Kirkpatrick Plaza Parking Deck

Parking garages are important structures that require extensive maintenance to minimize damage from environmental stressors and daily wear-and-tear. And when parking is at a premium, contractors must make sure repairs are performed in a timely manner and with as little disruption as possible to drivers.

Such was the case when Western Specialty Contractors – Little Rock, AR Branch restored a three-level parking structure for the Kirkpatrick Plaza office building at 10800 Financial Centre Pkwy. Western was contracted by the property manager, Colliers International, which leases office space ranging in size from 577 to 18,317 square feet at the five-story Kirkpatrick Plaza office building.

Western's scope of work on the parking garage included replacing caulking in the garage's exterior precast to precast joints, replacing the caulking at the interior concrete columns to the precast panels, patching concrete, replacing the caulking in the slab control joints, installing deck coating on the top level of the deck and two-thirds of the second level, coating the exterior of the parking deck and installing structural steel brackets.

The scope of work also included applying an epoxy coating to heavily pitted concrete to level the roughness and create a smoother finish for the deck coating application.

Since parking is at a premium in the area, Western's crews could not have access to the entire parking garage at one time. Western met with the property manager and an owner representative to establish a phasing plan which allowed Western's crews to have access to one level of the deck at a time.

Another challenge that Western's crews faced on the project occurred during the deck coating application process. The material used had a minimum and a maximum temperature range for application. At the scheduled time for the coating application, the temperature exceeded the maximum temperature for application, therefore the deck coating was applied at night when the temperatures were cooler.

Despite the challenges, Western completed the project on time and within budget. Western crews worked over 3,000 hours and applied approx. 44,000 square feet of deck coating and 12,000 lineal feet of caulking to get the job done.


One Arlington Parking Structure

Western Specialty Contractors – Chicago Concrete Restoration Branch recently repaired and protected a leaking concrete slab covering the parking garage at One Arlington in Arlington Heights, IL using a UV-stable urethane waterproofing membrane system.

Western's crews were able to prevent the deteriorated slab from further abuse, and protect the parking garage from damaging water infiltration and environmental exposures. The fluid-applied waterproofing system used is resistant to standing water, ultra violet fading, acid rain and chemical pollutants.

Renovated and opened in 2014, One Arlington is a luxury apartment complex located adjacent to the Arlington International Racecourse. When originally constructed, the underground parking garage roof, which also serves as the building's main driveway, was left exposed to the elements and not covered by a concrete topping slab, which is traditionally specified.

Years of punishing weather conditions had caused the 32,000-square-foot slab to crack severely, causing water to infiltrate into the enclosed parking structure below.

Western Specialty Contractors was contracted by Stoneleigh Companies to repair the concrete slab. The owner also hired a consultant to make recommendations for protecting the slab from future damage, and to address the excessive amount of leaking into the structure.

“It was determined that the issues would be addressed by systematically sealing the slab cracks and applying a urethane waterproofing membrane system to the entire surface,” said Chicago Concrete Restoration Branch Manager Steve Genovese. “Additionally, supplemental floor drains were added in multiple locations throughout the area to alleviate ponding issues.”

The repairs were performed in phases to maintain access into and out of the building at all times. The project was completed with a new line striping layout to maximize all of the available space. Western was able to complete the project on schedule and under budget.



Nalley Ford

Crews with the Western Specialty Contractors Atlanta, GA Branch recently completed a one-month project to repair, restore and protect a three-level, concrete parking garage used by Nalley Ford of Sandy Springs, GA to store new car inventory.

Western crews surveyed each parking deck individually to determine specific damage for each, then provided the owner with a detailed outline of recommended work needed to restore each level. The dealer worked to sell down inventory and rotate his vehicles to make room in the garage for Western's crews to begin work.

Top Level

Western crews began restoration of the top level, which is most exposed to the elements, by cleaning all concrete surfaces using a high-pressure water blaster (3,000 psi). Once the pressure washing was complete, Western crews heavily saturated the concrete surfaces with an Enviroseal 20 clear penetrating sealer. Approximately 5,580 lineal feet of existing cracks and control joints were routed, then sealed with a urethane sealant. Western crews went on to remove approximately 318 lineal feet of existing sealant around the perimeter joint, then lightly grinded the joint edges to remove any loose residual sealant. A new urethane sealant was then applied.

A total of 1,300 square feet of new pour strips were installed to allow for expansion/contraction of the concrete intersections. Slab areas, perimeter column caps and exterior wall weld plate embeds where deteriorated/cracked concrete was detected were saw cut and chiseled out and replaced with new concrete.

