The National Precast Concrete Association’s 2010 Creative Use of Precast (CUP) Awards were given to recipients during The Precast Show 2011, held in Charlotte, NC Jan. 27-29.
Front Range Precast received the first place award in the underground category for its work on a product that revolutionizes the way firefighters can battle rural blazes.
Typically, the goal of underground tank producers is to create watertight structures, but Front Range Precast turned that concept on its head with its Fire Foe product. Cast with holes distributed evenly around a 2,800-gallon tank, the Fire Foe allows water from a natural source such as a creek or river to naturally fill it. The excavation is lined with filter fabric and back filled in with large clean rock aggregate that acts as an additional filter against sand and dirt.
The tank helps firefighters who, in urban settings, are able to simply hook up to a hydrant to effectively fight fires when no municipal supply is available. As a result, crews can eliminate costly trips to and from the nearest water supply.
StructureCast received a second-place award in the underground category for its work to provide the San Bernardino Associated Governments with a solution to a major transportation challenge.
When a second rail line was added to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority’s Rancho Cucamonga Station, it provided a much-needed boost to daily travelers and helped greatly increase productivity and revenue. However, passengers were forced to cross an active rail line and it was determined that an underground passageway was needed.
Given the extensive daily rail traffic, the line could be shut down for no more than 48 hours, making time of the essence. In addition, the tunnel needed to withstand the forces of one of the busiest rail lines in California and meet multi-layer inspections all on a tight budget. The tunnel was cast in 16 sections weighing 58 tons each, and installation was completed in just one day.
The third-place award in the underground category was given to Utility Concrete Products for its work on an underground stormwater management system.
The system was installed in just one day for Canadian National’s new intermodal automated gate system in Chicago and provided a 20% savings over the originally planned system.
After installation, there was no time needed for curing or coverage to final grade and the surface was immediately ready for construction traffic to keep the project moving. Throughout the life of a stormwater detention system, debris and other settlement from stormwater collects in the storage systems and the provided system also offers easy access for future cleaning.
Underground-Honorable Mention 1
Gainey’s Concrete Products Inc. was awarded an honorable mention in the underground category for its work on a sewer pump station.
The station was planned as a cast-in-place project but the Gainey’s sales team had precast added as an “or equal.” After showing the contractor how production would be “weatherproof,” and how using precast would reduced safety issues, time for shoring, labor, crane and equipment, he was sold.
The product achieved compression strengths in excess of 6,500 psi and an additive provided waterproofing. On installation day, the first riser arrived on site at 8:45 a.m. and all setting was completed by 3:50 p.m., meaning 33,440 pounds of precast were being set per hour. By using precast, it’s estimated the open time for excavation was reduced by approximately two months.
Underground-Honorable Mention 2
Garden State Precast received an honorable mention for its work on a reconstruction project conceived to alleviate flooding in a bowl-shaped section of the Verona Avenue/Gephardt Avenue in Elizabeth, NJ.
A massive, 400,000-gallon surge storage tank was installed with an accompanying pump station to overcome the grade constraint. Garden State Precast designed and manufactured the 900 ft. by 6 1/2 ft. by 7 ft. watertight storage tank.
Three limiting factors were overcome to make this pump station a success, including limiting sections to 45 tons using a controlled strength backfill material to reduce lower wall thickness, ensuring anti-flotation and completing the project in a limited time window.
The precast reduced the on-site inspection, provided a controlled environment for production and enabled the contractor to pick his installation window.