those disciplines. Part of our success is due to the fact that we remain diversified with divisions that follow the money. If one sector goes down, another is flourishing, and we will continue to follow those trends.” Stronghold’s Rail and Civil divisions are currently busy on a long list of projects. This includes rail work on the UPRR North Portland JCT Upgrade in Portland, Oregon and the siding track extension project in Liberal, Kansas. Other past and present civil jobs include Stronghold’s work on the entry road at Chino Hills State Park and the 5-mile siding expansion job in El Paso, Texas. “Our rail division

has worked or is currently working on projects in California, Oregon, Texas, and Kansas. We are also licensed to perform rail and civil work in Arizona and Nevada, and we plan to continue expanding these operations throughout the western states to include Hawaii,” says Beverly. “Our divisions and capabilities break down into the four categories of civil, electrical, general construction and designbuild. Of these four divisions, electrical remains our single largest profit center and includes solar and other alternative energy services.” Beverly is quick to point out that their company’s ever-evolving growth and success is due to the exceptionally skilled team members that work for Stronghold, including the Vice Presidents that head up each division. “Our focus and primary goal is to stay focused

Above: Stronghold Engineering, Inc.’s new 50,000 sq. ft./5-acre facility in Perris.


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Above Left: Stronghold Engineering, Inc.’s Rail and Civil Division working on UPRR North Portland JCT Upgrade Project. Above Right: Stronghold Engineering, Inc. recognizes that a successful safety program is more than education, training, and enforcement. It begins with an entire “culture” of safety without compromise.

on our core values and make sure that our entire team understands the importance of these principles and standards,” continues Beverly. “Those values are summed up in our acronym, QSTIC (pronounced Q-Stick), which stands for Quality, Safety, Teamwork, Integrity and Commitment. This is the standard by which we hire, promote, and unfortunately even fire employees when they violate our core values. We have a 10-year club for our employees and that includes many who have been with us for more than 25 years. Our best team members have one thing in common, and that is the mindset of doing everything they can to strive to make every job an award-winning project.” Beverly also says that the entire construction industry is dealing with an aging workforce, and filling the shoes of many of these talented individuals has not been an easy task. “Everyone has a bench or backup person that they are grooming for the next generation of service. My daughter, Alyssa Digangi, currently serves as our Director of Business Development and Special Projects, and she has been involved with and learned from every division in this company,” 8

says Beverly. “I am very proud of everything that she has accomplished throughout her years with Stronghold.” Beverly points to an exciting apprenticeship program that her company has in place to train everyone from operators to journeymen to foremen. “We have been working with Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and Associated General Contractors of San Diego (AGC of San Diego) for all sorts of training and field skills, and that has worked out quite well for us,” continues Beverly. “Our future is only as bright as the individuals we choose to take the place of our aging workforce. We are in a good place here at Stronghold, and I am very excited about some of these bright young people that are moving their way up through the ranks.” Alyssa Digangi, Director of Business Development and Special Projects, Stronghold Engineering, Inc. Stronghold’s Director of Business Development and Special Projects, Alyssa Digangi, was raised in the family business and has been privy to everything her parents have accomplished over these past 30 years. “I am, of

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course, very proud to be a part of my mother and father’s vision of taking Stronghold from $36,000 in revenue in their inaugural year in 1991 to around $100 million now in 2021. Together, my parents went from working in their kitchen to a 20,000 sq. ft. facility in Riverside. Last year, we completed the renovation of our new and beautiful 50,000 square facility in Perris,” says Alyssa. “We needed the yard and warehouse space and were able to procure this wonderful five-acre office and warehouse facility that will serve Stronghold’s needs for many years to come.” Alyssa says that Stronghold currently has around 215 individuals on staff and in the field, with 10-plus-years marking the average time of employment. “Our company started out completing one project a year where we now do around 30. We are also poised for growth and should be adding around $25 to $50 million a year to our revenue very soon,” says Alyssa. “I think our tremendous growth and potential is due to our ability and willingness to adapt and grow in an extremely competitive environment. While other companies are shying away from certain types of projects, { Continued on page 10 } C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M

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we embrace them and enjoy the challenge. Adapting to changing workloads and different industries with projects in logistically difficult or undesirable locations is what we are all about here at Stronghold. No matter what the challenge, we figure it out, and our abilities and reputation grow from these efforts.”

Above: Stronghold Engineering, Inc. performs many challenging projects in heavy civil, electrical, general building and design-build construction.


