Opening elevated roadway marks major milestone in raising Bayonne Bridge

On Monday, February 20, 2017, our Skanska-Kiewit joint venture project team celebrated the opening of the new northbound roadway of the Bayonne Bridge. Connecting New York and New Jersey, the newly opened roadway sits 64 feet higher than the original—nested within the upper reaches of one of the longest steel arch bridges in the world.

The total length of the new bridge will be 7,159.5 ft. The main span remains 1,675 ft.

After demolition of the lower deck is completed this summer, the new bridge will allow for a total of 215 feet of clearance above the main shipping channel below. The extra clearance is essential in accommodating “New Panamax” ships, which are the latest and largest generation of container vessels named for the newly expanded Panama Canal.

The project is believed to be the first time a new roadway has been constructed above an existing bridge span that also remained fully operational, allowing for traffic to continue underneath. It is one of the most technical engineering challenges Skanska has ever undertaken, and we take great pride in the commitment and ingenuity of our team.

“Skanska is proud of the partnership we forged with Kiewit and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey on the Bayonne Bridge ‘Raise the Roadway’ project, which will soon allow larger cargo ships to enter the ports in New Jersey and Staten Island while also improving the iconic bridge for the travelling public,” said Keith Chouinard, Senior Vice President, Skanska USA. “This is the most significant milestone yet for all of the people involved in this once-in-a-lifetime project—and a giant step towards the project’s completion.”

Each year, approximately 1.5 million vehicles cross the bridge between New York and New Jersey. The completed project will feature a complementary southbound roadway and will provide drivers with a safer and more enjoyable crossing that includes 12-foot lanes, shoulders, a median divider and a 12-foot bike and pedestrian walkway. It also will offer the possibility of future mass transit options.

The Bayonne Bridge originally opened to the public in 1932. At that time, the now-famous Sydney Harbour Bridge was under construction in Australia. Closely replicating the design of the Bayonne Bridge, it measures just 25 inches shorter. To this day, the trusses of these sister bridges are considered two of the world’s most elegant arches, made of a sleek, high-strength alloy steel.

Check out more statistics on our bridge work here.

Watch a time-lapse video from November 2016 here.

Our team removed all 152 steel cables supporting the old roadway and replaced them with shorter cables to support the new span.

The gantry crane constructs one rope-supported section of the new roadway at a time.

In 1931, the Bayonne Bridge was the longest steel arch bridge in the world when it opened. Currently, the Bayonne Bridge is the fifth longest steel arch bridge in the world.

Construction on the southbound approach expected to begin after the demolition of existing roadway in 2017.

The “Raise the Roadway” project is being done to enable supersized container ships that use the expanded Panama and Suez canals to pass underneath and reach local ports.

View of New York City from the span of the Bayonne Bridge.

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Check out our top 12 construction time-lapse videos

Today, we’re taking a step back (and up) to offer a unique perspective on some of our most complex projects. Building anything new often takes several years, but nothing accelerates the construction process like a time-lapse video to transform a project before your eyes. The videos below highlight the conversion of an empty space or hole in the ground into something meaningful and impressive.

The World Trade Center Transportation Hub and Oculus

In 2016, the World Trade Center Transportation Hub opened in downtown Manhattan, the culmination of our 15-year journey in restoring and enhancing transportation access to Lower Manhattan. Our team fabricated and erected the hub’s “Oculus” – a Santiago Calatrava-designed structure comprised of approximately 11,500 tons of structural steel consisting of portals, arches and rafters that combined give the structure a unique shape similar to a bird in flight. To erect the Oculus, we used two highly specialized tower cranes manufactured explicitly for this unique project. The Oculus is the centerpiece of the new hub and will serve more than 250,000 pedestrians per day as the primary link for access to New Jersey PATH trains and 11 New York City subway lines. More than a national symbol, the Oculus is a global icon that symbolizes the successful rebirth of Downtown Manhattan.

99M Street, SE

In Washington, D.C., our team is developing and building 99M Street, SE, an 11-story, 234,000-square-foot Class A office building in Washington’s Capitol Riverfront neighborhood just steps from the Washington Nationals Ballpark. Located at the corner of 1st and M Streets, this prime office space will include a green roof and rooftop terrace, a club-grade fitness facility, secure bicycle storage and four levels of underground parking. The complex excavation for 99M began in November 2015 and nearly 500 construction workers have dedicated approximately 51,200 work hours to complete the excavation and foundation work this month. As part of the excavation process 34,000 cubic yards of soil and rock were removed from the site, enough to fill more than 10 Olympic-size pools.

The New York Wheel

In Staten Island, we completed the foundation for the New York Wheel, a 630-foot observation wheel that will rise over the southern end of New York Harbor and provide unique views of the Manhattan skyline. Our team executed two massive concrete placements for the observation wheel pile caps. Each placement saw nearly 4,000 cubic yards of 10,000 psi, self-consolidating concrete that was placed continuously over 14 hours.

