On Thursday, April 26, 2018, Independence Excavating Inc. (IX) presented to representatives of the Gilbane/Massaro Joint Venture and Allegheny Health Network (AHN) in an attempt to be selected as the design assist site contractor for the new, state-of-the-art Wexford Hospital. A design assist contractor is partnered with early on in the design process in order to assist in expediting the construction process and provide cost-saving initiatives.
In this instance, the design assist contractor would collaborate with Gateway Engineers, Inc. who were well underway with the site, utility, and geotechnical designs for the new hospital. Our presentation team consisted of a project executive, project manager, project estimator, superintendent and safety coordinator. We presented on past experience, qualifications, safety record, and previous knowledge of the site that made IX the right choice for job. If selected the design assist process would be a new endeavor for the majority of this team.
On August 8, 2018, IX was awarded the design assist contract with Gilbane/Massaro Joint Venture. We immediately mobilized on August 13, 2018, to begin site preparation work on the existing facility, which was needed to prepare the current AHN Health and Wellness Pavilion to continue operations during hospital construction. The work consisted of new storm sewers in the existing north parking lot, and installation of new infrastructure, curbs, sidewalks and pavement for a new parking lot along Wallace Rd.
Completion of the new parking lots allowed for AHN to begin implementing new parking procedures and locations for patients and employees to make way for the hospital. Once these plans were in place, we began work preparing the recently vacated sections of the current health and wellness facility, which allowed for the property to accept all of the resources required to construct a 200-million-dollar hospital. This work included installation of utilities for the trailer compound, a wheel wash station, erosion and sediment controls, redevelopment of Copper Leaf Court into a construction staging area, and a new access road to the existing health and wellness pavilion loading dock.
While field crews were diligently working to prepare the site, our in-house engineering department was hard at work designing the building excavation. The first floor of the new hospital is designed to sit approximately 30 feet below SR 19. It is also situated only 20 feet from the property line. Typically these circumstances would require a shoring system worth in excess of 1 million dollars. Using the provided borings, design elevation criteria, and past knowledge, our engineering team was able to design an excavation with slope protection. This is a primary example of how the design assist process can work. By being partnered with early in the process, we were able to help set the bottom of footer elevation, which eliminated the cost and time for an extensive shoring package.
On November 5, 2018, our field crews took over and began implementing the excavation plan. Excavation included 35,000 cubic yards of overburden or soft soils and 25,000 cubic yards of hard rock. Because the rock was so hard, IX mobilized one of its largest dozers, a Caterpillar D10, to rip the rock so that it could be loaded into trucks and hauled away. Once excavation was complete, the bottom of the excavation was capped with one foot of clay to seal the expansive soil conditions on the site. We then partnered with Neville Aggregates and Amerikohl to provide over 22,000 tons of 2A aggregate over five days to bring the building pad to subgrade. On February 11, 2019, IX turned the building pad over to Gilbane/Massaro and they sent Mosites Construction Company to work on the foundations for the new Wexford Hospital. To date, our forces have worked over 14,000 incident-free hours and are preparing for a successful second half of the project. Over the next several weeks, we will begin cutting the remainder of the site to grade and begin mass excavation for the parking garage and central utility plant. We are very proud to be a part of this important project and would like to thank Allegheny Health Network and Gilbane/Massaro Joint Venture for partnering with IX.