A Pile of News: December 2022
A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors,
associated manufacturers, construction suppliers and affiliated engineers
who comprise PDCA.
By Matt Bisbee, PDCA

Originally sent Dec. 1, 2022
From the Association & Chapters
Was it the power of incumbency? The votes are tallied, and we share with you, the elected industry leaders who will serve as the 2023 PDCA Officers and Board of Directors. You will notice many (if not all) familiar faces from the 2022 slate; that’s because none drew an opponent, none has yet met the term limits threshold as outlined in the PDCA by-laws, AND each has chosen to commit to another year of service. Thank you, BOD!

Mark your calendars!
  • Dec. 8: PDCA Value Driven Webinar Series, 2–3 PM EST. Join this virtual education event for a presentation on Steel Durability in Marine Construction. FREE to members, $50 for non-members.
  • Jan. 3–May 5: The PDCA Project of the Year Awards will be open for entries. Start considering your submissions for completed 2022 jobs; entry link is coming in January.
  • Jan. 20: South Carolina Chapter Oyster Roast – This can’t miss annual event is open to the industry thanks to valued sponsors. Festivities take place at Palmetto Pile Driving in Charleston.
  • Feb. 7–9: PDCA 24th Annual Conference, San Diego Mission Bay Resort, Golf at Torrey Pines! Early registration, open for attendees until Dec. 16. Exhibitors can secure space now.

News and PHOTOS from the PDCA Blog:
  • Gulf Coast Chapter elects 2023 officers, with Dylan André at the helm, Tony Sepulvado, Jr. as VP, Brent Guthrie as treasurer and Heath Stevens as secretary. The chapter also heard a technical presentation at its fourth quarter dinner meeting in November.
  • South Carolina Chapter presents Cadet Mary Coastal Watkins of The Citadel with prestigious “Mac” Nigels Scholarship; several PDCA past presidents were in attendance. PHOTOS
  • Pacific Coast Chapter partnered with JD Fields & Company for two technical seminars; around 30 attendees each joined the Seattle and Huntington Beach events.
  • Texas Chapter held a November lunch & learn in Houston, providing attendees with a four-part technical program.
  • Palm Trees and Pile Driving brought a cross-section of South Florida’s driven pile market together in November for a happy hour reception and industry update. PHOTOS

Industry News
Congratulations, Service Steel Warehouse Co., L.P, you are this month’s winner!
Send an email to marian@piledrivers.org before the end of the month to claim your prize!
News from PDCA Companies
Giving back:

  • Keller tops the 2022 ENR list, named number one firm for Excavation and Foundation.
  • Canal Barge Company, Inc. can add to its service line, “facilitates missions to the moon.” NASA’s November launch of Artemis I, an initiative to reestablish a human presence on the moon, got an assist from the New Orleans mariners who provided transport of the spacecraft.
  • GRL Engineers, Inc. is part of the team that earned an ACEC-FL Honor Award for a major reconfiguration of the Central Florida Expressway. Hop on a plane, train or automobile and take the fam to Disney – this project had many major stakeholders from the air, rail and highway sectors.
  • Nucor Skyline parent company joins the UN 24/7 Carbon Free Energy Compact. President & CEO Leon Topalian announced Nucor is the first major industrial manufacturing company to do so.
  • ECS Southeast earns ENR Firm of the Year; Wes Jacques, Raul Peralta accept honor in Atlanta.
  • Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering, PLLC shares that the SC-DOT US 21 Over Harbor River Bridge Replacement has won again. Those paying attention know this project won a PDCA Project of the Year Award in 2021 as entered by ICE® – International Construction Equipment.
  • The Citadel – Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering is one of seven programs around the country to win a $10K NCEES Engineering Education Award.

