Placing a Strong Foundation
Placing a Strong FoundationSpecific concrete mix helps keep Potawatomi Bingo Casino expansion out of the water
STURTEVANT, WI (October 1, 2007) – Speed and efficiency are key to the $240 million dollar Potawatomi Bingo Casino expansion in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The move to triple the size of the popular Casino has put contractors working in the Menomonee Valley, formerly a heavy-industry populated area, on a very aggressive timeline. With concrete pours nearly every day, the project is on the fast track toward its completion date in fall 2008.
Drawing in More Employees and Guests
With the expansion to the Casino, the Forest County Potawatomi Community of Wisconsin, owner and developer of the project, is aiming to answer guests’ requests for various updates to the Casino put forth in guest surveys conducted in 2004 and 2005.
Updates and renovations in the expansion include:
•An additional 530,000 square feet of entertainment/gaming space
•A new six-story, 1,800-capacity parking garage
•Underground valet parking
•A vehicular bridge connecting to an existing parking structure
•1,500 additional interactive slot machines, bringing the total to approximately 3,100
•More than 80 additional table games, bringing the total to 125
•Two new restaurants, a food court and center-lounge area
In addition to providing a facelift to the Casino, the expansion is helping to spur a resurgence of business in the Menomonee Valley.
“The revitalization of the Menomonee Valley is important to Forest County Potawatomi,” says Potawatomi Bingo Casino general manager Mike Goodrich. “This $240 million project is a commitment to increase the Valley’s profile and reinforce Potawatomi’s position as Wisconsin’s largest entertainment destination.”
According to the Forest County Potawatomi Community, the two-year project will create more than 500 construction jobs and 1,000 additional jobs at the Casino once the renovations are complete. Currently, Indian gaming accounts for 35,000 direct and indirect jobs throughout the state of Wisconsin.
Breaking ground in August 2006, the Forest County Potawatomi Community teamed up with Gilbane Building Company (Gilbane), construction manager on the project, who subcontracted the concrete work to J.H. Findorff & Son Inc (Findorff). Gilbane’s goal is to bring guests’ suggestions for enhancements to the Casino a reality.
“With four million guests walking through the doors of the Casino each year, they’ve outgrown the existing Casino facility. All of the renovations being made, from expanded gaming areas to the restaurants and parking structure, were in high demand by the Casino’s guests,” says Bob Fenlon, senior project executive for Gilbane. As the construction manager, Gilbane oversees all daily activities on the project, including scheduling, safety and quality assurance.
Placing a Safe Bet on the Right Mix
As a result of the project’s location, right next to the Menomonee River and below water level, Mark Schneider, project superintendent for Findorff, says a team of engineers had to come up with a special concrete mix design for the gaming building and valet parking concrete foundations. The new gaming building is made up of three separate, four-level sections; the West, East and Central sections.
“A 5,000-psi mix is being used for both the gaming building sections and valet parking concrete foundation,” notes Schneider. “The mix design includes a water proofing agent known as Kryton, a mid-range water reducer and a ¾" stone aggregate. The mat slab is 18” to 21” thick and rests on a series of pile caps.”
In addition, the designers also included a waterproof membrane underneath the concrete foundation to provide an extra layer of protection.
Boom Pumps on Demand
Schneider and his team called on Sussex, Wisconsin-based Gordy’s Concrete Pumping to provide almost their entire fleet of Putzmeister truck-mounted concrete boom pumps to place the 40,000 cubic yards of concrete needed for this project.
“Gordy’s has used their 32-, 36-, 42-, 46-, 55- and 63Z-Meter truck-mounted boom pumps on the Casino expansion to place about 22,000 cubic yards to date for various concrete foundations, mat slabs and decks,” says Mike Salmon, Gordy’s territory manager.
Gordy’s team first started on the Casino expansion project in March 2007. One of their larger pours occurred in May 2007 with their 55- and 63Z-Meter truck-mounted concrete pumps for an eight-hour, 2,300-cubic yard mat pour.
“With the overall aggressive schedule of this project and their extensive truck-mounted boom pump inventory, we know Gordy’s is able to respond when we need them. They’re on-site almost every day,” says Schneider. “Gordy’s has whatever boom lengths a day’s pour requires.”
“We have built a strong working relationship with Findorff by providing our services and equipment to them for the past few years,” says Salmon. “We’re very much enjoying working with them again, especially on such a large and ongoing project.”
“As a result of taking advantage of Gordy’s full line of pumps, it freed up the cranes for other project use,” notes Schneider. “This also maximized our pumping dollar. Pumping the concrete is definitely the only way to go.”
According to Salmon, for a project of this size, it usually takes a year-and-a-half to place the 40,000 cubic yards of concrete by traditional methods.
“With our Putzmeister inventory and ability to respond to Schneider’s team quickly, we’re able to place the concrete in the mere 10-month time period required by the project schedule,” notes Salmon. “We place on average of about 4,000 cubic yards of concrete per month for this project.”
To top off the roof level of the West section of the gaming building and place the second deck of the East section of the Casino building, Schneider’s team had Gordy’s bring in their 55-Meter and “Big Dog” 63Z-Meter boom pumps in late June 2007. The two units placed a combined total of 900 cubic yards of the 5,000-psi concrete in four hours.
“We had both the 55- and 63Z-Meter extended at their maximum vertical reach for this pour, which was very useful and impressive. What really helped us was the versatile five-section 63Z-Meter at its maximum 203' 9" vertical reach,” comments Salmon. “The 260 yd3/hr output has helped immensely to meet the rigid project deadlines.”
The horizontal reaches of the two pumps allowed Gordy’s to place the concrete easily and exactly where needed, according to Salmon. The pumps also allowed for a quick setup on the restrictive job site.
Gordy’s will be on the site placing concrete until early 2008.
One of the project’s first milestones, the completion of the vehicular bridge which connects the James E. Groppi Unity Bridge to the Casino’s existing parking structure, opened on June 21, 2007. The new bridge will ease traffic flow in the Menomonee Valley, eliminating thousands of car trips annually on Canal Street near the Casino.
According to Schneider, construction on the West section of the Casino is just about complete, while the East section is starting form work for the third floor, and the Central section is on the brink of placing concrete. All sections will be complete in December 2007.
One of the next big highlights for this project will be completion of the new six-story parking garage in November 2007. Gordy’s will, again, be using their truck-mounted boom pumps to place the concrete.