Underground Water Storage System Constructed

September 28, 2010

Construction of a new Proton Therapy Center for cancer treatment at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI, required relocating John B. Poole Drive, the main campus road, prior to groundbreaking for the facility.

A major construction and design challenge associated with the relocation of the road was the existing open detention pond in the southeast corner of the campus, where the storm water runoff for the entire campus drained. This was the only available area to relocate John B. Poole Drive.

Blaze Contracting, Inc., of Detroit, MI, was the prime contractor for the project. The project began in September and it was expected to be completed by the end of 2008.

Blaze Contracting's solution was to design an underground storage system to accommodate approximately 160,000 cubic feet of storm water for the entire campus in precast concrete box culverts while providing the structural support for the relocation of the new John B. Poole Drive road over the top of the storage system. This was a design-build project between Blaze Contracting, Spalding DeDecker Associates, Inc. (SDA) and Mack Industries, Inc. SDA did the engineering and layout, and Mack Industries, Inc., of White Lake, MI, manufactured the precast concrete box culverts.

There are a total of 148 sections of box culvert that are 6 feet tall by 20 feet wide. The footprint of the box culvert system is 335 feet by 90 feet. Each precast box culvert weighs approximately 48 tons. This required a 350-ton all-terrain crane to set the pieces. The pond was active with storm water from the entire campus throughout the construction process, which required the development and implementation of a storm water diversion plan to handle the storm water run-off during normal and heavy rain events.

Blaze was on a very critical and tight project schedule. The manufacturing and installation of the precast box culverts was completed in six weeks, from the date the contract was awarded.

“Because of the time frame, we had to design a system that not only allowed for the schedule, but that Mack could produce quickly enough so that the project could be done by the end of the year. The design took approximately two to three weeks. Normally, it would take two to three months to do something like this,” Rich Fanti II, vice president of Estimating for Blaze Contracting, Inc., said. Fanti said that the design-build process sped up the project considerably.

Subcontractors on the project included Connelly Crane, of Detroit (providing the 350-ton all terrain crane); and Nagle Paving Company, of Novi, MI (asphalt paving and concrete curb and gutters).

Equipment used on the project included a Demag 350-ton all-terrain crane, a Cat 330 excavator, a Cat 328 excavator, a Cat 320 excavator, a Cat 563 roller, a Cat D6 R dozer, a Cat D4 LGP dozer and a Cat 950 loader.

Blaze Contracting, Inc. has 25 pieces of construction equipment in its fleet, which includes dozers, excavators, loaders, and rollers. Blaze contracts its equipment maintenance out to Michigan CAT.

“We thought that that is a more viable and affordable way to do it. We put a cost analysis together regarding how effective it would be for us to do the maintenance in-house. All of our equipment is Cat equipment, so it made sense to have Michigan CAT service our equipment at a good rate. Their work carries a warranty, and we know we're getting all Cat parts and Cat service,” Chris Kuzak, vice president at Blaze Contracting, Inc., said. Michigan CAT provides 250-hour service, 500-hour service and 1,000-hour service up to 2,000-hour service on all of Blaze Contracting's equipment.

“Michigan CAT will take an oil analysis of all of the fluids from the transmission, to the hydraulics, to the engine, to the front drives and shafts, to make sure that nothing is wrong with the oils. They do a thorough inspection of the machine to see if any major repairs need to be done at that time,” Kuzak said.