Great Projects: Major win for SFO joint venture Runway Safety Area project with early finish

Golden Gate Constructors, a joint venture of Graniterock and DeSilva Gates, successfully completed an $87 million safety improvement project at San Francisco International Airport that required dozens of team members Company-wide working six days a week for the past three months.

The federally mandated project - known as the Runway Safety Area Program - involved closing two of SFO's four runways, 1L and 1R, to create safety zones at each end. The dual closures prompted changes to SFO's air traffic, which pushed all planes to two runways and reduced the number of daily flights. Similar safety improvements are required at 40 airports nationwide.

The One Company effort at SFO was felt throughout the Construction, Construction Materials and Transportation Divisions, with each division playing a vital role in the safety project's successful early completion.

Construction started May 15, 2014 and a total of 105,000 man hours were utilized over the three months with Zero incidents.

Working closely with DeSilva Gates, Graniterock finished the runway safety upgrade Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014, more than a month ahead of schedule and allowed California's second busiest airport to resume normal flight operations. Getting the runways opened early was a critical milestone in the project, which provided a significant financial incentive to the Company.

"Trying to achieve project success while getting to know your new JV partner under a tight time constraint was truly a complex task," said Area Manager Terry Tuggey. "Our team performed and developed some friendships along the way that will never be forgotten. On top of that challenge was the pursuit of beating an aggressive schedule and still maintaining a great relationship of 20 years with the SFO staff. Each of these challenges was conquered!"

Nearly 300 team members in all played an important part throughout the three months to shut down runways, construct safety fences, set up plants and equipment, demolish old runways, stockpile materials and prepare for the reconstruction.

The project management team consisted of Dave Olivas, Jack Headley, Gary Hartranft, Doug Shirk, Dan Enachioaie and John Garcia. Underground and concrete work was headed up by Matt Christie, Darien Shirk and Daryle Lightfoot. The paving crew was directed by Mario Darosa, Robert Lauderdale and Jason Bauer.

Quality control was overseen by Frank Rancadore and EMAS installation was led by Griffin Hyde and Jose Darosa. Diana Alarcon was in charge of all dispatch for the project.

The competitive low bid could not have been won without the excellent work by estimators Bob Williams, Paul Brizzolara and Rob Snyder.

Construction of the safety zones at each end of the runways involved installing 22,532 blocks of crushable concrete that collapse as they catch a plane's landing gear and slow it to a stop before reaching the end of the strip. The crushable concrete blocks are known as Engineered Material Arresting System or EMAS.

Interesting numbers from the project:

130,000 cubic yards of excavation work

120,000 tons of cement treated base

160,000 tons of asphalt paving

$3 million underground

$3 million EMAS blocks

$25 million electrical

$22 million paving/cement treated base