A Pile of News: June 2023
A briefing on news and information from the pile driving contractors,
associated manufacturers, construction suppliers and affiliated engineers
who comprise PDCA.
By Matt Bisbee, PDCA

Originally sent June 1, 2023
Top of the Pile
June 1 marks the start of the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season. Most of you know, and many of you have experienced, the personal and professional interruption – and in some cases devastation – that the unpredictable storms bring. PDCA members are still performing work to rebuild from last year’s violent storms, and even other storms dating back a decade or more. Freshen up on hurricane season preparedness with this Pensacola News Journal story, complete with photos from 2022 hurricanes, also predictions, tips, and even the list of names for the 2023 season.

Violent weather is one of many safety considerations for pile drivers. Some others include threats from inadequate PPE and summer heat. PDCA members are always focused on safety:

Father’s Day is also a highlight in June – here’s looking at you, PDCA father figures (June 18). Make sure to read the Notes from the Field section below to see our salute to the dads!

From the Association & Chapters
Mark your calendars!

News and photos from the PDCA Blog:
Congratulations, Rick Sadler, you are this month’s winner! Send an email to marian@piledrivers.org before the end of the month to claim your prize!
News from PDCA Companies
Dissen & Juhn opened in 1973 when founders Martin Juhn and Gil Dissen preserved a local marine construction business from their former employer, which relocated. Originally based in Rochester, NY, the company eventually expanded into Maryland in 1978. Headquarters moved to Stevensville, MD, in 2005 after current owners Gil W. and Mark Dissen took the helm. Watch PileDriver magazine for an upcoming story on Dissen & Juhn’s 50 years in pile driving.

Flexicore of Texas celebrates 70 years producing PSC piles and more in Houston. The manufacturer lists a famous Texas landmark on its resume – The Eighth Wonder of the World, AKA the Astrodome, used their treads and risers during its 1962 construction. Today, the company supplies TX-DOT bridges and petrochemical projects, among others. The team marked their anniversary with an April Customer Appreciation Crawfish Boil.

S&ME, Inc. embraces 50 years in business, AND the mighty ampersand! Engineers with names that are a series of letters, take note – you might consider adding the quirky punctuation to your incorporation documents after watching a delightful video of S&ME staff explaining their unique name. We don’t see you, technical principal/senior project manager and PDCA board member Greg Canivan!

Acquisitions & Expansions:

Giving back:


Governmental relations:

People on the Move
  • Miguel Arguelles was promoted to VP in the marine and industrial business unit at McCarthy in Channelview, TX. Joshua Martinez, P.E. joins the office as integrated design director.
  • John “J.P.” Donoghue rejoins Orion Marine Group as area manager in Gulf Coast region. Also, Ryan Hallmark elevates to equipment manager to fill the shoes of retiring Joe Harrington.
  • Caroline Théorêt, GM at her Quebec family business PRECO-MSE, embraces her upbringing where “Tonka Trucks had no gender” – she adds a new title as VP of Roxboro BauVal Group.
  • Chuck Sullivan elevates from project engineer to superintendent at Russell Marine in Houston.
  • Kris Bailey was chosen to oversee sales/consulting in foundation, utility, pile driving industries in eight-state, southeastern U.S. territory for CZM-US Foundation Equipment.
  • Tomas Delatorre retires after 36 years at Lodge Lumber; the team held a ceremony in his honor. Susan Gould joins the Houston-based supplier of pile cushions and more as executive assistant.
  • Brad Ford elevates to EVP for fabricated construction products at Nucor.
  • Garrett Smith at PVE Equipment USA promoted to business unit manager for the Gulf Coast region; James Ball onboards as the region’s key account manager.
  • Ernie Nillen in New Orleans celebrates 41 years at Southern Earth Sciences! Other notable anniversaries in May were Danny Keller (33), Shane George (29) and Larry Jackson (25).

On the Job
ASAP Group shares aerial footage of a coffer cell installation for a spillway in the Florida Everglades.

Farrell Brothers Marine Construction, Inc. completes a recent North Florida bulkhead repair job, gives recommendations for incorporating a certain type of stainless steel into saltwater projects.

