Foundation Placed For Correctional Facility

By Lisa Doyle | September 28, 2010

Site preparation is nearly complete and foundation is being placed for a new $105-million correctional facility currently under construction in Adams County, Miss. Near the city of Natchez, the project could top out at 400 construction workers. Flintco, Inc., general contractor for the project, is employing several subcontractors on the site.

The project will need to attract workers and some subs from out of town. Housing, which is tight in south Louisiana and Mississippi, may be an issue as construction progresses. "My concern is whether or not there will be enough housing in the area for people employed on this job," says Flintco Senior Project Manager Bobby Smith. Flintco is using local subcontractors where possible. Grading and site work on the project are being performed by Natchez contractor Dozer Inc. and Blaine Construction has the contract for an asphalt entranceway and parking lot. Smith says some specialized work, including the security system that will need to be put in place will require out-of-town contractors, and the large number of construction jobs for the project may require some local businesses to bring in out-of-town labor.

The Adams County Correctional Center will be privately owned by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), a provider of corrections management services to state, federal and local governments. The facility will have 15 buildings with a total bed capacity of 1,668 on a site that spans more than 140 acres. Groundbreaking for the facility was held in August.

A variety of equipment and equipment manufacturers is being utilized on the project. Equipment suppliers include Volvo Rents, RSC and NES. Foundation and utilities within the building are currently being installed for many of the facility's buildings. Trackhoes were used to install the underground utilities, digging up to 14 feet deep in places for water and sanitary sewer lines. A storm water drainage system was not necessary for the site. "This facility was designed so that rainwater will run off the site naturally," says Smith.

Soil stabilization has been a problem in some areas. "We're having to over-excavate and refill in areas where we've encountered bad soil," says Smith. An area nearly 90 feet wide, 110 feet long and 12 feet deep was excavated with a Caterpillar 320C excavator near the center of the site. Soil there held too much water. Smith is also working with subcontractors on solutions to other areas where stabilization may be a problem. "The more you cut into this soil the harder it is to work with. We're working to give our client the best product possible."

A belt conveyor with a reach of 80 feet was used to distribute sand fill to areas where the foundation will be poured. Smith says using the conveyor helped speed up the process for placing the sand fill, and helped protect sensitive areas. "This conveyor has a long reach and allowed us to keep equipment off the conduit placed underground," says Smith. "It's a versatile piece of equipment — we've used it to place sand, rock and concrete."

Foundation is poured in place and walls for the buildings are being precast off-site. Concrete pours have been starting as early as 2 a.m. "It helps save the men from working in the heat of the day," says Smith. "And the sooner we get the concrete out to cure before it heats up outside, the better." Cross Concrete, of Como, Miss., is the concrete contractor for the project.

The Adams County Correctional Facility is expected to be completed December 2008.