Construction Update Winter 2023

If you look out over the site today, you can see six construction cranes busily moving materials to assist the 375 workers building the new facility. So far, more than 61,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured. One standard concrete truck can carry up to 10 cubic yards, so 6,100 truckloads of concrete have been used and that is about 60 percent of what the project will need. Amid all this construction and activity, the existing facility continues to operate 24-hours a day without missing a beat, while complying with all required regulations. That’s amazing, considering the 60+-year-old facility treats an average of 30 million gallons of wastewater every day.

Contractors Hired to Build $73 Million Influent Pump Station and Two $20 Million Force Mains

Two Utah construction firms that specialize in water and wastewater infrastructure projects – Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Company, LLC (RLW) and VanCon, Inc. (VanCon) – have been hired by Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities (SLCDPU) to build an influent pump station (IPS) and two 48-inch force mains (pressurized pipelines). The construction is part of a larger effort to replace the City’s aging water reclamation facility (WRF).

RLW was selected to construct the new influent pump station (IPS)adjacent to the existing IPS located approximately 1 mile south of the New WRF. The current IPS will be decommissioned once the new one is commissioned. Wastewater flows to the IPS from throughout the City via four large sewer trunk lines. Able to receive around 48 million gallons of wastewater per day, the new IPS will be more efficient, resilient, and reliable.

As wastewater is directed through the New IPS, large pieces of debris are removed, and the water is then pumped through two new 48-inch diameter force mains to the New WRF for treatment. VanCon will be installing these new pressurized pipelines.

“People don’t really think about all the infrastructure that is in place to collect and treat the water used by people, businesses, and industry,” said SLCDPU Director Laura Briefer.  “These critical services are essential in our daily lives. They keep our City running, our communities safe and healthy, and our economy productive. These two construction projects will help ensure that we can continue to provide these services by repairing and replacing aging infrastructure and upgrading our facilities and processes to meet federal and state regulatory obligations.”  

Construction work on the new IPS and force mains will begin in October 2023 and will continue through the Spring of 2026. 

RLW, which employs nearly 600 people and with offices in Utah and Colorado, is known for building large and complex projects for both the public and private sectors.  RLW recently worked as a subcontractor on the reconstruction of the Salt Lake City International Airport, was the general contractor on a new Timpanogos Cave Visitors Center and was the general contractor on the Soaring Canyon Bridge.

With more than 220 employees, VanCon is located in Springville, Utah, and specializes in water and wastewater infrastructure and pipeline projects. VanCon recently constructed SLCDPU’s 4th Avenue well house, the Gunlock water treatment facility, and rehabilitated the Cecret Dam.

The new IPS and force mains are part of the extensive, multi-year, $800+ million effort to build a New Water Reclamation Facility to serve SLCDPU customers.

Jacobs, AECOM, and Sundt/PCL Joint Venture have been working on the New WRF since 2019. AECOM has provided engineering design services for the New WRF, including the new IPS and force mains projects. Jacobs provides overall program management services to deliver the New WRF as well as the IPS and force mains.  Sundt/PCL Joint Venture provides construction management and general contractor services to construct the New WRF. 

Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities and Sundt/PCL Announce

One Million Hours Worked Milestone

Salt Lake City’s Department of Public Utilities (SLCDPU) is excited to announce that crews working to construct the City’s New Water Reclamation Facility (WRF) have achieved a major milestone: one million hours worked. The New WRF is nearly the largest public infrastructure project in the City’s history, second only to the SLC International Airport rebuild. The project broke ground in 2019, in partnership with Sundt/PCL.  

“At peak points throughout the project, we have nearly 400 local craft service laborers on site,” said SLCDPU Deputy Director Jason Brown. “Achieving the ‘one million hours worked’ milestone is a testament to the coordination and collaboration required of a project this size.” The New WRF project benefits from regular and ongoing staff interaction, under the watch of Sundt/PCL, AECOM, JACOBS, and SLCDPU leadership.

Sundt/PCL provides construction management and general contracting services for the New WRF project. “This ‘one million hours worked’ milestone is the culmination of many different efforts,” said Mauricio Ramos, district manager for PCL’s civil infrastructure division. “From local engineers to pipe layers, journeymen, construction trade workers, foremen, and general laborers, every team member has been instrumental in reaching this benchmark. The collaboration between PCL and Sundt has been a testament to our shared commitment to excellence and innovation.”

