A Pile of News: September 2023
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 Sept. 1, 2023
Top of the PilePileDriver magazine reveals winners of Project of the Year Awards. Click to read about each project. Meantime, congratulations to these winning entrants who persevered in stiff competition:
  • Forefront Deep Foundations (Land: Less than $1M) 
  • Texas Pile (Land: $1M-$5M) 
  • R.E. Pierson Construction Co. (Land: Over $5M)  
  • Cape Romain Contractors, Inc. (Marine: Less than $5M) 
  • Pacific Pile & Marine (Marine: Over $5M) 
  • Richard Goettle, Inc. (Earth Retention: Less than $5M) 
  • ASAP Group (Earth Retention: Over $5M) 
  • Infrastructure Consulting & Engineering, Inc. (Associate/Engineering Affiliate) 
Looking aheadyour pile driving project completed by Dec. 31, 2023, is eligible for entry in the 2024 program; the submission period will open in January. Start thinking about it! 
Speaking of 2024check your PDCA account at piledrivers.org and make necessary changes to your personnel, contact information, etc. We want your entry in the 2024 PDCA Membership Directory to be accurate.
From the Association & Chapters
Mark your calendars:

News and PHOTOS from the PDCA Blog:
Congratulations, Greg B., 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
Acquisitions & expansions:

Giving back:


Governmental relations:

  • Tolunay-Wong Engineers marks 30 years in business in 2023 – see a festive anniversary video. Founded in Houston in 1993 by Dr. Daniel Wong, who subsequently served under two Texas governors as chairman of the Board of Professional Engineers, the firm has grown to 12 offices sprinkled throughout Texas and Louisiana and has amassed a wide range of industry awards.
People on the Move
  • Daniel Sprunk elevates to senior project manager/estimator at Cajun Industries, Baton Rouge. One more: Rachel Bache, a new admin in the deep foundations offices, set a record at the August Gulf Coast Chapter clay shoot.
  • Gerard Chenevert assumes a new role as estimating manager at GROUP Contractors.
  • Alex Flynn onboards as new superintendent with HF Darling Inc.
  • Justin Bright onboards at Lynnhaven Marine and Dock as new field ops superintendent.
  • Chelsey Ullrich rises to business development coordinator for Houston, Austin at McCarthy.
  • Brendan Fitzpatrick promoted to president at DuroTerra, LLC.
  • Trip Story named new, Atlanta-based account manager for Equipment Corporation of America.
  • Ric Anderson, P.E., S.E. takes 15 years’ experience in steel to Gerdau North America to become a new product line manager. This contributor to PDCA’s CFI program in 2022 also serves in leadership at the South Carolina Chapter.
  • Mike Roberts returns to Jinnings Equipment as sales rep servicing Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas for the Fort Wayne, IN, piling machinery dealer.
  • Glenn Buckley named VP/GM at Pinnacle Drilling Products, will oversee U.S. and Canadian operations.
  • David Schoenwolf starts a new chapter with Haley & Aldrich as senior vice president.
  • Jackson Vogel, Darlene Bush join Southern Earth Sciences in New Orleans and Destin, FL.
  • Kristen Lanier is new client development manager at the Charleston offices of Terracon.


In Sympathy:
  • William S. “Bill” Zoino, P.E., co-founder of GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc., passed away in July at age 91. The widely respected geotechnical engineer and dam builder was a dual grad of MIT, a Navy vet and family man. He maintained active industry involvement. GZA’s CEO recalls Mr. Zoino’s simple business philosophy: “Professional quality, service, family first.”
On the Job
Blue Iron Foundation & Shoring brought mood lighting for nighttime pile driving on a CalTrans freeway.

Cajun Industries, LLC updates progress on a 450-pile installation for a new facility nearing 20K square feet that will become expanded space for Equipment services in Port Allen, LA.

Commerce Construction Corporation shares imagery from a waterfront improvement project it is performing in Gloucester County, NJ. Features include twelve 48-inch diameter piles and three walkway pile caps.

H.B. Fleming, Inc. installs a foundation for a subcontract on a Portland, ME, project that will become a new cold storage facility. Crews drive 550 H-piles, 180 feet, at a capacity of 1,100 kips.

Kokosing is half of the JV selected to build the Brent Spence Bridge spanning the Ohio River between Cincinnati to Covington, KY. The DOTs picked the design/builders for a $3.1B infrastructure investment.

Orion Marine updates from waterfront Tampa; it says Phase 1 of the developing Westshore Marina District is done. The job included installation of steel pipe piles to support an aluminum dock system.

Sealevel Construction is among the contractors on the front lines of Louisiana flood mitigation; its crews are making progress on the critical Bayou Lafourche pump station installation in Donaldsonville.

