High Concrete Scores

Construction manager Skanska Building USA Inc. has awarded Denver, Pa.-based High Concrete Group the structural precast contract for the $1.3 billion

Construction manager Skanska Building USA Inc. has awarded Denver, Pa.-based High Concrete Group the structural precast contract for the $1.3 billion Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., replacing the original Meadowlands Stadium, for which High Concrete also produced precast pieces during the venue’s mid-1970s construction.

Located on the site of the existing Giants Stadium, the 82,500-seat venue (including 10,000 club seats and approximately 200 luxury suites) will be home to the National Football League’s New York Giants and New York Jets teams following its anticipated opening for the 2010 season. Although both teams play their home games in the current stadium, the new venue marks the first time a football stadium was specifically designed and built to accommodate two NFL teams.

The new Meadowlands Stadium will be the second- or third-largest stadium in the League, depending on how you measure it. The current leader is FedExField near Washington, D.C., which is the largest with a capacity of 91,700, followed by the new Cowboys Stadium outside Dallas. Scheduled to be open for the 2009 season, the nearly $1 billion Cowboys project plans a capacity of 80,000, expandable to 100,000 with add-on end zone seating and standing-room-only areas. (For details, see Heldenfels Enterprises huddles for 30,000-ton Cowboys stadium contract, Concrete Products, April 2007.)

The new stadium design will feature an outer skin of aluminum louvers and interior lighting that will switch colors Û green for the Jets, blue for the Giants Û depending on which team is playing at home. One signature element of the venue will be a 400-ft.-long _ 40-ft.-high wall, partly visible through the louvers at the main entrance, which will show panels of images that will rotate between photographic murals of the Giants and Jets on game days, and different images for concerts and other events. Inside, four 40- _ 130-ft. scoreboards will hang from each corner of the upper deck.

The sight lines will be similar to those of Giants Stadium, which seats slightly more than 80,000, but in some cases the seats will be farther away from the field because the new facility will have more than double the square footage (about 2.1 million square feet, occupying 40 acres).

High Concrete landed the contract after months of preconstruction consulting with engineers Ewing Cole and Thorton Thomasetti. Starting in January 2008, the company will begin shipping three sizes of risers; tub units from 25-28 tons, measuring about 1,000-6,000 sq. ft.; wall panels to 8 tons and sized to 40 ft. in length and 12 ft. wide; slabs to 10 tons, sized to 20 ft. long and 10 ft. wide; and, stair units up to 3 tons and 6 ft. high at 4 ft. wide. Providing the sections that seats are bolted to in the stadium bowl, the risers will be delivered as singles (1-8 tons, from 27 to more than 2,300 sq. ft.); doubles (1-18 tons, from 150 to nearly 13,000 sq. ft.; and triples (2-26 tons, from 200 to 8,800 sq. ft.). High Concrete will supply roughly 2,600 pieces for the project.

Most of the fabrication will be handled at High Concrete’s recently acquired Buena, N.J., plant, located about two hours from the Meadowlands site. Purchased from United Precasting Corp. in early October 2006, the 91-acre Buena facility with outdoor casting has already been instrumental in supplying stadium components for the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., home to the New Jersey Devils professional hockey team, and the new Citi Field in Queens, N.Y., future home of the New York Mets Major League Baseball team. The company also supplied pieces to Lucas Oil Stadium, eventual home of the Indianapolis Colts, with construction expected to be completed in 2008.

As High Concrete did with the Devils arena, it will supplement its workload with product from its operation in Denver and Williamsport, Pa. Although it is too early in the process to know for certain, High Concrete does not anticipate unusual logistics issues with product delivery to the Meadowlands, which is actually close to the Prudential Center. Coming from the Buena plant about 100 miles away, product will be shipped during the day with no escort. For the Devils arena, erection was done at night for the lower bowl due to an aggressive daytime schedule maintained by the ironworkers.

For all three jobs, forms from Helser Industries were predominantly metal, which allows for reuse of 50 to 70 pours each. The Prudential job included two tub and six riser forms. Parts of the tub forms were then reused to make the Mets tub molds. All modifications were done in-house, including self-stressing work. One additional tub form and six riser forms were required for the Mets job. Using new parts from Helser, the Mets tubs forms will be modified for the Meadowlands contract. In addition, a base form from the Mets job will be modified with Helser providing a new backing form. Over the next few months, six or seven new forms will be delivered for the Meadowlands project, all of which are convertible, allowing for slight variations in profiles within the same form.

Some Mets tub and riser forms were made of wood due to their complexity and cost. While walls and tubs were poured at High Concrete facilities, some pieces, including stairs from Pittsburgh-based Castcon Stone, were subcontracted out under High Concrete’s supervision for consistency, quality and color matching.