Governmental relations:
  • Bowen Engineering Corp. begins construction on a new water treatment plant in Oak Ridge, TN; among dignitaries who addressed the ceremonial groundbreaking was U.S. Rep. Fleischmann.
  • Mason Construction’s VP Le Short was at a November Legislative Update in Southeast Texas; Speaker Phelan of the Texas House of Representatives gave perspectives on current issues.
  • McCarthy Building Co., Tolunay-Wong Engineers were among sponsors for the Gulf Coast Industry Forum this fall in Pasadena, TX. Gov. Abbott, former Gov./U.S. Energy Secretary Perry addressed the topic Global Geopolitical Energy Landscape and Texas.
  • Sealevel Construction Inc. is the GC for a new $96M pump station at Bayou Lafourche near Donaldson, LA. Gov. Edwards and U.S. Reps. Carter and Graves helped break the ground for the project, which will protect the drinking water supply for four nearby parishes.
  • Koppers leadership joined with the American Chemistry Council to host U.S. Rep. Miller for a tour of the company’s rail joints facility in Huntington, WV.
  • Nucor lauded for transparency in governmental/political affairs; it is one of 89 companies in the S&P 500 designated as Trendsetter in political disclosure and accountability for 2022.
  • ECS Limited, S&ME, Inc. participate in annual ACEC Capitol Hill reception with members of the North Carolina congressional delegation.
  • Terracon is geotech of record on the I-26 widening project in South Carolina; Gov. McMaster and other elected officials attended an October groundbreaking to start construction.

Acquisitions & expansions:
People on the Move
  • Michael Blaylock named new project engineer at Dissen & Juhn Company in Stevensville, MD.
  • Matthew Knight rejoins Aggregate Technologies, Inc. Formerly an estimator with the company, he has been appointed VP business development for the A-team.
  • Hollie Miles joins the sales team at Flores Automation & Machine Control; she will serve clientele in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan and West Virginia.
  • Audrey Gilbert appointed strategic advisor and corporate secretary at GILBERT Products. The Quebec-based supplier also names Frank Gilbert as CEO.
  • Nam Nguyen onboards at JD Fields & Company as new regional manager in Pacific Northwest.


In sympathy:
  • Brian Rogers, the longtime piling division manager at Consolidated Pipe & Supply, has passed away in Birmingham, AL. PDCA sends heartfelt condolences to the friends, colleagues and family of Brian, who has been a consummate industry professional and supporter.
On the Job
Blue Iron Foundation and Shoring completed the Huntington Beach repair project, which involved installation of a new, 16K+ foot seawall on the California coast. Smith Welsh starred in the promo video that shows action footage of the team using Giken equipment to install 3,700 AZ 52-700 series sheets.

Bowen Engineering Corp. drives 60-foot sheets for a new lift station, an initiative of Evansville Water & Sewer Utility in Indiana. Spotted on the job is an ICE® – International Construction Equipment vibro.

Clark Construction finishes its scope for Southwestern Washington, DC’s Waterfront Station II, a 420,000 square foot, mixed-use development. Early on, driven concrete piles were installed for the support of excavation phase in what is now a new 12-story structure with two levels of below-grade parking.

Foundation Constructors, Inc. crews installed more than 2,000 piles for a wastewater treatment plant in San Mateo City, CA; an asst. professor uses timelapse video of this job as an educational resource.

George Harms Construction Co. is GC for the Raritan River Bridge Replacement; the New Jersey job received federal funding as a resiliency project. Nucor provides sheet piling and other steel, and Dan Brown and Associates is on the consulting roster for the replacement, expected to be complete in 2024.

Hawaiian Dredging Construction Co. replaced two spans of the historic Kapaa Steam Bridge on Kauai.

Pacific Pile and Marine, SPOTTED driving 30-inch steel pipe piles from JD Fields with PACO equipment on Seattle’s festive waterfront.

Parker Marine Contracting treks down I-95 to Savannah, GA to install piling in a historic district with a Junttan PM 23.

