Northwest Environmental Tests, Hauls Jobsite Materials

Staff | September 28, 2010

Northwest Environmental of Rockaway, New Jersey, is providing tri-state area contractors with professional hauling and environmental services to keep their projects on deadline.

In the past year, Northwest assisted New York contractors by providing environmental soil remediation testing and hauling over 300,000 yards of material from various job sites throughout the five boroughs. This year proves to be no different, as Northwest has already closed in on its hauling numbers from last year and has consistently met deadlines for its customers.

Mayrich Construction Corporation of Bronx, New York, has hired Northwest to handle the removal of 70,000 yards of material at a residential development at the corner of 46th and U.N. in Manhattan. Northwest is in the process of hauling 20,000 yards of this material to a Class B waste facility in New Jersey and hauling 50,000 yards of bedrock to their rock crushing facility located in Newark, New Jersey. Northwest will process the rock into a smaller-diameter aggregate.

Mayrich Construction is handling the excavating, shoring and pouring of the concrete foundation forms and crane platforms for the project. They began the excavation process when the previous building, an old bank, was demolished and cleared from the site. Mayrich has since removed the remainder of the demolition debris and the old building foundation, which consisted of thick concrete slabs. They are now focusing on meeting the required excavation specs for the new foundation, which is 18 feet below the old building foundation and through solid New York bedrock.

Mayrich relies on their drilling machine and fleet of Hitachi excavators to handle breaking and removing of the dense rock. The process involves drilling holes along the foundation's perimeter. Once the drilling is complete, they use their Hitachi 550 excavator with an Allied hammer to break the rock. This drilling and hammering process allows for a controlled excavation in a tight urban worksite and reduces the need for blasting. The Allied hammer on the Hitachi 550 has been retrofitted with a sound suppressor for working in urban environments.

"The suppressor lowers the amount of noise from the hammer, which reduces the echo off the neighboring buildings. The hammer is also city approved," says Joe Scott Jr., operating engineer for Mayrich Construction.

Mayrich is also using a 225 Hitachi excavator for the smaller work in the foundation and a Hitachi 800 excavator to handle the loading of Northwest's trucks. Northwest was running 25 trucks to 30 trucks a day for two weeks when the project first started and at one point loaded 27 trucks within an hour.

"Northwest understands the complexity of this project and the deadlines that have to be met," says Scott Jr.

The site is located across the street from the United Nations building and situated near the Turkish and Venezuela consulates. This location encounters unique delays such as protests and arrivals and departures of diplomats.

"The diplomats cause traffic delays when they arrive and depart from the U.N. and their consulates. We also have to deal with the protests that occur in front of the U.N. We had protesters the other day lie down in the middle of the street, causing the street and our excavation process to shut down for an hour," says Scott Jr.

To handle these day-to-day issues and to keep the various New York projects on deadline, Northwest relies upon Ron Ur, road supervisor and father of David Ur, owner of Northwest Environmental.

"We have a great relationship with Mayrich and work very closely with them. We are in constant communication throughout the day with all of our clients. This communication and coordination allows us to work around the issues that may arise and ensure that all deadlines are met," says Ur.

Coordinating over 20 trucks and meeting multiple deadlines on a daily basis is no easy task. Northwest uses a fleet management system to handle their daily coordination. Each Northwest truck is equipped with a GPS unit that links to an online GPS tracking system. This GPS tracking program allows Ron Ur to see where the trucks are located, their current speed and mileage, among other details, all on a laptop attached to a swivel stand in his pickup truck.

"This program allows me to see where the trucks are at all times and which direction they are headed. From there I can coordinate on the fly. I love to be one step ahead of our customers," says Ur.

In addition to Northwest's fleet management system, Ron visits every job on a daily basis to meet with the general contractors and to ensure that Northwest's trucks are arriving on time. Northwest's fleet management system, daily coordination and communication have propelled them ahead of schedule at the Mayrich project and other projects throughout the five boroughs.

Northwest is also providing Mayrich and other contractors with site management and environmental testing.

"We are capable of performing all three phases of soil remediation and able to screen the soil data in a matter of minutes rather than days, saving the customer time and money," states David Ur. "Our site management services are very beneficial for our customers and a vital step in the hauling business."

Performing soil remediation in an urban environment such as Manhattan can pose some challenges. One reason is that the level of soil contamination varies. In Manhattan, any dirt and rock removed that contains debris such as bricks, cement and rebar is considered by law to be contaminated. "We inspect the debris on the surface and the core samples taken from various spots around the site. We put the core samples through a series of lab tests to determine the contamination," says Ur.

The data from the core samples allows Northwest to map out the entire site into zones. This is known as zone mapping, which is currently in use at Northwest's project located on the corner of 35th Street and 5th Avenue. The core samples at this project have revealed varying soil contaminants and because of this, Northwest is hauling 25,000 yards of material from this site with two different teams of trucks, similar to the service being provided at the Mayrich project. For this project, Northwest has four trucks each running four loads to five loads a day to a New Jersey dump facility and two additional trucks running two loads a day to their new Pennsylvania dump facility. Northwest is also providing site management services to ensure each truck is receiving correct material.

"Zone mapping ensures that we are removing the correct amount of material, whether contaminated or non-contaminated, from a specific spot on the site. The equipment operator, general contractor and our site manager all have a zone map of the project to ensure everyone is on the same page," says Ur. "Our site manager works closely with the equipment operator to guarantee each bucket load is taken from the correct zone. The site manager also ensures that the material is placed in the correct Northwest truck since we have a number of trucks for one project heading to various facilities," he continues.

Northwest's site management service protects their clients from contaminated soil misplacements. Each truckload of contaminated material is required to have a manifest that both the driver and the waste facility manager sign, ensuring that the contaminated material is placed at the correct facility.

Northwest's services allow them to handle projects most contractors shy away from. "There is a massive amount of liability when you deal with contaminated soil. It's a very large gamble to take if you're not prepared to handle these types of projects," says Ur. "We offer our fellow contractors a variety of services so they do not have to deal with the factors that come along with testing and hauling contaminated material."