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Tohono O’odham’s $400M Casino Takes Shape in Glendale
The casino will cover 75,000 sq. ft., compared with the current facility’s 35,000 sq. ft.
By Chuck Harvey CEG CORRESPONDENT
A new casino is rising from the desert in Glendale, Ariz. The new $400M Desert Diamond West Valley casino is more than twice the size of the original one built at the site, which also includes a resort. Tohono O’odham tribe’s gaming enterprise oversees the project. The addition of the resort combined with the popularity of the casino, necessitates an increase in the casino interior. The casino will
cover 75,000 sq. ft., compared with the current facility’s 35,000 sq. ft. Desert Diamond Casinos & Entertainment, with three locations in Southern Arizona (Tucson, Sahuarita and Why) and one in the West Valley, is owned and operated by the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise, an enterprise of the Tohono O’odham Nation. The new facility will employ about 1,600 people, feature a modern casino floor with slot machines, poker and blackjack tables and live bingo. The original
casino did not include table games. The casino is being built adjacent to the temporary casino the tribe opened in 2015, near 93rd and Northern avenues. It is a long, curved purple-colored two-story building with a scenic circular pond in front. Once complete, the full-scale casino property will span more than 1 million sq. ft., including the expanded gaming floor, five dining venues, two covered parking garages and a water feature out front. The facility design is intend-
ed to complement the existing buildings of the surrounding Sports and Entertainment District in Glendale. Architectural motifs draw on desert imagery and traditional designs of the Tohono O’odham people. The project is just one piece of the tribe’s plan to transform its 135-acre property into a full-scale casino, resort and spa. The soft opening date planned for phase one of the new facility is the end of 2019. The second phase includes a hotel and spa. This sec-
ond phase will come after phase 1 is completed. Possibly the most important factor with the new facility is lodging. It will be an important attraction and many guests will stay longer than before. A resort, according to North American English, is a self-contained commercial establishment that tries to provide most of a vacationer’s wants, such as food, drink, lodging, sports, entertainment and shopping, on the premises. see CASINO page 6
Page 2 • August 18, 2019 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Arizona State Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
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Innovative Techniques Make I-40 Bridge Replacement Faster Arizona Department of Transportation photo
It’s ADOT’s first use of this technique, known as a geosynthetic reinforced soil-integrated bridge system, to rebuild an overpass. Arizona Department of Transportation photo
An Arizona Department of Transportation project replacing the Interstate 40 bridge at Meteor City Road is using innovative techniques that get the work done faster.
An Arizona Department of Transportation project replacing the Interstate 40 bridge at Meteor City Road is using innovative techniques that get the work done faster, limit inconvenience for motorists and reduce long-term maintenance costs. This work, which began in mid-July, is creating abutments by putting in alternating layers of granular fill reinforced with synthetic material. It’s ADOT’s first use of this technique, known as a geosynthetic reinforced soil-integrated
bridge system, to rebuild an overpass. The approach makes it possible for a bridge replacement that ordinarily would take about six months to wrap up this fall. Bridges constructed using this method have lower maintenance costs over their life spans and also fit more seamlessly into the roadway approaches, creating a smoother transition from road to bridge. In addition, the project is constructing a new bridge deck
using a polyester polymer concrete that can be placed and cured in a matter of days rather than weeks. This new type of deck provides similar performance with lower maintenance costs compared to a traditional concrete bridge deck. This method of constructing bridge decks is not only a first for ADOT but for the state. In addition to replacing the bridge, crews also will reconstruct the roadway approach to the bridge. For more information, visit azdot.gov.
