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.

More Posts - Website

Road Trip! Midtown Tunnel Opens To Public Ahead of Schedule

Six months ahead of schedule, the Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) Project opened one lane of its new Midtown Tunnel to traffic on Friday, June 17, marking the first time the public could use the new passage under the Elizabeth River connecting Norfolk and Portsmouth, Virginia.

In a show of pride, Skanska employees, along with our JV partners from Kiewit Construction and Weeks Marine, Inc., walked through the nearly one mile length of the tunnel in the morning, surveying the fruits of their hard work.  In the afternoon, cars queued up on the westbound side and at 1:40 p.m. proceeded through, signifying the tunnel had officially gone into operation.

To execute the opening, crews shifted the single lane of U.S. 58 West Midtown Tunnel traffic, which carries traffic from Norfolk to Portsmouth, into the new Midtown Tunnel. The existing Midtown Tunnel will continue to carry eastbound traffic in a single lane from Portsmouth to Norfolk.  The single lane configuration in each tube makes it possible to conduct rehabilitation of the existing Midtown Tunnel ahead of schedule and finish construction in the new tube. In order to advance completion of both Midtown tunnels, construction will continue in one lane of each tube.

“This is a terrific day for this project and I couldn’t be more proud of our team,” said Wade Watson, ERT Project Director for SKW. “Four years ago when the project began, the team set an aggressive schedule. Opening six months early speaks to quality of team, attitude, planning and efforts to make this come together. More than 50,000 man hours of training and more than 4.4 million man hours of work went into this.”

2016-06-17 PHOTO-MidtownTunnelOpening-ERTCrewGroup-Above-smaller

CREW’S ALL HERE: The team gathers in one of the approaches to the Midtown Tunnel before the official public opening. Credit: Skanska USA.

The $1.5 billion project is Skanska’s first major infrastructure public-private partnership (P3).

The project is divided into four sections:

• Construction of a brand new, two-lane tunnel under the Elizabeth River, adjacent to the existing Midtown Tunnel
• Extending the MLK from London Boulevard to Interstate 264 with an interchange at High Street
• Minor modifications to the interchange at Brambleton Avenue/Hampton Boulevard in Norfolk
• Maintenance and safety improvements to the existing Midtown & Downtown Tunnels

The project is remarkable from a technological perspective, being only the second all-concrete immersed tube tunnel in the United States and the first deep water all concrete immersed tube tunnel. Historically, tunnels in the US have been built with steel.

2016-06-17 MAP-ERTPRoject2

Drivers will benefit from reduced emissions and congestion and shave as much as 30 minutes a day off the average round trip commute. Full completion on the project is expected in August 2018.

Click here for more on how this amazing tunnel was built.

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.

More Posts - Website

“You can build anything green”

At the Elizabeth River Tunnels project in Virginia, our SKW Constructors joint venture is inspired to build green by the beautiful river that’s the basis of our project, and how that waterway impacts our lives. Some of my colleagues fish in these waters, others enjoy different water-based activities, and we all enjoy the river views. So it’s important to us on a personal level to find environmentally friendly ways to build our project. And we’re honored that outside groups are starting to recognize our efforts.

You can build anything green, but our industry hasn’t prioritized sustainability on civil projects the way it has with buildings. For more than a decade, the U.S. Green Building Council has been advocating LEED to improve buildings’ environmental performance. Yet it’s only recently that the Envision sustainable infrastructure rating system was introduced to provide a similar type of focus for civil projects. Still, with civil construction, if you dig a little bit, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to make a difference environmentally.

Midtown Tunnel, second tunnel construction. Portsmouth side.

Our joint venture’s Elizabeth River Tunnels project in Virginia has prioritized building green.

On this project, among the greener ways of working being utilized by the Skanska, Kiewit and Weeks Marine team is a self-contained, concrete chute wash-out system.  Following a concrete pour, these units allow concrete trucks to wash their chutes in a system that contains all the concrete waste and wash water. The units then filter the wash water, allowing it to be recycled and reused in the chute washing process. This system can save approximately $72,700 for every 100 pours. As another example of how going green often saves money, we’ve found that the environmentally friendly aerosol can puncturing system we’ve employed not only reduces the amount of hazardous waste shipped offsite, but also saves more than $30,000 for every 4,200 cans punctured. And rather than paying high fees to haul lead-contaminated soil offsite to dispose of it as hazardous waste, we’re safely remediating that soil onsite.

Just for fun, our team does team-building activities like planting wildlife gardens, celebrating Earth Day and participating annually in the Clean the Bay Day.

Last month, the SKW team was thrilled to learn that our above-and-beyond environmental approach enabled Elizabeth River Tunnels to become the first construction project approved for the Virginia Environmental Excellence Program. Even more significantly, we were approved at the highest level – Extraordinary Environmental Enterprise (E-4). The 14-year-old program drives environmental excellence through a partnership approach between the Commonwealth and private organizations. It’s based on ISO 14001 environmental management standards, to which Skanska is certified; ISO 14001 provides us with a roadmap to take all projects to a higher level of environmental conservation

Our team hopes that our legacy from this project only starts with improved transportation. We’re also building the local workforce, supporting local businesses, and we hope to leave the environment in better condition than it was when we got here.  And finally, we want our work at the Elizabeth River Tunnels project to set the standard as the first of many construction projects recognized by this environmental program.

