This winter, Wells had two projects with a total of four cranes and four crews setting precast products simultaneously from all four of our plants: Albany, Wells, Rosemount and Grand Forks.
These projects also required precast stairs from a company in Canada called CJ Pink and 16” plank from Molin Concrete. At the peak, nearly 60 loads of precast were being delivered to these two projects each day.
The smaller of the Bloomington projects was the Element Hotel. This project had the patented ER-Post truss system designed by Ericksen Roed & Associates. This system allows for the truss to span from the exterior columns and this eliminates the typical interior support columns. Another advantage of the truss system is that each truss supports two levels of hollow core. This allows every other floor to stay completely open without columns, a first for Wells. This open space allows architects and owners to design layouts with no obstructions from columns.
The Element Hotel also required a precast elevator shaft, precast stair shafts, and precast stairs from CJ Pink. Once the precast stair shaft and the stairs were installed, it gave all trades instant access to all the floors. The lower floor was constructed with 16” hollow core plank from Molin and the upper six floors were spanned with 10” hollow core plank from our plant in Rosemount. This project took about 35 working days to complete, which was right on time with the construction schedule.
An even larger project was just a few blocks away, the Bloomington Central Station (BCS) parking ramp and podium. For BCS, Wells had three separate crews and three cranes working on the project. With seven levels and two bays, the total precast parking ramp needed to be erected first in order for the podium to be built around it. When the ramp was about 75% complete, Wells brought in two more cranes and crews to erect the podium. The podium consisted of one level precast columns, beams and plank that encompassed the parking structure precast walls. Two cranes were utilized for the podium to allow for the construction of the wood structure to start on top of the concrete structure, as originally scheduled.
In just three months’ time, the city skyline of Bloomington changed with these two projects and Wells is proud to be part of the building boom in this city!
Jesse Hiller, VP of Construction Services