R.J. Gorman Marine Construction will rebuild Panama City’s Sun Harbor Marina; the job includes a full redesign and doubled boat slip capacity. Hurricane Michael in 2018 imposed significant facility damage.

Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction is a top contractor in Utah and other mountain states, and a repeat winner of the PDCA Project of the Year Award. Its crew on a bridge replacement had difficulty placing the 1,300-ton precast span, so they used an unlikely tool – dish soap! See the “slick” video.

SJ Hamill Construction, LLC has its crane, Geoquip/HPSI hammer and other equipment on the barge to install 14” x 55’ concrete piles as it constructs a pier on John’s Island, SC.

Trevcon Construction updates its project for the New York Ferry System; crews continue working to build the new Homeport II location in Atlantic Basin, which will increase capacity at the growing facility.

Triad Metals supplies the USACE seven miles of Gerdau PZC steel sheet piling to integrate into coastal storm risk management improvements on the Rockaway peninsula in New York City.
Media Hits
The New York Times quotes Paul Armstrong, owner of South Shore Pile Driving in Marshfield, MA, in a November story about a growing national trend in waterfront house-moving, due to persistent beach erosion. Paul installed house piles for a home at Cape Cod National Seashore in 2015; it was the lone surviving structure there, after a massive January 2022 storm. It has since been relocated (again).

Paper City Magazine, covering Texas culture, calls Jay Fields and his wife Allie “adorable” in a story about a successful, charity pickleball tournament the couple and their company JD Fields sponsored in Houston. The event attracted nearly 100 participants who raised money for A Shelter for Cancer Families.

YouTube: DFI’s Rumble proves it’s not the critic who counts, when two professionals deemed legends go head-to-head. Greg Canivan of S&ME, Inc. and Paul Axtell of Dan Brown & Associates debate Dynamic Pile Testing: Fiction or Reality. Lucky Nagarajan of Giken hosts and Sebastian Lobo-Guererro referees.
Notes from the Field
It wasn’t rainin’ fire in the sky the day the Keller pile driving crew from North Carolina was photographed on a Colorado job site, but the mast on their Junttan rig was Rocky Mountain High while driving the steel.

Oh, the places you will go – it was interesting to see the sister company of Smart Structures on a residential job site next to historic Mar-a-Lago in Florida; Mike Muchard, P.E. proclaimed that his team was there ‘”making static load testing great again.”

Equally Committed and Adventurous – is the takeaway from David Crawford’s LinkedIn post about a post-BAUMA 2022 challenge he and ECA colleagues Greg Barta and Rob Likens accomplished before leaving Germany. They hiked up Zugspitze, Germany’s highest peak. Did Rob wear his trusty Crocs?

Coffee is for closers – digital marketing lead Marissa Charles at Kiewit HQ got the message in her coffee that the in Omaha, NE, powerhouse has a big closing soon as it welcomes Weeks Marine into the fold.

If you ain’t first, you’re last – Look, if your company president goes on camera as Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights, you’ll be a Note from the Field. Period. We applaud Darren Sparks of Bigfoot Pipe & Piling, who, in costume, strolled the company yard on Halloween and gave tips for trick-or-treaters.

Call him DANta Claus – We knew Dan Collins is chief swagmaster at APE while on the trade show circuit. But, he doesn’t limit gift-giving to industry events, as noted by this grateful logo-hat recipient.

As 2022 wraps up, many of you will be getting away from the job site, yard, office, home office or wherever you conduct your important work in the deep foundations industry. This reminded us about a social media post from Robert Griggs, president at Trinity Products, with two timely suggestions: 1) have some fun at work, and 2) occasionally go into “low power mode.” The second suggestion indicates it’s okay to power yourself down and rip away from your business tethers so you can enjoy family, friends and celebration! When he encourages you to have fun, go ahead and attend that office holiday party…but you don’t want to be that person who has too much fun! 😉

We wish you a happy holiday season and will see you back here in 2023!
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