TOP JOBS – 2017 Excavation/Site Development Winner

Indianwood Washout Repair

SR-710 Indianwood Washout Repair

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:

On Sept. 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma crashed into the Florida coast as a Category 4 storm, causing extensive damage from high winds and flooding due to storm surges and heavy rainfall. Wind speeds surpassed 175 mph, the highest seen in the state since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. All told, damages were estimated at more than $50 billion, making Irma one of the costliest hurricanes in U.S. history.

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Among the damage was a driveway culvert in Indiantown, a town of 6,000 residents located on the Treasure Coast between Lake Okeechobee and the Atlantic Ocean in southern Florida. The culvert had completely washed away as a result of flood waters, eliminating the main entrance to 583 homes as well as the Indianwood Golf & Country Club, leaving an 8-ft hole, 25-ft wide, where the roadway used to stand.

On Sept. 19, 2017, a little more than a week after Irma made landfall in Florida, Johnson-Davis Inc. of Fort Pierce, Florida, was awarded an emergency contract – the SR-710 Indianwood Washout Repair – by the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to repair the culvert, which was located just off SR-710, also known as the Beeline Highway.

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The scope of work consisted of removing all rubble, dirt, asphalt, and damaged driveway that was washed away in the canal as a result of the storm; re-grade the canal banks, re-build the 60-in. diameter corrugated metal pipe (CMP) pipe culvert (~120 ft long) with two new mitered end sections, re-build the asphalt driveway, and re-install guardrail, sidewalk, and pedestrian handrail.

Due to its successful and speedy completion despite numerous challenges, the SR-710 Indianwood Washout Repair project was recognized by NUCA as the 2017 Top Job winner in the Excavation/Site Development category.

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Challenges Abound

Due to such a catastrophic event, Johnson-Davis Inc. was awarded an emergency contract by FDOT on Sept. 19 to perform the repair. All of the work needed to be done within 56 calendar days of Notice to Proceed under FDOT’s emergency contract, which was to be funded in part by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Johnson-Davis mobilized on Oct. 9 and completed its portion of the work within 15 days under challenging conditions.

Throughout those 15 days, Johnson-Davis foreman Rob Earnest and his crew were fighting subsequent rain events, tropical storms, and typical Florida rainy days while trying to install the 60-in. CMP pipe. The crew had to bypass the canal using a parallel bypass ditch and 12-in. hydraulic pump to keep up with downstream water. Even so, at several instances they had to open up the dirt berms to let water pass through the workzone as it was too much water for the bypass to handle.

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After completion of Johnson-Davis’ scope of work, JW Cheatham came on site. Like Johnson-Davis, JW Cheatham also had to fight the weather along the way to get the driveway paved due to several rain events. After much effort and hard work, the project was finally completed on Nov. 22, 2017, when the driveway was opened to allow residents to use it just in time for Thanksgiving holiday.

That same day, project manager Rob Lima and job superintendent Edric Martin received a special thanks from the project inspectors and the Indianwood Golf & Country Club manager for the company’s hard work and diligence in completing the repair. “We at Johnson-Davis are proud to have provided such a service to a community in need after such a catastrophic event in all our lives who live in the state of Florida,” Lima said.

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Indianwood Drive

Team Effort

Lima expressed thanks Johnson-Davis’ partners who made the emergency project possible within a short time frame. “To be able to mobilize in 14 days, you need to have relationships with your suppliers and subs,” he said. “They need to be on the same team and willing to commit to the project.

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“Special thanks are extended to Contech to have fabricated us a large diameter CMP pipe in record time,” he said. “We would like to extend our thanks for Nutting Engineering and PSI, which worked together to make the QC part of the project a possibility. We also would like to thank Hans Wilkie from Apogee for his great work on survey, Kim Smith at Longhorn Landscaping for always being there when we needed sod, Southeast Guardrail, ESP for preconstruction video, RES Land Clearance for dirt hauling, Jim Kirkland for taking care of the sidewalk for us, Rui Silva at Fine Line for painting the stripes, Roadsafe for being a reliable barricade company, and JW Cheatham for slogging through the weather in order to get the driveway paved.

“We also cannot forget to mention Rob Earnest’s mainline crew, which did an outstanding job fighting through weather to install the culvert. Sergio Filipone and crew also had participation on rubble installation. Special thanks are also extended to our back-up crew leaders involved in the project: Moises Molina, Everton Henry, and all other Indiantown and Ft. Pierce field workers who responded to Edric Martin’s call of help to work on Nov. 18 for a final push to get the job graded, sodded and completed in time.

“Finally, but not least, none of the work could have been done without the crucial planning and field supervision of our company’s field superintendent Edric Martin, who also had to ensure the project stayed on schedule while dealing with his personal challenges that were brought as a consequence of the storm. Edric’s ability to improvise and adapt to new circumstances was key to the project success and aggressive timeline.”

Although Hurricane Irma cost billions in damage and tragically the loss of life, the resilient state is back up and running thanks to the work of Johnson-Davis and its partners.

SR-710 Indianwood Washout Repair Project Team

Johnson-Davis Inc.'s Rob Lima and Edric Martin

Johnson-Davis Inc.’s Rob Lima (left) and Edric Martin accept the Top Jobs award at the NUCA Convention in San Antonio.

Johnson-Davis Inc.: General Contractor (Estimator: Scott Johnson; Project Manager: Rob Lima; Superintendent: Edric Martin, Pablo Fernandez; Foremen: Rob Earnest, Sergio Filipone, Moises Molina, Everton Henry)

Contech Engineering: 60-in. CMP

JW Cheatham: Roadway and paving (Equipment: Caterpillar 328D Excavator; Komatsu WA320 Loader).

Nutting Engineering, Professional Service Industries (PSI): QC lab

Longhorn Landscaping: Landscape restoration

Pathway Enterprises: Flatwork

Fine Line Striping: Pavement markings

Roadsafe: Roadway barricades

Apogee: Site survey

Southeast Guardrail: Guardrail replacement

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