Artistic Shotcrete Use in Exhibit Fabrication

By: Christopher Foster

The zoological and aquarium industry has been successfully using shotcrete placement within animal habitats for several decades. The flexibility and durability of shotcrete provides natural settings that allow for better animal enrichment over caged habitats. Zoo guests also benefit from viewing animals in a more organic habitat where the animals exhibit their natural behaviors

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UMA to Break NCDOT Record for Largest Square Footage of Soil Nail Wall

By: Brian DeSpain, President, UMA Geotechnical Construction

UMA is working as a geotechnical subcontractor to a Fluor-led joint venture (JV) with United Infrastructure Group, UMA to Break NCDOT Record for Largest Square Footage of Soil Nail Wall By Brian DeSpain, President, UMA Geotechnical Construction Inc. The project, formally known as NCDOT I-26 Exit 40 to I-40 Interstate Expansion Project, will help to alleviate traffic congestion and improve the safety and operational efficiency of this vital stretch of interstate in the Asheville area.

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Mass Shotcrete Wall Construction and Thermal Control Plan

By: Lihe Zhang, Dudley R. Morgan, lain Kirk, Anastasia Rolland, and Robert Karchewski

Wet-mix shotcrete has been used more and more for structural applications in the past few decades. Recently, wetmix shotcrete was successfully used to construct a mass structural wall with congested reinforcement and minimum dimensions of 1. 0 m in a sewage treatment plant.

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UMA Corrects Shotcrete Pool Settlement Issues with HDPR Injection

By: Brian M. Fraley

UMA was contacted in January 2021 regarding a residential pool in Winston-Salem, North Carolina that was experiencing settlement issues in the shallow end. Prior to UMA’s involvement, Catawba Valley Engineering & Testing (CVET) conducted soil test borings at the property to determine the in-situ soil conditions.

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Is your back trying to tell you something?

By: Oscar Duckworth

Construction has a back problem. After the common cold, back pain is the most common reason why construction workers miss work. Worse, lower back injury is the single leading cause of long-term workplace disability. The back pain crisis plagues the construction industry. Why? It is the physical heavy work that is typical to active construction work.

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South Wastewater Treatment Plant

By: Spencer Tuell

I n early September of 2019, Gulf Coast Underground (GCU) received a call from the City of Baton Rouge and their construction manager, Jacobs Engineering Group (JEG). There was an issue at the South Wastewater Treatment Plant that would require a unique contractor skillset to properly repair. The problem was that the cast-in-place influent structures receiving 65 million gallons (246 ML) of sewer flow daily, were corroding and needed to be repaired quickly

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Slump - The Most Misunderstood Characteristic of Wet-Mix Shotcrete

By: Oscar Duckworth

If asked, could you accurately explain why the choice of slump is so important to a wet-mix shotcrete material’s hardened properties?

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Park Avenue Tunnel Rehabilitation

By: Ashley Cruz

The Park Avenue Tunnel, formerly known as the Murray Hill Tunnel, is a 1,393-foot-long (425 m), 16-foot-wide (5 m), 9-foot-tall (3 m) thoroughfare traversing six New York City blocks. The tunnel was originally constructed in 1837 as an open rock-cut, with a brick arch constructed over the cut in 1854 to create the tunnel profile. For the next 150 years, the tunnel would be plagued with issues ranging from mechanical system failures to liner wall leakage due to the soil volume above, which is where the idea of shotcrete stabilization was introduced within the project scope.

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Skateboarding in Barbados

By: Andy Duck

People have been traveling to the small Caribbean island of Barbados to surf the ever-present waves arriving across the Atlantic for as long as humans have pursued wave riding. The same can be said about skateboarding as the parish of Christ Church now boasts a regional concrete skatepark! This was a long and thorough process shepherded by a consortium of firms and associations, all working to provide the Bajans a modern concrete skatepark through proper planning and processes. This all began with one phone call from Paul Wilson, a local skateboarding advocate with the tireless passion to bring proper skateboarding to the youth (of all ages) of Barbados.

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2020 ASA President's Award

By: ASA

The ASA President’s Award was established in 2005 to recognize a person or organization that has made exceptional contributions to the shotcrete industry. It is the sole responsibility of the immediate outgoing President of ASA to select the recipient of this award. Since 2006, 14 well-deserving individuals and one organization have been awarded the ASA President’s Award, all of whom dedicated their time and energy to advancing the shotcrete industry. For 2020, at the virtual Sixteenth Annual ASA Awards Celebration, the immediate outgoing President of ASA, Ryan Poole, presented this award to Lars Balck, for his exemplary leadership in the shotcrete industry, advancing and facilitating the mission of ASA.

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Poe Tunnel

By: Jason Myers

When you are faced with a project with limited access, material delivery by helicopter, the nearest personnel access is 5 miles (8 km) away, and the closest outside access to the shotcrete placement location is a half mile away, the only solution to handle all of these issues is shotcrete. The Poe Tunnel is a 15 mile (24 km) long tunnel in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and is in an area of steep canyons. The tunnel transports water from a forebay on the North Fork of the American River to the Poe Powerhouse where electrical power is generated. The tunnel is almost 20 ft (6 m) in diameter and was constructed in the 1950’s.

