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2012 Pinnacle Award Winners

Pinnacle Winners Advance Construction and Enhance the Carolinas!

On March 16, 2013, Carolinas AGC bestowed the 2012 Pinnacle Awards- the most prestigious recognition in the Carolinas construction industry- to four projects and an individual. The presentation was made at CAGC's 92st Annual Convention in Fort Myers, Florida. The CAGC Pinnacle Awards competition is co-sponsored by CPA firm GreerWalker LLP and the law firm of Johnston, Allison & Hord, both based in Charlotte. Winners and Sponsors were announced via Twitter in real time during the ceremony and a Facebook album was created to showcase 2012 winners.

The CAGC Pinnacle Awards shine a light on our profession in a very public way, and help promote our organization's very reason for existence, as expressed in our new mission statement: Advancing the construction industry to enhance the quality of life and deliver a sustainable difference in the Carolinas. Our award winners exemplify our mission.

Restorations to the Hull of the Battleship North Carolina

Contractor: Taylor Marine Construction,
Wilmington, NC

The historic Battleship North Carolina, the most decorated of World War II, is berthed on the Cape Fear River across from the city of Wilmington. The ship was ballasted down when she was placed in the slip and sits firmly on the bottom. Her slip has filled in with silt and mud over the years, and ebbs out completely at low tide for two thirds of the ship's length. The tide rising and falling without the ship floating with it results in a constant wet/dry cycle for a five-foot-tall band around the hull. Major corrosion damage to the exposed steel has resulted. Actual breaches in the hull plating had resulted in flooded interior compartments and further deterioration. More info...

This project required replacing 132 feet of 10-foot tall hull plating, under the waterline. Out of six companies who pre-qualified, including very large shipyards, a North Carolina based small business-Taylor Brothers Marine Construction-was selected.

The first set of the contractor's charges were to build and install a 30-foot-long cofferdam on the starboard side of the ship, without damaging or overstressing the existing hull. Taylor Brothers Marine custom-designed the system to attach the cofferdam to the hull plus the system to move it from the edge of the barge out to the hull. The custom transfer system was necessary because the overhang of the ship's bow prevented the crane from directly placing the cofferdam on the side of the ship.

Needless to say, very few companies have performed hull work on a WW II-era battleship, much less one that's open to the public every day. It was very important for Taylor Brothers to conduct this work with the safety of the ship's visitors as priority one. The team had to access the work site without going through the ship, or over its teak decks.

With heavy lifting (over 50,000 pounds) taking place immediately adjacent to the starboard bow, it was necessary to implement a special lift plan to ensure that tourists were clear of the danger area when lifting.

Taylor Brothers created a floating bridge from the shore on the port side of the ship, out and around the bow, to the starboard work site. They constructed it from Taylor Brothers sectional barges, each one anchored to the bottom. 

It provided a secure place to tie down all tank cleaning and lead based-paint remediation hoses, while providing a safe platform to access the site. Steel plate could also be transported directly to the site using a small fork lift.

Meanwhile the cofferdam was fabricated at the Taylor Brothers Marine yard in Beaufort, NC and trucked to a boat yard, where a 200-ton marine travel lift loaded it onto a barge for transport to the jobsite.

The cofferdam strategy began with mapping the existing curvature of the hull in each location where the 30 x 15 x 12- foot cofferdam would be placed and sealed.

This required that a special hull gage be designed and fabricated to measure and record the precise profile of the existing hull at each planned cofferdam set location.

A lockable pin was installed at every foot along the gage's 15' x 30' square tubing frame. When the gage was determined to be exactly plumb and exactly level, a diver positioned each pin against the hull and locked it into place. Once all pins were locked, the gage was removed, and each pin measured and recorded. This created an exact contour of the hull every 12" along the cofferdam seal.

In working with the open end of the cofferdam for mating with the hull, an extra flange was created to minimize down time between cofferdam sets. This saved about 15 days on the project's critical path. The attachment of the cofferdam to the ship had to accommodate for a high tide buoyancy of 280,000 pounds and a horizontal force of 140,000 pounds. Even if the cofferdam was not far too large for bellybands, the ship's sitting in 30 feet of mud made this conventional approach impossible.

