2021 Top Jobs: Communications – TARI Telecommunication Duct Bank

TARI Telecommunication Duct Bank
Editor’s Note: In each issue, Utility Contractor will profile NUCA’s Top Job winners. These projects present the association’s best and most innovative work that keep our country’s utility networks operating at peak performance. To nominate your project for Top Jobs, visit: nuca.com/topjobs

Cleary Construction Inc. contracted under and partnered with Superior Construction, to successfully complete the Terminal Access Roadway Improvements (TARI) Telecommunications Duct Bank System for the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority (MNAA) at Nashville International Airport (BNA). The project included the installation of nearly 12,000 lf of 12-, 10-, 8- and 4-way duct bank encased in concrete totaling over 100,000 lf of 4-in. Schedule 40 conduit, as well as 126 Tier 22 polymer concrete pull boxes.
The project included five large-diameter bores through solid limestone, including one 36-in. (317 lf) and two 30-in. (280 lf and 295 lf) steel cased jack-and-bores and two 24-in. (595 lf and 130 lf) DR11 IPS HDPE directional drills

The communications duct bank utilized roughly 2,400 cu yd of 3,000 psi concrete encasement and began in the median between on/off ramps of I-40 and continued south to run parallel with the newly rehabilitated Runway 2R/20L (pronounced “2 Right, 20 Left”).

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As with all large-scale utility projects in the Middle Tennessee area, the most challenging problem is rock. To excavate this rock in a timely manner, Cleary implemented the use of several different tools including the use of large hydraulic hammers, track hoe mounted drum grinders, and a large Vermeer 1055 trencher. Having the trencher onsite early and prior to conduit installation was key for Cleary in expediting the installation process.

The opening of Runway 2R/20L was an additional challenge. The requirement to have the almost 2,500 ft of encased duct bank installed, cleaned up and stabilized prior to the opening ceremony for the runway presented an extremely tight timeline. Detailed coordination was necessary with the runway general contractor over the runway reconstruction to coordinating trucks, material, and Cleary’s workforce to access the runway work areas to install the duct bank. Cleary kept close contact with all its subcontractors to ensure this portion of the project was installed in a timely manner to coincide with several other contractor schedules.

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Additionally, during the material procurement process, COVID-19 and the global material supply chain crisis added pressure and additional restrictions. Cleary still pushed on in belief that the project could still be completed on schedule, adding extra equipment, more project resources and additional manpower all while implementing the safest and most practical COVID-19 practices.

Innovative Ideas

Upon notice of the Runway 2R/20L opening date, Cleary immediately shifted focus from instead of laying the project out in a defined straight forward path, to jump to the rear of the project and ensure that the runway opening would not be impeded by the current duct bank installation. Several areas of the project were also altered to give the owner the best possible product in a cost-efficient way, including shifting bore pits and value-engineering depths of installation while maintaining adequate coverage of the duct bank and avoiding existing utilities.

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Subcontractors, Suppliers & Equipment

Cleary Construction Inc. worked with several trusted subcontractors on this project including Down Ta Earth Inc., a reliable and long-term jack-and-boring partner that uses Barbco equipment. Down Ta Earth pushed all the 30- and 36-in. steel casing underneath I-40 and Donelson Pike. Local contractor Brooks Excavation Contractor LLC of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, stood ready to tackle the task of a nearly 600-lf, 24-in. directional drill underneath a new taxiway on Runway 2R/20L, as well as a 130 lf 24-in. HDD under existing Donelson Pike using Ditch Witch machinery. Mid-TN Erosion Control was also on board as a subcontractor and supplier for all things erosion control as well as final hydroseed grassing. They worked tirelessly to provide BNA with the cleanest and best possible final product. Cleary used Caterpillar equipment and the Vermeer trencher on the project. Stone was purchased from Vulcan Materials Co.

Benefit to the Client & Community

The nearly 2.3-mile stretch of telecommunication duct bank will provide all the communication companies involved (AT&T, Verizon, Charter, and Comcast) as well as the airport authority (MNAA) with a long-lasting and easy-to-access duct bank for communication fiber. The TARI Telecom Duct Bank will ensure that MNAA has the right infrastructure to continue to grow and expand its capabilities as a world-class international airport authority coinciding with the vision for the future of Nashville. Cleary Construction Inc. hopes to continue working with MNAA to expand its footprint and service to the region.

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“The construction of this new infrastructure was critical to allow for the relocation of numerous telecommunication lines to make way for the future expanded airport loop road and parking lots as well as the future relocated Donelson Pike by TDOT. This project had multiple restrictions requiring close coordination with different contractors and construction schedules that proved to be a challenge along with multiple material delays due to COVID-19 and nationwide supply chain issues. Superior and Cleary partnered to navigate through these issues and complete the project,” according to Sam Lathers, Construction Manager, Superior Construction.


Project Name: TARI Telecommunication Duct Bank
Project Owner: Nashville International Airport
Location: Nashville, TN
Contractor: Superior Construction, Jacksonville, FL (Prime); Cleary Construction Inc., Tompkinsville, KY (Sub)

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