Construction Equipment Guide • Arizona State Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • August 18, 2019 • Page 3
Industry Employment Rises in 42 States Including Arizona Forty-two states added construction jobs between June 2018 and June 2019, while construction employment increased in 30 states from May to June, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of Labor Department data released July 19. Association officials said the new construction employment data demonstrates the need for new federal investments in career and technical education programs, along with immigration reform. “Construction demand remains robust across most states, and contractors continue to add workers when they can find them,” said chief economist Ken Simonson. “But contractors are struggling to find all the workers they need in many states, as shown the historically high number job openings at the end of May.” California added the most construction jobs over the year (40,300 jobs, 4.7 percent), followed by Texas (39,500 jobs, 5.4 percent), Florida (25,800 jobs, 4.8 percent), Arizona (18,200 jobs, 11.6 percent) and Georgia (12,700 jobs, 6.5 percent). West Virginia added the highest percentage of construction jobs over 12 months (19.8 percent, 8,100 jobs), followed by Wyoming (14.1 percent, 2,800 jobs), Arizona and Alaska (10.3 percent, 1,600 jobs). Construction employment reached a record high in four states: Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas. Eight states shed construction jobs over the latest 12 months, while employment was unchanged in the District of Columbia. Louisiana lost the largest number and percentage of construction jobs (minus 12,300 jobs, minus 8.0 percent). Other states with large job losses include Massachusetts (minus 3,400 jobs, minus 2.1 percent), Maryland (minus 2,200 jobs, minus 1.4 percent), Connecticut (minus 1,000 jobs, minus 1.7 percent) and Montana (minus 800 jobs, minus 2.8 percent). Other states with a substantial percentage decline include Montana, Vermont (minus 2.7 percent, minus 400 jobs), Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland. California added the most construction jobs between May and June (11,900 jobs, 1.3 percent), followed by Texas (6,100 jobs, 0.8 percent), Georgia (2,000 jobs, 1.0 percent), Florida (1,900 jobs, 0.3 percent), and Arizona (1,800 jobs, 1.0 percent). Wyoming added the highest percentage of construction jobs for the month (3.7 percent, 800 jobs), followed by Maine (2.8 percent, 800 jobs), West Virginia (2.3 percent, 1,100 jobs) and Vermont (2.1 percent, 300 jobs).
Construction employment decreased from May to June in 17 states and was flat in Alaska, D.C., New York and Rhode Island. Nevada lost the largest number and percentage of construction jobs for the month (minus 4,200 jobs, minus 4.1 percent), followed by Louisiana (minus 1,800 jobs, minus 1.3 percent), Connecticut (minus 1,100 jobs, minus 1.9 percent), Illinois (minus 900 jobs, minus 0.4 percent) and Massachusetts (minus 900 jobs, minus 0.6
“Construction demand remains robust across most states, and contractors continue to add workers when they can find them.” Ken Simonson Associated General Contractors of America
percent). Other states with a substantial percentage decline for the month included Connecticut, Louisiana, Idaho (minus 0.6 percent, minus 300 jobs) and Massachusetts. Association officials said that with unemployment rates at historic lows in many states, there is an urgent need for Congress and the Trump administration to boost funding for career and technical education programs and enact immigration reforms. These measures would make it easier for schools to set up construction-focused programs while immigration reform will allow more people with construction skills to legally enter the country. “Contractors are eager to add even more high-paying middle-class jobs if they could only find more qualified workers to hire,” said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association’s chief executive officer. “The federal government should make it easier to prepare and attract more people into construction. Such steps will provide significant benefits to the broader economy.”
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Page 4 • August 18, 2019 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Arizona State Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