Taylor Brothers again devised a custom methodology, based on a critical slotted hole system. It allowed the top of the cofferdam to move in and out while lowering the crossbeam and seating the cofferdam.

Taylor Brothers was quite concerned about leakage, and feared that constant pumping would be required to keep the cofferdam dry enough to work in. But crews arriving the day after the transfer system was removed found zero leakage and a burned out pump.

A simultaneous challenge for another crew was to remediate all steel plating, framing, and bulkheads to be as free of lead-based paint as necessary to enable safe cutting and welding operations. This meant every frame in the 132 by 10- foot work area. Once accessed, dewatered, and then remediated, the hull was inspected, cut lines marked and the first sections were removed. It was to be replaced with new ½" thick A-36 steel plating. Original plate lapping lines were maintained while the new plating as installed.  Once each welder laid down 12" of weld, each was evaluated via radiography, then tested with dye penetrate and with ultrasonic shear wave method.

Taylor Brothers Marine called this project the privilege of a lifetime. The time of completion was 180 calendar days. Only three minor change orders were generated during the project, which came in on schedule and in budget, without impacting the public's access to one of North Carolina's top tourist attractions. And most important, the project was delivered safely.

Before and After Interior Compartment Views

Final Exterior Work Product

(See original complete project entry)



Nature Research Center, Raleigh, NC
Contractor: Clancy & Theys Construction Company
Raleigh, NC

The Nature Research Center (NRC) is the new 80,000-square-foot wing of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. Clancy & Theys describes this project-which spans 3/4 of a city block-as part science, part art, and all relentless problem-solving!

This project's most sweeping differentiator was the use of 3-D Building Information Modeling technology, or BIM. Clancy & Theys required its principal subcontractors to participate in the BIM coordination process. Traditional pre-construction methods were clearly insufficient to coordinate work on the project's signature feature, the Daily Planet. More info...

By soliciting over 70 BIM files from ten companies, Clancy & Theys built a single central file to run automated clash detection, and facilitate conflict resolution between trades, in three dimensions. BIM was also used to plan, sequence, and schedule activities in the field. BIM files replaced two-dimensional coordination drawings for systems installations. They were used to detail assemblies, slab penetrations, and other field coordination items. And when a scope gap was found between the work of the panel manufacturer and steel fabricator on the Daily Planet, it was the BIM file that illustrated to the architect a condition never detailed by the contract drawings.



The Daily Planet structure itself-just one piece of the Center project-is unique in the world. North State Steel fabricated and built the frame in Greenville, North Carolina so that each piece joined the others precisely-extremely tricky with no parallel points in the structure.

Then the Daily Planet was deconstructed and brought to Raleigh to be constructed in place. The final installed structure was determined to have a tolerance of 3.5 thousandths of an inch per foot-near perfect! The spherical structure is pinned to the corner of the building, and it has no structural support beneath it and appears to be floating above the ground.

The interior of the Daily Planet is a multi-media theatre unlike any in the world. Construction of the 40 foot by 40 foot high-definition screen included 30,000 pop rivets inserted and hand-painted after installation.

There were actually four separate construction projects on the same urban block, all managed by Clancy & Theys and all at different stages of excavation and construction. Three of them were rising vertically at the same time.

Less than six inches separate the NRC and the Green Square Parking Deck, and one foot of air comes between the State Employees Credit Union office tower and the Nature Research Center. And, the Center connects to both the NC Museum of Natural Sciences itself and the NC-DENR office building via pedestrian bridges on each side.

Three tower cranes were simultaneously deployed within the area. Clancy & Theys used BIM to study the crane heights and swings for each project, and established a close but manageable tolerance. Adjacent projects used the NRC's tower crane, and the NCR used those projects' cranes, to increase the efficiency of each project.

Green features include not only rainwater collection at the 85-foot atrium but also rooftop vegetation overlooking the atrium plaza.

Interior work was also challenging. The master schedule allowed the exhibit subcontractors to mesh and overlap their work during construction and within the same spaces, rather than hurriedly installing them after the building was completed. Most prominent is the monumental staircase which appears to wrap its way to the fourth floor completely unsupported. The 90 foot by 10 foot wide ribbon sculpture undulates, with its LED panels depicting the sight and sounds of nature.

