Monthly Archives: March 2016

Moretrench “Paves the Way” for Florida’s Newest Solar Farms

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Moretrench’s Tampa, FL office is well on the way to completing nearly 45 miles of access roads and drainage culverts for new solar farms in De Soto, Charlotte and Manatee Counties.  Together, the three farms will produce close to 225 MW of electricity, nearly tripling Florida Power & Light’s current solar energy capacity.  Moretrench was consulted by the owner during the design stage and invited to submit value engineering  and constructability ideas, some of which were incorporated into the design and work program.

Approximately 50 site personnel  were mobilized with less than two weeks’ notice for the project’s fast track start-up.  “This is the single largest roadworks project we’ve ever undertaken,” notes Tampa Estimator/Project Manager Nick Haddon.  “Roadwork at all three sites is running concurrently and we have a total of five crews in the field.”  Upon completion expected in mid-summer, crews will have  moved 275,000 cubic yards of earth, placed 150,000 tons of shell rock and nearly 1,000,000 square feet of stabilization fabric, installed 110,000 liner feet of silt fence/erosion control, and constructed pads for three  separate substations and three sets of parking/laydown areas.

Solar 1

Site overview

With hundreds of miles of electrical cabling, hundreds of thousands of support posts, racking and photovoltaic panel installation by other trades underway in close proximity to the roadwork crews, close cooperation by all parties is high priority to keep the work safe and on schedule.  The project sites are also close to environmentally sensitive areas, including Charlotte County’s Babcock Ranch Preserve, meaning heightened awareness at all times.

Ground Penetrating Radar and soft dig techniques were used to accurately locate a 36-inch diameter active natural gas pipeline before any excavation in that area.  Safe construction of the roadways under numerous high voltage power mains is being aided by 3-D laser scanning to measure the power lines in place and model safe dumping areas.

Solar 2

3-D laser scanning was used to model exact details of numerous overhead high voltage lines.

The roadworks are also being aided by technology that in the past had typically only been employed on DOT roadway projects but in recent years has begun to find application in less critical grading projects as it increases accuracy and productivity while decreasing survey costs. “Our  excavators and graders are fitted with on-board 3-D computers hooked into the machine’s hydraulics,” says Haddon.  “Data upload and download between the office and the field is transmitted via satellite and cellular tower directly to the on-board computer screen.  This ensures accuracy of material cut and fill, makes operations more productive, and minimizes the need for ground survey.”  In fact, in the final grade operations, the system has the capability to automatically control the excavator/grader blades for  final grading while the operator retains control of forward and reverse movement, making for a very smooth and efficient operation altogether.

Solar 3

Roadwork was conducted concurrent with other trades installing the solar panels and electrical cables.

The roadway work is on track for meeting The Tampa office’s  safety goal of zero recordables, completion within the schedule and within budget.  The solar farms due to go into service before the end of the year.

Moretrench’s Southeastern Region Celebrates Safety at the 11th Annual Club Zero & Years of Service Banquet

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Every construction site is fraught with potential safety hazards, but perhaps few more so than those encountered by Moretrench’s Southeastern Region personnel on a daily basis. Their work takes them to live power plants, to large and constantly active industrial complexes, and to sites often close to water.  Safety is therefore not only a priority, it is THE priority.   To ensure that every employee is equipped to recognize and react to any site hazard, the Southeastern Region operates one of the most comprehensive safety training programs around…with a unique twist.  Workers are rewarded for exemplary safety performance by induction into the Club Zero and Club Zero Support Team recognition programs.

Attendees received several keepsake items to commemorate the event.

Attendees received several keepsake items to commemorate the event.

Club Zero membership is limited to individual workers who have worked the calendar year with zero injuries, property damage events, environmental events, or safety violations.  Achieving and maintaining membership is a point of pride for employees  and has its rewards, not just in enhanced site safety year round  but also in  being honored at the annual  Club Zero and Years of Service Awards Banquet.

This year, the Awards program for the year 2015 was held on February 26th, 2016 at The Regent, a premier events venue in Riverview, FL.  Al Schuman, President of Moretrench’s Southeastern Region operations, welcomed Moretrench attendees and invited guests from Overland Construction, Hexion and TECO.

Retiree George Fagan put formality aside to express his appreciation to Southeast Region President Al Schuman.

Retiree George Fagan put formality aside to express his appreciation to Southeast Region President Al Schuman.

Club Zero and Club Zero Support Team honorees received personalized plaques presented by Mr. Schuman. This year, a total of 105 Club Zero members were recognized.  Included in this number were 33 one-year members, 17 two consecutive year members, 11 three consecutive year members, 17 four consecutive year members, 7 five consecutive year members, 4 six consecutive year members, 5 seven consecutive year member, 1 eight consecutive year member, 3 nine consecutive year members, 3 ten consecutive years members, and 4 eleven consecutive years members. Twenty five Club Zero Support Team members were also recognized.

The proceedings also featured presentation of 2.5-, 5-, 10-, and 15-year service plaques to 31 employees,  and a special presentation to George Fagan,  who retired from Moretrench in 2015 after 18 years of service.