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Four Projects in California Receive Build America Awards from AGC and Construction Risk Partners

by: Jessica Hoover
San Diego International Airport Support Facilities
San Diego International Airport Support Facilities
Mid-Coast Corridor Project
Mid-Coast Corridor Project
Exascale Computing Facility Modernization
Exascale Computing Facility Modernization
Cosumnes River Bridge Replacement CMGC
Cosumnes River Bridge Replacement CMGC
The Association of General Contractors (AGC) and Construction Risk Partners recently honored this year’s best new and renovation construction projects with Build America Awards at the AGC Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. Build America Merit Awards were also presented to construction companies at the convention.

“These awards are designed to set a new minimum standard of excellence for the construction industry,” said Tom Brown, AGC’s Vice President and President of Sierra Pacific West, Inc. in San Diego. “Considering what went into building these projects, that minimum standard is extremely high.”

For 41 years, the Build America Awards have recognized excellence in projects ranging across the building, highway and transportation, utility infrastructure, and federal and heavy industries. The projects are selected by a panel of judges comprised of contractors that look for projects excelling in: state-of-the-art advancement, project management, innovation in construction or use of materials, contribution to the community, client service, overcoming jobsite challenges, environmental sensitivity, and partnering excellence.

In the California Builder & Engineer area, the following projects were awarded with 2023 Build America Awards.

San Diego International Airport Support Facilities
Sundt Construction, Inc. was presented with an award in the Design-Build Building category for the San Diego International Airport (SDIA) Support Facilities in San Diego, California. The $164.5 million project replaced and upgraded the airport’s aging critical infrastructure, which included constructing four buildings and a 3.2-million-gallon underground stormwater containment cistern.

Over the span of two years, Sundt constructed a facilities management department campus with offices, conference rooms, and training space; an airline support building; a warehouse; and a fueling operations building. Since this work was spread across three separate sites and separated by an active runway, the design-build team made precise scheduling and coordination a priority. The team phased the design deliverable packages for the three project sites so they could begin earlier, along with having weekly meetings with airport and airline officials to make key project decisions and maintain the schedule. All buildings were delivered as zero-net-carbon and LEED Gold, with the exception of the FMD Administration Building which received LEED Platinum.

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The underground stormwater containment cistern was built and designed to capture runoff and will capture and reuse approximately 16 million gallons of water. The reused water is used to wash cars at SDIA’s car rental center. Sundt’s team went through more than eight months of pre-planning to meet the technical requirements for constructing the cistern and also developed a special shoring system to better protect surrounding groundwater.

Mid-Coast Corridor Project
Mid-Coast Transit Constructors was presented with an award in the Highway & Transportation New ($20 Million or More) category for the Mid-Coast Corridor Project in San Diego, California. The Stacy and Witbeck, Herzog, and Skanska joint venture built an 11-mile extension of the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Systems light rail, extending it from the Santa Fe Depot in Downtown San Diego north to the University City community.

The $1.49 billion project included the extension to the system, two commuter and freight railroad double tracking projects, a new bikeway, an arched roadway bridge over Interstate 5, the relocation of a major control point, and improvements to the University of California San Diego campus. The team also installed 92 miles of new light rail double track, eight bridges, a tunnel, and five park-and-ride facilities.

The Mid-Coast Trolley extension provides an alternative to congested freeways and roadways, improves public transit services, enhances travel options, and improves access to growing employment, education, and residential areas. Mid-Coast Transit Constructors worked early to maximize efficiency for the project, which was delivered on time and within budget.

Exascale Computing Facility Modernization
Nova Probst Joint Venture was presented with an award in the Utility Infrastructure New category for the Exascale Computing Facility Modernization in Livermore, California. The modernized Exascale Computing Facility provides enhanced power and cooling for current and future supercomputers, and will enable the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to operate a series of the world’s fastest High Performance Computers in the coming decade.

The joint venture team provided an additional 40 MW of power and 18,000 tons of process cooling water to Livermore Computing’s B453 by modifying and upgrading an existing building and an adjacent 3.5 acres at the laboratory.

Nova Probst JV overcame many challenges throughout the project, including: complications due to COVID-19 and wildfires; strict protocols for reducing smoke, dust, vibration, and noise that would shut down the computer; and working around the habitat of a nesting hawk. The joint venture completed the project ahead of schedule and without a single safety incident.

Cosumnes River Bridge Replacement CMGC
Granite Construction was presented with an award in the Marvin M. Black Partnering Excellence ($20 Million or More) category for the Cosumnes River Bridge Replacement CMGC in Elk Grove, California. This CMGC contract was awarded to Granite from the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) as the final part of a $167 million, seven-part phased delivery project.
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Built in the 1950s, the Cosumnes River Bridge had significant structural and seismic deficiencies prior to the completion of this project. Granite’s work included removing four river bridges and two railroad bridges, constructing three replacement bridges and two miles of associated roadway improvements, drilling shafts, installing retaining walls, building a cast-in-place substructure, and extensive shoring, among other tasks.

Collaboration with Caltrans on the Cosumnes River Bridge replacement allowed the Granite Construction team to save millions of dollars and take two years from the original schedule. The team saved time and money on the project in a variety of ways:

  • By starting work while still finalizing the design, which shaved one year off the schedule
  • By using Accelerated Bridge Construction techniques, saving a second year
  • By revising the pile design for the river bridges, finding a closer borrow source, and implementing on-site concrete recycling, which saved both time and money
2023 Build America Merit Award Winners
The Merit Award winners in the California Builder & Engineer area were: Kiewit Infrastructure West Co. in the Highway & Transportation Renovation ($20 Million or More) category for the SM 101 Express Lanes Project in San Mateo, California; and Mid-Coast Transit Constructors in the Marvin M. Black Partnering Excellence ($20 Million or More) category for the Mid-Coast Corridor Project in San Diego, California.
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