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TxDOT’s Replaces Six Bridges on I-40 Near Amarillo By Chuck Harvey CEG CORRESPONDENT
Groundbreaking for the newest Kalahari Resort took place on May 15 in Round Rock, Texas.
$550M Kalahari Resort Takes Shape By Chuck Harvey CEG CORRESPONDENT
Round Rock, Texas, will be a major attraction starting in 2020 when a new convention center, graced by the world’s largest indoor water park, opens. Kalahari Resorts is building a $550 million, 345.2-acre complex that will include 1,000 guest rooms; between 150,000 and 200,000 sq. ft. of meeting space; outdoor pools; five restaurants; a spa; arcade; and retail space. Groundbreaking took place on May 15. The facility is scheduled to open in 2020. The 200,000-sq.-ft. water park will
be unique in that it will be Africanthemed. Tom Foolery’s Adventure Park will be part of the complex. It will feature thrill rides, a ropes course, climbing walls, an indoor zip line bowling, laser tag and mini-golf. The convention center will cover 214,000 sq. ft. It will have 16 meeting rooms, a business center and outdoor event space. Round Rock will be the fourth African-themed resort by Kalahari to open in the United States. The others are located in Wisconsin Dells, Wisc., in Sandusky, Ohio, and the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania. “Round Rock is one of the fastest-
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growing communities in the nation,” said Samantha Flynn, spokeswoman of Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, in a release. Located 15 mi. north of Austin, it doubled in population from 1990 to 2000. Kalahari Resorts and Conventions deliver a “world-away” waterpark resort and conference experience, Flynn explained. The authentically African-themed Kalahari Resorts, privately owned by the Nelson family, include a fully equipped fitness center, on-site restaurants, unique retail shops and a modern conference center. Kalahari Resorts and Conventions frequently receives see KALAHARI page 10
The need for today’s highways to handle taller and heavier trucks has necessitated major new bridge projects in the Amarillo, Texas, area including a $50.4-million Texas Department of Transportation project to replace six bridges along a 4.26-mi. portion of I-40, east of Amarillo. The bridges — located on I-40 at Whitaker Road; SL 335 (Lakeside Drive); and FM 1258 (Pullman Road) — have been in use for decades and are aging. I-40 in the Amarillo area was built in 1959. see TXDOT page 12
The bridges — located on I-40 at Whitaker Road; SL 335 (Lakeside Drive); and FM 1258 (Pullman Road) — have been in use for decades and are aging. I-40 in the Amarillo area was built in 1959.
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Page 4 • October 14, 2018 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Texas State Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
New Entity Serves Texas Oil & Gas, Commercial Clients A Southern Transport & Equipment operator loads a Komatsu HM400 articulated haul truck with a Komatsu PC360LC-11 excavator
Operator Ryan Maddox pushes dirt with a Komatsu intelligent Machine Control D61PXi24 dozer. “It’s a good finishing machine, and great for laying down rock,” said Maddox. “The GPS is awesome; all you have to do is drive. The machine does the rest.”
Justin Lott (L), Southern Transport & Equipment co-owner/senior vice president, meets with Kevin Demel, Kirby-Smith Machinery territory manager, on a job site. “Kevin and Kirby-Smith are excellent to work with from every standpoint. They go above and beyond to take care of us. We are extremely happy that we stopped in and talked to Kevin,” said Lott.
Justin Lott had his sights set on becoming a firefighter. He completed fire school and was set to take EMT training, a requirement to become a fireman in Texas. “The summer after I graduated from fire school, I took a job working for an oil field company to make some money,” recalled Lott, co-owner/senior vice president of Southern Transportation & Equipment LLC. “I quickly realized that oil field work paid much better than what I was projected to make as a firefighter. I was given an opportunity to grow with the business I worked for, so I took it and continued to make my way up the ladder.” The firm’s schedule was two weeks on, then two weeks off. Lott wasn’t about to sit around during the breaks, so he bought a dozer and started a land-clearing company on the side, known as Six Bar L. Within a few years, he made the business his full- time job. “One thing led to another, and I began leveling house pads and cutting in driveways,” said Lott. “Commercial work followed. I was doing complete site prep for filling stations and truck stops that included everything from clearing to utility installs to mass excavation and fine grading. A couple of years ago, I ventured back into the oil and gas industry, offering wellpad construction.”