Forefront Deep Foundations installs steel sheets on a waterfront job in San Diego; crews use an International Construction Equipment vibro under the Southern California sun.

GeoStructures, Inc. updates progress on an eight-story development in New York City; photos depict crews installing DuroTerra ductile iron piles with less than a foot to the neighboring structure.

Orion drove 850 LF of vinyl for a special bulkhead; see a birds-eye view of the Texas-shaped product.

Palmetto Pile Driving, Inc. works close to home as it begins its scope on capital improvements for the Charleston County, SC, Plum Island Water Treatment Plant, a job valued around $60M.

Russell Marine LLC removes 62-year-old piles from the Port of Beaumont.

APE, Inc. hammers built San Francisco’s new Treasure Island Ferry Terminal; Bill Ziadie performed wave equation analysis to prescribe the correctly sized hammers for driving the pier and breakwater piles.

JD Fields & Co. supplies coated steel sheets for seawall restoration in Daytona Beach, FL; 2022 hurricane activity left significant damage for several resorts and condos.

Eustis Engineering performs construction testing and inspection for the new Harrah’s Casino that is progressing in downtown New Orleans.

Dewberry is building the Digital Coast platform for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, an initiative that will be a collection of data made available to parties interested in coastal development, natural disasters other oceanic concerns.

Media Hits
Geotechnical Special Publication, Highway 1 Rat Creek Embankment Failure analyzes the 2021 Big Sur, CA, roadway collapse, coauthored by Phil Gregory, Reid Fisher and Justin Lindman of Haley & Aldrich.

A Hands-Off Approach to Geotechnical Instrumentation by Isabella Kennedy, Kyle Szewczyk, Brendon Murphy of GZA GeoEnviromental published in Boston civil engineering publication.

Houston Business Journal honors JD Fields in inaugural recognition of family-owned business awards.

Sustainable Biz Canada writes about Samuel Roll Form Group CEO Colin Osborne’s presentation on the viability of sustainability in business.
Notes from the Field – Here’s to the Dads!
The big day is June 18 – but consider celebrating early by partaking in a traditional dad-pastime of a horseshoe competition. Foundation Constructors’ annual Horseshoe Tournament is on June 10. 

Sport shooting with dad is always fun – imagine using this historical Gatling Gun that a Kokosing crew found on a military installation job in Virginia. Unofficially, only eight of these ever existed.

Hitting the links? We hope you don’t get late snow like Michigan-based Koppers golfers did in May.

Snow or not, you’ll be safe in a bowling alley; some of the dads at D.A. Collins Construction have begun practicing their technique to not get Munsoned if the family takes them bowling.

Wanna just show off that dad-bod? You could take it easy and enjoy a beach day like the team at Aggregate Technologies did for their annual company outing.

Got Beaver Nuggets? A Texas borne phenomenon, Buc-ee’s is ubiquitous around the Lone Star State, as evidenced by this photo of breaking operators at Orion’s Channelview yard. Dad needs that cooler!

Grandfathers are dads, too – David Sauls at GeoEngineers has a very unique out-of-office email reply:
  • Grandparenting Advisory and working at odd times
–--–––Monday–Wednesday, I will be grandparenting two boys today with my cell phone
––--––in a drawer. I am working a full schedule at odd times. I am in office on Thursday.

Father knows best – Hopefully, there’s been a father figure in your life who gave you a lesson or two about self-accountability and perseverance. Here’s another one, as shared to social media by Heron Wolf. Apparently, HBO sent a mass email to subscribers, but the email was for internal use only. HBO held itself accountable and protected an intern who was involved. Check out this collection of uplifting and supportive responses the intern received because of their employer’s classy handling of the situation.

That’s a wrap, thanks for reading the June installment of ‘A Pile of News.’ Coming in July, we will lead this publication with a list of all the new members who have joined PDCA during the second quarter of 2023. If you want to be included on that list, but you are procrastinating on your enrollment, you have one month left to activate. Please contact PDCA for more information about membership options. Otherwise, Happy Father’s Day, Happy Summer (June 21), and stay vigilant about threatening weather.
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