The New Stronghold Engineering Corporate Office in Perris Stronghold’s new corporate office was renovated from an existing 50,000 sq. ft. space. The $6 million project began Sept. 2019 and was completed in Feb. 2020. Stronghold served as the prime contractor, self-performing all electrical, carpentry, drywall and painting while managing the subcontractors for all remaining trades. Beverly, Scott and Alyssa worked closely with the designer and engineer to design the space and Stronghold completed procurement of all materials, furniture and appliances. “We built out 28,000 square feet for office space on two levels and constructed the remaining area for warehouse space,” says Beverly. “The existing office space was once a dungeon of compartmentalized rooms, dark hallways and low dropped ceilings, but it has now been completely transformed to meet our specific requirements.” According to Beverly, this includes an inviting two-story reception area, two open office areas, two breakrooms, a conference prep kitchen, an open area training room, and a relaxation room. The facility also has a gym/ entertainment area, five conference rooms, and many private offices, including impressive CEO and COO offices with kitchens and a lively covered outdoor space with a built-in barbecue and kitchen. “We are all a big family here at Stronghold, and we want to do everything we can to make our team members feel valued. We hold lunch parties for birthdays

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and other occasions and hold a monthly event to fellowship and talk about new ideas and strategies,” continues Beverly. “This includes a barbecue, refreshments, and raffle prizes. It is so nice to spend a few hours together each month without all the pressures that are so common in our industry.” Scott Bailey, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Stronghold Engineering, Inc. Scott Bailey serves as COO overseeing all outside operations for Stronghold Engineering. “I think our overall diversity is what sets us apart and keeps everything flowing in the right direction. We perform many challenging projects in heavy civil, electrical, general building and design-build construction. These are all interesting projects that fall within a broad spectrum of work, and I think that is what makes us unique,” says Scott. “We may go from a large electrical job at an active hospital campus to a seismic retrofit or historical restoration project. This will all be happening while we have other crews on an HVAC or solar project for a school district or landfill operation. We operate as a prime contractor or subcontractor on a wide variety of projects. While one division may be less active, another is thriving, and that keeps everyone happy and working.” Stronghold’s Diversified Capabilities Stronghold currently serves all of California on the GC and electrical side while spreading further out on the heavy civil and rail side to Texas, Kansas, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona and Hawaii. “We are currently bidding several jobs in Hawaii, and it looks like that is going to be a nice growth area for our company,” says Scott. “We are also on our largest single project to date on the Ironwood State Prison project in Blythe. This is close to a $130 million job where we are upgrading HVAC, along with other electrical and C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M

Left: Stronghold Engineering, Inc.’s Electrical Division has been going strong for 30 years. Above: Stronghold Engineering, Inc. collaborated with The Los Angeles World Airports and The National Aeronautics and Space Administration to relocate the historic Space Shuttle Endeavour. Above Right: Stronghold Engineering, Inc. performs on it’s largest project to date at the Ironwood State Prison in Blythe.

infrastructure work that includes around 16-miles of underground utilities.” Scott points out that their second-largest job was around 12 years ago at the LA Courthouse. “This was a $100 million project where we worked from the basement to the eighth floor of an open and operating facility,” continues Scott. “This required extensive coordination with the TSA so as not to impact ongoing operations.” According to Scott and Beverly, their solar jobs within their electrical division helped supplement their growth during some slower periods. “We installed our first photovoltaic power and solar project at China Lake in 2006,” says Scott. “Since then, we have been on dozens of other large and small solar projects since then, and this has been a great addition to our portfolio.” Beverly shares Scott’s enthusiasm toward the company’s electrical and solar division growth over the years. “We saw the big push for solar coming, and we knew that our electrical division had to get up to speed because renewables were where it was going to be in the future. In 2009, we were fortunate to pick up 20 rooftop solar projects on nine different military bases. This was a $20 million run for our CALCON TRAC TOR.CO M

company where we designed, procured, and installed solar at all locations within three months,” says Beverly. “This kept everyone employed and was a great help to our cash flow during one of the worst downturns in our country’s economic history. Our work in solar energy also led to exciting relationships with STEM and Tesla, as we installed all sorts of battery configurations and solar systems on a variety of jobsites. We were no longer medium to high-voltage, but now also renewables.” 30-Years and Counting October marks the 30-year milestone for Stronghold Engineering. Over these past 30-years, Stronghold has been repeatedly recognized with outstanding performance evaluations and national design and construction awards from DBIA, AGC, ENR and ABC. These recognitions and awards are a testament to Stronghold Engineering’s commitment to quality, craftsmanship and safety. Stronghold is also one of the nation’s most successful graduates of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program for small, disadvantaged businesses.

They are also a WBENC and MBE/WBE Certified company. Stronghold is also a firm believer in giving back to their local communities by contributing to a long list of charities and organizations. Their team’s hard work and dedication to their community have helped raise funds for many organizations, including Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital, American Heart Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Blindness Support Services and many more worthy causes. These donations include a personal $1 million pledge from Beverly and Scott Baiey to UC Riverside to aid in constructing the planned facility that will eventually be the home for the School of Business. From a small electrical company that started from a kitchen table to a successful and diversified general engineering construction company, Stronghold Engineering is poised to reach even greater heights over the next 30 years. For more information on Stronghold Engineering, please visit them at or call their Perris headquarters at (951) 684-9303. Cc

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STRONGHOLD E n g i n e e r i n g ,

I n c .

