Greenview Condos in West Warwick, RI Progress Despite Complications

By Paul Fournier | September 28, 2010

Infrastructure work is nearing completion at a West Warwick, R.I., multi-unit condominium site where the contractor has to deal with extensive ledge, frost and the need to tread lightly on a golf course abutting the project.

R.T. Nunes & Sons is performing all of the earthmoving at the Greenview Condominiums under construction by MPDR Development of West Greenwich, R.I.

In a recent interview at the job site, contractor Ronald Nunes said they have made excellent time while dealing with the obstacles and the added pressure of a tight schedule.

"We started this last July and have almost all of the utilities in the ground already," said Nunes, a 30-year veteran of the utility construction industry, and current president of the Utility Contractors Association of Rhode Island Inc. (UCARI).

The Coventry, R.I.-based contractor is responsible for excavating all utilities at the site, even the gas main, which will be installed by others. Nunes is digging trenches for and installing 1,600 feet of 8-inch PVC sewer and 2,000 feet of 12-inch to 24-inch ADS plastic storm drains, and constructing the 1,500-foot by 26-foot roadway through the development. In addition, the contractor is digging all of the foundations for the 46 units of condos at the 5-acre site.

As excavating crews proceed, they're encountering wholesale amounts of ledge. In some cases, they have to drill and blast ledge in trenches up to 10 feet thick. Western Mass Drilling and Blasting of Westerly, R.I., is shooting the ledge, while Nunes is excavating the shattered rock. Another contractor, Patriot Hauling of Johnston, R.I., is employing a Pegson crusher to pulverize the shot rock, producing aggregate for road base and trench backfill.

At the time of this coverage Rhode Island was experiencing a spell of below normal temperatures, creating a stubborn layer of frost that made the job of excavators that much tougher.

Also posing a challenge is the need to excavate and install a 12-inch ductile iron water main through a golf course abutting the condo development. The water main, which will serve the condos, will also augment the water distribution system of an older residential development nearby, according to Nunes. His crews have to work within a narrow pipe easement that slices right through the golf course. Typical of this project, ledge is pervasive throughout the path of the pipe, complicating the task.

Challenges or not, Ron Nunes said he expects his crews — which include his sons, equipment and truck operators Jared and Joshua — to complete the site work by early spring.