Around the same time, Lott and Michael Stilley, a business acquaintance who owned a rigwashing business, had conversations with Jonathan and Thomas Ivy, the founders of Southern Transport, a heavy hauling business, about joining forces. The four saw the benefits of teaming up, so they formed Southern Transport & Equipment and began operations in January 2017. All are owners in the relatively new venture, with Jonathan Ivy serving as president and the other three as vice presidents. The Ivys remain in charge of the transportation side, which runs a wide variety of trucks throughout the contiguous 48 states and can carry loads up to 180,000 lbs. Full Site Preparation At the advent of Southern Transport & Equipment, Lott closed Six Bar L. Now, he and Stilley oversee operations for the new company’s equipment side. Stilley works with customers on contracting as well as building site models. Lott handles field operations, which, in most instances, involve all aspects of excavation services for oil and gas sites as well as new commercial properties. The Texas contractor has offices in Midland, Kilgore and Houston. “As soon as we determined the new business was going to happen, Michael and I were knocking on
doors and making phone calls,” Lott said. “Within three weeks, our first project was on the books. In a year’s time, the excavation side went from being built on dreams and prayers to employing approximately 25 people and running multiple jobs at one time.” Today, nearly 100 percent of Southern Transport & Equipment’s undertakings are for oil and gas companies in the Permian Basin. Its largest project to date involved a 38-acre site where the company moved close to 250,000 cu. yds. of earth. “We provide packages that include clearing, mass excavation, finish grading and balancing sites for new well pads, frac ponds, tank batteries and more,” said Lott. “We pioneer the roads
back to them and put down any rock or necessary stabilization materials. When we are finished, the customer is ready to install their piping and other systems.” On commercial projects, Southern Transportation & Equipment installs piping for utilities as part of a full package of services. A recent contract saw crews complete preparation for a new 10-acre truck stop. “We put in all the subsurface drainage, including piping and catch basins and built a detention pond,” said Lott. “We
also leveled the site to engineered grade. At completion, the next contractor could come in and pour concrete without doing any additional dirt work because the site was put to grade with GPS technology.” Increased Production With Intelligent Machine Control Southern Transport & Equipment uses GPS systems from start to finish on nearly every assignment. Stilley scouts locations with an all-terrain vehicle and a rover to map existing topography. He then loads that information into a CAD file and builds a model for cut/fill and other site-work specifications. “That process
Southern Transport & Equipment’s initial Komatsu piece was a D155AXi-8 with factory-installed and fully integrated GPS grade control.
see FLEET page 14
Construction Equipment Guide â€˘ Texas State Supplement â€˘ www.constructionequipmentguide.com â€˘ October 14, 2018 â€˘ Page 5
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Click It or Ticket. Day and Night. Day or night, front seat or back, state law requires everyone in the vehicle to be buckled up. Unbuckled adult drivers and passengers, even those in the back seat, face fines and court costs of up to $200. Kids younger than 8 years must be in a child safety seat or booster seat unless theyâ€™re taller than 4â€™9â€? â€” fines for drivers can reach $250.
Page 6 • October 14, 2018 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Texas State Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
High-Speed Rail Project Reaches Another Milestone The selection of the Italian firm, one of the largest civil engineering contractors in the world, reflects the participation of global organizations that are designing and building the high-speed train connecting Houston and North Texas. “Salini Impregilo’s knowledge and experience in designing, building and leading large scale railway projects across the world is impressive, and its presence in the U.S. market with Lane is also strategic for the project,” said Texas Central CEO Carlos F. Aguilar. “Their inclusion in the consortium highlights the stature of the Texas project and the interest of global infrastructure companies to be part of America’s first high-speed train.” Salini Impregilo is active in more than 50 countries on five continents, with experience building more than 4,000 mi. of railway infrastructure around the world — in Australia, Europe, Asia and the Americas. It built many highspeed train projects in Europe, and some iconic, complex projects in the world in the wider transport sector, including the expansion of the Panama Canal. The company has worked in the United States since the 1980s and expanded its presence in 2016, merging with The Lane Construction Corporation, a United States-based company with almost 130 years of experience in infrastructure work. “This is a wonderful opportunity for us,” said Pietro Salini, CEO of the Salini Impregilo Group. “We are delighted to be invited to take part to bring high-speed train serv-
