Concrete Products covers the issues that attract producers of ready mixed and manufactured concrete focusing on equipment and material technology, market development and management topics.
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50 • July 2015 www.concreteproducts.com FEATURE BY DON MARSH Architectural, structural and utility precast operator Lakelands Concrete Products Inc. is assured a year for the records: In the first half of 2015, it completed a contract requir- ing 45-ton structures, the largest to date from its Lima, N.Y., plant, then mobilized for an order representing a new watermark in net tonnage. Lakelands Concrete began the year expe- diting production of 950 16-ton structures for the Corps of Engineers' Oswego Harbor Detached Breakwater repair and upgrade along Lake Ontario's southern shore. The structures are known individually as dolos, derived from South African and Latin terms meaning knucklebone; through weight and interlocking geometry, dolosse quell shore- line or breakwater erosion from waves and undercurrent. Oswego Harbor is the first Corps contract to use a 16-ton dolos, the agency otherwise accustomed to the non-pro- prietary structure's 8-or 4-ton versions. Assisted by three contract haulers run- ning drop deck trailers, Lakelands Concrete began delivery in mid-June of 30 dolosse per day to Oswego, N.Y., with 15 drivers typical- ly making two deliveries on the 100-mile, plant-to-site route. The lead contractor on the $19 million job is Durocher Marine of Cheboygan, Mich., a division of Kokosing Consruction Co. It awarded the precast order in late 2014, binding Lakelands Concrete to an aggressive January–July, eight-piece/day production schedule. CFC Forms of Carbondale, Pa., fabricat- ed eight dolos forms, with two filling ports and two clamped sections each. Mounted on pedestals, they have been staged along Lakelands Concrete's main production bay, 50- x 300-ft. with a 20-ton overhead crane. Each structure requires four 2-yd. batches of self-consolidating mixes, a plant standard. The SCC is designed around fine and coarse aggregate from the Hanson Aggre- gates Victor Quarry, where winter stockpiles dwindled to a few hundred tons as dolosse production remained on schedule; Lafarge Type III cement; and, Grace Adva superplasti- cizers. The Lakelands Concrete plant was one of Grace Construction Products' early proving grounds for precast-grade Adva admixtures, wide adoption of which began in 2001–2002. Inspectors required proof the SCC mix would yield consistent density, demonstrat- ed by cutting an initial dolos into five piec- es. Lakelands Concrete has since maintained a regular quality control, quality assurance regimen on five-batch frequency, measuring air content, mix spread, temperature and strength development—7,000 psi at sev- en days. Crews have also verified the dolos forms' dimension tolerances every eight days. Durocher Marine required Lakelands Concrete to finish 750 dolosse prior to dis- patching the first unit. Following the initial 950-piece lot, up to 100 additional dolosse might be ordered as the contractor and Corps measure unit density attained along the tar- get breakwater plot. From ramp up through production and early deliveries, Lakelands Concrete Pres- ident Todd Clarke observes with guarded satisfaction: "The whole contract has gone according to plan. I credit our people with coordinating product fabrication, picking and storage, especially in the face of a harsh winter. Except for an equipment break down that threw things off one day, the whole pro- cess has clicked." "Things have gone very well," concurs Sales Manager Gina Lathan. "Everyone has been able to anticipate what the next crew is doing—much like executing a football play." SITE WORK Corps of Engineers Buffalo District staff has mapped repairs around a 1,050-ft. area of the main 7,000-ft. breakwater protecting Oswego Harbor's westward entry. The con- crete-capped, stone structure was damaged in October 2012 by the western weather front that morphed into Superstorm Sandy as it hit the Atlantic Coast. Each dolos will be placed by sling on a base of Corps-designated bed, underlayer or armor stone graded from 3 lb. to 18 tons. The rock schedule calls for a) 45,000 tons of limestone—primarily 650-lb. to 2-ton boulders—from Hanson Aggregates Jamesville Quarry, near Syracuse, N.Y.; and, b) 65,000 tons of granite, mostly 8- to 18-ton sections, 3.75- to 5.75-ft., from the Rock of Ages Quarry in Vermont. Catch a Wave Lakelands Concrete musters crews and partners for Corps of Engineers milestone(s) On the heels of two record contracts, Pres- ident and Owner Todd Clarke is moving to change the culture at Lakelands Concrete, taking measures to foster employee satis- faction, growth, and balancing of personal and professional priorities. Beginning her career in precast in 1999, as a receptionist, Sales Manager Gina Lathan returned to Lakelands Concrete in June 2014, bringing new market wisdom gained through other positions in precast concrete.