Contractors Rush From Every Direction To Build Up South Lake Tahoe Timeshares January 2002
To many, South Lake Tahoe is the absolute ideal tourist attraction with its year-round events: skiing in winter, lake activities in summer and of course, plenty of gambling any time. With 72 miles of prime shoreline perched atop a majestic mountain, Lake Tahoe's natural beauty is breathtaking to its visitors. However, one person's beauty is another one's obstacles when it comes to construction.
This was discovered when the building project involved simultaneously constructing two vacation ownership resorts on the same property with a gondola in-between. Congestion was a huge problem. Plus, the site demanded lots of concrete but contractors were given only 150 days to complete the project due to upcoming winter weather.
The Lake Tahoe area, at its 6,225-foot (1897m) elevation above sea level, is known for its horrendous freeze cycles. Therefore, it was necessary to finish the structure of the five-story Timber Lodge and the five-story Grand Summit timeshares before the first freeze would bring an average snow pack of 225 inches for the year.
The first week of May, the excavation of the dirt began. In June, the first concrete boom pump arrived on site. And by October, the last ready-mix truck left when the structure was in place.
43,000 cu. yds. pumped in five months As a result, over 43,000 cubic yards of concrete were pumped in less than five months. The first month alone averaged 10,000 yards toward constructing the combined 900,000+ square-foot facilities covering 37 acres.
Perini Building Co., one of the largest builders of hotels and casinos in the country, specializes in fast track, complicated structures. Although the project took two years of planning, their construction task was to make up the time while only 60 percent of the drawings were complete. This necessitated changes along the way in addition to the accelerated pace. Therefore, Perini relied on a vast array of contractors from all parts of Nevada and California.
Urata & Sons Cement, Inc. was one of those contractors. Highly familiar with South Tahoe, they coordinated all the related concrete work. Lonald Pies, Urata's superintendent said "To satisfy the general contractor's accelerated pace, we put in longer hours during a six-day work week, scheduled multiple placing crews to overlap pours, and precisely coordinated every step along the way so we didn't waste time or effort."
Even though an accelerated pace of construction is often the norm, one reason an extra step in coordination was required was because most of Perini's sub-contractors were located over an hour away in various directions. The rebar came from Reno 50 miles from the north and the pump and finishing crew from Sacramento 98 miles from the west.
Concrete came from two different plants Concrete was dispatched from two different batch plants, as each plant could handle only a maximum 120-yard-an-hour output — not enough for the high volume deck and slab pours.
Although the ready-mix came from Meyers and Carson City only 10 and 30 miles away respectively, peak tourist season traffic lengthened delivery times during daytime hours. Plus, the loaded mixers were often at a crawl up the mountain.
Therefore, a load from Carson City 30 miles away could easily take about an hour and a half to deliver. As a result, retarder was essential in the concrete, and the contractor needed to be exact in calculating yardage to avoid an unnecessarily long haul.
Associated Concrete Pumping of Sacramento handled all the pumping. According to Art Fink, co-owner at Associated, "Our Putzmeister 46X boom pump did the lion's share of the work to get as much boom reach with the smallest outrigger footprint possible. That meant better maneuverability, as fewer moves were needed and less hassles setting up with the extremely difficult on-site congestion."
"Only ones with .20H pump cells" Fink added, "Plus, we're the only ones in this area with .20H pump cells on our boom pumps. They're the most powerful in the industry with high outputs up to 260 yards an hour while still providing a smooth flow without boom bounce. That's important as today's contractors want high volume on big jobs, especially when everyone's in a rush."
The Putzmeister 46X camped out at the site with its operator, Grant McCracken, staying at a local hotel during the workweek. These arrangements were necessary because of both distance and unusual pour times. A typical pour was done at night, starting at 2 a.m. It would involve a deck 10 to 12 inches thick, pumping 500 to 600 yards of an extremely harsh 5000-psi mix with crushed 3/4-inch aggregate that Nevada is famous for. By morning, the larger pour was finished in time to avoid the daytime traffic nightmare. Then during the day, the smaller pours for walls and columns were handled.
At times, additional boom pumps assisted. A "pump to pump" process using a Putzmeister 36-Meter that fed into the 46X-Meter made pumping possible when access in selected areas was impossible for mixer trucks. A Putzmeister 55 and 42X-Meter were also employed to handle simultaneous pours between the two resorts. The 42X was picked because of its long 138-foot reach and compact 26-foot 3-inch telescopic diagonal front outrigger spread, which like the 46X, could setup in the tight confines of the job site. The 55-Meter was the ideal unit for its extremely long 180-foot reach.
Wants award for pump operator Lonald Pies of Urata said, "We relied on high-performance equipment and experienced personnel. Neither let us down." He added, "In particular, Associated's pump operator, Grant McCracken, deserves some type of award. In my 20 years plus in the business, he is by far the best of the best. He could easily set up in the tightest spots and make the pump perform both fast and smooth. He'd always arrive ahead of time and worked hand in hand with our placing crews implementing the pours. Operators like that make a huge difference in making projects like this a success."
When the doors to the Timber Lodge and Grand Summit resorts with its parking, retail and specialty shops open next summer, over $150 million will have been spent to make this dream spot a reality. Plus, they will join over 2,228 hotels and timeshares (412,000 rooms) within Marriott International, Inc. The resort will continue to make South Lake Tahoe a popular tourist location for those enjoying its year round activities and, of course, for those relishing its natural beauty.
JOB SPECS: Owner: Marriott Vacation Club International Architect: Jung Brannen Associates, Inc. — Boston General contractor: Perini Building Co. — Framingham, Mass. Placing and finishing contractor: Urata & Sons Cement Inc. — Rancho Cordova, Calif. Pumping contractor: Associated Concrete Pumping — Sacramento, Calif. Ready-mix suppliers: Sierra Tahoe Redi-Mix - Meyers, Nev., and Capitol City Redi-Mix — Carson City, Nev. Equipment: Putzmeister 55-Meter, 46X-Meter, 42X-Meter and 36-Meter truck-mounted boom pumps