Cement Mixers Line ‘The Strip’ for Continuous Pour at Ceasar’s Palace
Cement Mixers Line ‘The Strip’ for Continuous Pour at Ceasar’s PalaceSTURTEVANT, Wis. (June 4, 2004) – The construction crew that poured a huge concrete mat for a new tower of guest rooms at the fabled Caesar’s Palace casino and resort beginning after midnight on Feb. 7 proved that, indeed, Las Vegas never sleeps.
Approximately 130 mixer trucks, three Putzmeister Telebelt® conveyors, five Putzmeister concrete boom pumps and 190 workers placed 11,730 cubic yards during the 16.5-hour continuous pour. Pouring the 40,000-square-foot foundation was among the first major steps in building the 26-story, $289 million structure.
Construction crews said the most challenging aspect of the project was positioning pumping equipment in a confined work site while allowing access for Ready Mixed trucks. To illustrate how small the work site was, three boom pumps, a belt conveyor and eight discharging Ready Mixed trucks were forced at one point to simultaneously squeeze into an area just 40 feet wide.
Perini Corp., Framingham, Mass., was selected as the general contractor for the cast-in-place building. Perini chose Quinn Concrete Pumping, Las Vegas, to handle the continuous pour and related pours ranging from 20 feet below grade to 100 feet above grade.
Quinn Concrete Pumping supplied three Telebelt TB 105 conveyors and five Putzmeister boom pumps: a 58-Meter, 52Z-Meter, 42X-Meter and two 36-Meter models. More equipment would have been ideal for faster completion, but project planners realized that only eight units could fit into the restricted workspace.
“Over the years, we’ve done a lot of pours, but nothing as tight as this one,” said Steve Heimark, operations manager for Quinn Concrete Pumping. “Since this is Caesar’s last piece of real estate for adding onto their existing facility, it basically left almost no room for equipment to efficiently set up and operate.”
Establishing an uninterrupted supply of concrete was another challenge in part because of the difficulty in obtaining enough Ready Mixed drivers. A large pool of drivers was needed so that none would exceed the maximum number of hours they are permitted to continuously work. Three concrete suppliers were retained to meet the demand for drivers: Nevada Ready Mixed Corp., Rinker Materials and Service Rock Products, all of Las Vegas. Choreographing the movements of the cement mixers from three different companies on a site with limited space also proved challenging.
In a sight that grabbed the attention of more than one passerby, dozens of Ready Mixed trucks parked in a long row on Las Vegas Boulevard (The Strip) because no other staging area for the vehicles was available. One traffic lane at Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Boulevard was shut down around midnight, prior to the start of the pour. The lane reopened at 5:30 the following afternoon when the pour was completed.
Although space was reserved to allow two mixer trucks to simultaneously discharge their 4,500-psi, 3/4-inch mix into a pump’s hopper, one truck often had to be driven off site before the next truck could enter. Departing mixer trucks were directed to an area designated for cleanout before returning to their respective batch plants for another load. In total, more than 1,300 loads of concrete would be dispatched.
The 36-Meter boom pump and two high-volume belt conveyors, which are capable of transporting up to 360 yards an hour, placed the bulk of the concrete to reach-grade. Other pieces of equipment subsequently joined in to fill the five-foot-thick mat, which was strengthened by 515 tons of rebar. Meanwhile, the 52Z- and 58-Meter pumps and a third conveyor placed much of the concrete in the 12-foot-thick core, which itself consumed more than 1,200 cubic yards.
Heimark, who was once an operator for Quinn Concrete Pumping, noted, “The three Telebelts were especially beneficial on the small site because their 40-foot-long feed conveyors could be strategically positioned for Ready Mixed trucks to more conveniently access their hoppers.”
Slower outputs routinely occur during the first hour of a major pour because of start-up issues such as priming out, dumping slurry and organizing Ready Mixed truck flow. However, on this job, the crew placed 1,200 yards the first hour. That surpassed expectations by 30 percent.
“The real key to getting this job done with zero downtime was the reliability of the Putzmeister pumps and conveyors,” Heimark said. “They quickly and easily gulped down the tough Vegas mix and placed it without the slightest problem whatsoever.”
Mike “Quinn” Isley, owner of Quinn Concrete Pumping, added, “Even with the space constraints, absolutely everything went off without a hitch. The operators should get special credit. Many have been with me since day one. Their experience makes a difference in how a pour is most efficiently handled.”
Quinn founded his own concrete pumping business five years ago. He initially sprayed shotcrete for swimming pools.
He was the first contractor to aggressively bring the Putzmeister name to Las Vegas – growing his present fleet to eight Putzmeister boom pumps and three Telebelt conveyors while developing a reputation for dependable service and support. These days, Quinn finds himself extremely busy pumping concrete as the fast-paced city that seemingly never sleeps, continues to expand.
With annual hotel occupancy averaging more than 94 percent in the past five years, the operators of Caesar’s Palace are anxious to complete the all-suite, 949-room tower. The tower is located on the south property perimeter, overlooking the Garden of the Gods’ pools. Crews are expected to work 24/7 until the project is finished.
When completed in 2005, the tower will bring the total number of guest rooms at Caesar’s Palace to approximately 3,370. That number could increase because the tower's highest floor will be left largely unfinished to accommodate future development.
Guest rooms will feature nine-foot ceilings and floor plans starting at 650 square feet, or approximately 50 percent larger than typical fine hotel accommodations in major U.S. cities. The new tower also will add a fourth large swimming pool to Caesar’s Palace, a VIP Lounge, wedding chapels, new retail stores and added dining facilities.
Caesar’s Palace is owned by Park Place Entertainment Corp., which characterizes itself as the world's largest gaming company. Park Place owns, manages or has an interest in 27 gaming properties operating under the Caesar’s, Bally's, Flamingo, Grand Casinos, Hilton and Paris brand names with approximately 2 million square feet of gaming space, more than 29,000 hotel rooms and approximately 55,000 employees.
General contractor: Perini Corp., Framingham, Mass.
Pumping contractor: Quinn Concrete Pumping, Las Vegas, Nev.
Concrete suppliers: Nevada Ready Mix, Rinker Materials and Service Rock Products, all of Las Vegas
Equipment: Putzmeister BSF 58.20H, BSF 52Z.16H, BSF 42X.16H, and two BSF 36.16H concrete boom pumps and three Putzmeister TB 105 Telebelt conveyors.