Current and Past Projects Ironwood State Prison – Blythe – General Construction - 2021 and Ongoing The work on this level three prison’s HVAC system is Stronghold’s largest project to date. This ongoing $126 million project consists of constructing a chilled water plant to feed a new chilled water loop that provides new air handler units for over 90 buildings at the Ironwood State Prison. Stronghold is the prime contractor, self-performing all electrical features, including installing primary power for the new central plant. Stronghold is also installing a backup generator, putting down cast-in-place concrete, framing and carpentry work, drywall installation, and final grading duties. In addition, Stronghold will install a new Southern California Edison main electrical line while also relocating the prison’s electrical service from Chuckwallas State Prison to the new dedicated service. Additionally, Stronghold will replace the entire fire alarm system to include a rapid response air aspiration smoke detection system in critical hard-to-service areas.

UPRR North Portland JCT Upgrade – Portland, OR – Civil – 2021 and Ongoing Stronghold Engineering’s Rail and Civil division started work on this joint project between Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (B.N.) and Union Pacific Railroad (U.P.) in July 2020 and is scheduled for completion in Oct. 2021. The $11 million project increases the track speed on the Union Pacific Line running through Portland, easing the radius of the merge between B.N. and U.P. lines and alleviating much of the commuter traffic bottlenecks. Stronghold crews began by stabilizing the ground near the railroad tracks in preparation for the construction of a T-Wall. Deep soil mixing techniques were utilized to inject grout deep into the ground to mix with the existing material. Temporary shoring was necessary to stabilize the nearby railroad track beds. This required installing H-piles on both sides of the trackbed with coil rods drilled into the bed and lagging into the H-piles. Walers were then installed with the coil rods running through both walls. Pressure jacks were attached to the walers and coil rods to tighten the wall tension and allow for safe and stable excavation of the DSM work. In all, 700 linear feet of precast retaining wall was installed, along with 900 36-inch soil stabilizing columns. This technical and challenging job will wrap up with the construction of a soldier-pile wall and chain link fence on a different part of the project site.

Lake Elsinore Unified School District Solar Canopies (LEUSD) – Lake Elsinore – Electrical – Completed 2021 Stronghold provided power in 14 LEUSD locations, consisting of 10 schools and four administration buildings. The $6.6 million contract was performed from Sept. 2019 to Feb. 2021 and included the installation of 67 solar carports over parking areas coving 225,932 square feet. The systems provide a total of 4MW of photovoltaic power with additional battery storage systems at seven sites. Each site receives between 6-10% of the power collected by the landfill’s solar system. Solar energy from Stronghold’s recent $13 million West Riverside Landfill (WRL) job is offsetting energy gathered by the solar parking canopies in the 14 locations. This WRL project in Jurupa Valley involved four separate parcels across 74-acres. Stronghold’s contract called for the designing, procuring, and constructing an 8.2-megawatt (MC AC) grid-tied, fixed-tilt solar installation.


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Huntington Library Tesla Battery Energy Storage System – San Marino – Electrical – Completed 2020 Installing the 880KW/3520kWh TESLA Battery Energy Storage System was a fast-paced project that consisted of multiple TESLA battery storage systems within the Huntington Library Botanical Gardens, located in San Marino. Due to the project’s fast-tracked schedule, Stronghold began design in April 2019. They started construction of the $373,000 job in November and completed it in two short months. Because of the nature of the gardens, the battery system needed to be placed on concrete pads to maintain the integrity of the root system of the nearby large oak trees.

Wellfield Emergency Generators – Moorpark – Electrical – Completed 2020 Calleguas Metropolitan Water District (MWD) contracted with Stronghold Engineering on a project designed to alleviate SCE power supply issues during unplanned outages. Stronghold worked with Calleguas MWD to construct the $20 million Wellfield emergency generator building at the Las Posas aquifer storage and recovery facility. Work began on the new building in Oct. 2017 and was completed in Aug. 2020. The facility now has five high-quality, 2MW emergency backup power generators that feature sound attenuating systems to avoid disruption to the neighboring communities.

Chino Hills State Park Entry Road – Chino Hills – Civil – Completed 2015 On this project, Stronghold constructed a new 2.2-mile all-weather access road, a new entry kiosk, comfort station, and maintenance facility, along with three scenic overlooks. The $5,549,170 project began in Jan. 2014 and was complete in May 2015. The work included installing hundreds of feet of retaining wall, several large drainage crossings, and a 90-foot simple span bridge for the Entrance Road and Facilities project.

GSA Basement and Floors 1-8 - Richmond, CA – General Construction – Completed 2014 This approximately $100 million design-build job was delivered in two contracts that were performed between 2008 and 2014. The contracts called for comprehensive seismic and life safety renovations for floors one through eight and the basement of the Federal Building in downtown Los Angeles. This was one of the more challenging projects for Stronghold as the work was being done while the occupants remained in the 1.2 million sq. ft. building as the work was phased and completed. The scope of work included demolition, including asbestos abatement, and the replacement of existing carpet, lighting, and electrical. The original marble columns were stored and reinstalled after demolition. Electrical work included branch‐circuit panel boards, low voltage circuit breakers, and HVAC renovations. Stronghold then added interior finishes to complete the renovation, including an acoustical soffit suspension system, carpentry and casework, new tile, painting, and stonework. Exterior finishes included exterior wall louvers and vents, blast‐resistant window film, and exterior glazed aluminum assemblies.

Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQ) – San Clemente Island – General Construction – Completed 2012 The design-build team of Stronghold and Ravatt were contracted to construct new BEQ quarters and supporting facilities on San Clemente Island. This $27,186,514 project produced an exemplary Net-Zero project with no power from the grid. Construction began with the demolition of three existing 2-story buildings. Then, two new three-story buildings were constructed to include 45 units with common kitchenettes/bathrooms and two bedrooms per unit. All construction waste was barged off the island, with 85% being diverted from landfills and recycled. The key sustainable features of this project include a sizeable photovoltaic roof array, building-mounted wind turbines, a greywater system, and a complete water and sewage treatment plant that sustainably processes all waste from the buildings. This project won the ABC National Excellence in Construction Pyramid Award in 2012.


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Guy F. Atkinson Construction Wrapping Up Rosamond-Mojave CRCP Rehabilitation Project on SR 14 in Kern County

By Brian Hoover, Senior Editor

tate Route 14 (SR 14) is a north-south state highway that connects Los Angeles to the northern Mojave Desert. SR 14 begins at US Route 395 and ends at Interstate 5 near Newhall Pass. This stretch of highway is heavily traveled from Santa Clarita to Lancaster during peak commute hours. The southern portion of SR 14, from I-5 to Avenue D near Lancaster, has been designated the Antelope Valley Freeway by the state Legislature. From the Pearblossom Highway exit south of Palmdale to US 395 near Inyokern, SR 14 has been designated the Aerospace Highway. HOV lanes were constructed on SR 14 between 1998 and 2006 to help alleviate traffic. Numerous other construction and maintenance strategies continue to be implemented to achieve the longest possible service life for this 117-mile stretch of highway in California. Guy F. Atkinson (Atkinson) is currently working on the SR 14 Rosamond-Mojave Rehabilitation Project from 1.4 miles south of the Dawn Road overcrossing to 0.54 miles north of the Silver Queen Road overcrossing. The length of this approximately $43 million project is 8 miles, and the job is being completed in two phases. Atkinson received the construction contract from Caltrans and began work Oct. 2020. The initial phase started Nov. 3 and included milling operations and preparing the northbound lane shoulders to



Above: Guy F. Atkinson Construction’s first day of the pour on Highway 14. Pictured here using their Wirtgen SP 94i Inset Slipform paver and their brand new Wirtgen WSP 62i Placer Spreader. Right: Wirtgen SP 94i Inset Slipform paver placing finished product on the project.

handle traffic during construction. The second phase included rehabilitation for on/off ramps and adjacent shoulders. Additionally, the contract called for a new metal beam guardrail system and traffic loop detectors. The highlight of this job is the use of the Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement (CRCP) on all 32-lane-miles of this

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two-lane highway section. The project is scheduled for completion in Jan. 2022. Jesus Pena, Engineer, Guy F. Atkinson Construction Jesus Pena works as an Engineer for Atkinson and oversees all planning and day-to-day operations related to paving projects. He is C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M

responsible for several duties and tasks on the SR 14 CRCP Rehabilitation Project. These include everything from tracking jobsite production, scheduling and coordinating subcontractors, to supervising the delivery of aggregate and concrete materials from Pomona to Mojave. “This job represents our first CRCP project, and everything is on schedule and going according to plan. This is a heavy traffic area with semi-trucks that are sometimes diverted onto State Route 14 during snow events and other closures on the I-5. CRCP was the best solution for Caltrans, who wants this new roadway section to support these heavy loads for the next 40-plus years,” says Pena. “We set 8 miles (51,000 linear feet) of K-Rail on each side of the freeway with traffic 15 feet away from working crews. We milled out the existing shoulder in Phase 1 and installed a new reinforced shoulder that we later shifted traffic to during construction. We also milled out the existing asphalt material from all of the entrance and exit ramps, replacing it with a new asphalt overlay.” According to Pena, the existing roadway surface on the SR 14 CRCP project was profiled by Atkinson’s subcontractor, ABSL Construction, to set a paving baseline. “After the existing concrete pavement section was properly prepared, our subcontractor, Sully-Miller Contracting, began overlaying the roadway with 25/100ths (3-inches) of rubberized hot mix asphalt provided by Granite Construction,” says Pena. The asphalt base paving was followed by installing thousands of pounds of rebar by our subcontractor, CMC Rebar. The rebar was installed in both transverse and longitudinal lines to prepare for the placement of 10 to 12 inches of low-density concrete. With the freeway CALCON TRAC TOR.CO M

