Carolinas AGC bestowed the 2017 Pinnacle Awards to three construction projects which enhance their communities, and the “Build with the Best” Pinnacle Award to an individual whose mission is helping students create a pathway to a successful career in construction. Pinnacle entries are judged on unique aspects and challenges; special values; project management; budget and schedule; and safety performance. Pinnacle winning projects enhance the Carolinas and advance the construction industry!

Convention & Pinnacle Awards Ceremony


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. The Pinnacle presentation was made at CAGC's 95th Annual Convention in Boca Raton, Florida.

Johnston, Allison & Hord    Greer Walker CPA

Project Awards

South Carolina DOT US 78 and SC 7 Bridge Replacements, North Charleston, SC – Crowder Construction

Best Highway-Heavy Project - $5 Million and Over

Pinnacle Partners:

Banks Construction Company
South Carolina DOT US 78 and SC 7 Bridge Replacements,  North Charleston, SC Prior to construction of the big South Carolina Port Access Project in Charleston, two significant bridges in the area which spanned the primary railroad corridor were in dire need of renovation. US 78 at King Street extension and Rivers Avenue was an old aqueduct bridge built in the late 1920’s; and SC 7 Bridge (Cosgrove Avenue) was constructed in the mid 1950’s.

Because the SC 7 bridge was the detour for the US 78 bridge closure, the bridges had to be built linear. The scope of the US 78 bridge included complete demolition of the existing structure over and around railroad tracks, complete removal of approach fill, installation of 60,000 linear feet of stone columns, and installation of large drilled shafts. The superstructure consisted of 2.8 million pounds of curved structural steel, and two 100+ cubic yard integral bents. Additionally, Crowder installed new fill and roadway over ground modifications and two mechanically stabilized earth walls.
Once the US 78 bridge was complete, Crowder then relocated to the SC 7 bridge location, which was a half mile to the north. The scope of the SC 7 bridge included two-stage construction. The first phase was demolition of half of the existing structure over three live railroad tracks and an existing concrete plant, and shoring and removal of approach fill in phases. It included installation of stone columns, earthquake drain, and installation of ten drilled shafts. Once completed, Crowder then switched traffic and mobilized to the other side of the structure to produce the same results in phase two.

The most unique aspect of the project was working over and around different obstacles, such as two active railroads. While this could have been a scheduling nightmare, Crowder partnered closely with Norfolk Southern and CSX to work around train schedules. In addition to the railroads, the SC 7 bridge went through the yard of an operational concrete plant. On one hand, it was easy to get concrete on time, but it was still challenging to schedule work in and around the plant’s daily concrete production. 
Another unique part of the project involved constructing the 96 inch diameter, 135-foot deep drilled shafts for the hammerhead bents at the US 78 site. The reinforcing cage for the drilled shafts weighed over 100,000 pounds, which had to be installed in conjunction with the drilled shaft pour.  Crowder opted to fabricate the cage in two halves, setting the first half into the shaft supported by the casing and then splicing the second half onto it in the vertical position. They then let the entire cage down into the shaft for concrete placement. Special rigging was designed to distribute the weight of the cage over all the vertical bars.

Because of the age and historic significance of the original US 78, Crowder was asked, upon demolition, to carefully remove sections of the 1920’s bridge rail and place them in a park for future aesthetic use —Crowder was happy to oblige.
The project had a requirement of ground modifications (stone columns) at both sites. Because of close proximity to traffic and businesses, Crowder used wet installation to control airborne stone projectiles. With the wet installation method, approximately 60,000 gallons of water a day was used to jet the stone into the subgrade, which then had to be disposed daily.  Using a series of settlement basins and special mixing techniques, they were able to get the slurry to a solid enough form that it could be hauled off site without causing an environmental hazard.
With nearly 3 years of work in very close proximity to traffic, houses, and businesses, safety was obviously a top priority. Which paid off -- there were no OSHA violations or lost time incidents. 

Crowder Construction would like to honor Pinnacle Partner Banks Construction Company for its outstanding work on the project, which included the approach grading, drainage, and paving for both sites. 

Quarry Park Development, Winston-Salem, NC - Bar Construction Company

Best Building Project Under $5 Million

BAR Construction Company
Quarry Park The new Quarry Park is located on a 225-acre site originally occupied by an old granite quarry. The former quarry operated from the 1920’s through the late eighties and provided crushed rock and granite slabs for homes, schools and roads. In 1988, it began to fill up with water and the quarry was abandoned.
Around 1998, Vulcan Materials gifted the quarry (which had become a 12-acre lake) and its land to the City of Winston-Salem. Additionally, 60 acres on the south side of the quarry was also donated by a former city councilman’s family to be used later as a greenway.

In 2014, a $30 million City Park improvements tax bond allowed for $4 million to go toward the design and construction of the new Quarry Park, and $1 million toward the Waughtown Connector Greenway.
The design team, led by Stimmel Associates, began work in 2015. In November, Bar Construction Company, the low bidder, was awarded the job. An immediate challenge was presented because the original bid of over $5 million exceeded the city’s budget. Extensive value engineering was undertaken to bring the project within budget. Some of the major design changes included changing a concrete retaining wall to a segmented masonry retaining wall, removing all stained concrete, and reducing the Observation Pier from 120 feet to 108 feet – changes which wouldn’t impact the beauty of the project, but would bring the contract amount within budget to $4.2 million.

One of the key features of the new park is its connections to the city greenway system. On the south side, the greenway connects to Waughtown Street via Marble Street. To the north, a new link to an existing greenway makes it possible for walkers and bikers to access Quarry Park from the existing Salem Creek Greenway, which in turn provides a link to Salem Lake and, in the future, to downtown Winston-Salem.

