Associated General Contractors of America Recognizes CAWP for Outstanding Membership Outreach and Leadership

The Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania was recognized during Associated General Contractors of America”s (AGC) 92nd Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Association was awarded the 2010 Chapter of the Year for its outstanding membership service in the areas of labor relations, workforce development, environmental regulatory issues and involvement in the local community.

“CAWP has provided vital support for thousands of hard working construction contractors,” said Ted Aadland, the association”s president and the CEO of Portland, Oregon-based Aadland Evans Constructors, Inc. “Without their tireless efforts, it is hard to imagine where our industry would be today.”

Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania took “Small Chapter of the Year” for its outstanding workforce development initiatives, diesel retrofit program, promotion of joint training among the union apprenticeship programs, and its work in the community, including the CAWP Constructing Our Community Program, which provided over $25,000 in financial support to the Wounded Warriors Program as a token of gratitude to the brave men and women who were injured fighting to keep America safe.

Aadland noted that CAWP had also found new and effective ways to communicate with its members, issuing e-newsletters and keeping its member companies up to date on local business and political developments. He added that the chapter distinguished itself for its ability to advocate on behalf of the construction community.

American Concrete Pavement Association Presents Distinguished Service and Recognition Awards

Lifetime Pavement Recognition Award – Awarded annually since 1994, the award is presented to the agency owner of an in-service concrete pavement that has demonstrated exceptional performance and service to its local community, state, and users. (This recognition rotates annually between public market segments: highway, street and airport. The 2010 award is presented for a highway pavement.)

For 2010, the ACPA Lifetime Pavement Recognition award is presented to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation and Golden Triangle Construction, Company for Interstate 79 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This Interstate highway section has demonstrated outstanding performance in providing more than 20 years of zero-maintenance service to road users, citizens and taxpayers of Pennsylvania. The concrete pavement has stood the test of time and is a testament to the durability and longevity of concrete and the importance of quality construction and design .

About the ACPA
The American Concrete Pavement Association is the national trade association for the concrete pavement industry. The primary mission of the ACPA is to create and maintain a strong national presence through dynamic, strategic leadership; effective technical expertise and resources; and persuasive advocacy on behalf of the concrete pavement industry.

Founded in 1963, the American Concrete Pavement Association is headquartered in Chicago at 9450 Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 150, Rosemont, IL 60018. Phone: 847.966.2272. The Association’s Washington, DC office is located at 500 New Jersey Ave., NW , 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20001. Phone: 202.638.2272. Visit our technical website at www.acpa.org. Visit our public website at www.pavements4life.com.

Golden Triangle Construction featured in the Fall 2010 issue of DDC Journal

Since 1952, Golden Triangle Construction has been a heavy highway and utility contractor specializing in concrete production and paving, roller-compacted concrete and permeable pavement, excavation and grading, utilities, drilling, bridges and structures, retaining walls and foundations, road reclamation, and soil stabilization, among other skills.

“We probably do more than the average contractor of our type,” says Charles Niederriter, COO of Golden Triangle. “We subcontract out less work so we have greater control over the work we do.”

Despite self-performing more work than average, Golden Triangle runs a tight ship with minimal overhead. “We are pretty hands-on and have a small staff. We watch the day-to-day operations of each project closely,” says Niederriter.

Delivery methods vary but design/build is particularly popular. “It’s a faster solution to a problem, like the I-70 partial bridge collapse in Pittsburgh, where they needed to replace it quickly and didn’t have time to do a long design process,” says Niederriter.

Indeed the I-70 bridge project included two bridges, one of which had collapsed unexpectedly in December 2005. An emergency contractor removed the old bridge and Golden Triangle removed another bridge, and ended up being the winning bidder on the project that would replace both bridges.

“That was a design/build best value bid,” says Niederriter. “We had to submit a proposal that judges your bid based on price and various other criteria such as the speed at which you are going to do the work and the basic design of the structures. All of that is reviewed and graded based on numerous factors. We didn’t have to be the lowest price; we had to have the best total package and they selected us.”

It was a challenging project from start to finish. The designs had to be completed and the bridges built in one construction season, which was unheard of at the time. Getting ahead and staying in front of the deadlines became the paramount goal. “We were able to push these approvals in order to get the design done within just a few months when it normally takes a whole year by having weekly conference calls with the designers and the owners, the highway department,” says Niederriter.

Construction was ongoing with the design. “As the designers detailed the piers, we were able to start building the piers, before the rest of the bridge was designed. That allowed us to build the structures as each piece was designed, which is unusual,” says Niederriter.

Completing the project in this way required a great deal of trust among the team members. Once building commenced, everything had to fit properly and be designed for the loadings. It required some preliminary work and effort as well as ongoing coordination and teamwork.

“It was a very successful project from our standpoint and from the client’s,” says Niederriter. “The bridges were reopened within one construction season.”

A NEW KIND OF HIGHWAY

Another recently completed successful project took place in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburgh. It was the first major concrete overlay project on a highway in Pennsylvania. “It was unusual in that we milled the asphalt surface and replaced it with a six-inch concrete overlay,” says Niederriter.

The thick concrete overlay provided longevity to the road in a fairly quick process. Concrete is more durable than asphalt, but that’s not the only benefit.

“Concrete is a lot stronger per inch of thickness when compared to asphalt,” says Niederriter. “It allows the highway department to extend the life of that highway, and with the price of oil and our dependence on foreign oil, it makes sense to move to the types of products we can produce right here in our community.”

Generally speaking, it’s faster to build an asphalt highway than a concrete one—asphalt doesn’t have to cure like concrete does. That alone is a key reason why more communities don’t invest in concrete highways. However, it’s a greener, more sustainable product: the color of the concrete is light and reflects the sun, while asphalt has a higher heat index and absorbs the sun’s heat.

As part of its effort to have greater control over projects, Golden Triangle currently operates four of its own concrete batch plants. “We’re able to make job-specific concrete designs and have greater quality control of our materials,” says Niederriter.

Being a heavy highway contractor means that Golden Triangle has benefitted from some stimulus spending brought on by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—but that was only a temporary fix to a greater infrastructure issue in America today.

“We had quite a bit of stimulus work but that is actually finishing up this fall—the funding lasted for only a year or two,” says Niederriter. “Once that funding is gone there is nothing to replace it. It would take that level of funding on a consistent basis to address the infrastructure needs the country has right now.”

Indeed, shedding light on the importance of a well-funded infrastructure is something Golden Triangle regularly engages in. “We’re active in a political sense, but mostly in trying to educate our legislators on the importance of a long-term funding solution for infrastructure—not just in Pennsylvania but all over the country,” says Niederriter.

It’s not for lack of projects that Golden Triangle pursues that path—the company does plenty of private work as well—but because providing a strong infrastructure is integral to the overall economy as well as the safety and longevity of the backbone of the nation.

Having a diverse base from which to work as well as a strong history of projects completed successfully gives Golden Triangle an edge over the competition and a strong foot forward in the rebounding economy.

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