At the exterior wall joints, approximately 550 lineal feet of existing sealant was removed, grinded down and replaced with a new urethane sealant. Oxidation at the exterior wall weld plates was removed and an epoxy chromate primer and urethane top coat applied.

To complete the top level restoration, Western crews applied two coats of Thorolastic elastomeric coating to approximately 8,160 square feet of wall substrate and applied an Autogard FC traffic-deck coating system manufactured by Neogard to the deck.

Intermediate Level

Western crews cleaned all concrete surfaces using a high-pressure water blaster, routed approximately 5,580 lineal feet of existing cracks and control joints, then sealed them with a urethane sealant. Approximately 540 lineal feet of existing sealant around the perimeter joints was removed and replaced with a urethane sealant.  Oxidation on corbal bearing plates and double tee bearing plates was removed and refinished with an alphatic urethane top coat. The precast wall perimeter was also re-sealed and repairs were made to damaged columns, which were resealed with two coats of an anti-corrosion bond inhibitor. Damaged concrete on the slab floor was saw cut and chipped out and replaced with new concrete.

Lower Level

On the lower level, Western crews removed oxidation on the gusseted steel corbeis, spanning plates and double tee bearing plates, then applied an alphatic urethane top coat. Deteriorated concrete around the beams was removed, any damaged steel replaced and the beams patched with new concrete. On areas where steel web was showing as a result of deteriorating concrete, the surrounding concrete was removed, the damaged steel was replaced and the area patched with new concrete.

The techniques and materials used by Western to restore the parking garage will protect it for many years to come.



Millennium Lakeside Garage at Maggie Daley Park

Open park space within urban environments is vital to the development and general well-being of the surrounding communities. As the population in these areas continues to grow and become more dense, the need for dedicated park space also becomes more imperative. Modern park designs require out of the box thinking and a creative approach.

Chicago-based Western Specialty Contractors recently completed a mammoth project to restore and waterproof a 750,000-square-foot concrete parking garage (equivalent to 12 football fields) located underneath the newly designated, 20-acre Maggie Daley Park in Downtown Chicago. Western served as the prime contractor on the garage project.

Formerly known as Daley Bicentennial Plaza, Maggie Daley Park is part of a larger network of adjacent parks including Millennium Park to the west and Grant Park to the south. It is bordered on the east by Lake Michigan and Lake Shore Drive. Together these interconnected garages comprise the largest parking facility in the country.

Named after Chicago's beloved former First Lady Maggie Daley who died of breast cancer in 2011, the iconic Maggie Daley Park was designed to breathe life back into the downtown area. A portion of the park, including a play garden and ice-skating ribbon that can accommodate 700 skaters at one time, was opened to the public in December 2014. Additional work on the park is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2015.

The $60 million project was divided into three phases – removal of the existing park by James McHugh Construction Company; waterproofing and repairs to the concrete parking structure by Western Specialty Contractors and American Hydrotech; and re-installation of the park and construction of its new features by Walsh Construction.

The concrete parking structure, originally constructed and waterproofed in the 1970s, had become compromised from years of wear and tear and ground water infiltration. Essentially a giant green roof, ensuring proper waterproofing of the large parking structure was key to maintaining the structural integrity of the garage beneath the park. The scope of the parking garage project included structural repairs to the existing concrete roof slab, full removal and re-installation of a new waterproofing system and major drainage improvements. The project was full of challenges along the way related to logistics, coordination with other contractors, a tight schedule, public relations, location of the project, and the sheer size of the job-site. In order to help with job-site logistics, security and contractor coordination, high definition cameras installed high above the park were used on a daily basis to coordinate daily activities, work locations, material staging locations, as well as job site safety and security.

The project began with Desman Associates, a Chicago-based engineering firm, researching solutions to resolve the parking garage's major drainage issues. While the parking garage sloped naturally from north to south, pooling water had become a problem in specific areas due to the lack of drains throughout the massive garage roof. This problem was solved by the installation of numerous new drains and a composite drainage mat system.

After the existing park (Daley Bicentennial Plaza) was completely demolished and removed from the site, work began on preparing the 750,000-square-foot surface for application of the new waterproofing system. The entire surface of the concrete roof was power washed and then shot-blasted to achieve the proper surface profile required by the waterproofing manufacturer. Next, installation of the waterproofing system began.