ice to Texas, as we have in Italy and other countries. It is precisely the kind of large, complex infrastructure project in which we have decades of experience. The United States is now our biggest single market, with a consolidated presence in highways, bridges and tunnels, and are pursuing the highspeed rail sector.” The announcement is the latest milestone for the investor-led project — a 200 mph train connecting the state’s largest population and economic regions in 90 minutes,
with a midway stop in the Brazos Valley. The project will create a super-economy, connecting the 4th and 5th largest U.S. markets in fast-growing communities looking for safe, reliable and productive travel options. As the lead of the civil construction consortium, Salini Impregilo will be responsible for all work up to the top of the rail, including viaducts, embankments and drainage. Under the Limited Notice to Proceed (LNTP) agreement, the project’s design-build participants
will proceed with the front-end engineering and design of the train’s civil infrastructure. Other services include optimizing execution approaches, strategies and logistics, as well as performing analysis to develop construction costs and schedule estimates. That work helps to develop a design build contract that will be used to complete the civil infrastructure program. This is a precursor to financial close, after which construction of the civil infrastructure segments of the project will
Texas Central Receives $300M Loan for High-Speed Train Project DALLAS (AP) A Texas company has secured a $300 million loan for a proposed high-speed rail project from Dallas to Houston. Texas Central Partners will use the funds from Japanese sources to move forward with permitting, design and engineering, The Dallas Morning News reported. The company plans to use Japanese bullet train technology for the project, which could be the first high-speed rail service in the United States. “This is a loan to be paid back with interest,” the company said in a statement on Sept 13. “It does not change the train’s majority-Texan ownership.” The loan will give the company enough equity to move forward with construction once it is authorized, company officials said. The privately funded project would cost
$12 billion to $15 billion, according to Texas Central officials. The train would make a 90-minute trip from Dallas to Houston, with one stop near Texas A&M University in Grimes County. The 240-mi. (386-km) route could open by 2024, the company said. The project still needs final environmental clearance before the five-year construction process can begin. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the Federal Railroad Administration are both studying the project. The commission, which began reviewing the project in 2017, said it typically takes more than a year to issue a permit, add conditions or deny a permit. The administration is expected to finalize its Environmental Impact statement by Jan. 31. It would then make a decision on the project by the end of August 2019.
begin. The agreement is the latest example of the project bringing the best subject matter experts to the team, creating a new industry in the United States. The train will inject an estimated $36 billion in economic benefits statewide over the next 25 years, including creating 10,000 jobs per year during construction and 1,500 permanent jobs when fully operational. The Texas train will be based on Central Japan Railway’s Tokaido Shinkansen train system. It has operated for more than 54 years with a perfect record of zero passenger fatalities or injuries from operations, and an impeccable ontime performance record. The Texas project will be built and operated without taxpayerfunded state or federal grants. Texas Central and its partners are refining and updating construction planning and sequencing, guided by the Federal Railroad Administration’s recently released Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the project. That federal review cited many factors in support of the project, saying the train “is needed to accommodate growing demand” in Texas and to provide a more environmentally favorable travel alternative. The FRA now is working on a final environmental review that will help determine the project’s timeline and final route. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
‘Stay in the Loop’ — TxDOT Launches Website for 360 Project Changes are coming to one of the state’s most congested roadways. Design work is about to begin on the Loop 360 corridor and TxDOT is launching a new website, www.loop360project.com, to keep drivers, homeowners and businesses in the loop as the projects move forward. TxDOT, in conjunction with the city of Austin, will upgrade nine intersections along the Loop 360 corridor, including Westlake Drive, Spicewood Springs Road, Lakewood Drive, RM 2222, Courtyard Drive, Walsh Tarlton Lane, Lost Creek Boulevard, Westbank Drive and RM 2244. These intersection upgrades will collectively provide substantial mobility benefits for local residents, commuters and others who use the roadway. Loop360project.com will provide up-to-date project
information, including the latest news and event announcements, as well as details about the program approach and process. The website is optimized for viewing on mobile devices and allows for two-way communication between TxDOT and stakeholders. Visitors can also sign up for regular email updates. The Westlake Drive intersection, located within one of three Loop 360 sections listed on the state’s most congested roadways list, is the first project to move forward. The Westlake Drive project consists of several improvements, including removing the signal on the mainlanes of Loop 360 and adding either an overpass or underpass. A public workshop on the Westlake project is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 20, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Riverbend Church,