sections closed to traffic, the concrete mix was able to easily reach the 20 AB strength required by Caltrans. We paved one pass at 17 feet wide and the next pass at 22 feet wide, so 39 feet of paving in all, including the shoulders. The southbound side is complete; we are now working on the northbound lanes.” There were other interesting aspects of this job, including removing around 750 feet of existing pavement under the three bridge overcrossings. “It was necessary to demo and excavate down 12 to 24 inches to build a new, lowered pavement section to meet clearance requirements for truck traffic underneath each bridge,” says Pena. “Our crews removed 65/100ths of concrete and 45/100ths of aggregate subbase before placing new compacted Class II base ready for paving.” Pena points out that the job has had its share of challenges, including high winds and extreme temperatures. “We have to stay on top of it all with a strict quality control checklist designed to prevent cracks in the concrete. This meant wetting the slab before we poured and fogging the concrete to keep it moist after it was in place,” continues Pena. “There were lots of other risks to manage, like adding the cure at the correct intervals and timing the one-hour round trip trucking trips appropriately. Yet, even with all this pressure, deadlines and checklists, our exceptional crews have kept us on schedule and have met all of the milestone dates.” Joe Bradford, Paving Superintendent, Guy F. Atkinson Construction Joe Bradford oversees the paving crews for Atkinson, and handles the scheduling, set up of equipment, and ordering of materials while also monitoring trucking and managing the budgets. “The SR 14 Rehabilitation

What is Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement (CRCP) According to information on the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute (CRSI) website, CRCP was first developed more than 75 years ago and was popular in constructing the U.S. Interstate Highway system in the 1960s and 1970s. Many stretches of highway built at that time are still in use, having outperformed and outlived their original loading and design-life projections. CRCP is constructed with steel reinforcing bars placed within the concrete along the entire length of the pavement. CRCP naturally forms tight transverse cracks to transfer loads evenly. The reinforcing bars control the width of the transverse cracks that form and hold them closed. The transverse cracks do not impair the structural integrity of the pavement. The result is a continuous, smooth-riding surface capable of withstanding the heaviest traffic loads and the most adverse environmental conditions.

B UI L DI N G & I N FRA S T RUC T URE / 2 0 2 1


Right: Early morning shot of the paving train heading southbound on highway 14 near the Silver Queen Road offramp.

Project is our first job using our new Wirtgen WPS 62i Placer Spreader for use in front of our Wirtgen SP 94i Inset Slipform paver. This is the second project for our Wirtgen Slipform paver, which we acquired 18 months ago,” says Bradford. “The Wirtgen Placer Spreader is a real gamechanger and a big advantage for our team. Concrete is delivered to our jobsite in Super 10 dump trucks, and our new Wirtgen Placer Spreader can unload 10 yards of concrete in under a minute. Additionally, our Leica wireless automatic machine control helps us to achieve an average IRI (International roughness index) at around 75% compliance with zero grinding.” Bradford says his crews started paving at 2 a.m. in the summer but will soon begin regular daytime shifts starting at 6 a.m. “Our paving crews will self-perform approximately 113,000 cubic yards of CRCP by the end of this project. Our subcontractor, Sully-Miller Contracting, will place close to 80,000 tons of hot mix asphalt. In my opinion, this project represents some of the smoothest paving that Atkinson has ever put down,” says Bradford. “We also recently purchased a Wirtgen TCM 180i Texture Curing Machine to complete our concrete paving train. Since transitioning to this new equipment, we have seen a noticeable difference in quality and ease of general operation. The Leica wireless system did involve a learning curve, but the folks at FMAC (Flores Automation & Machine Control) provided great support, and we got up to speed quickly.” 18

Bradford points out that overlaying the existing pavement on SR 14 saved money and took a lot of the civil work out of the project. Concrete for this project was provided using Atkinson’s Rexcon® Model S batch plant located around 6 miles from the worksite. In addition, Holliday Rock’s nearby Mojave plant supplied crushed aggregate materials. “This particular portion of SR 14 has a 5-foot inside and a 10-foot outside shoulder with 24 feet of travel way in each direction, so we are paving 42,400 feet at 39-feet wide in each direction,” continues Bradford. “Making the change to Wirtgen has made a big difference for both our crews and the product that we can provide to Caltrans and other public and private entities.” Tim Karle, Equipment Superintendent, Guy F. Atkinson Construction Tim Karle has been with Atkinson for 12 ½ years and now serves as the equipment superintendent overseeing the company’s fleet of 250-plus machines. Karle buys and sells equipment for Atkinson while also managing the mechanics and oilers that keep the machines maintained and running efficiently. “We purchased our Wirtgen SP 94i