Fore River Bridge

In Quincy, Massachusetts, our team transported a custom-built span from a shipyard down the Weymouth Fore River on a custom-built barge to the Fore River Bridge. Then, the nearly three million pounds of steel was lifted approximately 60 feet and installed between the two existing towers as the outgoing tide lowered it into place. A crucial factor was timing the ride of the river, which moves up and down as much as eight feet. The moving tide was necessary for floating in and properly placing the new span.

Philadelphia International Airport

After six months of detailed planning and coordination, we erected a 91,000-pound, 100-foot-long pre-assembled baggage conveyor bridge over the main airport departure road in less than eight hours. The work took place in the middle of the night to minimize any potential disruption to airport operations.

Capitol Tower

In Houston, our 35-story Capitol Tower office project – which is currently under development – started with a 19-hour, 20-minute concrete pour to create a mat foundation that varies between seven and nine-and-a-half feet thick. Our planning and execution of this 9,020 cubic-yard continuous pour was so precise that the actual duration was within three minutes of what we originally planned.

Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science

In Miami, we are building the state-of-the-art, 280,000-SF, multi-use science and technology museum, planetarium and aquarium being constructed in Museum Park in the Greater Miami Downtown area. The 500,000-gallon aquarium required a continuous concrete pour that took 24 hours and 49 minutes. This pour sets the foundation for the Gulf Stream Tank that will be home to a number of deep-sea species viewable from both top and bottom.

Recently, we installed a 31-foot, 13-inch thick, 60,000-pound viewing oculus in a complex crane operation that required five years of planning.

Second Avenue Subway

In New York City, our crews dug two-and-a-half miles of tunnels and caverns, set the tracks and installed the communications network for the Second Avenue Subway, which will move an estimated 200,000 people a day. The new line runs from East 63rd Street to East 96th Street connecting with midtown Manhattan and beyond. Excavations for the 86th Street station required the removal of 450,000 tons of material in order to create a subterranean “launch box” or starting point where the tunnel boring machine (TBM) could be assembled and begin its work.

MetLife Stadium

In East Rutherford, New Jersey, we built MetLife Stadium, one of the most sustainable and technologically advanced open-air stadiums with seats for close to 85,000 spectators. The stadium is home for the New York Giants and the New York Jets, which makes it the first facility built specifically to accommodate two U.S. National Football League (NFL) teams. Incorporating innovative methods both in the construction of the facility and in its design, our team worked in collaboration with both franchises to cater to the needs of two different teams.

Tampa International Airport (TIA)

In Tampa, Florida, our team is currently at work on our $130 million portion of the $1 billion Tampa International Airport (TIA) redevelopment plan, which includes the main terminal building expansion, construction of a new car rental facility and the new automated people mover. Last summer, our team unveiled the east side of the expansion, including two new restaurants, glass curtain walls and new, more modern finishes.

LaGuardia Airport

In New York, we are leading the design and construction of LaGuardia Airport through an innovative public-private partnership (PPP), which is the largest in the United States. With our partners, we will design, build, operate and maintain the Central Terminal B facility. Right now, multiple phases of work are being performed on site. The P-2 parking garage demolition has been completed, clearing the way for pile driving and foundation work on the new airport terminal building.

Have a cool project coming up that could make for an interesting time-lapse video? Contact us at USACommunications@Skanska.com.

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Digging up pieces of history on our construction sites

On both coasts, 2016 was a year of big discoveries for Skanska USA, including digging up a mastodon and uncovering a shipwreck. The finds gave us two very different pictures of what life in these areas must have been like at different points in history: mastodons roamed the earth more than 10,000 years ago, and the 19th century ship is believed to have been delivering barrels of lime to merchants. We also had the pleasure of assisting our client, The Burke Museum, in safely moving their own dinosaur discovery in Montana.

Unearthing the mastodon in Los Angeles, examining the shipwreck in Boston and transporting the T. rex in Seattle.

Los Angeles

In November 2016, Station Engineer Chris Booze and General Superintendent Peter Daboul were excavating at the future Wilshire/LaBrea Station of the Purple Line Extension in Los Angeles. Up until this particular day, the most exciting relics they’d uncovered on jobsites included small parts of old railroad crossings, bottles and other debris. To work near La Brea Tar Pits, one of the world’s most famous fossil sites, they trained in preparation for the possibility of uncovering prehistoric fossils or remnants.

The tools being used on site as well as the small fossils and rocks collected for further examination.

“Everyone working within two miles of La Brea Tar Pits is required to participate in a paleontology class before beginning work. However, building a subway through Los Angeles is no small feat and we all were completely absorbed in digging out dirt at the station so the discovery came as a huge surprise that day,” explained Booze.