4214 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Austin, Texas 78746. As part of the 2016 Mobility Bond Program, the city of Austin is contributing $46 million toward improvements at four intersections along Loop 360: Westlake Drive, Courtyard Drive, Lakewood Drive and Spicewood Springs Road. The Loop 360 program addresses safety and mobility along the 14-mi. corridor. The $250 million program will construct nine overpasses or underpasses to eliminate signals for through-traffic along Loop 360. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.) CEG
Construction Equipment Guide • Texas State Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • October 14, 2018 • Page 7
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Construction Under Way on Kalahari Resort in Round Rock KALAHARI from page 1
awards and accolades for its guest and convention services. Recent recognition includes: Condé Nast Traveler’s No. 1 World’s Coolest Indoor Waterparks and TripAdvisor’s 2018 Travelers’ Choice Award. Early Stages After groundbreaking, construction crews were busy with grading and earthwork and getting utilities set in the ground. Heavy equipment on site includes scrapers, bull dozers, compactors and dump trucks. Hensel Phelps of Austin, Texas, is general contractor for the Round Rock project. The company describes itself as a planner, builder and manager. Hensel Phelps develops, constructs and maintains inspired landmarks designed to turn its clients’ aspirations into reality, including the vision of Africa. On its website, Hensel Phelps states: “Every great landmark starts with a vision. At Hensel Phelps, we bring our clients’ vision to life with a comprehensive approach that begins with innovative planning and extends throughout the entire life of the property. Our expert development, construction and facility services teams ensure that every project meets our clients’ goals and objectives.” The Round Rock project requires more than 60 subcontractors. Currently Ranger Excavating of Austin; Chasco Constructors of Round Rock; and Tindall Corp. of Spartanburg, S.C., are on the job. About 60,000 cu. yds. of concrete will be used over the duration of the project. Workers on the job will vary from 1,300 to 1,500 during peak production.
Jacobson Rost photo
Kalahari Resorts is building a $550 million, 345.2-acre complex.
Kalahari Resorts at Round Rock will provide 3,500 above-ground parking spaces for its guests. Africa Reflected in Spirit Africa is reflected in the design of Kalahari — from custom-crafted artwork on the convention center walls, furniture placed in guest rooms, recorded music from the streets of Cape Town echoing in the resorts and original crafts for guest souvenirs. Designers of Kalahari believe the only way to bring the best of Africa back home is to go out and get it — which means going off the beaten path in the Kalahari and taking
Kalahari Resort photo
Round Rock, Texas, will be a major attraction starting in 2020 when a new convention center, graced by the world’s largest indoor water park, opens.
chances. The goal is to connect visitors to Kalahari Resort to the region’s African roots. The Kalahari Resorts and Conventions is named after the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa, hence the African theme at all the resorts. The lobbies have artificial fountains, trees and animals that have been imported from local markets and shops in Africa. Special Africa-themed events also are held. Most of the water slides are named after African landmarks or animals, such as the Rippling Rhino, Wild Wildebeast, Victoria Falls and The Smoke That Thunders. Other services at the Kalahari include restaurants, spas, gift shops and sweet shops. “Everything in the resort is inspired by Africa,” said Jasmon Harper, public relations coordinator. It all began with the Nelson family’s first trip to Africa in the mid-90s. “Guests will experience the family’s passion for Africa through each adventure from attractions to art to various dry play activities,” Harper said. Built in Popular Location The resort is being built on Highway 79 near Dell Diamond ballpark and Old Settlers’ Park — two well-established venues that together draw more than a million visitors annually. The proximity bodes well for a successful, tourism-oriented development. Kalahari Resorts is a new industry for Round Rock that will provide substantial property tax revenues and diversify available employment opportunities. Kalahari will own and operate the resort and indoor-outdoor water park. The city will own the convention center for a period of
