Municipal Parking Garage

Manual concrete chipping can be a dusty, noisy endeavor that subjects workers to risks of injury and illness. When extensive overhead hammering is required on a job, such was the case when Western Specialty Contractors – Springfield, IL Branch restored the City of Springfield's Municipal parking garage recently, the strain on the body can be even greater.

Western was hired by the general contractor on the project, O'Shea Builders of Springfield, IL, to perform overhead patching on the bottom two levels of the concrete parking garage and overhead patching on the helical ramps at the garage's west and east ends. Started in April 2017, the City of Springfield, IL expected the project be completed by the middle of December.

Western began the project using electric chipping hammers to remove the unsound concrete from overhead. This technique proved to be a challenge with crew members holding the hammer above their heads for eight hours a day, five days a week. As a result, production slowed on the project and the decision was made to utilize a PAM machine manufactured by RNP Industries.

The PAM machine safely holds the 30-pound hammer to completely eliminate the ergonomic stress on the worker. The equipment not only helped with the strain on the workers and mitigation of soft tissue injuries, but production increased and the project schedule was able to be maintained.

“At Western, we feel that it is critical for companies to evaluate opportunities to reduce these risks, and in doing so, we have discovered the alternative to manual chipping,” said Western Safety Director Eric Olson. “This machine offers faster and effortless concrete chipping for overhead and vertical surfaces. There is no longer a need to stop and reposition, recover or stretch sore muscles since the workers are not performing the work directly. It also allows workers to stand nearly five feet away from the point of impact so they are able to avoid unexpected falling concrete.”

With the project back on track and the crew working safely, Western hit another snag on the project. With the parking garage located in Downtown Springfield and directly adjacent to the Municipal Building and a busy hotel, the parking garage was at full capacity for most of the time.

Working closely with the general contractor on the project, it was determined that the safest and most effective way to perform the necessary repairs was to close the garage during repair of the ramps.

The garage closure came with an additional acceleration in the schedule. The ramps had to be re-opened and available for use within one month. To meet this deadline, an additional PAM machine was utilized so that both ramps could be repaired at the same time. A total of 1,350 square feet of overhead repairs were performed on the ramps in less than 30 days and the garage was re-opened on time.

In total, Western crews made 810 square feet of beam/joist/column repairs, 380 square feet of full-depth repairs and 70 square feet of partial-depth repairs, coated the top level ramps, and made a total of 963 patches and 4,700 square feet of overhead repairs. The project took a total of 250 days to complete.

The engineer on the project was Hanson Engineering and the architect was FWAI, both of Springfield, IL.

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Little Rock Federal Building

Restoring historic buildings takes ingenuity and flexibility with materials, equipment and manpower. Western Specialty Contractors – Little Rock, AR Branch used all of the above when it restored and waterproofed the historic Federal Building in Little Rock, AR.

Built in 1962, the Federal Building occupies an entire city block at 700 West Capitol Avenue adjacent to the Richard Sheppard Arnold United States Post Office and Courthouse. The building is a large, seven-story, modern structure utilizing curtain-wall construction with narrow windows separated by limestone spandrels. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2015.

Western was contracted by general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie to replace all of the building's exterior caulking, which included limestone to limestone joints, limestone to window frames, glass to window frames, and the sidewalk joints. The total amount of caulking to be replaced exceeded 165,000 lineal feet.

Crews from the Little Rock Branch teamed up with workers from Western's Atlanta, GA Branch to complete the extensive work and meet the project's seven-month schedule.

Western workers utilized four, 40-foot swing stages to access the building's 26 total drops. Since the owner was concerned with the unique roof conditions for rigging the swing stages, Western crews provided stage certification and weight calculations for each swing stage.

“Over 100 sheets of plywood were used for roof protection,” said Western Branch Manager Travis DeJohn. “We also used a crane to mobilize and de-mobilize the equipment to and from the roof.”

The scope of work also included replacing limestone at the exterior planters and restoring expansion joints in the underground, 100-foot-long, concrete tunnel that connects the Federal Building and another government facility.

Western's crews removed the tunnel's steel plate covers and existing filler and installed new polyurethane grout in the joints, as well as new steel cover plates.

The owner also requested that only two of the four building entrances be affected at a time during the restoration work.  Western worked closely with the general contractor to phase its work to meet the owner's requirement.

The project was completed on time and within budget. A total of 8,246 work hours were used to complete the project.

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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.