Carissa Agnese

Carissa Agnese

Skanska USA Environmental Manager

More Posts

Virginia’s new Midtown Tunnel begins with a trip down the Chesapeake Bay

The SKW Constructors team – a joint venture of Skanska, Kiewit and Weeks Marine – that’s designing and building the Elizabeth River Tunnels project had a major milestone this week: floating six, 14,000-ton hollow concrete tunnel elements, and then starting the process of towing them from the Baltimore-area graving dock where they were cast to the southeastern Virginia project site where they will double capacity of the Midtown Tunnel. The 350-foot-long elements will make the 220-mile trip down the Chesapeake Bay one at a time, a process taking several weeks.

This $2.1 billion public-private partnership project will improve mobility throughout the Hampton Roads region. Click here to read a news story about this undertaking.

1 - BpsyfaaIQAAIIr-

At about 4 a.m. Monday, water begins to flood the graving dock at the Sparrows Point, Md., casting site.

2 - Sparrow's_Point_Float_Out_EarthCam_12_MegapixelCam_Mobile__2014-06-09_09...

Six elements afloat in the graving dock, while team members monitor for potential leaks.

3 - 2014 06 09 Midtown Tunnel 026 JW

The 350-foot-long tunnel elements – each with a slightly different shape to fit the roadway’s curvature – seemed much smaller once some 25 feet of water was let into the graving dock. (Photo by Jay Westcott)

4 - 2014 06 09 Midtown Tunnel 005 JW

Nine tugboats were used in moving the six elements from the Baltimore-area graving dock to a nearby pier to await transit to the Portsmouth, Va., project site. (Photo by Jay Westcott)

5 - 2014 06 09 Midtown Tunnel 025 JW

The safety talk we held before tugboat operations started Monday night ensured that the team was prepared for and understood the unique hazards presented by this activity. (Photo by Jay Westcott)

6 - 2014 06 09 Midtown Tunnel 007 JW (1)

The Philadelphia-based tugboat Honor, named for the victims of the September 11 attacks, was the lead vessel bringing the first element to Portsmouth, Va. (Photo by Jay Westcott)

9 - photo 13

The first element to leave the Maryland graving dock arrives at a temporary mooring site in the Baltimore harbor.

11 - Element one leaving dock

The final element leaves the graving dock. It’s also the first one to depart directly for Portsmouth, Va.

10 - photo 4

The final element was taken directly from the Maryland casting site to the project site in Portsmouth, Va.

13 - photo 2

The first element to head for Portsmouth, Va., is maneuvered by four tugboats – with a fifth waiting – in the Baltimore harbor.

12 - photo 3

Divers inspected the seal surrounding the graving dock gate. No rest for this team – tomorrow the gate will be back in place, the water will be pumped out and they will begin constructing the next five tunnel elements.

14 - Empty Dock

The empty Maryland graving dock on Tuesday – an unusual sight after more than a year spent producing the 14,000-ton elements. By the following day, the dock was drained and our teams were readying to assemble the final five elements.

Updates

2014 06 13 Midtown at CBBT 005

As massive as the tunnel element is, it looks small amid the Chesapeake Bay’s waters. Here, the element nears the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel on Friday as it approaches its destination in Portsmouth, Va. (Photo by Jay Westcott)

2014 06 13 Midtown Tunnel 011

It has arrived! Four days after it left Sparrows Point, Md., the first element was secured at Portsmouth Marine Terminal in Virginia at about 4:30 p.m. Friday. Only five more elements to move in this batch. (Photo by Jay Westcott)

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.

More Posts - Website

Moving Midtown Tunnel

Today’s the big day: our SKW Constructors team has begun the process of moving the first six of 11 concrete tunnel elements from the Baltimore location where they were cast to southeastern Virginia, where they will become part of the expanded Midtown Tunnel, the centerpiece of the $2.1 billion Elizabeth River Tunnels project. These giants – each 350 feet long and 16,000 tons – will be towed 220 miles down the Chesapeake Bay.

Early this morning, the process began by flooding the dry dock at the casting site. Once buoyant, the elements were moved out of the dry dock and temporarily moored in Baltimore harbor for final outfitting ahead of their journey.

FloatOutView_Sparrows_MTT_052714

Once the elements are ready to go, likely Tuesday morning, tugboats will tow them one at a time down the Chesapeake Bay, a slow-going process that we expect to take four- to seven-days per element, up to about seven weeks in total. Here is a map of that route:

MTT-Tow-Route_Map-6-6-14_R4

If you’re local to this project, a great vantage point to watch the elements is on Island One and the Sea Gull Fishing Pier of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, built in part by another Skanska consortium. Please share any photos you get of the elements in transit by tweeting them with the tag #MovingMidtown.

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.

More Posts - Website