Knowing yourself that your work goes above and beyond is one thing. But to be recognized by those in your communities —and especially your peers — is an honor more valuable than the blood, sweat and materials put into any project.
To that end, the Parker, Smith & Feek Excellence in Construction Awards are given by the Associated General Contractors of Alaska in recognition of exceptional projects completed by contractors in the Last Frontier. Companies submit a thorough write-up of their project for consideration, which is then judged against others in its category by independent industry professionals.
Nine outstanding projects built by AGC of Alaska members were recognized with Parker, Smith & Feek Excellence in Construction Awards Nov. 10, 2017, during the Friday luncheon at the annual conference. The award-winning projects are as diverse and wide-ranging as the Last Frontier itself.
Project: Asplund WWTF Screens Rehabilitation and Hot Water Upgrades
The scope of the project consisted of making upgrades to Anchorage’s John M. Asplund Water Treatment Plant. Work entailed removing and refurbishing the existing influent screens, relining the influent channels and making process upgrades to modernize the plant and improve energy efficiency. The project was particularly complex because the plant needed to remain operational at all times. Special coordination ensured that complex mechanical and electrical systems were phased without interrupting flow and the treatment of Anchorage’s wastewater.
“It was an honor to receive the award. We think highly of these awards and submit projects for consideration whenever we have ones that meet the criteria. We thank AGC and Parker, Smith and Feek for putting it on,” Sean Hickel, project manager said.
Project: Alaska Airlines Kodiak Airport Upgrades
Cornerstone General Contractors completed a major renewal of Alaska Airlines’ Kodiak Airport Terminal, a 12,500-square-foot facility and the first of 19 stations to be upgraded through the airline’s Alaska Facilities Reinvestment program. Work included demolition, systems upgrades and reconfiguration of interior spaces, including ticketing, TSA passenger and baggage screening, restrooms, rental car areas, lobby, hold rooms and administrative offices. Exterior improvements included siding replacement, exterior paint finish in airline colors, ramps and entries compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, energy-efficient doors and windows, and overhead cargo doors. Temporary facilities were built throughout the facility, and work was completed without disrupting airline operations.
In 2016, Cornerstone General Contractors won an Excellence in Construction Award for its work on the West High School/Romig Middle School CTE Renovation and Addition.
Project: Anchorage Museum Expansion
The Anchorage Museum is the cultural cornerstone of Anchorage and provides a foundation for Alaska’s cultural heritage, community identity, education and outreach. The expansion project provided 30,000 square feet of gallery space, temporary gallery space, a patron lounge, administrative offices, informal galleries and a remodeled atrium. The expansion also included a stunning addition to the second floor. The exterior facade incorporated zinc and Alaska yellow cedar that will naturally age and unite the museum campus. This project, by Davis Constructors & Engineers, was constructed over, through and underneath the current museum without disturbing public or museum operations.
“It was an honor. It’s always a tough competition, every year. And that project, being such a visible project downtown, there were a lot of challenges with it,” said Luke Blomfield, project manager. “We were really super pleased to get the award and to even be recognized as a runner in the competition. I couldn’t say how happy we are to receive that and be recognized.”
In 2016, Davis Constructors & Engineers won an Excellence in Construction Award for its work on the Kings Landing at Ship Creek Phase 2 project.
Project: Kodiak Channel Transient Float
Bidders to the City of Kodiak universally caveated their proposals to replace the Channel Transient Float subject to subsurface site conditions. Only Turnagain Marine Construction submitted a design-build proposal unconditionally waiving any claim for geotechnical impacts, relying on its experience installing deep marine foundations and its unique fleet of crane barges custom-built for Alaska conditions. Turnagain introduced an innovative UHMW floatation system to save replacement and maintenance costs. Hoisting old floats directly from the water over power lines into dump trucks with its 175-foot crane eliminated the need for a scow and tugboats. Turnagain finished the project a week before schedule.
In 2016, Turnagain Marine Company won an Excellence in Construction Award for its work on the Hoonah Berthing Facility project. The 2017 award “just shows that we are continuing to be successful in implementing what Turnagain is all about: providing the best value that we can in any project,” Julian Koerner, operations manager said. “Being a young company, that shows we’re making progress and accomplishing our goals of being a high-quality and influential contractor in the Alaska market. We’ve been making strong headway in that and we’re looking forward to completing more projects and maybe receiving another award next year.”