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Inset Slipform paver from NixonEgli Equipment Company around a year and a half ago for use on the I-10 Freeway project in Covina. We are now using the paver on the SR 14 project, and it is putting down an incredible finished product,” says Karle. “We then decided to do a lease-purchase on the first-ever Wirtgen WSP 62i Placer Spreader to be delivered in California. The first thing we noticed was the ease of going from transport to paving mode. Everything is tucked away and does not have to be disassembled for transport. The Wirtgen Placer Spreader also comes with a Tier 4 engine with outstanding fuel efficiencies.” According to Karle, the Wirtgen Placer Spreader also has an auto float feature, so when you stop, the machine automatically raises the pan so that it does not just sit in the mud. “Our operators love the machine’s comfort and ergonomic design, and the platform has been extended out, so they have better visibility of the mud,” continues Karle. “Our cost per hour has been reduced by nearly half since using our new Wirtgen machines.” Atkinson only recently began dealing with Nixon-Egli Equipment Co. (Nixon-Egli). Tim Karle will tell you that he believes that the new C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M

relationship has already made a difference. “Jay Rosa (from NixonEgli) kept knocking on our door, and we are glad he did. We slowly built a relationship with Nixon-Egli and made our first major purchase from them after finishing the SR 91 project in Corona,” says Karle. “Nixon-Egli has been there for us with excellent onsite operator training and orientation services. Recently, when we purchased the Wirtgen Placer Spreader, Nixon-Egli was onsite for the first three nights of paving. We started at 3 a.m. and did not finish until sometimes 11 p.m. or even midnight. Nixon-Egli owner, James Nixon, was out there for a good portion of each night, which spoke volumes about what we could expect concerning customer service. There were also Wirtgen representatives and technicians from Germany onsite who were very knowledgeable and helpful.”

Karle points to other benefits of working with Wirtgen and NixonEgli. “Wirtgen puts a part number on every part and component. So, if you have a bad pan section, there is a part number right on the component. We have also found that Nixon-Egli stocks more common wear and other parts than any other distributor,” continues Karle. “As a result, our overnight costs have decreased by around 60%. Moving over to Wirtgen and Nixon-Egli has been a positive change for our company; we are now all moving in the right direction. Jay Rosa has been helpful, as has Mark Doering, who came out from Wirtgen to help us acclimate to our new Placer Spreader. We look forward to working with Nixon-Egli on more strategic purchases in the future.” Guy F. Atkinson Construction is located in Irvine and is part of Clark Construction Group in

Bethesda, Maryland. Atkinson’s capabilities include the construction of roadways and bridges, mass transit, dams, hydro facilities, and work in the mining and underground sector. They have been a part of building our nation’s infrastructure since 1926 and are consistently recognized for their excellence in building highly engineered complex projects. The Rosamond-Mojave Rehabilitation Project received $10 million in funding from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, also known as Senate Bill 1 (SB1), which will invest $54 billion in repairing or replacing several areas of the state’s highway system by 2027. For more information on Guy F. Atkinson Construction, please visit or call their Southern California division at (949) 855-9755. Cc


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B UI L DI N G & I N FRA S T RUC T URE / 2 0 2 1


Hazard Construction Company Performing State Route 78 RHMA Overlay Project in Escondido By Brian Hoover, Senior Editor


tate Route 78 (SR 78) runs approximately 215 miles, traversing almost the entire width of California, from Oceanside to Blyth. Initially constructed in 1934, SR 78 has gone through several realignments, widenings and other improvements, including new offramps and interchanges. Currently, Hazard Construction Company out of Lakeside is working on a 5 mile section in Escondido that will improve the ride quality while extending the highway’s service life. The SR 78 corridor upgrades include the construction of new curb ramps, modified traffic signals, and a bike route between North Broadway and Flora Vista Street. This $14.3 million RHMA overlay project is funded by Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) through the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP). The job began in Jan. 2021 and is expected to be complete in Nov. 2021.


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Jeff Moore is the Superintendent for Hazard Construction Company (Hazard) overseeing the SR 78 project in Escondido. “Before breaking any ground, we set up all of the signage and had the folks from Cable Pipe and Leak come out to locate the underground services. We then moved on to begin reconstructing 83 curb ramps across the 5-mile stretch of State Route 78 per ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance specifications,” says Moore. “The next steps included milling off 0.60’ of existing asphalt, followed by putting back down a little over 5 inches of large stone matrix (1½ inch max aggregate) hot mix asphalt base course. The entire pavement section then received a 0.15’ (1 3/4 inches) cap of RHMA (rubberized hot mix asphalt).” Moore further explains that more than 50,000 tons of existing asphalt was removed C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M

Above: Hazard’s Vogele 1700-3i tracked paver with hopper insert being fed by Roadtec SB 2500-e on the SR 78 corridor upgrade project. Far Left: Hazard Construction crew getting started on state route 78 improvements with their new Vogele 1700-3i tracked paver.