“As we dug deeper into the ground, onsite paleontologists were thrilled when they noticed part of a tusk being uncovered in the dirt and we moved quickly to partition off the area for the paleontologists to come in with their brushes and microscopes while we kept working around them. A few days after the tusk discovery, a skull was also found and that’s when it really became big news,” said Daboul.

A paleontologist examines the mastodon in a secured area surrounding the discovery site.

Ultimately, the teeth of an adult mastodon and a three-foot tusk fragment were found, as well as parts of the skull and tusks of a younger mastodon that may turn out to be a mammoth. “These mammoth and mastodon remains found during construction on the new Purple Line stops are by far the coolest things I’ve discovered in my career. With the project close to the famed La Brea Tar Pits, it was more of a ‘when’ than ‘if’,” said Booze.

“Finding the fossils was awesome and memorable, but we were anxious to get them safely removed so we could resume our work.  This is a unique and challenging job, given the potential for fossil discoveries, the gassy underground conditions, and the dynamic, high density urban environment. We all have a real sense of pride and accomplishment at what we are doing for the city and the residents of Los Angeles,” said Daboul.

The fossils will be delivered to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

The findings are currently being examined in a paleontological lab and will be delivered to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County upon completion. Mastodons used to roam present-day California, but went extinct around 10,000 years ago.

Boston

In May 2016, Field Engineer Ripley Swan was working a normal day at 121 Seaport, Skanska’s 17-story, 400,000-square-foot Class-A office development currently under construction in Boston’s Seaport District. The team was wrapping up the first phase of the site excavation with a PC-800 hydraulic excavator pulling dirt out of the ground into trucks to be disposed of when something caught his attention.

“I noticed some wood so a smaller machine was called in to help dig around it. Digging revealed a structure that required us to use even smaller equipment to proceed until we realized we had found something that looked like the outline of a boat. Right away, we brought in an archaeologist from the City of Boston,” said Swan.

Our team carefully resumed work around the object, which eventually revealed the remains of a 50-foot wooden ship.

The 121 Seaport ship was wooden, about 50 feet long, and built sometime between the late 18th and mid-19th century.

“I felt kind of amazed. I’ve never seen anything like it,” Shawn Hurley, president and CEO overseeing Skanska’s real estate development operations in the U.S., said to the New York Times. “What do we need to do here? What are the next steps?”

“Everyone was excited. The Boston office just moved next door so we had a steady stream of people checking the site out through the window. As news continued to spread, helicopters started flying over us. It ended with Skanska hosting a press conference right in front of the excavation. All of the local news reporters were in attendance and it was awesome to see that what we did made major news,” said Swan.

City of Boston Archeologist Joe Bagley, Skanska USA Commercial Development President & CEO Shawn Hurley and Field Engineer Ripley Swan on the 121 Seaport site of the shipwreck discovery.

To excavate as much of the ship remains as possible, work in the area was stopped to allow a full investigation by the City of Boston archaeologist. Our teams have the highest consideration and care for the communities where we work and try to take care of anything found that could have historical significance.

As the owner of the development site, we convened a team of archaeologists including the Public Archaeology Laboratory, City of Boston archaeologist, nautical archaeologists, and archaeologists with the State of Massachusetts convened at the site to document the shipwreck.

Most of the wood uncovered is charred, suggesting that the ship burned because when lime gets wet it reacts to produce heat, which can cause fires.

Some cool facts about the shipwreck include:

The 121 Seaport ship was wooden, about 50 feet long, and built sometime between the late 18th and mid-19th century. It had at least two masts.

It held a large cargo of wooden barrels that contained lime, possibly from the Rockland area of Maine. The team found several dozen barrels of lime, suggesting the entire bottom of the ship was covered with lime barrels.

The ship contained two knives, two forks and a stack of burned plates in the rear of the ship.

The ship sunk sometime between 1850 and 1880. The ship itself is likely older than the date it went down. It could have been made in the late 1700s or early 1800s.

Most of the wood is charred, suggesting that the ship burned because when lime gets wet it reacts to produce heat, which can cause fires. The team was unable to determine if the 121 Seaport ship burned causing it to sink, if it was deliberately scuttled in the low-lying mudflats when the fire started, or if it ran aground and then burned.

The team found a fork at the shipwreck site. Additionally, we identified two knives and a stack of burned plates.ar.

Read more about the 121 Seaport Shipwreck here.

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The ultimate sustainability award at I-4: Envision® Platinum

Our I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project has won the prestigious Envision® Platinum award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). I-4 Ultimate, the reconstruction of 21 miles of roadway in Central Florida, stands to be the largest project certified by Envision to date. I-4 Ultimate is one of Skanska’s three public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the United States in addition to LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B in New York and the Elizabeth River Tunnels in Virginia. At Skanska, we are advocates for PPPs because they set the stage for successful sustainability planning by involving all parties – from the architects to the future operators – from day one.