Leading National Highway Contractors North Phoenix... Challenge Peers to Take Safety Exam Loop 101 Project Three major transportation construction contractors are calling on their industry peers to commit at least 25 employees annually to earn the Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals (SCTPP) credential before the end of 2019, in 2020, and beyond. American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chairman Bob Alger, chairman of The Lane Construction Corporation; Ross Myers, chairman and CEO of Allan Myers, and David Walls, president and CEO of Austin Industries, together issued the challenge. Myers and Walls cochair the commission overseeing the program’s operations. The SCTPP was launched in fall 2016 by top industry executives and safety advocates via ARTBA’s Foundation to reduce and even eliminate the nearly 50,000 people who die or are injured annually on or near U.S. transportation infrastructure construction projects. It is aimed at workers, supervisors, foremen, inspectors, designers, planners, equipment operators, manufacturers, materials suppliers and owners who will learn 51 or More Employees • Allan Myers, Worcester, Pa. • Texas Department of Transportation, Austin 31-50 Employees • Austin Industries, Dallas, Texas 16-30 Employees • Barriere Construction Company LLC, Metairie, La. • Ranger Construction Industries Inc., West Palm Beach, Fla. • Superior Construction Company, Jacksonville, Fla. • The Lane Construction Company, Cheshire, Conn. 1-15 Employees • Acme Barricades LC, Jacksonville, Fla. • Advanced Workzone Services LLC, Muskogee, Okla. • AECOM, Los Angeles, Calif. • Ajax Paving Industries Inc., Troy, Mich. • Atkinson Construction, Golden, Colo. • ATS Construction, Lexington, Ky. • AWP Inc., North Canton, Ohio • B.A.T.S. Traffic Solutions, Fremont, Calif. • Bancker Construction, Islandia, N.Y. • Bryant Contracting Inc., Toano, Va. • Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City, Mo. • Cahill Excavating, Middlefield, Conn. • CBRE, Los Angeles, Calif. • Chemung Contracting, Mitchells, Va. • Colas Inc., Morristown, N.J. • Crossland Construction Company Inc., Columbus, Kan. • CW Roberts Contracting, Tallahassee, Fla. • Emery Sapp & Sons Inc., Columbia, Mo. • Fred Smith Construction, Raleigh, N.C. • Gallagher Asphalt, Thornton, Ill. • General Contractors Association of New York • Green Acres Contracting Co. Inc., Scottdale, Pa. • Halley Engineering Contractors Inc., New York, N.Y. • Hawkins Construction, Omaha, Neb. • HDR, Omaha, Neb. • Hellman Electric Corporation, Bronx, N.Y. • Herlihy Mid-Continent Company, Romeoville, Ill. • Hill International Inc., Philadelphia, Pa. • HNTB Corporation, Kansas City, Mo. • IMA Inc., Denver, Colo. • J. F. Shea Construction Inc., Walnut, Calif. • J.D. Abrams L.P., Austin, Texas
the core competencies necessary to identify and mitigate potentially life-threatening onsite risks. The safety certification continues to gain traction within the transportation construction sector. As of July 2019, 383 professionals from 83 companies and agencies in 37 states and D.C. have passed the exam and earned the credential. “Superior Construction prioritizes safety as a core value within our organization,” said Bryan Stone, the company’s safety director. “The safety certification program allows us to demonstrate that value by challenging our leaders in both the office and field to prepare for and earn this important credential.” In May 2018, the SCTPP earned the “seal of approval” from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI); it’s the only internationally-accredited safety program in the transportation construction industry. Here’s a complete list of companies and public agencies with employees who have become “safety certified”: • JMT, Hunt Valley, Md. • John R. Jurgensen Company, Cincinnati, Ohio • Key Constructors LLC, Madison, Miss. • Kiewit, Omaha, Neb. • Kraemer North America LLC, Plain, Wis. • Lakeside Industries, Issaquah, Wash. • Liberty Mutual Insurance, Boston, Mass. • Local 172 SET — New Jersey Laborers Union, Folsom, N.J. • Lunda Construction Company, Black River Falls, Wis. • MBP, Fairfax, Va. • Michael Baker International, Pittsburgh, Pa. • Nel Corporation, Middleton, Mass. • New York City Department of Design & Construction, New York, N.Y. • O&G Industries, Torrington, Conn. • Ohio Department of Transportation, Columbus, Ohio • OHL Community Asphalt, Miami, Fla. • Parisi Construction Co. Inc., Verona, Wis. • Parsons, Centreville, Va. • Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Harrisburg, Pa. • Preferred Materials Inc., Lutz, Fla. • Rieth-Riley Construction Co. Inc., Goshen, Ind. • RK Hall LLC, Texarkana, Ark. • RK&K, Baltimore, Md. • Road-Con Inc., West Chester, Pa. • Sherwood Construction, Merritt Island, Fla. • Siboney Contracting, West Palm Beach, Fla. • Silver Star Construction Co. Inc., Moore, Okla. • STV Incorporated, New York, N.Y. • Sundt Construction, Tempe, Ariz. • Talley Construction, Houston, Texas • Tennessee Department of Transportation, Nashville, Tenn. • Terracon Consultants Inc., Olathe, Kan. • The Ashton Company Inc., Tucson, Ariz. • The Walker Company, Mount Sterling, Ky. • United Infrastructure Group Inc., Charlotte, N.C. • Volkert, Mobile, Ala. • Wagman Heavy Civil, York, Pa. • Webber, LLC, The Woodlands, Texas • Wiregrass Construction Company Inc., Dothan, Ala. • WW Clyde, Orem, Utah • Zachry Construction Corporation, San Antonio, Texas To learn more about the certification exam and eligibility requirements, visit www.puttingsafetyfirst.org.
