Columbus, Ohio, is the 14th largest city in the U.S. and continues to grow. Before COVID-19, the city was building the most dynamic economy in the Midwest and was becoming a top travel hub. Millions of travelers from around the world were flying in and out of the city’s John Glenn International Airport each year.
The growth of Columbus has created the need for more space to improve the airport’s traveler experience. With nearly 160 daily departures, the John Glenn International Airport sees a lot of traffic — not only from aircraft, but also from cars.
As the number of annual passengers climbed toward 9 million, the John Glenn International Airport established plans to meet the growing demand for nonstop flights from Ohio’s capital city with the addition of a new concrete rental car facility that would open up about 40 percent more garage parking for travelers.
Built on nearly 10 acres in the center of the airport property, the new, $140 million, four-level rental car facility will be one of the largest construction projects in the airport’s history. The effort includes a group of partners on which Dugan & Meyers is serving as the concrete contractor and the largest contractor on the job.
Since opening in 1935, Dugan & Meyers has delivered a diverse portfolio of high-quality projects. The company enhances its construction reputation by focusing on exceeding the expectations of their clients. Building the concrete structure at the new John Glenn International Airport rental car facility has allowed Dugan & Meyers to exhibit their specialized strengths.
“This is the biggest job that I have ever stepped foot on,” says Josh Weddel, concrete assistant supervisor for Dugan & Meyers, a concrete construction contractor based in Columbus, Ohio. “Allowing travelers to drop off and pick up rental cars from a new, centralized location will provide a lot of benefits to the airport and travelers.”
Leading with lightweight
The new rental car facility was designed to be developed in phases to support the airport’s long-range expansion plan. It was projected to open in 2021 when COVID-19 impacted the area.
Dugan & Meyers faced challenges when COVID-19 regulations became mandatory. Although the contractors have been able to work through the crisis, extra planning and necessary adjustments have been crucial to the jobsite efforts and keeping employees safe.
“We’ve been fortunate to be deemed essential to work through COVID-19, but we have to social distance as much as possible and wear masks, which can be difficult on a jobsite,” Weddel says. “We have documented if a task has taken longer, but as of right now, we are still on track.”
To meet the demands of the project schedule, Dugan & Meyers is using the lightweight and durable Stinger electric flex shaft concrete vibrator from Minnich Manufacturing, an industry leader in concrete vibrators, vibrator monitoring systems and dowel pin drills.
The Stinger is a 14.5-pound double-insulated universal motor that can drive the full line of Minnich vibrator shafts and heads from ¾ inch to 2½ inches. Available in a 15-amp (115-volt) version, it offers a more compatible speed range of 10,000 to 13,000 vibrations per minute (vpm) to meet today’s concrete placement challenges.
The unit is equipped with a durable protective frame, which extends vibrator life with urethane end caps that absorb shock while supporting easy-to-grip handles.
The Minnich Stinger provides quiet operation meeting Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) A 29 CFR 1910.95 standards.
Using a 16-foot core casing on the Stinger for curbs, short walls, columns, and footings, Dugan & Meyers was able to work efficiently and change heads quickly. The Stinger’s versatility was utilized while pouring many thin foundation walls, as well as deep and thick pours on support columns of the garage.
“We’ve used high cycle vibrators in that past that have extra weight where our guys are dragging around a 60-70-pound vibrator,” Weddel says. “We knew we needed something lighter and durable for this project, and the Minnich Stinger had both of those things. With the Stinger being durable, you’re not fighting breakdowns like we have with other vibrators.”
The rental car facility is the first project Dugan & Meyers has used a Minnich product on. After receiving a recommendation from Dugan & Meyers Senior Project Manager Scott Marshall to use the Stinger, Weddel got in touch with Minnich. The connection between Dugan & Meyers and Minnich has led to a positive work experience.
“It’s not most times that the owner — or even a guy that has the same last name of the product — will call just to ask how we are doing,” Weddel says. “They’ve been great to work with. They always keep in touch and get right back to me, which is another reason that I will continue to use their products.”
What started as the biggest job for some Dugan & Meyers team members will end in big benefits for travelers across the U.S. picking up and dropping off rental cars in Columbus.