The building was designed to digitally connect classrooms across our state to the rest of the world, inviting young people to be part of the advancement of science and to increase their enthusiasm for our natural world and environment. The building itself "tells a story" through multi-media displays and exhibits, research labs where ongoing activities can be seen by the public, and by creating a "WOW" factor via its design and construction.

This is Clancy & Theys' second consecutive Pinnacle Award for Best Building Project.




For more information on Clancy & Theys visit Clancy & Theys Construction Company Website

(See original complete project entry)


BEST HIGHWAY PROJECT (1st of 2 Awards)

The Western Wake Freeway - 12 miles of the I-540 Triangle Express around Raleigh, North Carolina.

Contractor: Raleigh Durham Roadbuilders, a partnership of Archer Western Contractors and Granite Construction Company.

Interstate-40 Road

This design-build project was the largest project in the history of the North Carolina Departmentof Transportation; it was also the first modern toll road in NorthCarolina.

The project included 34 bridges, over 6 million cubic yards of excavation and embankment, 15 box culverts, and nearly 900,000 square yards of concrete pavement.

Located along a new route, the $466M Western Wake Freeway weaves through 15 local roadways with six interchanges; several streams; two major interstates; and under a newly constructed railroadbridge. It More info...


A massive public outreach program involved some firsts for the Turnpike Authority-such as not only continuous website updates but also Twitter updates. (Check out the hashtag of #TriangleExpress!)



Even for a design-build project, especially one involving extensive wetlands, the original schedule was tight. Then the Turnpike Authority and NCDOT directed Raleigh Durham Roadbuilders (RDR) and its designer, LPA, to redesign all six major interchanges, after construction was underway. Then, the Authority approached RDR about opening that northern section of the project-over half of the roadway-early. The team delivered, and this 6.5 mile section of roadway was actually opened five months early.




Another major challenge was the redesign of a railroad bridge in the southern part of the freeway-a redesign mandated by CSX just two weeks before the scheduled construction start, even though its design was in the contract. But redesign work began the following day, with a CSX full-time reviewer performing "over the shoulder" critiques for each step in the design. This extraordinary partnering resulted in a ten month total delay to the CPM critical path. Then the Authority requested a plan to mitigate the delay and still open the road on time. The Western Wake Team then did open this southern half of the project two weeks early.



The Western Wake Freeway is actually in three separate municipalities. This required successful resolution of over 160 utility conflicts on facilities owned by 15 utility providers, including: underground gas mains, water, sewer, power distribution and transmission, fiber optic communication, telephone cables and cable TV lines that had to be relocated. Incredibly, no construction delays resulted, due to extensive coordination and a tremendous effort by all stakeholders.

Some of the homes that absolutely had to be removed were donated to the non-profit Builders of Hope organization. After refurbishing, these abandoned houses were sold at a discount to low income families.

As the first project in state history designed with comprehensive project-wide aesthetic requirements, the Western Wake Freeway boasts stained faux-brick retaining walls and bridge abutments, plus architectural columns and barrier walls.

In another first, North Carolina's first modern toll road was also the first in the US to be fully designed as an Open Road Tolling facility, meaning no tollbooths for motorists using electronic billing.

At the height of activity, more than 400 people from many different teams worked on this site daily. The project also represented a safety first, with North Carolina's first formal partnership between the NC Department of Labor and a contractor on a Turnpike Authority roadway project. Today the Western Wake Freeway provides an exceptionally smooth travel experience, with average ride quality IRI results in the 30's.


Team Members with NC Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry

(See original complete project entry)


BEST HIGHWAY PROJECT (2nd of 2 Awards)

The Emergency Bridge on NC 12 at Pea Island, North Carolina

Contractor: Carolina Bridge Company
Orangeburg, South Carolina

Hurricane Irene had breached this major Outer Banks artery, cutting off the only land access to the mainland for all the residents and businesses along 70 miles of NC 12 south of the bridge. When contacted by NCDOT about building a temporary bridge across the breach as quickly as possible, Carolina Bridge met with designers the following day and began design work on a chalkboard. More info...

