Working in “Data Center Alley” - Project Viper and Nexus

Sterling, Virginia

In late March 2018, the Independence Excavating Inc. (IX) team broke ground on 70 wooded-acres in the heart of“Data Center Alley” in Sterling, Virginia. Since then, the project team has helped develop this parcel into two separate projects — Project Viper and Ashburn Nexus Data Center, for two new clients working for two new owners. The project schedule required six-day, and at times seven-day workweeks. The scope of the project included two stream diversions draining a total of 224 acres through 1,660 LF of new 60 and 72-inch RCP storm sewer, 2,040 LF of 16" sanitary sewer relocation, and a total of 56,500 CY of topsoil stripped and 300,000 CY of cut to fill and stock. Most of this work was completed in the first eight weeks of the project, in order to meet the milestone dates of turning the building pads over to both clients by Memorial Day weekend.

Since the building pad schedules were so tight, one of the deciding factors in awarding the projects to IX was our impressive equipment resources we planned to commit to the projects. While other subcontractors proposed to blast both the utilities and mass earthwork, limiting productions to the
blasting schedule, IX proposed to blast only the utilities, and mobilize our PC 1250, John Deere 870G, and Cat D10, D9, and D8 dozers to rip the red shale on site. This raised quite a few eyebrows in the area, as equipment of this size is rarely seen in Northern Virginia.

After the building pads were turned over, our workload on both sites grew, self performing over 8,600 LF of power and communications duct bank installation on Nexus, and working with a previous electrical client to install 9,000 LF of duct bank on Project Viper, along with a total of 9,300 LF of storm sewer ranging from 12-72" RCP, 3,720 LF of sanitary sewer ranging from 6-16" PVC, and 8,045 LF of waterline ranging from 4-12" DIP. In addition to our normal scopes of work, IX also collaborated with many new subcontractors on site, including Berkel and Co., who installed a cantilevered beam and lagging retaining wall to protect three sides of an existing cemetery in the middle of the project site; Metroplex Retaining Walls of Virginia, who installed stone facing on the Berkel cemetery wall, as well as constructing two other gravity block retaining walls on site; Gull Concrete, who installed 830 LF of paved concrete ditch as part of the stream diversion work; WG Construction, who built a large, 145' x 85' x 11' tall cast-in-place concrete weir wall as part of the stormwater management pond; and Capital Drilling and Blasting, who provided drilling and blasting services for the utility work onsite. On Ashburn Nexus, IX was also awarded the asphalt paving and site concrete work, and partnered with Superior Paving and Beltway Concrete. 

As these projects draw to a close, IX would like to thank both clients for the opportunity to showcase our abilities and equipment on these fast-paced and high-visibility projects. The scope and pace of these projects demanded that IX ramp up quickly, adding new team members who will be valuable resources for years to come. We look forward to partnering on future projects as Data Center Alley continues to expand!

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