time to take advantage of unique financing options, but Kalahari will operate it. A family-owned business, Kalahari Resorts provides African-themed “worldaway” water park resort. The resort is not an animal park and Kalahari Resorts has no current plans to feature live animals at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions in Round Rock. Sensitive to Neighbors Adjacent neighbors will be able to see some of the facilities on the site and may be able to hear park activities. Kalahari Resorts plans to address sight and sound concerns to the extent possible during the multi-stage zoning change approval process. “We are sensitive to being a good neighbor,” Harper said. Our landscaping designer is taking site and sound into consideration on that side of the resort.” Economic Benefits At its peak, Kalahari Resorts Round Rock expects to attract up to 1 million visitors annually. Many visitors will come for multiday conventions and meetings and bring their spouses and families. Kalahari Resorts works with the local tourism industry in each community it operates in to enhance marketing and promote packages for tours of the region’s attractions. Also, the resort plans to provide 700 estimated jobs and hopes to increase tourism and revenue by propelling spending in the local community. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.) CEG
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TxDOT Calls for Replacing Six Aging TxDOT Aims to Bridges With Modern Structures Make Work Zones Safer on Hwy. 285 TXDOT from page 1
Interstate 40 runs west–east through the panhandle in the northwest part of the state. The only large city it passes through is Amarillo, where it meets the north end of Interstate 27. Work on the project is expected to be completed in 2021. Construction started on May 2 of this year and the project is expected to last 36 months. The new bridges and facilities are designed with modern-day use in mind. They will be approximately the same width as the existing bridges — wide enough to handle three eastbound and three westbound lanes on I-40. They also will provide some increased vertical clearance for trucks passing under them. Minimum vertical clearance will be 17-ft., 3 in. at Whitaker Road; 17-ft., 9 in. at SL 335; and 17-ft, 5 in. at FM 1258. The current bridges did not meet today’s transportation requirements. Besides not being the right height, they cannot carry loads of more than 80,000 lbs. Along with the bridge replacements, the project includes overlay work on the interstate’s eastbound and westbound main-lanes from Nelson Street to the U.S. 287 split, reversal of the westbound ramps between spur 468 (Airport Drive and Juett Attebury Drive) and Whitaker Road, and ramp profile modifications for the remaining ramps. The overlay of the existing roadway is routine preventative maintenancetype work. Reversal of the westbound ramps between spur 468 and Whitaker Road was needed for a variety of reasons: • The relocation of the ramps is expected to provide operational improvements to the westbound frontage road. • Relocation allows for better access to the westbound frontage road during the phased construction of the sixbridge project. • The ramps near SL 335 were required to be relocated because of the change of profile of the I-40 mainlines in the area. The I-40 mainlines were raised as a part of the project to provide increased vertical clearance for SL 335 traffic under the proposed bridges. In addition, the eastbound exit to Lakeside Drive will be moved west about 600 ft. to improve the flow of
traffic in the area. And the center median will be improved. It will be upgraded through most of the project and the bridges at Lakeside Drive will be split with a raised median to help accommodate future projects in the area. The project is designed to improve traffic operations, mobility and safety. “The existing structures were built with the original interstate construction,” said Sonja Gross TxDOT public information officer. “Due to their age, traffic volumes and other factors such as climate, the condition of these structures had degraded. Recently, these structures were load restricted so that no vehicle heavier than the legal weight limit could cross these structures.” In preparation for the bridge work, crews closed the right lane of I-40 eastbound on April 2. Then on April 4, workers closed the right lane of I-40 eastbound, starting just north of the entrance ramp and east of the airport. TxDOT warns that work zones can be hazardous, both for workers and motorists who drive through the complex array of signs, barrels and lane changes within the construction zone. The department emphasizes the need to be attentive, drive with caution and follow posted work zone speed limits.
Long-Time Texas Construction Company Is Prime Contractor J. Lee Milligan Inc. of Amarillo is contractor of the project. The company has become one of the largest heavy highway construction firms in the area. JLM’s primary business focus remains directed at the heavy construction trades in the panhandle and south plains of Texas. Subcontractors working on the project include Barricades Unlimited of Amarillo; Antigo Construction of Antigo, Wisc.; HJC Farms Inc. of Hawley, Texas; M&D Foundation of Waller, Texas; Primate Construction Inc. of Humble, Texas; Wolfe Construction of Graham, Texas; Oscar Orduno of Irvine, Texas; Willis Electric of Allen, Texas; and Fuller & Sons Construction of Amarillo. Current work on the project includes groundwork, ramp connections and detour pavement so that traffic can be moved to one side of the interstate. Heavy equipment at the project site includes bulldozers, backhoes, delivery
trucks and paving equipment. Between 20 and 50 workers will be on the job daily depending on the scheduled work to be performed. About 115.5-million sq. ft. of reinforced concrete slab will be poured over the course of the project.
