600 Pieces of Precast Standing

Installation of the precast structure moved forward on both ends of the project this week. With over 580 pieces standing in the northern parking deck and retail center, the loading dock area has started to take shape. Delivery trucks will reach the back of the building through a ramp system, elevated turn around and loading docks. On the southern end of the project “early” precast units are installed due to fill for the upper level retaining wall and slab on grade parking area.

Concrete crews have start to lift reinforcing steel to the second level and install edge forms for future concrete leveling slabs. These leveling slabs are needed due to the camber (curve) in the pre-stressed/precast double T construction. Crews also are installing temporary protective handrail system to protect workers on this second level work area.

Down below utility crews are busy with under slab storm, water, sewer, fire water and electrical piping installation.

On the southern end of the project, caissons crews moved forward with drill piers. Concrete crews formed and poured sections of Retaining Wall # 2. Luck has been on our side this week, as we have had little or no weather impact unlike the heavy rains and thunderstorms of the past weeks.

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Precast Installation Ongoing in Two Areas of the Project

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On the northern end of the project,  the parking deck and retail center has more than 475 pieces of precast stood to date. This places us at 69% complete for that location. At the southern end, early installation of precast started this week. This first section of erection was required for structural fill that will be placed adjacent to these units. Fill is required for the upper level of retaining wall that will separate the elevated parking deck and slab on grade construction.

Earthwork progressed in several areas, with storm water piping installation in the Building D,  installation of storm water piping from the water quality units and building pad grading and stone placement. Concrete work moved forward with the pouring of the footings for retaining wall # 2. Forming crews are currently working on wall forms for their next pour. Work was also completed with pier caps on the southern end of the project.

As sections of the building are released by the precast erectors, utility crews were quick to start underground piping. We were also able to show photos from the second level/precast deck of the project.

More Than 400 Pieces of Precast Standing

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Hot and very muggy July weather was a challenge this week, but it was better than the past thunderstorms. Crews were able to increase production of precast erection and we now have more than 58% of the northern retail center and parking deck standing.

Progress was also made with the backfill fill of retaining wall #1 and Building D area pad. This was delayed due to the damp imported aggregate materials due to recent rains. Grading of slab on grade areas of the northern parking deck area progressed. Base aggregate for future concrete pours was also placed and compacted ahead of precast erection.

On the southern end of the project, caissons crews moved forward but were delayed by shaft depths and very hard rock. Utility crews installed another 1 of the 3 water quality units that will filter stormwater before it drains into the local system. Concrete crews were also busy installing pier caps foundations for future precast installation.


Momentum Building All Around

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With close to 300 pieces of precast standing, Areas 1 and 2 of precast for the Northern Retail Center and parking deck have been completed. That places us at approximately 44% complete for that area of the structure.

As the precast crews work in the rear of the building, subgrade adjustments were completed. Placement of base aggregate moves forward for “slab on grade” parking level concrete pours. Our first concrete pour to tie elevation slabs to ground level slab was completed.

On the south end of the project, the third retaining wall is complete. Backfill operations that were needed to start Retaining wall # 2 foundations are in place as well. Caisson crews are moving forward with the foundations of the Southern Retail Center and parking deck area. On the North End of the project, backfill of the first retaining wall and the Building D pad advanced.


Short Week for Holidays; 185+ Precast Pieces in Place


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June in Knoxville has had the most rainfall on record, but when the rain stops the precast crews are eager to push forward.

TDOT rules for holiday traffic have also impacted movement of  permitted “heavy loads.” This required early staging of precast to have materials onsite to complete the day before the 4th of July and to have stock available for an early start on Monday.

On the north end of the project, backfill for retaining wall # 1 progressed with the use of dense graded aggregate, as most soils in the area were too wet to use for structural fill. Concrete crews progressed with the first of two pours for retaining wall # 3. Crews also prepared for our first slab on grade for the parking deck. This small pour is required due to limited access for form removal after precast is erected.

Caisson crews were busy at the southern end of the project, but were delayed by rain and pentacle rock, which was not stable enough to support our foundations. Deeper than usual drilled piers were required.

The Precast Puzzle Takes Shape

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To date, more than 125 pieces of precast concrete structure stands in the air. Crews worked long hours this week. We are now able to see the upper level retail floor slab elevation and parking deck below.

On the far north end of the project, the final pour of retaining wall # 1 was completed. As crew completed this pour, grading crews we busy installing foundation drains and backfilling previous poured sections of this wall. Earthwork for the future slab on grade area of the parking deck was also ongoing this week.

On the southern end of the project, foundations for retaining wall # 3 were excavated, reinforcing steel was installed/inspected and the concrete pour was completed. Progress was also made with the installation of drilled caissons and pier caps that will serve as the foundation of the southern retail center and parking deck.

Heavy thunderstorms were numerous and rain total exceeded 2 1/2 inches.

Going Vertical in Knoxville

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This week, we reached our milestone date for vertical precast erection at the northern section of the parking deck retail center. Due to the unstable soils in areas of the project, this process started with the installation of crane pads to support the heavy load of a 250 ton capacity crane as well as trucks hauling in as much as 70,000 pound loads. With our working platform in place, the first of many loads of precast arrived.

Crews moved forward column by column until we were ready to set the first precast girder and “Double T” panel that creates the level parking slab.

Retaining wall construction also moved forward at wall # 1 with our fourth major pour. This will leave only one more large pour scheduled for early next week. On the south end of the project, caisson crews progressed with drilled piers. Our grading crew worked on roadway fill as well as preparation for our next two retaining walls.


Team Comes Together For Lunch

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With almost a 20-acre job site, crews are working in all areas performing tasks specific for their trade. Today the entire team gathered to share a barbeque lunch and a little shade in the hot June weather in Knoxville. Thanks to Volvo Rents and well as the onsite office team for their efforts.

Out in the field, progress was made with another concrete pour at retaining wall 1. Other crews were busy with rebar installation and forming for the fourth pour which will take place early next week.

At the Northern Retail Center, grading of the building pad moved forward as existing tunnels from the Fulton Bellow factory were also opened and filled. At the center of the site, crews poured loading bearing retaining walls. On the southern end of the project, caisson crews moved forward with drill pier installation. Site grading and excavation for the foundation of retaining wall 2 and 3 also progressed.


Specialized Foundation Crews Back Onsite

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Work at University Commons this week included the return of several specialized contractors. At the center area of the project, soils were tested and found to be unsuitable for footing installation. Geopier crews returned for installation of a support system for the settlement sensitive load bearing footings and the wall that will support precast structures. With that work complete, footing installation resumed in that area.

At the southern end of the project, caisson installation moved forward after the release of permit. On the northern end, retaining wall footings were completed and our first wall pour was made. Crews also progressed with rebar and form installation for future wall pours.

Civil work included utility installation with the setting of multiple large water quality filtration units as well as building pad fill and grading.


Concrete Pour Ongoing at All Levels

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Concrete crews were busy in several locations, including  the northern end of the project. Here, footings were completed at site retaining wall one, our next to last pour. As footings were poured on one end of the wall, other crews were forming and pouring the first wall section.

At the center section of the site, pier cap installation was also ongoing for the parking deck and a section of shops. On the south end of the project, excavation was ongoing for installation of storm sewer water quality unit,s which will monitor and filter stormwater before it enters the local streams. The first bridge abutment footing pour was also completed this week.