The waterproofing system, manufactured by American Hydrotech, consisted of seven layers, which all serve an important function in the overall operation of the system. The initial step of applying the system included spraying the concrete deck with primer. The next phase required melting 40-pound, rubberized asphalt bricks to a liquid state by heating them to 400 degrees in a kettle. The rubberized asphalt would then be poured out onto the concrete, while it was still hot and in its liquid state. Workers then spread the rubberized asphalt out to evenly coat the area. In total, this project required over 1.3 million pounds of rubberized asphalt applied by multiple crews consisting of 40 workers per day.

Constant measurements were taken during the process to confirm that the material was not being spread too heavy or too thin along the deck. After the first layer of rubberized asphalt was spread out, workers rolled reinforcing felt fabric onto the layer of melted rubber, while still in its liquid state. Another layer of melted rubber would then be poured and spread out over the area. The next step required workers to roll out sheets of heavy-duty, rubberized asphalt protection board, which was specially made to prevent tree roots from puncturing the waterproofing.

The final layers of the system included a drainage mat, filter fabric and approximately 400,000 cubic feet of gravel overburden. In order to help speed up the project, Western worked directly with the manufacturer to have special, extra large rolls of drainage mat made for the project. Standard rolls of drainage mat are 4’x75’ (300 SF), but American Hydrotech manufactured job-specific rolls that were 7’x150’ (1,050 SF). This helped to keep the project on schedule. Installing the layer of gravel overburden was completed by Walsh, although a large amount of coordination was required between Walsh and Western to accomplish the task.

At the same time that waterproofing work was being completed on the topside of the garage roof, structural repairs were being performed on the underside of the roof slab. Coordination between crews on the topside and underside of the slab was a daily challenge for the management team. Use of cell phones was not an option due to very limited reception inside the garage. In order to overcome this obstacle, Western’s management team was headquartered inside the garage for the duration of the work.

Another obstacle Western encountered during this work was poor ventilation. This problem was solved by using high-powered vacuum fans to circulate air throughout the work locations. Since a large portion of the garage was closed during this work, every day represented a loss of possible revenue to the owner. Therefore, there was no room for extensions in the schedule. 24/7 monitoring of the garages was also required during this work due to high volumes of pedestrian traffic in the area.

The work inside the garage consisted of 3,000 square feet of overhead concrete replacement, and the detachment of two pedestrian access tunnels from the garage. Due to the excessive loads placed on the roof slab by the park above, the concrete slab was poured with additional reinforcing steel. This made removal of delaminated concrete more difficult. All 3,000 square feet of the concrete was removed using hand-held jack-hammers. After removal, all exposed rebar was sandblasted and coated. When prep work was complete, concrete was re-applied using a dry-mix, shotcrete method.

To ensure that there were no breaches in the waterproofing system after it had been installed, International Leak Detection (ILD) was hired to use its sophisticated Electric Field Vector Mapping (EFVM) technology to locate even the smallest leak in the roofing membrane.

The garage restoration work took a total of 33,554 hours to complete, with about 45 workers on the job per day.


Willard Ice Parking Garage

The Willard Ice Parking Garage in Springfield, Illinois, underwent a $2.5 million concrete restoration using Western Specialty Contractors expertise. The post-tension concrete repair, notoriously difficult, required the assistance of both the St. Louis, Missouri and Springfield branches to complete. And because the garage would have to be closed during this work, time was of the essence.

This restoration project required 130 tension splice repairs, 60 new post-tension anchors and 180,000 square feet of re-shoring. Crews used hydro demolition to expose and remove the delaminated areas and replace significant portions of the deck. On days when concrete was poured or replaced, 40-50 Western employees from two different offices converged to meet this project’s manpower needs. Workers re-stressed and pressurized tension anchors upon pouring the concrete to ensure the garage’s safety and stability.

Through the collaborative efforts of two offices, Western completed this project on time and budget.

Holiday Inn Downtown

Iowa winters are tough on concrete buildings and structures. The parking deck at the Holiday Inn in Downtown Des Moines was no exception. Exposed to the elements and deicing salts, the top level had ongoing maintenance issues due to the deterioration of the existing concrete. Patching concrete spalls in several locations was not in the best interest of the hotel owners for long term repair.

Shuck Britson Engineers were contacted to survey the deck and then develop a restoration specification. Based on the engineer’s design, repairs would be made on a much larger scale. Western Specialty Contractors was awarded the contract for work.

After logistics were covered concerning phasing of the work and installation of shoring, demolition began. Once the deteriorated concrete was removed, approximately 7,500 square feet of new topping slab was placed in four phases.

The project was completed in early fall.