SJ Hamill Construction needs a pile driver foreman and other staff. Also, the Charleston, SC, contractor reminds you that it has a “big hammer,” but didn’t need it for crane work at the South Carolina Aquarium.

Clydesdale Steel services Meever USA with waler fabrication, exemplifying PDCA member collaboration.

JD Fields & Co. steel was installed and GeoQuip, Inc. hammers were used by crews working for the parent company of Hal Jones Contractor, on the new North Causeway Bridge in Ft. Pierce, FL.

ESP Associates, Inc. testing and inspection services team, led by Tracey Turner, finished work on a new band addition at Wando High School, just in time for the new school year.

GeoEngineers Inc. continues growing its Boston practice. Two new staff geotechs, Lisa Pavan and John McCabe, are reportedly on site at two neighboring Greystar developments near Revere Beach Parkway.

Haley & Aldrich strives to interest students in AEC jobs through their teachers. It hosted Boston Public Schools faculty for an externship, toured them on local projects and highlighted engineering roles.

UBC Pile Drivers and Divers ED Mark Benacquisto and colleagues were boat guests of clean energy proponents in New England; they visited developing offshore wind installations in the Atlantic.

Janice Graziosi of USI Insurance shares executive guidance on OSHA compliance, because, depending on your latitude, September can still bring dangerous heat and outside working conditions.
Media Hits
ENR (PAYWALL) covers the rebuild of the Port of Beaumont – Terminal 1, where McCarthy replaces a critical piece of East Texas infrastructure. Robert Wood and Ryan Everette are quoted.

The Wall Street Journal (PAYWALL) reports on challenges the U.S. faces in Arctic glacial melt. Photos and video that show a Coast Guard icebreaker berthed at Juneau Cruise Ship Berths – an installation PND Engineers, Inc. designed and for which the company subsequently won a 2017 PDCA Project of the Year Award.

Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo gets perspectives on the steel industry during interview with Atlas Tube CEO Barry Zekelman. Among the topics: consolidation, IRA, trade, economy and more.

INC. magazine publishes a piece on succession planning; among actualities in the article is Trinity Products founder and chairman Robert Griggs, who shares his philosophy of “open book management.”

Q Magazine carries a story by Tyler Swanson, intern at TRC Companies, that examines mounting tensions among stakeholders in converting traditional farmland to solar harvesting fields. Learn about Agrivoltaics, an emerging land-use technique striving for common ground among competing factions.

Ground Engineering enlightens readers on the iconic Crooked House in Britain. Renowned for its unique foundation that continues to mitigate the effects of 19th century mining. ECS Limited geotech David Wilshaw was educated nearby and recalls the pub as a hangout among his peers.

Birmingham’s Talk 99.5 FM aired an interview with Richard Shea of Morris Shea Bridge Company about his founding, management and support of the Birmingham Thunderbolts Softball national youth team.
Notes from the Field
Uber for antique airplanes might be a new side-hustle for Weeks Marine. For the second time this century, it relocated The Concorde, a supersonic jet known for the fastest-ever New York to London flight (in 1996, it completed the trip in 2:52:59). Now a museum piece in NYC, it needs offsite maintenance, and Weeks’ crane/barge move was the only option. The contractor also moved the iconic aircraft in 2008.

Cue up the “back when I was in school” sob stories – “Ten feet of snow” never has been and never will be a challenge for Miami kids walking to school, but when the FIU students go back to their apartments after class, some will be enjoying luxurious South Florida living in this Balfour Beatty US showpiece.

At least nobody had a viral jumbotron moment – An office party for the Portland, OR, staff at Shannon & Wilson, Inc. took place at the MLS game between the local Thorns FC and San Diego. Their attendance was broadcast to the stadium on the big screen scoreboard, the crowd went wild!

Clean “dad” jokes, as told by staff at TRC Companies, Inc., which apparently manages a “Dadabase.”

It’s not a joke that vibration data is valuable to PDCA – Share scientific findings with the industry. For the uncomfortable dad humor: We can also learn from your unscientific findings; for instance how ICE – International Construction Equipment, Inc. equipment pro Rick Sadler gathers data in his truck. Meet “Iwanna Leia.”

As we sign off and wish you a happy and safe Labor Day weekend, we remind you that the relentless battle cry at PDCA is “A driven pile…is a tested pile.” You know this, you communicate this and you practice this. At the same time, you are aware of outside forces that may attempt to diminish this long-understood reality. At PDCA, the paramount objective is to advocate for the driven pile as the preferred method of deep foundation construction. This can only be effective when we all participate and contribute to the cause. If you’re not currently a PDCA member, consider supporting the only organization that elevates your voice and your passion for pile driving. Join PDCA today!
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