This paid piece is sponsored by Journey Group.
Spring flooding season might still be approaching, but many communities are just starting to tackle repairs related to last year’s damaging rains.
“Flooding has definitely taken a toll on roads, highways and bridges, and some counties are beginning to receive federal funds to help address the repairs,” said Jared Gusso, vice president of SFC Civil Constructors, a division of Journey Group Cos.
“We’re anticipating a busy year. We already have projects ready to go this spring in Spearfish, Murdo, White River, Yankton, Sioux Falls and Madison, in addition to the Sioux Falls airport and the South Dakota State Penitentiary, plus we’re finishing a major project at the Fort Randall Dam. Covering the state is not a problem – we go where the work is.”
SFC Civil Constructors is recognized for excellence in its industry. For more than 65 years, the team has worked with state transportation departments, counties, municipalities, corporations and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on a range of services:
- Piling and deep foundations
- Pedestrian bridges
- Soil retention and cofferdams
- Mechanically stabilized earth and cast-in-place retaining walls
- Historic bridge restoration
- Bridge repair
- New bridges
- Box culverts
- Structural concrete
- Epoxy overlay
- Water treatment
- Wastewater treatment
Recently, the South Dakota Associated General Contractors Highway-Heavy-Utilities chapter recognized SFC Civil Constructors with awards for excellence in its 2019 work, which included a $6 million improvement project at the Fort Randall Dam, where the concrete spillway apron had started to expand, contract and crack.
“We have the second half to finish this spring, and we were recognized for how we responded to some of the unique challenges with the project,” Gusso said.
“We had a contingency plan to potentially have to pull everything off the spillway if they had had to open the gates, and we continually made accommodations to keep the crew comfortable down on the apron as it heated up and they battled the weather.”
SFC Civil Constructors also was honored by the AGC for a major bridge replacement project in Turner County. Working in partnership with the county and the South Dakota Department of Transportation along with engineer of record SEH Inc., the team responded to flooding during the project to keep work on track.
“We lost at least two weeks when we couldn’t do anything – it flooded out at least twice – and by working together and getting contingency plans in place, we were able to get it done and opened up to traffic.” Gusso said.
Those involved praised working with SFC Civil Constructors.
“The project staff is very knowledgeable and is very proactive at solving problems and working with the department to achieve a good, quality product,” said Greg Aalberg, engineering supervisor for the South Dakota Department of Transportation.
“The project team worked well together. We had biweekly project meetings where we got together and discussed the project schedule, the current concerns and resolved problems as they came up. This helped tremendously in keeping the project moving forward and minimizing delays.”
While it started as a “simple, straightforward structure project,” extreme high water elevations during the work created difficulties, Aalberg said.
“Cofferdam designs had to be rechecked to make sure safety could be maintained during the high water events. Taking extra steps to pour the bridge deck in cold temperatures was also a challenge in order to maintain the integrity of the concrete. Completing the grading operations late in the season in order to get the project open to traffic also took a lot of effort and teamwork to make it all come together.”
The decades of experience SFC Civil Constructors brings to its work helps navigate those kind of challenges – and anticipate others, Gusso said.
“We bring more to the table than just giving our customers a bid and trying to get the work,” he said. “We can work through the process and bring value – discussing what they really need to do, if there are different ways to do it. We can work with their engineers to see if there are better and less costly ways to preserve what they have and avoid unnecessary work.”
The team also is equipped to do most elements of bridge repair and construction without having to bring in outside resources, he added.
“We have capabilities in-house that others might not have,” he said. “For instance, we have under-bridge access platforms we can bring in, so you can walk under the bridge and complete the work without bringing someone else in.”
One major project for the team this season will be the downtown Sioux Falls Eighth Street bridge, which it recently was hired to restore.
“There are very few bridges designed like it nationwide, so we’re excited to work on it,” Gusso said. “And not only are you preserving the history of the bridge with the greenway alongside it, but there will also be lots of interesting features the city is adding during construction.”
Because there is so much activity, SFC is hiring. The division has openings for a civil construction superintendent, bridge carpenters, concrete finishers and operators. To learn more, click here.
“We are definitely looking to grow our team, and that includes employees who are Spanish-speaking and bilingual,” Gusso said. “We’ve had some great experiences with bilingual teams companywide and are excited to offer outstanding benefits and a fantastic company culture to more people this year.”
Despite the busy schedule, the team has the ability to take on more work.
“Last year, we did emergency repair work in places like Charles Mix County and Montrose, and we’re set up to respond to those needs again,” Gusso said.
“The perception out there is that everyone is busy and has a backlog with two years of wet weather and that there’s nowhere to go for help. So we’re trying to reach out to decision-makers to say we are here, we have capacity, and we have the ability to help. We just need to get on the team and see what we can do.”
If you’d like to learn more about working with SFC Civil Constructors, contact Jared Gusso at 605-332-5939 or email@example.com.