People often look at Dan Jones cross-eyed when he talks about parks as infrastructure. But as the chairman and CEO of Louisville, Ky.’s 21st Century Parks, Jones understands the expensive consequences of city planning that neglects public space. 

In 2009, McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, issued a report titled “Preparing for China’s Urban Billion.” The report created a blueprint for how the Asian giant could create the infrastructure needed to accommodate 350 million more urban residents by 2030. In more than 500 pages, the report never once mentions public parks. Jones questions the quality of life those billion urban dwellers will have, pointing out that every great city of the world has an equally great park system. “Parks are not an afterthought,” Jones says. “They should be on a list with roads and bridges and housing.”

When the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project is complete in early 2019 it will open up underserved portions of the Los Angeles region to new public transportation options and bring light rail closer to the Los Angeles international airport. “It’s very important for the residents of the Crenshaw and Inglewood areas to connect to this network,” explains Jim Gardner, senior project manager for Walsh-Shea Corridor Constructors.

Walsh-Shea Corridor Constructors is a partnership between Walsh Construction Company and J.F. Shea Construction Inc., both of which have an extensive history of completing mass-transit projects. The collaboration began in 2011 when Walsh-Shea bid on the $1.3 billion construction project for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro). The total cost of creating the route is $2.058 billion, including property acquisition, and the project is one of 12 developments  being paid for through a half-cent sales tax increase approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008.

Indiana’s Superior Construction Co. places great emphasis on safety.

As northwest Indiana grew, so too did Superior Construction Co. The general contractor started in the 1930s by offering its services to a variety of markets, including commercial, heavy highway, petrochemical and municipal, the company says.

As the Gary, Ind., region expanded, Superior Construction built many of the city’s landmark structures, including Saint Mark’s Church, Lew Wallace High School and the Memorial Auditorium.

Decades later, Superior Construction remains a major player in northwest Indiana’s construction market and places a primary focus on safety to remain a leader. For example, every subcontractor, supplier and service company under contract with the general contractor is required to enforce a safety program equivalent to or more stringent than Superior Construction’s.

Every project requires the right combination of talents to be completed successfully. Austin Power Partners (APP) has brought that mixture for its project at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

APP is a joint venture between local and out-of-state firms. This includes Austin Commercial, a Dallas-based commercial and industrial builder, and Power Construction Co. LLC, an 88-year-old firm based in Chicago that operates strictly in and around northern Illinois.

Some managers keep their employees at arms’ length, but Allied Projects Ltd. maintains a culture of closeness and transparency, President Michael Brunner says. “We try to keep people engaged and involved in what’s going on,” he declares.

“That pays off in dividends,” he continues. “I think everyone enjoys knowing what the business is about. It makes it easier to ride out the economic ups-and-downs.”

Based in Calgary, Alberta, Allied provides electrical contracting services for construction projects and service work for building maintenance programs. Brunner co-founded the company with two partners in 1996.

Headquartered in Chicago, Walsh Construction has many years of experience in the construction of tunnels, as well as wastewater and water treatment plants. That experience is being put to good use on the Black River Tunnel project in Lorain, Ohio. 

The project is meeting a major environmental need for the state. With heavy rain often causing sewage to spill over into the Black River and then travel to Lake Erie, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency tasked Lorain with finding a way to stop untreated sewage from polluting the local waters. The Black River Tunnel project first broke ground in August 2012, and it is scheduled for completion in August. 

When it is completed, the system will consist of a 19-foot-diameter tunnel with two deep shafts, one 180 feet deep with a 36-foot diameter, and the second shaft will be 116 feet deep and its internal diameter will be 30 feet. Financing for the $52 million project is coming from local ratepayers as well as a loan from the Ohio Water Development Authority.

For 37 years, Holland Pump has been providing fast and effective dewatering solutions for numerous markets. The company’s expertise ranges from residential and commercial construction to phosphate mining, paper mills, power plants and beyond. 

Since its founding in 1978, Holland Pump has been involved in the manufacture, sale, distribution, rental and servicing of pumps. Holland Pump supplies equipment to projects including municipal stormwater, utilities and lift stations. Further, the company has extensive experience in the sugar industry and has been involved with many Florida water management projects, including dewatering for the last three U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects in Collier County, Fla. 

The manufacturing division of the company produces as many as 300 diesel-driven systems each year. Holland pump also maintains a fleet of more than 600 diesel rental pumps deployed throughout the South. The corporate, manufacturing and central repair facilities are all located at Holland Pump’s headquarters in West Palm Beach, Fla., but the company also has branch operations in the Florida cities of Pensacola, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers and the town of Walterboro, S.C.

Coastal Precast Systems’ (CPS) customers have long looked to the company for innovative solutions to their building needs. “When someone has a complicated job, they typically call us to help them out,” says Paul Ogorchock, owner of the Chesapeake, Va.-based precast supplier. 

The company specializes in designing, manufacturing and installing precast structures for the marine and heavy highway construction markets. In addition, the company has in recent years manufactured columns, beams, balcony slabs and other building structures.

“The entire precast process is performed in-house from design and fabrication to delivery and installation,” the company says. “Our team includes qualified and experienced in-house engineers, drafters, estimators, accountants, CAD operators, project managers, sales team and more to help customers every step of the way regardless of the size or complexity of [their] project.” 

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