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R.A. Smith National, Inc. Knowledge Blog

Laser Screed Keeps Trucks Busy on Major Concrete Pour at Valero Ethanol Plant

by Paul Schafer 3. October 2013 04:56

The laser screed has changed the way in which concrete is placed. This piece of equipment uses an automatic laser control system to pour large slabs without the use of interior form work. This equipment is typically used to finish concrete slabs in large industrial or commercial buildings.  The level of accuracy and speed at which concrete can be placed was especially useful last week at Valero Renewable Fuel’s ethanol plant in Aztalan (Jefferson County), Wisconsin. On the first day the contractor anticipated a cement truck pouring concrete every six minutes for a full eight hours.

R.A. Smith National was on site with contractors, Wirth Concrete and Iverson Construction, to provide construction management and inspection for a new 1,500-foot long truck queuing driveway at the ethanol plant. The new queuing area which measures 75 wide by 850 feet long will provide for an additional 51 semi spaces and improve overall traffic flow for the heavy volume of trucks that enter and leave the plant.  This plant typically produces 300,000 gallons of ethanol per day year round.

R.A. Smith National also provided construction staking, preliminary survey services and a traffic analysis that led to this parking lot expansion project. The analysis became necessary after supply trucks were causing traffic backups on a nearby state highway. The project involved a review of historical plant records and a subsequent traffic analysis to provide an estimate of the required number of queuing spaces.  R.A. Smith National created five queuing concept plans including cost estimates for several sites at the plant.  Our project team worked closely with Valero Renewable Fuels to refine the concepts and select the best solution for the plant. Our team was further responsible for preparing construction drawings, bidding coordination, and permit approvals.



Construction Services

GPS is More Than a Survey Tool at R.A. Smith National

by Paul Schafer 12. June 2013 09:06

While GPS has traditionally been used by R.A. Smith National to survey property, our construction services staff is now using GPS to calculate quantities including earthwork as part of our construction management and inspection services. Our use of GPS to verify construction data has become increasingly important as more contractors are taking advantage of GPS controlled equipment. R.A. Smith National is using GPS as a tool to provide greater accuracy and increased productivity, which translates to a cost savings for our clients.



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