“The entire I-4 Ultimate team is thrilled to receive this recognition for our efforts to protect the environment while creating a signature corridor for the entire region,” said Loreen Bobo, P.E. who is the I-4 Ultimate Construction Program Manager for the Florida Department of Transportation. “This award shows that sustainability goals are achievable alongside other primary missions of our agency to enhance the economic prosperity and preserve the quality of our environment and communities.”

Proposed rendering of the future SR 436 Interchange, which is currently one of the most congested intersections in Florida with more than 100,000 motorists traveling on it per day.

Our PPP team at I-4 Mobility Partners (I4MP) is doing more than building new infrastructure, it is also relocating protected wildlife such as tortoises and osprey, planting native trees such as elms and maples, and recycling 99 percent of the concrete and steel removed from roads and bridges.

Public spaces are being created to connect and engage the community through group sport activities, farmer’s markets, art fairs and parks. Residents will also be able to enjoy enhanced walkability, biking and public transportation options with connections to the SunRail commuter rail system and LYNX, Orlando’s local bus service. All in all, we are fully invested in improving the places where we work and live.

The proposed project design includes accent lighting, illuminated fountains, enhanced bridge architecture and architectural cladding.

“Since day one, our entire team has been committed to achieving the highest standards under Envision,” said Sal Taddeo, Chief Operating Officer East, Skanska USA Civil. “Our goal is to deliver one of the country’s most complex roadway projects while reaching a top level of sustainable infrastructure performance that can serve as a role model for other projects of its kind.”

The road to sustainable infrastructure

Created in 2012, Envision provides a framework for evaluating infrastructure projects similar to how the LEED® evaluation system works for building projects. The ranking consists of a broad range of criteria that address a project’s impact on the surrounding community and environment, technical considerations regarding materials and processes, and other critical choices spanning the project’s lifecycle. There are five categories measured: Quality of Life, Leadership, Natural World, Resource Allocation, and Climate and Risk.

I-4 Ultimate received high scores in three key categories:

Quality of Life: Central Florida’s local history and unique community character are being reflected in the design because there are hundreds of nearby buildings, districts and sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Several of these places are within the project limits, including the town of Eatonville, Griffin Park and the Holden-Parramore Historic District.

Founded in 1887, the town of Eatonville was the first incorporated African-American town in the US. The main road — Kennedy Boulevard which passes under the new I-4 project — once served as a wagon trail. Key landscape and historic features will be integrated into the bridge design at Kennedy Boulevard to honor the city’s history.

Leadership: To meet FDOT’s sustainability goals, an agenda was created early in the program to provide the project’s foundation. This includes social priorities such as health and safety, community involvement and business ethics; environmental priorities, including energy, carbon, materials, water and local impacts; and economic priorities such as project selection criteria, supply chain management and value added to society.

Natural World: A comprehensive Contamination Management Plan and Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure Plan was developed to prevent pollutants from contaminating soils, surface water and groundwater. Four underground storage tanks and 145 tons of petroleum that impacted soils and debris have been removed from the project site.

Invasive species are being controlled by removing existing Brazilian Pepper trees and Tropical Soda Apple shrubs along the project’s right-of-way while including non-invasive plants for landscaping and maintaining wetland functions.

The native landscaping proposed for this project includes up to 14,225 trees, 9,825 palms and 65,900 native shrubs and grasses.

Setting new sustainability records

In the fall of 2016, our Expo Line 2 Light Rail transit project in Los Angeles received Envision Platinum certification, making it the first transit project to receive the certification. Skanska has been involved in Envision since its inception and we are proud to see that momentum continues to grow. We are a charter member of ISI and we have supported more than 60 employees in achieving the Envision Sustainability Professional designation.

Moving forward, all of our PPPs in the U.S. must be either Envision or LEED certified, and by 2020 all of our U.S. civil infrastructure projects will seek Envision certification.

This marks the first time a Florida project has been honored by the ISI and the second time a Skanska project has been honored.

Thank you to our teammates at I-4 Mobility Partners

Our I-4 Mobility Partners team is designing, building, financing, and operating the project through a 40-year P3 concession agreement with a total design and construction cost of $2.323 billion dollars. We have two roles: one as an equity member through our Infrastructure Development group and a second as part of the SGL Constructors (SGL), which is the Skanska-led joint venture with Granite Construction Company and the Lane Construction Company.