and recycled off-site. Additionally, 33,500 tons of 1½ inch large stone base material was placed throughout the five-mile section. The base course was then capped with 16,200 tons of RHMA. All of the asphalt material was placed by Hazard crews utilizing their Vogele Super 1700-3i tracked paver, fed by a Roadtec SB 2500 material transfer vehicle. “This job represents the first time that large stone matrix has been used in San Diego County. The decision CALCON TRAC TOR.CO M

was made to use larger aggregate to handle the heavy loads that consistently travel this particular stretch of highway,” says Moore. “The State provided a public information officer who has been proactive in notifying the residents and businesses about construction times and closures. All of our paving has been done at night from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Social media sites and apps, flyers, and even newspaper ads have helped to get the word out to ease any

ongoing inconveniences or frustrations from residents. Working in the middle of the night in an area with adjacent housing is always a challenge. It is a balancing act that Caltrans, our crews, and our subcontractors have done a great job dealing with these past several months.” According to Moore, the SR 78 RHMA Overlay Project also included the installation of fiberoptics throughout around half the project area. The fiberoptics

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Above & Inset: All of the paving has taken place at night from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Hazard used social media and newspaper ads to get the word out to residents. Right: The Hazard Construction team on the state route 78 jobsite.

and some other electrical work are performed by subcontractor Select Electric, while EBS constructed the concrete flatwork and pedestrian ramps. “We are paving through a primarily residential area that goes right through the middle of Escondido and into the outskirts toward Ramona. It is a 2-lane project in each direction that includes several turn lanes. The roadway also transitions to a single lane in each direction for around 2 miles,” continues Moore. “We are upgrading seven traffic signals and several pedestrian signals. We are also installing new crosswalks, along with high-visibility striping and Class II and III bike routes. Finally, we are using an inertial profiler to measure smoothness and make any necessary adjustments on both the base and RHMA courses.” { Continued on page 24 } 22

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Above & Inset: An automated flagger system was used on the SR 78 project. Right: A Volvo DD120 vibratory roller and a Bomag rubber-tired roller were part of the auxiliary equipment used onsite.

{ Continued from page 22 }

State Route 78 is the primary travel corridor between Escondido and Oceanside, serving inbetween communities such as Carlsbad, Vista, San Marcos, and unincorporated areas of San Diego County. It is the principal route for local and regional travel in North County that supplies an essential connection to Interstate 5 and 15. “Everything is moving along smoothly, and that is due to our exceptional crews here at Hazard, along with our outstanding subcontractors. I wish I could recognize every team member by name but would at least like to thank everyone for their exceptional efforts,” says Moore. “2021 has been a good year so far, and we have an excellent backlog at this time. We are also paving at a regional airport and doing extensive grading work in the Otay Mesa 24

area. We recently completed a couple of SANDAG (San Diego Association of Governments) projects and are busy on some emergency repair work for the City of San Diego, including rehabilitating storm drains. It is going to be a good year, and we look forward to 2022 and what is in store for Hazard Construction.” Pappy Hazard founded R.E. Hazard Contracting Company in 1926 to perform road construction and excavation throughout San Diego. Bruce Hazard joined his father’s business in 1935. After Bruce Hazard’s passing in 2001, the company transitioned to R. David Randal, one of Bruce’s long-term and trusted business partners. When Randall passed on in 2016, the company’s current management team moved into its 4th generation of private ownership. Hazard Construction

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Company is now led by Jason A. Mordhorst, who serves as President, along with William Rogers, Executive Vice President, Emmanuel Gavino, Chief Financial Officer, Mark Thunder, Vice President of Operations and Bryan Seeger, Vice President of Estimating. Hazard Construction Company has evolved into a full-service general engineering contracting firm focusing on private sector and public works projects. Hazard performs and manages commercial site development, residential subdivisions, golf course construction, and public sector projects throughout Southern California. For more information on Hazard Construction, please visit or call (858) 587-3600. Cc












VOLVO CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT ANNOUNCES FIRST NORTH AMERICAN ELECTRIC MACHINES’ PILOT RESULTS Volvo CE Battery-Electric Compact Excavator and Compact Wheel Loader are Viable Alternatives to Diesel Equipment for Fleets to Reduce Carbon Footprints

Above: The Volvo ECR25 electric compact excavator and L25 electric compact wheel loader with a fork attachment are used to plant a 16-foot-tall, 3,500-pound cork oak tree in the UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden during the press event.

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) announced the results of a pilot project testing the ECR25 Electric compact excavator and L25 Electric compact wheel loader in North America. Remarks were provided at a press event in Los Angeles on Sept. 21 alongside officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) and customers who tested the machines. For nearly a year, Volvo CE has been testing its battery-powered ECR25 Electric compact excavator and L25 Electric compact wheel loader with multiple customers on jobsites in Southern California with the goal of accelerating the deployment of zero-emission technologies for off-road vehicles. Both machines are zero-emission solutions that meet the highperformance standards of construction customers in a variety of applications, as proven through the recent testing scenarios. An Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant administered by the South Coast AQMD provided funding for the project. 26

The pilot results come on the cusp of the company’s full roll-out of electric machines in these sizes, with customer deliveries of the ECR25 Electric expected in January 2022 and both units available throughout North America early in 2022. The company is the first to commercialize dedicated electric machines at the larger end of the compact size range. “Our customer’s response to these machines validates that there is not only a desire for these types of machines in North America but a pull in many markets,” said Stephen Roy, President of Region North America, Volvo CE. “This just adds further momentum to the Volvo vision of offering machines that align with Science Based Targets and our overall commitment to decarbonization.” KEY LEARNINGS FROM THE PILOT The pilot project confirms Volvo electric construction equipment matches performance and has significant benefits when compared to diesel machines in the same class.