BAR Construction Company was faced with several major construction challenges—the first and biggest was having to work around the rim of the quarry. The lake is approximately 150 feet below the edge of the quarry and is 160 feet deep.
Caissons, approximately 24’ deep, were drilled with the closest one only 15 feet from the quarry rim. To build the retaining wall for the observation platform and for the extensive undercut to remove boulders around the rim, both people and equipment had to be tied off.
Another challenge came with the Waughtown Greenway Connector. The 1.25-mile trail had to be cut through the densely overgrown forest, existing streams, and steep topography. A trail that likely hadn’t seen foot traffic in decades, will now be enjoyed by the community for years to come.
The focus of the Quarry Park is the Observation Pier.  It’s designed like a camera lens, expanding in height as is approaches the quarry’s rim. The pier faces the city skyline to the west with spectacular views of the lake.

The entire observation pier had to be set using one of the largest cranes on the east coast. The pier’s lower level houses a comfort station with bathrooms. Its gabion exterior pays homage to the quarried granite stone used throughout the city’s infrastructure, roadways and buildings.

BAR Construction’s focus on safety paid off with no loss time injuries. Construction, which began in April 2016, was completed in just over a year. The City of Winston-Salem held a ribbon cutting ceremony August 15, 2017—a big community celebration which included coverage by the local TV stations and newspapers.

New Davie County High School, Mocksville, NC - New Atlantic Contracting, Inc.

Best Building Project - $5 Million and Over

New Atlantic Contracting, Inc.
New Davie County High School, Mocksville, NCWith a total construction budget of $54 million, the 335,000 square foot complex is situated on 65-acres, and has a capacity of 2,000 students. The facility houses a three-story classroom wing, two gymnasiums and physical education areas, an auditorium, a cafeteria, a media center with a coffee shop, and a stand-alone Career Technical Education building. On-site is a sports complex with tennis courts, a 4,500-person football stadium, press box, and a concession stand.

New Atlantic Contracting was awarded the project after a prequalification process and a winning bid. However, because that low bid was still nearly $5 million over budget, extensive value engineering became New Atlantic’s first charge. And, the project’s timeline was very short – but they were up for the challenge.

To begin with, the initial budget restraints would prevent the construction of the new athletic fields, meaning that off-campus fields would have to be used until funds could be raised for the new fields. Given the safety issues of students having to travel off campus, the Owner tasked the designers and New Atlantic with finding a solution that would allow for all the fields to be constructed without a significant budget increase. Finding a design scenario to accommodate wasn’t easy, but they knew they could save money and provide the best use of space for the Owner by converting on-site sediment basins and rock disposal sites into the new athletic fields.
Because initial rock disposal efforts did not anticipate the possibility of supporting a baseball field, structural soil bridging efforts were required to ensure the stability of the new baseball field. This challenge was rather simple compared to the softball field site which sat directly on top of a 1.3-acre sediment basin protecting adjacent wetlands. Accelerated site stabilization and close coordination with NC DENR representatives were required to enable early removal of the temporary sediment basin and allow construction of the softball field to begin. The new field designs also involved extensive site retaining walls (to protect wetlands), the re-working of stormwater and irrigation systems, as well as paving and sidewalk layout revisions.

The football field was another problem altogether. An access road to the Davie County Youth Athletic Park passed right through the middle of the new football field for the first ten months of the project.
Even though a new access road was put in place, the existing access road couldn’t be touched because it was originally constructed, in part, with State and Federal Recreation Department monies and by law, could not be altered without prior written approval from the National Park Service.
The authorization process to demolish the existing access road was muddied with legalities involving the state of North Carolina and other federal agencies. It took involvement from US Congresswoman Virginia Foxx to get final approval to demolish the existing road, which left just three months to grade the stadium bowl, build the track and associated drainage systems, amend the soils, install irrigation systems, and plant grass seed.
And the athletic fields were just the beginning of the challenges. The overall construction site became known as a “rock garden on steroids.” Every time New Atlantic attempted to excavate a foundation or install a deep utility, they came across a boulder -- and most times, these boulders turned out to be larger than the excavation equipment itself. By the end of the project, more than 2,300 cubic yards of rock was dug up without schedule impact.
As if all these challenges weren’t enough, New Atlantic was asked if they could finish the 169,000 square foot Classroom Tower Building months ahead of schedule so that the faculty could get a head start on their classroom and media center prep work prior to students’ arrival. Working closely with designers, local inspectors, and fire marshals, the project was expedited much to the satisfaction of Davie County and its faculty. And in mid August, 2017, The New Davie County High School opened its doors to students.   

Individual Pinnacle Award

Steve Corriher, Central Piedmont Community College

Steve Corriher

Build with the Best Award

The Build with the Best award honors an individual who is not a contractor but has contributed to the betterment of the construction industry and the overall economic welfare of the Carolinas. 

Steve Corriher serves as the Division Director of Construction Technologies at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, and he’s a member of the CAGC Foundation Board of Trustees. Steve was awarded the Build with the Best award because of his unyielding passion to educate students who are pursuing careers in construction. There’s nothing more important to the construction industry right now than closing the workforce shortage gap.

Some of Steve’s accomplishments include:
  • Developing and implementing the Construction Management Associates Degree Program at CPCC.
  • Establishing the Goodwill Industries training program in Entry Level Construction Skills.
  • Receiving the Entrepreneur of the Year award at CPCC, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Partner of the Year award (in conjunction with the Construction Industry Education Coalition), and the NEF Carol A. Kueker Innovative Educator of the Year Award.
Steve is also a big supporter of CAGC’s Build Your Career program.

Construction Excellence Awards

New to the CAGC Awards family are the CAGC Construction Excellence Awards. These projects were recognized by the CAGC Pinnacle Award Judges as projects of distinction. 

Excellence Winners