In order to support the expanding infrastructure along State Route 50, Independence Excavating (IX) mobilized to the first of five contracts on four separate sites for FirstEnergy in early 2020. Due to our work history and knowledge of the region, IX was able to coordinate with the owner and engineer to play a valuable design-assist role in order to accelerate the tight schedule of these projects and provide cost savings to the owner, even as designs were being modified throughout the construction process.
The fast-paced schedule at the Flint Run Substation project required IX to mobilize some of our largest iron to move over 600,000 CY of dirt and rock on double shifts to make subgrade for a new substation pad. Heavy rainfall and strict DEP requirements posed constant challenges, but the project team was able to install the drainage systems and erosion control devices necessary to keep the site drained and in compliance while still meeting the contract deadlines. Two large retaining walls were constructed in order to protect existing infrastructure and facilitate new pad construction.
In order to connect the new substation to the grid, IX installed access roads to support the Flint Run 500kV Tap project. Climbing up steep terrain, a half-mile of access road and 8 structure pads were constructed ahead of schedule and within tight outage constraints.
At the existing Waldo Run Substation, the increased electrical load required expanding the footprint of the substation. A large segmental block retaining wall was built to accommodate this, along with improved drainage in the existing pad. Multiple nearby slips were repaired, with one requiring a soil nail retaining wall, and access road earthwork to facilitate access to the new 138kV line that would enter the substation.
The 138kV line was needed to connect the newly constructed Flint Run Substation to the expanded Waldo Run Substation. We carved 3.5 miles of access roads and 13 structure pads through difficult terrain and a winding ridge top. Additional coordination was needed as the only access for all trades to this project was along the under-construction retaining wall at the substation.
Throughout construction, close coordination was required between all project teams, owner’s representatives and engineers, and adjacent landowners. In addition, the IX team employed a full-time safety representative on site to keep team members safe while working over 100,000 man-hours to deliver these crucial projects.