Project: Roche Moutonnee Creek Bridge No. 1519 Replacement, Dalton Highway Milepost 265
Tutka completed replacement of the Roche Moutonnee Creek Bridge at MP 265 of the Dalton Highway in September 2017, reaching substantial completion within the brief summer window afforded by Alaska’s northern latitudes. A roadway diversion and temporary stream crossing was constructed alongside the existing bridge, followed by demolition of the existing 40-foot-long wood structure, allowing for streambank modification, driving H-pile and rock lining. Tutka met the challenges of remote location work and completed the final 120-foot-long concrete bulb-tee girder bridge including onsite mixing of concrete for the substructure by careful planning and effective use of nearby resources.
“All of us at Tutka LLC are greatly honored to be presented with this award at the 2017 annual AGC Convention,” said John Sommer, a professional engineer. “As a small business that was started from ‘scratch’ and has shown steady growth for almost two centuries, we consider ourselves fortunate and blessed to stand in the company of the other winners and nominees of this prestigious award by Parker, Smith & Feek.
“We attribute this success to the hard work of our project team who define the term ‘pride in craftsmanship’ every day on the job. We look forward to similar success in the construction and environmental industries in the future, as all of us work together to create our own destiny in the great state of Alaska!”
Project: Spenard Road Reconstruction Phase II
Spenard Road Reconstruction Phase II – Hillcrest Drive to Benson Boulevard consisted of reconstructing Spenard Road; making extensive site improvements; replacing storm and sewer manholes; installing storm drain piping; lining existing storm drains with Cured in Place Pipe (CIPP); installing an LED illumination system; installing nine transit stops, 8-foot sidewalks and curb ramps to meet Americans with Disabilities Act criteria; installing traffic signs at three major intersections (Benson Boulevard, Northern Lights Boulevard and Fireweed); and constructing a Municipal Light and Power vault and duct system. Final construction included hot mix asphalt, inlaid pavement markings and street signage.
”We were excited,” said Todd Porter, general manager. “We were surprised because we had won one last year and weren’t sure if we would win back-to-back. [Winning an award for excellence in construction] gives a sense of pride and satisfaction for our superintendents and engineers who build the work.”
In 2016, QAP won an Excellence in Construction Award for its work on the Arctic Boulevard Improvements Phase III project.
Project: RiverView at the Bluffs (Design/Build)
KLEBS Mechanical was mechanical subcontractor for RiverView at The Bluffs, a four-building, 69-room lodge on the lower slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain in Denali, Alaska. This $10 million design/build development featured $1 million in mechanical work lasting five months of the eight-month-long project. During the design phase, KLEBS proposed an alternative central hot water plant for the complex located in a single mechanical space that provided hot water above the design requirements and reduced energy use and fuel costs by 52 percent over the original design. KLEBS’s innovative approach reduced both up-front project costs and long-term operation and maintenance costs.
“We really appreciate getting the award. It’s not really about Klebs though — it’s about its workers, from the apprentices to the journeymen to project managers the office managers. They’re the ones that put it together and made the quality happen,” said Gary Klebs, president.
Project: GCI TERRA — Ring Closure
The Terrestrial for Every Rural Region in Alaska project has been GCI’s vision for bringing a next-generation communications network to some of the most remote regions of Alaska. With STG’s help, this vision is now a reality for over 45,000 Alaskans via 3,300 miles of fiber-optic network. Started in 2010, this monumental infrastructure today provides 84 villages access to high-speed terrestrial broadband service through one of the largest fiber-microwave networks in the country. After seven years of engineering and construction, the team closed the TERRA ring in 2017.
“On behalf of STG, we are very honored to receive this award,” said Brennan Walsh, STG President. “We must also thank our client, GCI, for acting as a true partner on this project. Many folks throughout all levels of STG and GCI worked very hard to make this project a success.”
Project: UniSea Seafood Waste Dredging
Orion Marine joined the Floyd Snider and UniSea team to finalize a waste remediation plan and perform dredging to remove contaminated seafood waste in Dutch Harbor. Orion worked with Floyd Snider to develop work plans, schedules and drawings for seawater filtration on the dump scow to complete reporting to the Environmental Protection Agency. Orion used state-of-the-art GPS on the crane to track and map the locations of every bucket with dive surveys at 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent and 100 percent to remove seafood waste and re-establish a sustainable benthic environment near the outfall line.
“Orion Marine Group is honored to receive the 2017 Sustainability in Construction Award. Both UniSea (client) and Floyd Snider (designer) were excellent to work with. Orion’s early project involvement assisted with achieving project objectives through operations planning, reporting and value engineering cost savings,” said DS Hogan, director of operations Alaska, Orion Marine Group, an Alaska firm providing marine and infrastructure construction for more than two decades.