They scrambled to determine what materials could be readily found, and began mobilizing equipment over a holiday weekend. By the following week the team was fully mobilized, along with specialty contractor expertise, to build a bridge that had not yet been designed.

Six cranes, 50 very hard workers, and a slew of lights were on site and working seven days a week, 24 hours a day, racing to reopen this critical roadway. Over the course of this project, over 16,000 man hours were worked: driving 6,000 linear feet of bearing pile and 33,000 square feet of sheet pile; pouring 210 cubic yards of concrete; and moving thousands of cubic yards of sand.



Success was not only the result of Carolina Bridge's ingenuity, but also of the construction community's willingness to pull together. When the decision was needed on what kind of pile to drive, a phone call to a supplier found that another bridge contractor was taking delivery of 24" pipe in the lengths the team was hoping for. With a quick call, the contractor gladly had their incoming supply trucks diverted to the Pea Island site so the team could begin driving pile.

The bridge type constructed was a Maybey Bridge utilizing modular prefab panels. At 662' this is the third longest Maybey Bridge ever assembled in the United States.
However, the design called for a level center span six feet higher than the bridge abutments, and this combination of length and grade differences made the erection of this bridge unlike any other in the US.

The frantic schedule was complicated by the fact that work had to be timed with the tides, particularly in the surf portion of the site. Access to the project was extremely limited on the south side. The only way to get there by vehicle was the emergency ferry, which could run only in suitable weather. On a typical day, if the ferry was running, it took around 10 hours from the north side of the breach to the south side. So Carolina Bridge set up cranes on either side of the breach, which was so wide the cranes could barely touch each other to transfer materials from one side to the other. The only concrete plant south of the breach was so damaged by a hurricane it was not operational. In an effort to speed construction, all the parts needed to erect the bridge were delivered to the north side.

Once the first truckloads of bridge parts arrived, the team began preassembling the bridge while piles where being driven and concrete poured. The bridge was completely assembled on land and "launched" incrementally as substructure crews finished the piers needed to support the bridge. This solution also allowed the team to install piping so that concrete could be pumped across the breach to the south side. The sequence of construction was to drive pile and form the next pier while bridging was being assembled. As the bridge was then "launched" towards the next ready pier, concrete would be pumped thru the pipe installed on the bridge into the pier's forms.

Five crews worked 24/7 without a single lost time injury, including specialty contractors.

This project was critical in restoring normal life to all of the residents, tourists, and businesses located along the Outer Banks.

(See original complete project entry)



Our Build With the Best Award honors the contributions of a non-contractor to the betterment of the construction industry and the overall Carolinas economic welfare, whether from outside the industry altogether or from our own supplier/service company membership sector.

Keith Coltrain, Attorney

A shareholder of Wall Templeton Haldrup in Raleigh, Keith Coltrain has voluntarily devoted hundreds of hours to issues extremely important to the construction industry in North Carolina - issues that involve fairness as well as millions of dollars to the construction industry. More info...

In the 2011-12 NC General Assembly, Keith helped lead efforts to craft a compromise concerning double payment that was fair to the entire construction industry. That issue has cost building contractors millions in the past 20 years because of unfairly having to pay twice for the same work or materials through payment bonds. The amended legislation, approved last July, also provides for greater fairness to specialty contractors, subcontractors and suppliers on bankruptcy issues involving contractors.

And in recent months, Keith has served with excellence as chair of the Lien and Bond Law Revision Committee of the Construction Section of the NC Bar Association. Despite early-morning calls and late-night calls on legislative issues, and last-minute meetings called by key legislative staff, Keith always has been willing to go the extra mile-no matter how challenging, complicated or stressful. Without Keith's leadership and teamwork, the double payment/lien legislation may not have been heard-much less approved.

Keith then helped lead a six-member team in providing popular Carolinas AGC seminars across North Carolina.

In addition, Keith helped CAGC in successful efforts opposing a Senate-passed bill which would have made it very difficult to file a necessary malpractice suit against an architect or engineer.

Congratulations to Keith Coltrain-and thank you for your support of the construction industry!


Thank you Sponsors!
GreerWalker LLP, and Johnston, Allison & Hord, provide not only financial assistance, but considerable time managing our judging process as well.

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