Concrete Products

JUL 2015

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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Page 54 of 103 July 2015 • 53 FEATURE COVER STORY The Oswego Harbor Detached Breakwater repair and upgrade will require an estimated 110,000 tons of bed, underlayer and armor stone, primarily delivered by rail from Hanson Aggregates James- ville Quarry and Rock of Ages Quarry. The dolosse are scheduled for placement through October or November, while remaining underlay- er and armor stone can be set this year or into 2016. Work centers on 850 feet of breakwater, lakeside, plus 100 feet of wrap area on both ends. Stone and dolosse will be positioned as an overlay at a 1:2 horizontal to vertical slope, the base width increas- ing about 70 feet from an existing 120 feet. The detached break- water was built in 1958–59 of core stone, cut stone armor placed in ashlar pattern at 1:1.5 (lakeside) and 1:1.3 (harbor side) vertical to horizontal slopes, plus 8-ft. wide concrete cap. A NEW CULTURE Family-owned Lakelands Concrete is western New York's sole Precast/ Prestressed Concrete Institute-Certified A1 Facility and a long-stand- ing, New York State Department of Transportation-approved precast structures source. It has followed a trajectory similar to peers across the country, growing from small (< 10 ton) to larger product and pin- pointing site conditions or project types where precast offers a better value proposition than established cast-in-place concrete methods. Beyond septic tanks and small utility structures that carried the business in its first few decades, the Lakelands Concrete offering has grown to encompass 36- to 2,000-sq.-ft. utility buildings; Stone Strong retaining walls; box culverts and wing walls; arch bridges; bridge beams and slabs; architectural panels; sound, privacy or lag- ging walls; and, site utility structures. Coupled with a solid backlog developed through 2014, the Os- wego contract and preceding order of record product scale—45- ton beams for a New York Thruway/Interstate 90 crossing at Silver Creek—have seen Lakelands Concrete expand payroll 15-20 percent year over year. Present headcount exceeds 60, up from a reces- sion-low 35. Bridge beam and dolosse production coincide with an- other management priority refecting a healthy business with good growth prospects, but operating in a relatively rural market of static population profle. Lakelands Concrete management eyes a culture shift in the office and plant. It is taking a page from shoe retailer Zappos, where man- agement encourages employees to "pursue growth and learning"; be "adventurous, creative and open-minded"; and, "build open and hon- est relationships with communication" along with a "positive team and family spirit." "We are striving to create a strong company with a positive culture that attracts great employees," says Todd Clarke. "There are growth opportunities here, and the timing is good to change how we operate and develop talent. Customers can tell if they are partnering with a producer that has strong values and a commitment to quality." "We need to support people and help them support their families," adds Gina Lathan. "I would like to find what works for them so they are content in their jobs. Within two years, we will be a different, more diverse company." PHOTOS: Courtesy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District

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