Aging Bridges Need Replacement The six-bridge project is the latest addition to a growing list of bridge and other projects for the Texas Department of Transportation. Three more major road projects are in the planning stages. Gross reported that bridge infrastructure in the area is at least 50 years old. The area of the project has seen growth. “There has been more industrial and commercial development along the east loop and along I-40 east in recent years,” Gross said. “Traffic volume has increased over the years and is expected to continue with that trend.” The six-bridge project is not the only major undertaking conducted at I-40 and SL 335 in recent years. “This bridge project continues our efforts to bring all bridges along the I40 corridor up to today’s height and load standards,” Gross said. “Other bridge projects along this corridor through Amarillo are currently under way, from east to west include Ross Street, Arthur Street, Direct Connect (I40 eastbound to I-27 southbound) at the downtown interchange, Bell Street and SL 335 (Soncy Road). Project Phases Once detour pavement is in place, two phases will be conducted at each bridge. Traffic will be moved to one side of the interstate (two lanes in each direction) with the other side closed for construction. The bridges will be constructed across all lanes on the side that is closed. Traffic will then be moved to the side with the new bridges. At that time, crews will construct a twin structure across all lanes of the other direction. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.) CEG
To tackle road improvements faster and to provide a safer work environment for work zone workers, the TxDOT Odessa District is asking trucks with wide loads to travel U.S. Highway 285 between Pecos and the New Mexico state line at specific times. As those in the trucking industry know, loads wider than 8 ft. 6 in. require a permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Wide loads moving through the corridor throughout the day presents safety challenges for the contractors working in the work zones as well as drivers/travelers who may be confused by traffic control devices displaced by wide loads. “Wide load trucks often accidentally misalign and misplace traffic control devices such as cones, barrels, and directional signs,” said John Speed, district engineer. “This can be disastrous for drivers traveling in temporary work zones and deadly for our workers.” To accommodate wide load traffic, the Odessa District is designating a travel window from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. through the permitting process for wide loads to use the Highway 285 corridor between Pecos and the New Mexico state line. Work zone managers can restrict wide loads from traveling through any of the work zones unless specific and safe arrangements are made with the construction work zone manager at least 24 hours in advance. Work zone manager contact information will be listed on permits. These guidelines are designed to increase safety for construction zone workers as well as motorists. It will have the added benefit of allowing contractors to work unimpeded. This should help expedite the projects and shorten construction times. Until wide load restrictions are lifted on the four road projects currently underway on Highway 285, approved permits will see the following conditions: • Permittee must have front and rear escorts if required by law, and must have wide load signs front and rear. • The driver must contact TxDOT’s construction work zone manager (contact information shown on permit) prior to entering the work zone. • The permittee must alert TxDOT’s construction work zone manager if any traffic control devices are disturbed while moving through the construction work zone. • Permittee may only transport an oversized load in the work zone between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. on weekdays unless specific and safe arrangements are made with TxDOT’s construction work zone manager at least 24 hours in advance. The construction work zone manager is under no obligation to allow oversized load movements at times other than those listed above. For more information, visit txdot.gov. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
Construction Equipment Guide • Texas State Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • October 14, 2018 • Page 13
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Page 14 â€˘ October 14, 2018 â€˘ www.constructionequipmentguide.com â€˘ Texas State Supplement â€˘ Construction Equipment Guide
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Companyâ€™s Goals Involve Fleet of Komatsu Machines FLEET from page 4
ment, itâ€™s backed by exceptional service. We allows us to show customers a very accurate like that Kirby-Smith takes care of schedplan that includes proper drainage, and on uled service with Komatsu CARE for the well sites it gives them the necessary infor- first 2,000 hours or three years. Service is mation to determine where to go with piping, done on-site and when itâ€™s convenient for us, well centers and other items,â€? Lott said. so downtime is minimized. Kevin and â€œStaking is minimal, so costs are reduced. Kirby-Smith are excellent to work with from We load the models into our Komatsu intel- every standpoint. They go above and beyond ligent Machine Control dozers and get to work.â€? to take care of us. We are extremely happy Southern Transport & Equipmentâ€™s initial that we stopped in and talked to Kevin.