A Pile of News: June 2024
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 3, 2024
Top of the Pile

IFCEE 2024 is in the books! Thanks to all who attended the triennial celebration made possible through a partnership of PDCA, ADSC, DFI and G-I. Nearly 3,000 deep foundations pros spent May 7–10 in Dallas to participate in the technical programs, equipment expo and more.   
All hands on deck – A marine crew from Manson Construction is lauded for its response to a major San Diego pier fire that became national news and caused $17M in damage in late April. The contractor explains. Commendations go to Max Oviedo, Jon Hook, Brian Sauck and Gavin Slavens, who are credited with gaining control of the blaze after three hours. The Coast Guard broadcasted its appreciation.
Highway heroics – a three-vehicle crash on I-95 in May resulted in a tanker fire that halted traffic for days in Norwalk, CT. There were no fatalities, but ConnDOT demanded immediate demo of a compromised overpass. Tectonic Engineering and three other civil firms working nearby mobilized for demolition and oversight the next day, worked around the clock over the weekend and easily met expected completion by Monday morning.
Pile drivers brace for the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season – From now till Dec. 1, conditions are more favorable to the development of dangerous storms spawned by warm ocean waters. 2024 NOAA forecast. PDCA members are often on the frontlines of catastrophe, aiding victims and rebuilding communities. Resilience is a necessary societal priority, and puts to work many PDCA members like Weeks Marine, seen here fortifying the eroding coast in North Florida. 
From the Association & Chapters
Congratulations, Hydraulic Power Systems, 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
Acquisitions & expansions:
  • Hercules Machinery Corporation (HMC) grows its solar pile driving product line with a new remote-controlled rig. Pres. Tom Dame says the STR20-RC increases safety and productivity.
  • John Lawrie Tubulars USA has earned Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) verification for its secondary pipe, enabling end-users to confidently use the CO2 emissions data from the EPD to report to project owners the carbon footprint of the foundation.
  • Koppers expands in the utilities sector with the purchase of Brown Wood Preservers; sales director Randy Kelly says this “opens the door to more opportunity for driven timber pilings.”
  • Geo-Technology Associates, Inc. (GTA) opened a new office in Triad, NC. Sr. geotech Jacob Prout, P.E., will manage the location and VP Shawn Sullivan will be acting principal in charge.

Government relations:
  • Bechtel Corporation, a demonstrated partner delivering construction services to the U.S. DOE, hosted U.S. Reps. Fleischmann and Foster at a Capitol Hill event that convened stakeholders in the modernization and security of nuclear installations across the country.
  • Clark Construction mobilized at Chicago’s iconic Thompson Center, home to much of Illinois state government, and will retrofit it to make room for new tenant, Google. ABC7 Chicago covered the kickoff featuring reps from the tech giant as well as Gov. Pritzker and Mayor Johnson.
  • Kokosing was at the Soo Locks in Michigan’s UP to greet the First Lady and Second Gentlemen during a May visit. See The Sault News. The contractor is in a JV, building a new USACE lock.
  • Veit hosted Minnesota legislators Sen. Hoffman and Rep. Kraft at various functions this year. The two sponsored a bill, which passed with bipartisan support, that dramatically improves ground construction in the state. Advocate John Hass, a director at Veit, says the measure requires GPS on excavations, which enables more accuracy in contracts and better project planning. He anticipates future federal action will follow. Gov. Walz signed the law in May.
  • Koppers external relations director Kevin Washington was part of a small delegation that visited The Hill to advocate rail construction issues before various legislators. Among his other visits were with U.S. Sen. Hyde-Smith and U.S. Reps. Cole, Lesko and Graves.
  • Nucor hosted U.S. Sen. Schumer, majority leader, at its Auburn, NY, steel mill. Elsewhere, Gov. McMaster headlined a groundbreaking for a new mill in South Carolina

Giving back:
Photo of Houston fundraiser, Better in Boots, supporting the fight against pediatric cancer.

People on the Move
  • Larry Toner is welcomed at APC Construction in New Orleans as senior construction scheduler.
  • Jason Phillips is the new area manager of the central/western Carolinas for GeoStructures, Inc.
  • William Varn, who was previously an intern, onboards in a FT role at SJ Hamill Construction in Charleston, SC, following his graduation with a B.S. in mechanical engineering from The Citadel.
  • Jim Skare hangs up his hard hat after a nearly 28-year career as an equipment operator at Veit.
  • Dale Bradtmueller earns promotion to production superintendent at HMC in Ft. Wayne, IN.
  • Horacio Rubio joins JD Fields & Co. in human resources at the HDM Spiralweld Mill in Houston.
  • Jesse Edwards onboards at John Lawrie Tubulars USA in Houston as new operations manager.
  • Marco Lessard becomes CEO of Stealth Pipe and Steel. The Quebec supplier cites “strategic vision,” “international relationships” among the top qualities of the 30-year foundations veteran.
  • Chris Calhoun, P.E. is the new Houston office geotech manager at ECS Limited, Andrew Ptak, P.E. takes the same role in Chicago, and new graduate Gracie Floyd joins the Greenville, SC, office.
  • Mindy Sayres elevates to district office manager at GZA GeoEnvironmental in Fairfield, NY.
  • Catherine Ellis, MBA, P.E., G.E., is the new Shannon & Wilson VP in its California Bay Area office. She reportedly brings nearly 30 years’ experience in geotechnical engineering.  
  • Thomas Smoak elevates to sr. associate/Charleston, SC, office manager at Terracon.


