What does it really mean to 'get the lead out'? It means many different things to many people, but in the Spring of 1997 General Excavating was selected by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railway to help them do just that! Faced with the tract of land containing lead-impacted rubble and soils, BNSF began a voluntary project to clean up the lead-impacted material. The project was accepted by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality as one of the first elegible to be cleaned up under the Remedial Action Plan Monitoring Act (RAPMA) program.
BNSF Railway has operated a transfer station at the Havelock Yards in northeast Lincoln Nebraska since the late 1800's. The yard was used for a variety of activities, including depositing fill material. In 1993, the Railroad began voluntary investigation of the fill material. Studies by EA Engineering, Science and Technology (EA) revealed that the material contained concentrations of lead exceeing the soil standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency for industrial sites. EA determined that the most cost-effective, timely solution was excavation, stabilization through chemical treatment, and disposal of the lead-impacted material.
General Excavating excavated and divided the soil and rubble into piles with known lead concentrations. EA provided on-site analysis of lead concentrations using state-of-the-art X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) technology. Soils and rubble were divided into piles based on their concentrations of lead above and below a standard value. Soils less than the standard were used for fill or stockpiled and disposed as special waste. Soils greater than the standard were stockpiled for further analysis and treatment. Samples of the piles exceeding the standard were then analyzed in the laboratory to see the amount of lead likely to leach from them. Soil and rubble with leachable lead were stabilized using a chemical treatment process to convert leachable lead to non-leachable minerals. It was the first time that this process had ever been approved for use in Nebraska. Following treatment, materials were loaded onto railcars and disposed as special waste.
A total of 26,000 cubic yards of material was excavated, stabilized, disposed as a special waste, or returned to the excavated area as fill. General Excavating re-graded and seeded the site to provide proper drainage and ground cover. The project won an 'Excellence in Construction' award from the Associated Builders and Contractors in October, 1998. The project was recognized as a combination of new technology under new regulations that, with careful material handling, resulted in a large-scale clean-up of the BNSF site. General Excavating successfully 'Got the Lead Out' on-time and on-budget!
Excellence. General Excavating strives to provide it to our customers. Recently, the construction industry recognized General Excavating for excellence in environmental project construction. On November 10, 1998 General Excavating was awarded the Nebraska Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) "Excellence in Construction Award" for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Havelock Yard Soil Remediation project. The award recognizes the best in Merit Shop construction annually. Accepting the award in the category of Environmental/Open for General Excavating was John Hendricks, Vice President and Scott Fitzgerald, President. EA Engineering, the project consultant, was represented by Lee Becker, Vice President and Ray Frey, Project Manager, Jim Cunningham (not pictured), BNSF Railway was the customer Project Manager. Independent judges evaluate entries by member firms. The "Excellence in Construction" awards are judged in the areas of craftsmanship, execution/coordination, budget and scheduling, owner's satisfaction, difficult and unusual challenges, and safety. In a letter Jim Cunningham, Assistant Manager Environmental Remediation for Burlington Northern Santa Fe states, "The BNSF Environmental Remediation Team has always been able to count on General Excavating to meet our needs with speed and efficiency. They have always made our priorities their priority." General Excavating would like to extend our congratulations to the other winners of the "Excellence in Construction" awards.
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As the City of Lincoln grows, the need to widen streets grows with it. Changs in street placement and right-of-way often results in the need to re-locate existing utility lines. The use of the Vacuum Excavator coupled with directional boring eases the task of relocation.
Recently the City of Lincoln widened 70th Street by Old Cheney Road. A joint effort between Lincoln Electric System, Cablevision, and Aliant Communications was undertaken to re-locate existing cable lines. General Excavating's Vacuum Excavator was used to help verify the depth and placement of existing utilities so it could be determined whether re-location was necessary. Vacuum excavation is valuable in that is does not distrub the existing lines as they are exposed. The vacuum applies a high velocity air stream to loosen the soil and rocks, which are then removed by vacuum. A one to two foot hole is created that is as deep as the utility exposed.
After the existing utilities' positions were verified, General Excavating placed several sizes of conduit with the directional bore machine to hold the re-located lines. The Vacuum Excavator was valuable during the boring to expose intersecting water and natural gas lines, avoiding service interruption. With the help of the Vacuum Excavator, the project was accomplished in a relatively short time without incident.
Did You Know...
Years of Service
Nebraska Home & Garden Show
The recent winner of General Excavating's quarterly employee photo contest is Todd McMann. Todd's winning photo, taken from a parking garage, shows General Excavating's work on the City of Lincoln's conversion of 13th Street from a one-way to a two-way street.