“Our crews are working together seamlessly to ensure that the final product meets the goals and needs of the community,” said Sam Reidy, senior vice president and district manager for Sundt. “Celebrating this milestone recognizes the hard work and commitment each member of the project team has made to this project and the Sundt/PCL partnership.”

Once completed, Salt Lake City’s new WRF will serve over 200,000 residents as well as those who commute downtown to work or visit. It will replace the City’s current, and only, wastewater treatment facility, which is over 60 years old and near the end of its service life. Maintaining reliable operations at the existing facility while constructing the new WRF nearby has been critical for the project’s success. Since breaking ground in 2019, the project team has completed approximately 65% of structural concrete work as well as soil mitigation, deep foundation work, and the installation of underground utilities.

Top Contractors Hired to Build New Water Reclamation Facility

Project Will Create 150 Jobs

Three of the country’s largest and most respected engineers and builders — Jacobs, AECOM and Sundt/PCL Joint Venture— have been hired by Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities to the new Water Reclamation Facility. 

“Because the reclamation facility is a such a critical piece of infrastructure, we’re taking a strategic and methodical approach to its construction and that means having the very best team on board to make it happen,” said SLCDPU Director Laura Briefer. “The facility – which serves more than 200,00 people and treats about 35 million gallons of wastewater every day – must operate 24/7 without interruption, even during construction, and it must operate for decades.”

This $700 million project will take six years to complete and is one of the largest public works projects in Salt Lake City history.

The construction team expects to employ those experienced in the latest wastewater treatment technologies—local engineers, pipe layers, journeymen, skilled construction trade workers, foremen and general laborers.  In total, the contracting team expects to hire around 150 people.

About the Contractors

Jacobs is providing overall Program Management services to deliver the New WRF project. Jacobs leads the global professional services sector providing solutions for a more connected, sustainable world. With approximately $12 billion in revenue and a talent force of more than 50,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of services including scientific, technical, professional and construction- and program-management for business, industrial, commercial, government and infrastructure sectors. Jacobs holds an industry leading position across the entire water cycle, offering clients world-leading technical and environmental expertise to address complex challenges across water, wastewater, desalination and flood control challenges. Jacobs recently earned the distinction award for the Water Company of the Year at the 2019 Global Water Awards. The firm was ranked number one by Engineering News-Records in 2019 Top 500 Design Firms and by Trenchless Technology’s 2018 Top 50 Trenchless Engineering Firms. Jacobs is ranked the #1 Most Admired Company in the World in the Engineering, Construction category by Fortune Magazine

AECOM is providing Engineering Design services for the New WRF project. AECOM is a $20.2 billion global company, with 87,000 employees and more than 100 years of experience designing and managing water systems. AECOM has built numerous iconic projects, such as the World Trade Center, One Vanderbilt, and Hudson Yards. Some of AECOM’s related projects include Delhi Sewerage System, Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant, Sha Tin Sewage Treatment Works, Jebel Ali Sewage Treatment Plant, Deer Island Wastewater Treatment Facilities, and Orange County Sanitation District P2-92 Sludge De-watering and Odor Project.  Fortune magazine named AECOM one of the world’s most-admired companies for five consecutive years. 

Sundt Construction/PCL (Joint Venture) is providing Construction Management/General Contractor services to construct the New WRF project. Sundt Construction is one of the country’s largest and most respected general contractors in the US. The 129-year-old firm is 100 percent employee-owned and known nationally for its commitment to quality and innovative approaches to construction services. Since the 1950s, Sundt has constructed some of the most complex water treatment projects in the Southwest. The firm employs over 2,500 people and has 12 offices throughout Utah, Arizona, Texas and California.

PCL Construction, established in 1906, is a group of independent construction companies that works throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, and in Australia and ranked #7 on Engineering-News Record’s Top 400 Contractors in the U.S. These diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial, and building markets are supported by 4,000 full-time professional staff, 10,000 hourly tradespeople, and 31 offices. Together, they have an annual construction volume of $9 billion, making PCL one of the largest contracting organizations in North America. Some of their top recent projects include Tempe Town Lake Downstream Dam Replacement, Riverside Regional Water Quality Control Facility, and San Luis Obispo Water Resource Recovery Facility.

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