Putzmeister Concrete Pumps Speed Expansion of Trump's Atlantic City Taj Mahal

Sept. 28, 2010

The famous Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City is expanding with a new 40-story hotel addition. Eager to welcome guests to the new $250-million tower expansion, Trump has implemented a fast track construction schedule. The official groundbreaking occurred in July 2006 and Bovis Lend Lease, the construction manager, is tasked with project completion by summer 2008. As a result, concrete contractor, L. Feriozzi Concrete Company of Ventnor, N.J., must place 58,000 cubic yards of concrete in a very efficient manner to maintain the schedule. Feriozzi's involvement in the latest Trump project will result in 786 rooms added to the existing Taj Mahal, which currently has 1,250 rooms.

Designed by the Friedmutter Group, the primary architect, the new Taj Mahal tower is rising next to the existing 40-story Trump casino and hotel, which Feriozzi helped build 15 years ago. Unlike the previous structure, however, the new tower is requiring new and more advanced construction and concrete placement techniques to ensure speedy completion.

Instead of using traditional pilings, the foundation design is a massive underground floating footing that will support the 450-foot-tall tower. To accomplish this, a large 210-foot by 210-foot octagonal hole was excavated to a 9-foot depth, which required dewatering at 4 feet before continuing downward. Prior to the major concrete foundation pour, approximately 700 tons of rebar were installed along with a 4-inch mud mat to support the rebar from sinking.

For placement of the foundation, the objective was to continuously pump about 5,500 cubic yards of concrete to a 9-foot depth to fill the large and atypical hole. This feat had to be accomplished without disruption to casino activities at the resort. Therefore, the crew had to tackle traffic logistics, especially with the nearby motor coach terminal, which accommodates up to 22 full-size buses at any one time. This involved intense coordination to prevent any delay to passenger buses entering the casino or inconvenience to the visitors aboard.

The staging of concrete boom pumps, flow of ready mix trucks and clean out of equipment was precisely scheduled in advance of the mid-October 2006 pour date. Police officers were also hired to make certain the plan was effectively implemented in an orderly fashion.

The pour started at four o'clock in the morning with three boom pumps responsible for pumping concrete non-stop until an anticipated late afternoon conclusion. Equipment and operators were supplied by J&R Concrete Pumping of Vineland. Because the pumping company has handled countless complex concrete placement jobs, it was thoroughly prepared to handle the rigorous logistical and performance demands of this particular project.

"Typically, large foundations in this area can be divided into separate pours; however, the design of the rebar needed to create an acceptable joint meant that the most cost-effective way was to do a monolithic pour," says Junior Scarpa, president of J&R and industry veteran of over 50 years. "We had one unusually huge hole in the ground where we needed to place concrete at a fast, reliable and non-stop pace."

With access from only one side of the foundation and to avoid dragging hose, a large B Putzmeister SF 58-Meter concrete boom pump was needed for its long 174-foot horizontal boom reach. This model was situated at the furthest point of the octagonal hole, and was able to output up to 260 cubic yards per hour. Two additional pumps were positioned on each side of the 58-Meter to assist, each with outputs exceeding 200 cubic yards per hour.

With the clearly defined goal of keeping each of the pumps continuously fed, three ready mix companies were deemed necessary. These New Jersey-based companies included Ralph Clayton & Sons of Lakewood, Penn Jersey of Pleasantville, and Atlantic County Concrete and Material, also of Pleasantville.

About 600 ready mix truck loads and 14 hours later, concrete placement of the 50,000-square-foot foundation was successfully completed without any delays.

The climb upward

As the building rises, Feriozzi is relying on other Putzmeister equipment from J&R's fleet. The BSF 36-Meter pumped the first level of columns and shear walls, and the BSF 58-Meter is presently pumping concrete for the shear walls and core slab up to the fourth level. Once this is complete, a BSA 14000 high-pressure trailer pump will take over pumping to a new MXR 36/40Z separate placing boom mounted to a tower inside the core of the building. This will rise throughout the construction via a self-climbing system. This combination of equipment will be responsible for placing over 50,000 cubic yards of concrete.

With its 115-foot horizontal reach, the placing boom was specifically selected for its ability to place concrete for all shear walls and slabs from one location. A five-day working cycle is anticipated to handle one floor per week.

Although the concrete for the foundation mat pour was a typical 5,000-psi mix, a super plasticized mix of 9,000-psi is required for the first 12 floors. This will be followed by a 7,000-psi mix for the next 14 floors and 5,000-psi for the remaining upper floors.

After the pour

For quicker concrete completion, a process of poured-in-place decks without field formwork called Filigree Wideslabs is being used. This method involves two interconnected concrete placements — one performed in a factory and one done on the job site.

First, thin 2-1/4-inch pre-cast concrete panels with appropriate reinforcement are produced at a nearby factory in New Jersey. These panels, which become the lower portion of the deck, are shipped to the job site for erection on shoring. Then, while supported on columns, the panels are poured-in-place with concrete to achieve the upper portion of the deck.

Overall, the process was designed to accelerate construction of the structure, while enhancing its physical and aesthetic properties. In fact, Feriozzi incorporated a similar Filigree method with the existing Trump Taj Mahal tower, using structural steel frames instead of columns.

Casinos boom, Feriozzi business expands

Casino construction is nothing new to the family-owned Feriozzi business. In the 1940s, Louis Feriozzi ventured from Italy to the Jersey shoreline and built houses where he conveyed concrete via wheelbarrow. When Louis' son Joseph and daughter Concetta became involved in the business, they advanced it into commercial construction. Five years later, Louis' sons Michael and Tony joined the family business, helping it grow to the next level. In the 1980s when Atlantic City casinos began to boom, the company naturally capitalized on this opportunity and built a reputable name in this specialty market.

Today, as the previous generation of male Feriozzi owners has passed away, the following generation is making their mark in business. Under the ownership of Concetta as CEO along with her four nephews — Joseph W. and Stephen (sons of the late Joseph Feriozzi) and Joseph L. and Michael (sons of the late Michael Feriozzi), the company has diversified into roadwork in addition to high profile casino, high-rise and other specialty concrete projects.