Other members of the I4MP team include John Laing Invesments Limited; Design Joint Venture – HDR Engineering and Jacobs Engineering Group; and Infrastructure Corporation of America.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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A Subway Line 100 Years in the Making

Capping years of construction – and nearly a century of anticipation  – New York City’s Second Avenue Subway officially opened to the public on New Year’s Day this past weekend. This first section, known as Phase 1, runs from East 63rd Street to East 96th Street connects with midtown Manhattan and beyond.

For the Skanska USA crews who dug the tunnels, set the tracks and installed the switches that run the trains which will move an estimated 200,000 people a day, it was a moment of great satisfaction and pride.  But creating the first new subway line in a century was hardly easy.

A Complicated Project

It was in the early 1900s, when horse-drawn carriages and electric trolleys clogged the streets of New York City, that the idea for a Second Avenue Subway was first proposed. For decades, it was a project that was on-again, off-again, until about ten years ago.

“We looked at this back in 2007 and it was nothing—it was just rock,” said Skanska USA Civil Vice President of Operations Gary Almeraris.

The scope of the project was immense: boring two new subway tunnels 33 city blocks long that included accommodation for three new stations and the miles of connections – water, sewer, electrical, utility and even traffic signal wiring – that ran along and through it. The new 86th Street Station alone called for the excavation of 450,000 tons of rock underneath a densely populated neighborhood filled with residents and local businesses as well as cars, trucks, buses and pedestrians.

Close Coordination

Three separate Skanska JV teams – S3 Tunnel Connectors (Skanska Schiavone Shea), STJV (Skanska Traylor Brothers) and CSJV (Comstock Skanska) – worked together to complete different pieces of the project simultaneously to meet multiple deadlines.

Boring the massive tunnels for the Second Avenue Subway took coordination and patience among multiple Skanska teams and our JV partners. Credit: Skanska USA.

In one delicate operation, the S3 Tunnel Connectors team performing the tunnel boring needed to coordinate with another (non-Skanska) joint venture team that was excavating the 72nd Street cavern at the same time, directly above them.

“It was very laborious work,” notes Project Manager Alaeden Jlelaty. “We worked around the clock, three shifts. We had a few days where we exceeded 100-foot penetrations a day. And some days we did not move more than a fraction of a foot.”

Bringing Innovation Below Ground

Excavations for the 86th Street station added another Herculean task: removing 450,000 tons of material in order to create an enormous subterranean “launch box” or starting point where the tunnel boring machine (TBM) could be assembled and start its work.

Executive Vice President Mike Viggiano explains, “We engineered a special underground support system for a 30-story residential tower in order to safely excavate the foundation of the building to create a space for an escalator at the corner of 83rd Street, for an entrance to the subway station.” The team also developed a “muck handling system” that moved between 50 and 60 buckets of rock, with a weight equivalent to 23 cars, each day, while minimizing dust and noise.

Even the tunnel boring processes were completely different: while one tunnel went through predictably hard Manhattan schist (rock), the East tunnel path traversed a sloppy, messy material filled with water and soil, making it almost impossible to dig a clean path. “We did something really cool – we froze the ground,” says Viggiano. “Our team drilled pipes into the ground and filled it with chilled brine to harden the soil and made it act like rock. That process took about four months and gave us a safe, solid structure for the project.”

A pair of videos produced by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers explains more about the process that Skanska USA crews undertook to create the line, including the creation of the “launch box” and how freezing the ground and the tunnel boring machine (TBM) worked.

Skanska’s final contract as part of the Second Avenue Subway Phase One program was a joint venture with Comstock Electric to supply and install all the running rail, third rail power, signal and communication systems that enable trains to operate from the tie-in at 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue through the new Stations at 72nd, 86th and 96th on Second Avenue.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and elected officials preview the Second Avenue Subway earlier this month. Credit: Michael Benabib.

A Subway for the Next 100 Years

For now, the line is an extension of the Q line, but when the full run of the line is complete, it will be branded the T train (following the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s convention of lettered and numbered lines) and comprise a total of 16 stations, running eight and a half miles.

Building the Second Avenue Subway (called a “once in a lifetime project” by Jlelaty) safely and effectively with minimal disruption to hundreds of thousands of people who live and work on the Upper East Side is something of which our teams are immensely proud – and is a project 100 years in the making.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Looking Back on 2016

As 2016 draws to a close, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the projects, the people, and the values that propelled our company in building what matters this past year.  Across the country, in urban centers and suburban neighborhoods, we’re grateful to have had the opportunity to develop and construct the roads and bridges, hospitals and schools, aviation and transit projects and more that connect communities and make our world a better place. These are just a few of our favorites.

We’d love to know what your favorite Constructive Thinking post was from the past year. Follow us on twitter and share a post – and tag @SkanskaUSA in the message.