â€? Komatsu piece was a D155AXi-8 with facExpansion Plans tory-installed and fully integrated GPS grade Southern Transport & Equipment has its control. â€œOur first machines were competitive goals set beyond the Permian Basin. Itâ€™s conmodels with aftermarket systems, and we tracted to do site development for some sand were not impressed with how they per- pits, one of which is in southern Texas. Lott formed,â€? said Lott. â€œWe were looking for a plans to gradually expand the commercial dozer that would make aggressive pushes in tough material, and a friend suggested we look at a standard Komatsu D155. Michael and I swung into Kirby-Smithâ€™s Odessa branch to see what they had available. At the time, we werenâ€™t familiar with Komatsuâ€™s intelligent Machine Control equipment.â€? Lott and Stilley talked with Territory Manager Kevin Demel, who suggested they demo a 354-horsepower, 90,613-lb. D155AXi-8. â€œThe material at the site where Southern Transport & Equipment relies heavily Komatsu intelligent Machine Control dozers, we tested it had very coarse aggre- on including this D155AXi-8. â€œThe cost savings are gate, and the dozer handled that apparent,â€? said Justin Lott, co-owner/senior vice with ease,â€? said Lott. â€œThe grade president. â€œFuel usage is down, while production control is phenomenal, and the fact and efficiency are up. We love that there are no that we can use a machine of that masts or cables to install or remove every day. size from first pass to last on large- That increases our time spent moving material.â€? scale projects such as building well pads is incredible. We have since purchased a side of the excavation operations, eventually making its geographic coverage area a large second.â€? Southern Transport & Equipment has also part of Texas, including the San Antonio and added two D65PXi-18s, a D61PXi-24 and a Houston metroplexes. â€œHouston is closer to my origins, so idealD85PXi-18. â€œNo matter the size of the dozer, the inte- ly, we would move that way,â€? said Lott. â€œI grated system works flawlessly,â€? said Lott. started my previous business with residential â€œThe cost savings are apparent. Fuel usage is development work, and thatâ€™s another mardown, while production and efficiency are ket we are looking into. We also would like up. We love that there are no masts or cables to diversify the commercial side into doing to install or remove every day. That increases schools, shopping centers and stores, among others.â€? our time spent moving material.â€? Whatever the company does, Lott said its The company has invested in standard Komatsu machinery as well. It uses a main focus will remain on quality and cusWA500 wheel loader to fill trucks at a gravel tomer satisfaction. â€œWeâ€™re doing a lot of work for repeat cuspit the firm operates near Big Spring, Texas. On some jobs, Southern Transport & tomers because they see that we complete their Equipment relies on PC360LC-11 excava- projects on time, on budget and to their satistors and HM400 articulated haul trucks to faction,â€? he stated. â€œBottom line, thatâ€™s why we have been successful and grown so fast.â€? move mass amounts of material. (This story also can be found on â€œOnce we tried the intelligent dozers, Komatsu became our brand of choice,â€? said Construction Equipment Guideâ€™s website at Lott. â€œIn addition to being quality equip- www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
Construction Equipment Guide • Texas State Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • October 14, 2018 • Page 15
TxDOT Kicks Off $36.7M SH 130 Widening Project
Elected officials from both the state and city of Pflugerville joined the Texas Department of Transportation for the groundbreaking ceremony.
A heavily traveled portion of SH 130 will soon be widened to three lanes in each direction, following a groundbreaking in Pflugerville on Oct. 4. Elected officials from both the state and city of Pflugerville joined the Texas Department of Transportation for the kickoff event. “Traffic volume has increased substantially since the roadway opened to the public, resulting in reduced mobility for drivers,” said Kevin Dickey, Austin deputy district engineer. “This project will address the capacity needs of SH 130 for both commuters and those who now call this area home.” The SH 130 widening project will add a third travel lane in each direction from SH 45 North to U.S. 290 East. Bridges along the corridor also will be widened. “We can’t get ahead of the growth fast enough,” said State Representative Celia Israel. “This segment of SH 130 becomes bumper to bumper traffic at times. There’s a rush hour in Pflugerville.” Local and state officials said SH 130 has been a boost to commerce in the area. “This city is growing at warp speed,” Pflugerville Mayor Victor Gonzales said. “The tollway has made Pflugerville a regional community.” The speed limit on SH 130 has been temporarily lowered to 70 mph, from just south of U.S. 290 East to north of Cameron Road for construction. Drivers can expect similar reductions in speed on SH 130 as construction progresses along the roadway. The SH 130 from SH 45 North to U.S. 290 East widening project is expected to be complete in late 2020. The $36.7 million project is being funded by the Central Texas Turnpike System. OHL USA Inc. is the contractor. A second project to widen SH 130 between U.S. 290 East and SH 71 is expected to begin early next year. Once both projects are complete, drivers will have three travel lanes in each direction on SH 130 from SH 45 North to SH 71. For more information, visit TxDOT.gov. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
NEXT ISSUE CLOSES NOVEMBER 1, 2018
Page 16 • October 14, 2018 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Texas State Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
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