Creative Construction Solutions for the City of Cartersville
Faced with identifying a new home for their Public Works Department and accommodating growing needs for their Gas Department, which also serves part of Bartow County, the City of Cartersville engaged Balfour Beatty to help consolidate operations within a single five-acre campus. The new site hosts multiple buildings, more administration space, public works storage, pipe storage, welding and fueling station for City vehicles and trucks—all within a $9 million stated budget. Despite contending with a complex site and unprecedented weather conditions, Balfour Beatty delivered this project ahead of an already compressed schedule and under budget.
Early Engagement Equals Significant Savings
At Balfour Beatty, we recognize the benefits of engaging in projects early and can point to many instances in which the owner also reaps rewards for doing so. This project was no different. By engaging us early in the preconstruction process, the City of Cartersville completed the project significantly under budget, despite an enormous sitework package and the desire to accommodate many needs between the Gas Department and Public Works Department.
This savings was due in large part to the early identification of pre-engineered metal buildings in place of a traditional steel structure as originally outlined. This solution was faster, cheaper and better, resulting in significant savings that allowed the owner to incorporate more upgrades such as cranes, aeration pads in the pond and enhanced walking surfaces from mulch to crushed slate among several others.
Rain, Rain, Go Away!
With about nine months from the start of construction to project completion, Balfour Beatty teammates were ready to hit the ground running and knew that time was of the essence. What they did not know, however, was that they were about to face one of the rainiest winters on record in Georgia. This wet weather led to almost three-and-a-half months of weather delays. With 18-acres of sitework to manage, one can imagine the impacts experienced day-to-day, but our team was determined to meet the turnover date.
When rain was in the forecast, Balfour Beatty coordinated with the civil contractor to dig temporary ditches that helped redirect most of the run-off into temporary retainage facilities. This allowed work to resume on the project much more quickly and mitigated rough conditions in the field. It was this type of creative planning that enabled our team to deliver the project four days ahead of schedule despite the many challenges faced.
Making the Site Work
The sitework package alone accounted for nearly 20% of the overall budget. With the scope of the project, we were released to start sitework while the design was still being finalized. To better understand the lay of the land, Balfour Beatty leveraged in-house BIM expertise to coordinate underground work.
Building the retention pond required extensive dirt removal, and early investigation helped the team avoid pitfalls during construction. As the team battled the weather and put temporary measures in place to improve working conditions, the site also had to be prepared for the nearly $1 million exterior paving project, which required additional materials due to the weight of the City utility trucks.
Upon its completion, the campus became a place the City could be proud of and that the public wanted to visit, with a beautiful natural landscape and a serene pond surrounded by a walking trail.
Every project has its own unique set of challenges. On this project, all team members came together to serve as a Relentless Ally for the City of Cartersville. As we close the books on another successful municipal project in the State of Georgia, we are grateful for the opportunity to make an indelible impact on the communities where we work and live in and around Atlanta.