The Compton Creek Bridge Replacement – Kanawha Stone Company, Inc.
Kanawha Stone Company Inc. (KSC) literally moves mountains. The West Virginia-based site development company employs some of the most dedicated and experienced professionals in the industry to provide clients with the resources to make sure projects stay on schedule and on budget. Backed by over 39 years of experience KSC approaches every project with an ethical, innovative, value-added approach for the client. The company also builds relationships to last a lifetime, basing them on quality workmanship and value engineering.
KSC sets itself from other site development specialists by extending its reach into the areas of design-build project delivery and infrastructure construction. The KSC team of 100 comprises professionals from a variety of backgrounds, including civil engineers, site survey crews, blasters, drillers and truck drivers, led by an experienced team of executives. Together, the KSC team has built the company a reputation for putting projects with complex logistical requirements on the fast track to completion; this ensures delivery always comes without sacrificing quality or safety.
KSC calls Charleston, W.Va., home, but the company’s geographical focus has expanded over the years to encompass all of West Virginia and Virginia, and its work ethic has helped set the company apart in a competitive market. “It’s very difficult to stay ahead of the competition, because we’re all in the same boat,” expands Brian Randolph, operations manager at KSC. “With a limited market you have to become more aggressive in bidding projects, but KSC has also focused on investing in new technologies and equipment to stay ahead of the industry.”
In recent years the company has distinguished itself even further by embracing specialties that build the best value for the client, including dynamic compaction. Dynamic compaction sounds like it might be a fancy packaging for soil compaction, but dynamic compaction is more involved and requires skilled professionals use a specially designed weight. The technique allows construction crews to begin work immediately following a large fill by stabilizing soil conditions on multiple levels, with minimal long-term settlement.
Above all, KSC continues to succeed because of the ambition and experience of its team, which has established the company as a force to be reckoned with in highly competitive markets such as energy construction and public-sector infrastructure construction. The company’s comprehensive understanding of environmental regulations and compliance issues enables the KSC team to deliver sites in pristine construction-ready condition, ensuring West Virginia’s steep terrain never stands in the way of a project.
Additionally, KSC ranks among the America Road Transportation Builders Association’s Top 100 Highway Contractors, an honor that recognizes the top performers in the federal arena and one that KSC has held since 2000. KSC’s focus on value engineering and putting projects on the fast track for completion has only bolstered the company’s performance in recent years. In fact, KSC was tapped to become the general contractor for a double bridge replacement project in Virginia in late 2010 and crews began construction just four months later in March 2011.
The two bridges cross Compton Creek and the Norfolk Southern railroad, respectively, and both were originally completed in 1936. Of course, over the years the bridges has shown signs of wear and tear until becoming functionally obsolete in recent years. The Virginia Department of Transportation reported that 2009 witnessed over 4,900 vehicles crossing the bridges per day, and that is expected to increase to 6,800 vehicles daily by 2032.
The existing two-lane bridges provide very minimal shoulders for traffic, and to make matters worse the road along this stretch of Route 340 has been found to have substandard alignments and grading. KSC will build two new bridges spanning 44-feet wide with two lanes of 11-foot wide traffic lanes and 10 feet of shoulder apiece, increasing safety for all drivers.
The project involves a total realignment and upgrade of a 2.2-mile stretch of Route 340, which is very much similar to the type of work we have done in West Virginia,” expands Randolph. “But this project is unique for us because we’re new to the Virginia market and still coordinating logistics from our West Virginia office.”
So far, though, construction has gone smoothly with materials provided from locally based suppliers in the Virginia area. This is especially good news considering KSC will be self-performing a lot of the work involved, from excavation to brickwork and earthwork. Completion is scheduled for October 2013 at a total cost of $24.7 million, with $2.2 million allocated for preliminary engineering and $1 million for right-of-way.
Never Shy of Challenges
KSC doesn’t expect to slow down in the next few years, either. “We are one of the prime contractors for the construction of the Summit Bechtel Reserve, which is one of the largest construction projects in the country,” adds Randolph. Not only is it one of the largest, but also the project will convert over 10,000 acres of West Virginia Appalachian territory into a year-round adventure camp for the Boy Scouts of America and the permanent host of the organization’s National Scout Jamboree.
Estimates place the cost of construction at over $400 million, as the ambitious project will provide accommodations for 40,000 scouts and 8,000 to 9,000 volunteers. KSC will coordinate work as the prime contractor for the utility work, excavation and construction of dams, among other things. Completion of both projects in 2013 will only add to KSC’s long history of using communication and determination to ensure a successful project. With every project Kanawha Stone Company Inc. cements its reputation as the customer-oriented contractor of choice.
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