Will Close Bridge Through Late 2020 The 15th Avenue bridge over Loop 101 (Pima Freeway) in north Phoenix will be closed until late next year starting July 8, for improvements that are part of the Arizona Department of Transportation’s ongoing freeway widening project. Crews will be making changes to the bridge to allow room for new freeway lanes under the structure. The 15th Avenue bridge over Loop 101 is closed in both directions between the freeway’s frontage roads until late 2020. The Loop 101 Pima Freeway Improvement Project is adding new travel lanes in areas along 13 mi. of the freeway between Interstate 17 in north Phoenix and Pima Road/Princess Drive in north Scottsdale. The project started in February and is scheduled for completion in early 2021. For more information, visit azdot.gov/Loop101Improvements.
$20M Economic Impact...
Microsoft Plans to Build Three Data Center Campuses PHOENIX (AP) Microsoft has announced it will build three data center campuses in Arizona to support the growing demand for cloud and internet services across the West. The technology giant intends to develop two of the campuses in Goodyear and one in El Mirage, both in suburban Phoenix. It says all three will be powered with 100 percent renewable energy. Tempe-based First Solar will develop the solar project that will power the centers. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey attended the July 30 news conference on the data facilities. He said the centers will create 110 jobs, including mechanical and electrical engineers and data technicians. Ducey also said the projects will have a $20 million economic impact when up and running and create about 1,000 temporary construction jobs.
Construction Equipment Guide • Arizona State Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • August 18, 2019 • Page 5
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Page 6 • August 18, 2019 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Arizona State Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
Phase II of Casino Project Could Begin Sometime Next Year CASINO from page 1
That is the intent of designers of the first few phases of the project. There is currently no lodging at Desert Diamond Casino West Valley. Hotel and spa components are planned for a future phase of construction. The new casino development is a 20-month project. The current casino remains open during construction. The new resort is situated north of the current interim casino, Desert Diamond, near Northern Avenue and Loop 101. The plan is to replace it’s casino with this expansive new facility. Once the new casino opens, the interim casino, which opened in 2015, will be used as a warehouse. The second phase of construction will begin to add a hotel and spa to the site. Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise broke ground on the permanent, full-scale casino in December 2017 and construction is said to be moving forward aggressively. AECOM Hunt/Penta Joint Venture AECOM Hunt/Penta Joint Venture is prime contractor. Dozens of companies have been retained and 1,500 workers contracted for the project. “Currently there have been 110 subcontractors that have worked on the project,” said Treena Parvello, director of public rela-
A new casino is rising from the desert in Glendale, Ariz. The new $400M Desert Diamond West Valley casino is more than twice the size of the original one built at the site, which also includes a resort.
tions and communications for the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise. She said approximately 50,000 cu. yds. of concrete will be used in construction. Heavy equipment used in construction of the new casino included bull dozers, delivery trucks, cranes, forklifts and cement trucks. Initial Opposition The Tohono O’odham Nation first announced the major casino project Jan. 29, 2009. After overcoming challenges from opposition groups, an interim casino opened Dec. 20, 2015. It currently employs nearly 600
Tohono O’odham tribe’s gaming enterprise oversees the project.
people. The interim casino is continuing operations during construction and will transition to use as a warehouse after the full-scale casino opens. As new construction began, Edward Manuel, chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation said, “Today we celebrate how far we have come and how far we yet have to go in building a more prosperous future for the Nation and the West Valley. We will continue to work with our partners in the region for the benefit of all our communities.” Support Has Grown The current phase of the tribe’s
project includes the new casino, a service building and two parking garages. Tribal officials are relieved to now have the support of surrounding cities, such as Glendale and Peoria. The tribe initially faced resistance from Glendale and other tribes, and eventually from state leaders. After years of lawsuits, tribal and state leaders reached a settlement. The interim casino reportedly opened to large crowds. Ruby Prieto, CEO of the Tohono O’odham Gaming Enterprise, said work on the onsite resort will start after the casino opens. That means resort construction could begin in early 2020, he said.
Prieto said he isn’t sure if the resort will be built and ready to open in time for the Super Bowl in 2023, which will be hosted a few blocks from the site at State Farm Stadium. Construction of the project will create more than 1,500 construction jobs. Once complete, the fullscale casino will complement the region’s vibrant sports and entertainment attractions, including Glendale’s Westgate Entertainment District and Peoria’s P83 Entertainment District. Once fully built out, the resort and casino will occupy more than 1 million sq. ft. and create more than 3,000 jobs. CEG
Approximately 50,000 cu. yds. of concrete will be used in construction.
Construction Equipment Guide • Arizona State Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • August 18, 2019 • Page 7
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