Northeast

A worker’s perspective on the Oculus and PATH Hall at the World Trade Center Transportation Hub – One of our workers coined it “the most important project I’ll ever build,” because if its significance not only to New York but to the entire country. From our work on the original Twin Towers in the 1970s to the Santiago Calatrava-designed terminal dubbed “an instant selfie magnet” by the New York Times, Skanska has come full circle at the 16-acre site.

A Seaport Renaissance in Boston – The news that we sold our 101 Seaport commercial development property in Boston was reason for celebration. The 17-story, 440,000-square-foot LEED® Platinum office building in the Seaport District was completed in record time, helping this neighborhood springing to new life.

Southeast

Road Trip! Midtown Tunnel Opens To Public Ahead of Schedule – The Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) Project opened one lane of its new Midtown Tunnel to traffic on Friday, June 17, six months early, marking the first time the public could use the new passage under the Elizabeth River connecting Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia.  It was the first of two deadlines we hit early for this massive public-private partnership that will help reduce commute times and vehicle emissions in the area.

At Duke University, a Remarkable Transformation – Our Duke West Union project restored the beloved on-campus dining halls designed by Horace Trumbauer in 1920 while inserting a new full-service dining environment and activity spaces for students to interact and socialize.  This ambitious renovation began in 2013 and was needed to accommodate a growing student body, while also providing a modern and exciting campus experience.

Central

Not Your Grandpa’s Library – Asked to envision a library, one might conjure up images of stacks of musty books, dimly-lit wood-paneled rooms in hushed silence and cabinets of Dewey Decimal cards that lead to a prized tome. Our Dayton Metro Main Library project in Ohio is anything but that: with design elements that include glass, steel and earth tones that bring in natural light, open space and encourage social interaction in a model that turns traditional library construction on its head.

Building a home where Alzheimer’s patients can thrive – With the U.S. population aging, Alzheimer’s has become the sixth leading cause of death, affecting more than 5.3 million people.  Alzheimer patients require specific environments designed to alleviate some of the disease’s unique challenges. Abe’s Garden in Nashville, Tenn. was a special project for us, believed to be the first memory care community in the U.S. designed and built to demonstrate and disseminate best practices that will improve the lives of individuals and their care takers affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

West

Building What Matters: From “Grand to the Sand” in Los Angeles – Building what matters took on a new definition for our Los Angeles EVP Mike Aparicio, as he took us inside the Expo Line Phase 2 project, which opened to the public for the first time in May, connecting downtown Los Angeles to the Santa Monica beach by rail for the first time in 60 years. The project is getting people out of their cars (and out of legendary Los Angeles traffic), in some cases, cutting commute times in half.

Building Communities, Changing Lives, South of the Border – For the second year in a row, Skanska USA employees took time out of their weekends to lend a hand on a building project that would change people’s lives in a community in need. It was before dawn on Saturday, May 14, when approximately 30 Skanska colleagues piled into a bus to make the trip from our Riverside, CA office to Tecate, Mexico, to participate in the Skanska Corazon Build project.

Innovation

Getting Ahead of the Curve – When it comes to driving value for customers, bringing innovative solutions to problems is a powerful asset. In our Skanska USA Building Business Unit, the preconstruction group has been utilizing Building Information Modeling (BIM) and parametric estimating technology to help accelerate the building process from concept design to final estimate – to the growing delight of customers and colleagues. It started – as most great ideas do – with the need to solve a problem.

Sustainability

Living Buildings take Sustainability to the Next Level – For years, sustainability has been more than just a buzzword in the construction industry – and with good reason.  As stewards of a planet with limited natural resources, it’s in our own interest to build projects that consume less. The concept of Net-Zero construction has pushed the boundaries of sustainable green building farther, as we enter the era of the Living Building, the industry’s most rigorous performance standard to date.

 

Just like our Skanska USA projects aim to create new possibilities for our customers, this blog aims to help give a peek behind the curtain at our company and our industry.  Thank you for being part of our stories – here’s to more great projects in 2017.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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The Data Center of the Century

Can we build a data center that lasts 100 years or more?

That’s the question our Michael Silla, SVP and leader of our Mission Critical Center of Excellence at Skanska USA, sought to answer in a recently published piece in CIO Review Magazine.

“When you think about how regularly and spectacularly technology leaps forward, poorly planned data centers can be legacy (obsolete) before they are even completed,” writes Michael. “When you think about how reliant we are on the cloud to support technology that fits in the palm of our hands – and how that technology supports an entire economic system – we need to think beyond the typical 50-year lifespan of a building that houses the infrastructure that powers that process.”

Check out the full byline article on CIO Review here.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Make the Holidays Happy with Safety in your Stocking

For some of us, the holidays are filled with comical visions of lights that don’t blink, avalanches of snow falling from rooftops onto unsuspecting relatives and kitchen cooking escapades that end in mild disaster. While those might be funny on the movie or TV screen, the holidays can be packed with very real opportunities for serious injury.