Sending sympathies:
  • Dan Stack, the incoming safety manager for the Pittsburgh office at Richard Goettle, Inc., unexpectedly passed away at age 51. He leaves behind a wife, three children and three dogs.
  • Irene Mason, a matriarch at Mason Construction in Beaumont, TX, passed away at age 95. Remembered as Grand I, she has a legacy as the backbone of the company. Read a sweet eulogy to the late Ms. Mason by one of many proteges who carry on her commitment to excellence. 
On the Job
Blakeslee Arpaia Chapman Inc. has a crew at a southeastern Connecticut marine piling project installing 76-foot long steel sheets using an ICE vibro.
Boh Bros. Construction Co. crews install driven piles for a replacement bridge on U.S.-190 in Covington, LA, part of a LA-DOTD highway widening project that is expected to complete in 2025.
East Coast Marine Construction & Design installs sheet and vinyl piling to fortify four oceanfront properties near Daytona Beach, FL. Crews used an ICE vibro to drive steel from JD Fields & Co..
Kokosing, through a JV with The Walsh Group, begins work on a companion bridge to supplement Cincinnati’s Brent Spence span (I-71/75) connecting Ohio and Kentucky. The Deputy PM explains.
Legacy Contracting of Stayton, OR, will install a new, FEMA-funded pedestrian bridge in Umatilla. Considered a key piece of city infrastructure, officials say it will reopen at year’s end.
Morris-Shea Bridge Co. reports a construction milestone from Corpus Christi, TX, where work continues on the Cheniere Energy Liquifaction project that has involved critical coordination with Bechtel.
O’Quinn Marine Construction used FRP products to build the Whitehall Boat Landing near Beaufort, SC; the supplier is out with a new promotional video showing the “jewel of the Sea Islands.”
ORION was successful in designing and implementing a steel pipe pile-supported system for the Golden Pass LNG Flood Gate in Sabine, TX. Steel sheets will form a protective curtain on the installation. Elsewhere, the company won a contract for a bulkhead replacement at Port Everglades near Miami.
Palmetto Pile Driving reports on the successful installation of 2,478 PSC piles for a South Carolina power plant, accident free. Contributing professionals for the job included John King of Pile Drivers Inc., Tim Dutton of Junttan USA, Daren Franks of Lodge Lumber, and Greg Canivan, P.E., of S&ME, Inc.
R.E. Pierson Construction employs the top down construction method for the North Millsboro Bypass, a new connector coming to Delaware in 2025. Pile driving and cofferdam construction are in progress.

Russell Marine LLC is installing a toe wall for the Wando Welch Terminal at the port in Charleston, SC. This project enables significantly greater volume potential for the facility. Crews are using ICE machinery to install 47 feet sheet piles from Nucor Skyline, 50 feet underwater.
The Walsh Group is half of the JV building the I-90/I-95 interchange over the Charles River west of Boston; an ICE hammer drives the H-pile.
COWI wins a five-year, continuing services contract with FDOT for consultation on active bridges. North American leadership is proud to “contribute to the safety and longevity of Florida’s bridge infrastructure.”
Gerhart Cole Inc. is among the consultants contributing to the replacement of the historic Portal North Bridge that connects upwards of 200K daily rail passengers between New Jersey and New York.
Schnabel Engineering is among many PDCA members on the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project. A promo video shows a Liebherr heavy lift crane poised to facilitate the first monopile installation.
Notes from the Field
Callin’ Baton Rouge – What better way to attract interns than to give them an up-close-and-personal look at Death Valley? (Clemson folk, read: “the other death valley”) Cajun Industries hosted prospective interns for a private tour of LSU’s famed-football stadium along with a raffle for two lucky winners to win helmets signed by A-list D-1 Coach Brian Kelly. The event brought 60 interested students.
Classic high school prank grows up – in the pics, it looks like masked bandits occupied and ransacked the Manson Construction Jacksonville, FL, offices. But it was just a creative Safety Week exercise promoting PPE where Hannah Huezo and James Fowler developed a game using toilet paper, among other things.
Was Taylor Swift there? Perhaps she’s a fair weather fan of KC sports since she wasn’t seen at the Royals baseball game in May, when Kahn Steel Co. attended for their company outing at the ballpark
Move over Bears Beets Battlestar Galactica – now there’s Beers Bees Brad’s Side Hustles. PDCA board member Brad Roberts, who leads the Contractor Services office at GZA GeoEnvironmental, enthusiastically joined his team to launch a beekeeping and hive management initiative in observance of Earth Day. The initiative seeks to grow declining bee populations that are critical to sustainability in food production and more. We remind you that during the holidays, Brad makes GZA beer.
Photo of people gathered around a beehive for a beekeeping and hive management initiative.
Thanks for reading the June 2024 installment of A Pile of News. We appreciate all of you who have sent us content for this publication; remember, if you want us to consider your news for future editions, please send that to matt@piledrivers.org.

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