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Glen Oak Towers

Glen Oak Towers is a housing building in Peoria, IL that gives preference to seniors, veterans and people with disabilities. Originally constructed in 1954, the 15-story masonry structure and its attached 40-space parking garage were showing signs of deterioration and corrosion of the concrete surfaces, as well as weathering from salts and deicers brought into the garage from outside vehicles. Western Specialty Contractors – Springfield, IL branch recently completed restoration of both structures, as two separate projects.

For the first project, Western crews restored the parking structure, located on the back side of the building. With the garage's main level and its suspended deck completely enclosed, the total floor space per level was approximately 10,000 square feet.

The garage exhibited extensive damage to its concrete decking in the form of spalling and cracking, and corrosion to its structural concrete members. Western crews performed approximately 3,100 square feet of full-depth concrete repairs (30% of the suspended deck), 550 lineal feet of structural joist repairs, 55 lineal feet of structural beam repairs, removal of 1,500 square feet of asphalt topping on the upper level and installation 825 lineal feet of gravity-fed epoxy injection.

Western crews installed shoring to support the concrete areas that were not to be removed during the restoration process. The shoring also acted as the support framework for the form work and false floor that had to be used for fall protection.

In order to keep the garage operable for tenants, Western crews performed the garage repairs in three phases. In the first phase, new concrete was installed using a concrete pump. In the second and third phases, new concrete was placed using a concrete buggy to move material through the garage. Once the concrete repairs were completed, Western crews applied a two-component, fast-cure traffic membrane on the elevated parking level.

The garage restoration project started in December, 2015 and was completed in four months.

For the second project, Western crews performed masonry restoration on the building's challenging facade. Crews performed necessary tuckpointing throughout the building and replaced over 5,000 spalled and broken bricks, which were mainly at the shelf angles. Western crews also installed new weeps along all of the shelf angles to allow water that may have penetrated the wall to drain out. Workers then re-sealed all of the shelf angles with a silicone sealant. Western crews also sealed around all newly installed windows, using a Dow Corning silicone sealant.

Due to the building having a lot of ins and outs, Western crews were required to change the sizes of the swing stages often during the masonry restoration project.

“Access was difficult since there were lower roof areas that were not connected all the way around, so we had to move the stages up and down off the roof levels as we went around the entire building,” said Western Springfield, IL Branch Manager Scott Haas. “Roof anchors needed to be installed in order to tie back the swing stages properly.”

The facade restoration project was completed in October, 2016.

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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.

 

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Illinois National Bank

Historic restoration experts Western Specialty Contractors – Springfield, IL Branch recently completed a two-month project to repair the limestone base of landmark Illinois National Bank (INB) in Springfield, IL.

 

Located in the city's prominent historical section, just blocks from President Abraham Lincoln's home and the Old State Capitol, the building's limestone base had deteriorated over time due to age, weathering and salts/deicers applied to the concrete sidewalks and streets adjacent to the building.

 

Bank owners contacted Western Specialty Contractors directly to make the needed repairs and maintain the building's historical integrity. Western consulted on the project with Cathedral Stone, a nationwide manufacturer of limestone and brick masonry restoration materials.

 

“After in-depth discussions with all parties about replacing the limestone pieces versus restoration patching, it was decided that the deteriorated limestone would be patched with limestone repair mortar Jahn M70 manufactured by Cathedral Stone,” said Scott Haas, Western Springfield, IL Branch Manager. “This restoration technique made more sense than replacing the limestone, which would have required removal and reinstallation of some windows in order to replace some of the stones.”

 

Before any materials were ordered for the project, restoration experts with Western and Cathedral Stone performed onsite mockups of the patch material to determine a custom-designed mix ratio to match the existing limestone as closely as possible. The craftsmen utilized on the project were Jahn Certified Installers, trained by Cathedral Stone in the use of their materials.

 

The first step in restoring the limestone was to remove the loose and deteriorated limestone back to a depth needed to reach a sound and solid surface. Crews used light-duty electric hammers to accomplish this task.

 

Western's craftsmen then custom-mixed the Jahn M70 restoration mortar and patched the cavities by hand. The limestone pieces were unique in shape and ornament, so matching the existing profile as closely as possible was of high importance.

 

“The repair material was over-filled, which allowed it to set to the necessary state,” said Haas. “Then we shaved and carved the pieces manually to match the existing limestone.”

 

Bank officials were pleased with Western's attention to detail and efforts to preserve the building's historical integrity.

 

“Our building is almost 100 years old. Over our years of ownership, we've tried to maintain its original integrity, and the work done by Western's staff helps assure we can do this going forward as well. We appreciate the tenacity of the local crew that spent many hot summer days on our sidewalks perfecting their work,” said Tom Gihl, INB executive vice president and chief operating officer.

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