Next they had to raise the site 5 feet to get above the flood plain, so Haskell Lemon placed 412,000 cubic yards of excavation. To obtain a lot of the dirt needed for the site work the contractor created a number of 12-foot-deep stormwater holding ponds, encompassing more than 30 acres of the property.
"When you're paving over that much of an area you have to provide some place for the water to go," Lemon says. "This was a well-engineered project. Our biggest challenge was Union Pacific needed the site in operation immediately and the rush to get it done."
Once Haskell Lemon's crews got the dirt moved and the site to its proper elevation they did another 12 inches of cement stabilization of the "new" subgrade to stabilize it at the proper elevation. That was followed by 8 inches of aggregate base for the foundation and 4 inches of hot mix asphalt surface course.
Lemon says the low-lying nature of the site required installation of 10,000 feet of 24-inch- to 60-inch-diameter corrugated metal pipe to collect storm water and bring it to the holding ponds. Construction of a concrete ditch liner around the perimeter of the site also helps collect water off the site.
Lemon says the contractor had three grading crews, an asphalt paving crew, a concrete crew, and a drainage crew — about 50 people — working 60 hours a week on the site throughout the life of the project.
"Each area was phased so that one crew followed right on the heels of the other," Lemon says. "First the grading crew would get the site ready, then the drainage crew went in, then the paving crew, and then any concrete."
Lemon says D.H. Blattner had to construct eight railroad spurs coming into the site from the main line, so those were the areas Haskell Lemon's crews finished first.
"All the time we're doing the grading and paving we're giving priority to areas where the tracks are coming into the site," Lemon says. "Then we paved the parking lots and areas that would be the staging or holding areas for the cars."
Overall Haskell Lemon placed 45,945 tons of high-spec hot mix asphalt.
"Once Union Pacific got the project's administrative aspects cleared and turned us loose it was just high-production, high-quality construction work," Lemon says. "Union Pacific ended up with a good construction team and once everything was cleared for us to go we were able to turn out a very superior project by the deadline."