On our Skanska USA jobsites, we plan every day to prevent potentially dangerous incidents. We invest in equipment and training so we are always prepared. Failing to carefully consider the downsides of household holiday chores – like stringing outdoor lights or deep frying a turkey – can be just as dangerous.

Here are some ways you can translate jobsite safety to home safety:

Plan for the job before you start – similar to our jobsite Daily Hazard Analysis – including gathering supplies, tools, and protective gear;

Stretch and warm up before carrying heavy objects like trees, presents, and lawn ornaments to their destination;

• Consider the proper protective gear for the job you’re doing, including eye protection and gloves. Depending on the task, respiratory and hearing protection and even a hard hat may also be required;

Keep a first aid kit and fire extinguisher handy – or at least know where they are should you need them;

Rather than climb on the roof or a ladder, hang holiday lights with an extension pole while standing at ground level;

When stringing electrical decorations, use the proper gauge wires and extension cords and be careful not to overload circuits;

Eliminate fire hazards, including open flames from candles and placing Christmas trees too close to heating elements like radiators and baseboards;

• Practice good housekeeping in the kitchen by cleaning clutter from countertops; don’t overcrowd the stove or oven to prevent holiday meals from catching fire or falling from their perch;

Never drive when you are tired or compromised by “holiday cheer;” stay alert by eliminating distractions including cell phones;

• Check batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Discover more safety tips in this great graphic from the National Safety Council:

2016-infographic-12daysofsafety

A safe holiday is a fun holiday – we hope you enjoy yours!

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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Empowering Our Partners

Investing in our industry’s future isn’t just important, it is essential.

And whether we’re building big jobs like New York City’s redeveloped LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B or smaller but no less important projects in markets across the country, we need to ensure we have qualified subcontractors on which we can call to get the job done.

To that end, we created our Construction Management Building Blocks (CMBB) program, a free, multi-week course designed to give minority- and women-owned business enterprises (MWBEs) the tools and knowledge needed to secure contracts and create jobs. Now in its 10th year, the program is initiated, organized and taught by Skanska USA in areas of need across the country.  To date, we’ve run programs in Cincinnati, Atlanta, Nashville, Austin, Detroit, Memphis, Tampa, Houston and more – with approximately 1,000 companies completing the course.

One of the more recent graduating classes saw representatives of 34 New York-based companies receive training on the procedures, pre-qualifications, certifications, project requirements and contracting opportunities associated with the LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B redevelopment project, our largest global project ever. The graduates – some attending weekly from as far away as Syracuse, NY – add to the growing list of MWBEs that are now able to qualify for bidding on current and future redevelopment work at LaGuardia and at other projects throughout the New York Metro and upstate regions.

Nearly 35 New York-based companies graduated from Skanska’s Construction Management Building Blocks Program, a seven-week course designed to create opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

On November 10, 2016, 34 New York-based companies graduated from Skanska’s Construction Management Building Blocks Program, a seven-week course designed to create opportunities for minority- and women-owned business enterprises.

“Skanska is committed to the vision set by Governor Cuomo to increase opportunity for minority- and women-owned business enterprises across New York State,” said Thomas Nilsson, Vice President and LaGuardia Central Terminal B Project Officer, Skanska USA. “The Building Blocks program is an innovative and vital investment in the MWBE community that represents the future of Skanska and the construction industry in New York.”

The program was made possible through Skanska’s partnerships with LaGuardia Community College and the NYC Department of Small Business Services.

“This collaborative and timely program reflects our commitment to helping women- and minority-owned small business owners have the knowledge and ability to compete for construction contracts, specifically those emerging from the rebuilding of LaGuardia Airport,” said LaGuardia Community College President Gail O. Mellow. “LaGuardia Community College and LaGuardia Airport share the same namesake – and we are proud to further support Fiorello H. La Guardia’s legacy to ensure that people of all backgrounds have access to the same opportunities and our city has a world-class airport.”

“One of New York City’s greatest strengths is its rich diversity,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Mayor de Blasio is committed to ensuring that city contractors reflect this diversity and I am proud to support this work. Our department is here to help all minority- and women-owned businesses who want to learn more about how to do business with the city.”

Graduates of the Construction Management Building Blocks (CMBB) program will have the opportunity to bid on contracts associated with Skanska's work on the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport's Central Terminal B.

Graduates of CMBB are provided the knowledge and tools required to bid on Skanska contracts, such as the redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport’s Central Terminal B, above.

On November 10, 2016, we completed our first-ever CMBB course in the growing Pittsburgh market, in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh. Skanska’s expansion to Pittsburgh was an outgrowth of successful CMBB sessions at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania State University and Rutgers University in New Jersey.