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“The California pilot project supports what we’ve seen on jobsites in Europe and elsewhere: our battery-electric compact excavator and compact wheel loader are viable alternatives to diesel equipment for construction fleets that want to reduce their carbon footprints,” said Melker Jernberg, President of Volvo CE. “Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time, we all have an important role to act, and by working together and collaborating we can reduce the amount of harmful emissions that are entering the atmosphere.” KEY FINDINGS Sustainability — Powered by lithium-ion batteries and producing zero emissions, the ECR25 and L25 compact electric machines proved themselves as environmentally sound options. They also allowed some of the customers to operate inside buildings and other structures where diesel exhaust is restricted. • Proof points: Based on the combined 400 operating hours of electric machine use during the C A LCO N T R AC TO R .CO M

Stephen Roy, President of Region Justin Zupanc, Product Manager, Michael Cacciotti, Board North America, Volvo CE. Volvo CE. Member, South Coast Air Quality Management District.

Left: Darrell Merritt, Casper Company (left), and Jacques Marais, Baltic Sands were part of the contractor panel at the event.

Dr. Ray Gallant, Vice President of Product Management and Productivity, Region Americas at Volvo CE.

year-long pilot, there was a reduction of 6 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions and an approximate savings of 560 gallons of fuel with an estimated cost of $2,400, when comparing diesel machine use at the same amount of hours. Noise — There was significantly lower noise levels compared with diesel equipment, reducing noise pollution and improving jobsite communication and safety by making it easier for crew members to hear each other. The testers said the machines could allow them to work in sound-sensitive areas. • Proof points: Lowered exterior noise levels by 9 decibels (dBA) on the ECR25 Electric compact excavators compared to their diesel counterparts, which represents a 90% decrease in sound power. The L25 Electric compact wheel loader sees a similar reduction in sound power, which is a measurement of noise radiating from a source. Performance — The Volvo electric machines have similar specifications to their diesel equivalents, and pilot project participants said that in practice CALCON TRAC TOR.CO M

Toks Omishakin, Director of the California Department of Transportation.

the performance matched that of diesel machines. There also was positive feedback on the decreased maintenance needs of the electric machines, which don’t require maintenance items such as oil, oil filters and diesel particulate filters. The need for a diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tank is also eliminated. • Proof points: Matched performance in several key areas, including digging depth and breakout force on the excavator and tipping load and dump height on the wheel loader. Charging — The project was an enabler for adaptations to the machines to make them compatible with the North American power grid. The higher current available on the U.S. power grid compared with Europe was found to be a benefit to charging. The Volvo CE pilot project confirmed the importance of having access to quality charging connections. However, traditional power sources aren’t always required. Baltic Sands, for example, installed a solar array for its work in the desert.

• Proof points: Between the two machines, over 200 charge cycles were completed using 240-volt AC grid power, fast charging, mobile power sources and solar power. “These electric construction equipment produce no tailpipe emissions and protect the health of neighboring communities,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Air and Radiation Division Director Elizabeth Adams. “In order to attain the national air quality standards and fight climate change, we need to aim for vehicles and equipment that produce near-zero emissions.” PILOT PROJECT PARTNERS The L25 Electric compact wheel loader and ECR25 Electric compact excavator were used by four organizations in a variety of applications: • The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), for trenching, grading and clearing of drainage areas. • Casper Company, which specializes in demolition, concrete cutting and environmental services,

B UI L DI N G & I N FRA S T RUC T URE / 2 0 2 1


L-R: Cheyenne Linich, Michael Burrell, Aaron Anderson, and Phillip Ransom of Volvo Construction Equipment & Services.

Lars Arnold, product manager, Volvo CE.

for utility and demolition work, including inside buildings. • Baltic Sands Inc., which specializes in environmentally sensitive, off-grid property development, for excavation, grading, moving material and numerous other tasks in housing construction. • Waste Management, a waste disposal and recycling company, for light waste handling.

“Over the three months we tested, these machines performed exceptionally — matching what we would expect from a diesel machine of equal size but with no emissions,” said Jacques Marais, Director, Baltic Sands. “We are excited to be one of the early adopters in applying electric equipment to our business and I have a sincere belief that this is the future.”

Prebooking of the ECR25 Electric compact excavator and L25 Electric compact wheel loader for North American customers is open now for those who want to be among the first to own the machines when delivery begins in early 2022. Call Volvo Construction Equipment & Services at (951) 277-7620. Cc


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