On October 9, RALCO Electric & Generator was presented with the ABC Rhode Island Excellence in Construction award, for our work on a US Coast Guard project in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  Great job to all the team members involved in this project.

Below we’ll take a look at that project, and how it ultimately turned out.

RALCO Electric was involved from the beginning of this design-build project with Haskell’s construction project team to assist in budgeting, planning and coordinating all construction phases at the U.S. Coast Guard Woods Hole facility. The preconstruction plan was presented to the U.S. Coast Guard for approval and was approved within three weeks of submission.

RALCO Electric’s planning started immediately on getting critical dates, time lines and projected delivery dates of equipment to the site. Having our Foreman involved right from the beginning of the project, allowed us to work with other trades to eliminate many scheduling conflicts. This allowed for all trades to work harmoniously without affecting each other’s install schedule and eliminating “stacking of all the trades.”

Through multiple meetings with the U.S. Coast Guard and all project team members, it was clear that the site was heavily congested and staging areas were minimal at best. The site allowed only two construction trailers, one 20-foot storage container for all trades to share and one vehicle per trade. All construction materials needed to be staged off site and properly coordinated with timely deliveries. Upon neighbors being notified of the construction project, immediate restrictions were placed on deliveries and workable hours to minimize disturbances. All deliveries needed to be scheduled between 8 A.M. and 10 A.M. with no exceptions. The limitations placed on working hours created additional challenges with the coordination of installing utilities and communications.

The project located in a flood zone involved erecting two new buildings on piers. One 15,000 sq. ft. maintenance building and another 20,000 sq. ft. Station building for off shore personnel with a command center. Prior to any new buildings being constructed, demolition of two existing buildings needed to be performed. The challenge presented with the removal of these buildings was they powered several auxiliary buildings and the shore power needed for the coast guard fleet which required temporary feeds. Additionally, existing communication infrastructure were temporarily re-routed from the existing buildings. The overall goal of the project was to leave the U.S. Coast Guard with an updated secure communication and CCTV network controlled from a new command center located in the Station building. Temporary power and communication structures needed to be placed in areas that could not be removed until the project was substantially complete. Once permanent structures were erected the changeover of power, communications and CCTV services were carefully coordinated to eliminate down time. During construction it was also discovered that the remaining original buildings that were not part of the project needed to have an upgraded fire alarm system. The fire alarm upgrade was added to the scope of work and finished under the original contract date.

The U.S. Coast Guard facility rests just steps away from the ocean presenting the challenge of a high-water table for the site. Trenches dug which encompassed the conduit for underground utilities would continuously fill with water requiring constant monitoring, pumping and well-timed install of underground duct-banks during low tide. Prefab was essential for this project as staging areas were minimal at best. Preparing underground conduits off site along with rigid conduit bends and cuts were necessary to overcome the installation between the ocean tide’s schedule. Temporary power stands and prefabbing light fixture whips where some of the additional prefab solutions used on this project. Performing pre-fab work off site increased efficiency and increased our ability to control timely deliveries to the site. Additionally, all of RALCO Electric’s vendors were made aware of the staging process and delivery schedule which allowed for proper release of all equipment.

Working adjacent to the ocean, accommodations for severe ocean storms with multiple floods of the construction site needed to be managed. This project challenged us in many ways such as dealing with minimal staging areas, time restricted deliveries, planning for one vehicle on site and coordinating installs of underground conduits with tidal currents.

TEAM RALCO successfully accomplished their goals for Haskell and the U.S. Coast Guard. It was not one individual that made this project a success, it was a combined team effort and hard work of everyone involved including the Estimators, Project Managers, Project Planner, Foreman, Journeyman Electricians and Apprentices.

It was not one individual that made this project a success, it was combined effort and hard work of everyone involved.

Published On: October 12, 2019

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