“We are committed to creating jobs and sharing best practices in the communities where we work,” said Skanska USA General Manager Ed Szwarc. “By partnering with University of Pittsburgh, we offer underrepresented businesses the opportunity to expand, gain valuable operational skills and take their careers to the next level.”

While participation in CMBB does not guarantee future contracts, it provides a platform for contractors to interact with industry professionals and city and state leaders to receive information and training on how to bid on contracts. It additionally provides an opportunity for subcontractors to develop relationships with industry professionals and one another, forming bonds and strategic partnerships for the future.

“The Construction Management Building Blocks Program shows just how much Pitt cares about being a good neighbor to the City of Pittsburgh as well as how much we want to reach out to Pittsburgh’s citizens and make a real and lasting difference in the lives of people,” said Scott Bernotas, associate vice chancellor of facilities management for the University of Pittsburgh.

Skanska employees and program participants attend the Construction Management Building Blocks program graduation that took place during Skanska’s Diversity and Inclusion Week. The training program provides small minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses with the information and tools they need to successfully compete for subcontracting work on large construction projects.

In Cincinnati, Skanska employees and program participants attend the Construction Management Building Blocks program graduation that took place during Skanska’s Diversity and Inclusion Week in October 2016. The training program provides small minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses with the information and tools they need to successfully compete for subcontracting work on large construction projects.

In Cincinnati, the CMBB program graduated seven, local, small minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses from its 12-week program in October 2016, arming them with the information and tools they need to effectively compete for subcontracting work on large construction projects.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for a small company like mine,” said Lisa Timley, CEO of Hollywood Cleaning Services, LLC. “To be able to attend a program to enhance all areas needed to grow my business was very beneficial.”

With the proven success and growing desire from small businesses across the country, Skanska and its partners are already engaged in accelerated planning for sessions beginning in 2017.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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We Also Build Smiles

Sometimes Building What Matters takes on a whole new meaning.

Our team at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL knew they were building a new research and education center directly across from the hospital’s infusion center where children receive regular chemotherapy treatments for a variety of cancers.  They knew there were kids fighting for their lives in that hospital, watching out the window at the hard hats and construction equipment.

“Every day, you walk into the cafeteria and walk past the kids,” says Assistant Project Manager Brandon Page. “You see the issues they are dealing with from the chemo. And you want to help make their day a little brighter.”

Each Friday, the nurses hold what they call a “Friday Dance Party” with the kids to celebrate getting through another week of arduous medical treatment and to lift their spirits. They play music, dance and – as one nurse puts it – “just let loose and have fun.”

Brandon, along with General Superintendent Todd Collier, Project Engineer Justin Koenen, and Assistant Superintendent Calin Noonan, decided to bring the “Friday Dance Party” outside to the job site, complete with multicolored signs and their best moves. The video from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital sets up the story:

Shortly after the first Friday Dance Party, Justin bumped into one of the nurses on campus, who told him the following week, November 4, would be the 13th birthday of a young girl named Katelyne – who was also receiving her last chemotherapy treatment that day before being permanently discharged from the hospital where she had lived since June.

Sensing an opportunity, the crew mobilized a banner – which they signed – and mounted a special “Friday Birthday Dance Party” especially for Katelyne, who watched with her family from her window across the way.

Later, some of the crew visited Katelyne in her room. “She teared up when we brought the signed banner in,” said Justin.

Katelyne Ballesteros had a special happy 13th birthday message from the Skanska construction crew she's been watching from her window of Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital. Left to right are Katelyne, Todd Collier, Justin Koenen, and Calin Noonan.

Katelyne had a special happy 13th birthday message from the Skanska construction crew she’s been watching from her window of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. Left to right are Katelyne, Todd Collier, Justin Koenen, and Calin Noonan.

“Seeing the kids and the positive energy of the nurses makes this more than just a project,” said Todd. “Everyone on the project willingly and gladly participates, including all of our subcontractors.”

“It’s so sad for these kids to be going through this. I have a four-year-old and I can’t imagine it,” says Brandon. “They’re innocent and they’ve done nothing wrong. To have to go through something like this is unfair. So anything we can do to give back we do. It should be everybody’s responsibility to do the same.”

Take a look at the full photo album of Katelyne’s Birthday – and her last day in the hospital – here.

Katelyne presented our Skanska USA team with this handmade thank you card for their uplifting effort for her birthday sendoff.

Katelyne presented our Skanska USA team with this handmade thank you card for their uplifting effort for her birthday sendoff.

Skanska USA

Skanska USA

Skanska USA is one of the largest, most financially sound construction and development companies in the U.S., serving a broad range of clients in the public and private sectors, including those in transportation, power, industrial, water/wastewater, healthcare, life science, education, sports & entertainment, data centers, government, aviation and commercial industries.

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