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Hale Park Skatepark

By: Ryan Peabody€ McWhirter

Shotcrete was essential to create the smooth flowing transitions, curves, and blends required in the construction of the Hale Park Skatepark in Wenatchee, WA. All of our skateparks, including Hale Park, are constructed of steel reinforced shotcrete with a minimum 28-day compressive strength of 4000 lb/in2 (28 MPa) – often breaking over 5000 lb/in2 (34 MPa) in just 7 days. Using proprietary techniques and products, developed over the years, we can form and sculpt shotcrete into virtually any shape imaginable. This gives us the ability to produce any skate feature requested or imagined by the project stakeholders.

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Grotto Pool Project

By: Andy Duck

When one of our core builders called us to announce their prospective client’s desire to completely redo their beach house on the Sound in Corolla, NC, they mentioned that a new concrete pool would be part of the project. Steve Daniels, of Renaissance Construction Company, Inc., had his designer, Paul Gilbertson, send us preliminary information on the prospective property and the client’s wish list for the backyard. To call it a transformation is a significant understatement

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ASA GRADUATE STUDENT SCHOLARSHIP | 2020-2021 Awardee

By: ASA

Florent Pastorelli is currently completing his master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Université Laval in Québec City, QC,Canada. Originally from France, where he trained as a mechanical engineer at the Arts & Métiers school, Florent decided to pursue his education in Québec City in the field of robotic engineering. His research project focuses on the automation and optimization of shotcrete placement by the use of a computer controlled robotic arm. This project is part of a larger project developed by Marc Jolin’s Shotcrete Research Team, the SPARO project (Shotcrete Placement Automated by Robot)

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Chihuahuan Desert, El Paso Zoo

By: Steve Kanoza

located in El Paso, TX, the El Paso Zoo sits on 35 acres (1400 m2 ) of land and houses over 220 animal species from around the world. Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the El Paso Zoo’s mission is to celebrate the value of animals and natural resources and create opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature. Locally recognized as the “Best Place to Take Your Kiddos,” the El Paso Zoo features family favorite attractions like African Star Train, Foster Tree House Playground, and now home to the award winning Chihuahuan Desert exhibit.

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Barges, Golf Carts and Shotcrete

By: Ryan Oakes

Bald Head Island, off the southern shores of North Carolina is a 6 mi2 (16 km2) island, accessed only by ferry, for guests, and by barge, for construction. It is steeped in history, playing a part in both the American Revolution and the Civil War. Feared by seamen, it is well protected by 30 mi (48 km) of shoals right off the cape into the Atlantic Ocean, known as the Frying Pan Shoals. North Carolina is famous for its barrier islands that

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2020 Carl E. Akeley Award

By: ASA

The 15th annual Carl E. Akeley Award was presented to Antoine Gagnon, Marc Jolin, and Jean-Daniel Lemay from Université Laval, for their article, “Performance of Synthetic Sheet Waterproofing Membranes Sprayed with Steel Fiber-Reinforced Shotcrete Testing for Waterproofing Membrane Integrity After Spraying,” published in Shotcrete magazine, Fall issue of 2019. This article is aimed at evaluating the potential damage and performance reduction of synthetic sheet waterproofing membrane when using steel fiber-reinforced shotcrete.

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Davis Barracks Sculpted Wall

By: Jeff Bacon

In 2015, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering began construction on the Davis Barracks at West Point, NY. The 172 million dollar barracks became a state-of-the-art facility. The new barracks was built to house 650 cadets, three in each room, consisting of 297,392 ft2 (27,629 m2).
The barracks building is located on the side of a mountain, below the cadet chapel, which in of itself is a famous landmark. The site for the barracks posed numerous challenges which included the removal of 285,000 tons (259,000 metric tons) of granite for the building’s foundation. Between 2015 and 2017, during the construction, over

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The Value of VR Training for Today's Shotcrete Nozzlemen

By: Matthew Wallace

Recruiting, training, and retaining skilled shotcrete nozzlemen is mission-critical for a company’s success. Virtual, immersive training offers an effective, engaging mode of learning that supports the modern trainee. For beginning nozzlemen, virtual reality training gives them a safe, repeatable experience that can be completed in a classroom, free of job costs. Practice without cost or risk also helps improve job performance and satisfaction. These disruptive virtual reality (VR) technologies can provide safe, hands-on learning experiences without the field costs associated with hands-on training. Virtual learning is also valuable in today’s socially distanced world with its shifting remote learning requirements. Interactive digital tools will deliver meaningful, adaptive training for skilled trades now and in the future. Though some level of hand nozzling experience is still needed the best nozzlemen will be trained, in part, using virtual reality.

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Encapsulation of Reinforcement in Tunnel Shotcrete Final Linings

By: Position Statement #3 ASA Underground Committee

Using shotcrete for the placement of concrete for tunnel final linings is becoming more common. In the past the use of shotcrete final linings was typically limited to non-public or emergency egress areas, however, shotcrete is being used more and more in public areas. The use of shotcrete is typically an attractive alternative to form-and-pour final lining installation where formwork costs are high or technically challenging, pose a scheduling issue, or where labor rates are very high. Typical examples for successful use of shotcrete final linings are complex lining geometries, intersecting or merging tunnels, widenings, short tunnels without sufficient repeating utilization of the forms, or underground systems where formwork would block passing traffic.

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