Drilling For Development In Yonkers, NY

September 28, 2010

Ridge Hill is a significant development project in Yonkers, NY. Over the next three years, this 81-acre location will become home to residential and commercial structures – even an old-time town square. Ridge Hill will be a self-contained community within the city.

This hilltop site is engineered to have 400,000 cubic yards of material drilled, shot and moved by Yonkers Contracting Company, Inc., in preparation for the future foundations and infrastructure. To do that will require many drills at varying times on the project to develop the site. So far, Yonkers Contracting has had as many as 11 Atlas Copco drills of various models on the project at one time.

“We have a tremendous need for drilling equipment now and will need it for a year or more,” said Lou Marino, vice president of Equipment Operations for Yonkers Contracting. Overall, the company is responsible for site preparation for three segments of the project, including bridge and roadway infrastructure and commercial building foundations. Marino's intention is not to have equipment sitting around unused.

For that reason, Yonkers Contracting chose a monthly leasing option with Atlas Copco. To work out the details, Marino went to Atlas Copco's distributor, Walter J. Pratt & Sons. Pratt and Sons salesman, Jules Sciocchetti, and Atlas Copco Customer Finance account manager, Shawn McGill, structured a lease program that worked for the project. “We have a lot of capital tied up into equipment and it just makes sense not to over-extend,” said Marino.

The name “Ridge Hill” fits the development's physical description, as this rocky ridge will require approximately $230 million worth of restructuring the contour of the land. Tom Cambone manages the site work for Yonkers Contracting. He said the project is massive, and they need to adjust to the challenges. From the project's beginning in July to mid-October of 2007, they had moved 200,000 cubic yards of material in 165 blasts.

The management team on the project that includes Cambone and Project Manager Jack Donnelly, Lou Marino, and others communicates constantly. “The drill plan is laid out so we know what we are doing tomorrow, weekly and three weeks down the road, but we constantly adjust as needed,” said Cambone. “The secret is cutting down layers of management and having constant communication. Feedback is important … it makes everything better,” he added. As for drilling equipment to meet the schedule, Cambone said, “I just talk to Lou and he gets whatever I need.”

For equipment, they have a variety of Atlas Copco drill rigs, including ROC D3s, ECM 590s and an ECM 660 III. The holes are 3 inches to 4 inches in diameter, with cuts as deep as 50 feet. The D3s and 590s are preferred by most drillers on site, as they like to move around and keep active. But Cambone said he likes the ECM 660. “In its class, it is the best machine I've ever had,” citing its efficiency, productivity and dependability.

Marino said Ridge Hill is a huge project, and a successful one, for the community of Yonkers and Yonkers Contracting. “It's been a good relationship … a working team.” In the construction industry and equipment business, that is the recipe for success.

Editor's note: Scott Ellenbecker is editor-in-chief of two in-house publications for Atlas Copco: Deep Hole Driller and Mining & Construction USA. He has been involved in marketing construction and mining equipment since 1995.