Rebuilding Moorland Road

The recently completed Moorland Road reconstruction project in New Berlin, WI, is a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and perseverance. A.W. Oakes & Son played a key role in this major undertaking, and this article dives into the project's different aspects through the eyes of the team’s three project managers: Ed Anastas, Jay Beesley, and Connor McMahon.

Project Overview: A Complete Transformation

Ed Anastas provides a comprehensive overview of the project's scope. "The Moorland Road project was a bid through the Wisconsin DOT in conjunction with Waukesha County," Ed explains. "The project called for a full pavement reconstruction." The scale was substantial, encompassing over 7,700 feet of both northbound and southbound Moorland Road, along with a significant stretch of National Avenue. A complex intersection, covering more than half an acre alone, was also included in the reconstruction.

The project involved much more than just repaving the surface. Ed elaborates, "The entire roadway was removed and graded to depths anywhere from 16.5 inches to 28.5 inches in depth to accommodate the proposed base aggregates, storm sewer, and 10.5-inch concrete pavement roadway." This highlights the extensive nature of the reconstruction, ensuring a solid foundation for the new road.

Ed further details the project's key deliverables: "Some major items of work included 91,000 square yards of pavement removal, 80,000 cubic yards of excavation, 100,000 tons of base aggregates, 89,000 square yards of 10.5-inch concrete pavement, 36,000 feet of curb, 2,700 feet of storm sewer, over 100 storm sewer structures, 4 signalized intersections that required temporary signals, along with many other various items of work to get the project to its current condition." This detailed breakdown paints a vivid picture of the immense undertaking involved in the Moorland Road reconstruction.

Challenges and Triumphs: Overcoming Obstacles

Ribbon Cutting CeremonyAs with any large-scale project, unforeseen challenges arose throughout the Moorland Road reconstruction. Ed discusses the initial hurdle: "The project's main challenge at the start was that it was underfunded and could not begin as intended." As a result of this delay, A.W. Oakes worked with the department to revise a large portion of the project staging to allow the project to be complete enough for safe travel over the winter months. This highlights A.W. Oakes' commitment to finding solutions and working collaboratively to get the project back on track.

Underground Utilities Focus: A Complex Network

Jay provides insights into the complexities of managing underground utilities on a project like this. "This project consisted of reconstructing the storm sewer system to the main trunk line system," Jay explains. Careful planning and execution were essential for this critical aspect. Jay elaborates on the process, "The onsite crews collaborated with the onsite engineering staff to work through any details not identified in the plans to ensure positive drainage or to modify locations due to onsite conflicts with proposed plans." This collaboration between A.W. Oakes' staff and the WisDOT project team was paramount in ensuring the successful and timely completion of the storm sewer work.

Safety is a top priority, especially when working underground. Jay shares some of the specific measures taken on the Moorland Road project: "A.W. Oakes takes safety very seriously especially when it comes to underground work. This project utilized trench protection and hydro excavation equipment to locate and identify potential conflicts, to safely excavate around existing utilities, and to assure our onsite crews were well protected." These safety protocols ensured the well-being of the crew members throughout the project.

Collaboration and Coordination: The Keys to Success

Collaboration and coordination are key ingredients in the success of any project. Connor McMahon elaborates on the coordination efforts, "A lot of time is spent scheduling our crews and ensuring the necessary material and equipment are on site ahead of each task. I also work to coordinate with our subcontractors to schedule their operations in conjunction with our work. The most important coordination effort is spent with the traffic control operation to ensure a safe and adequate work zone." 

Ed emphasizes the importance of collaboration between different teams within A.W. Oakes, from grading, on site crushing, storm sewer and concrete operations, "the A.W. Oakes onsite personnel performed at high levels and understood the pressure they were under," Ed says. "They worked tirelessly to overcome the day-to-day conflicts to keep the entire train of operations moving forward so each individual operation could be productive in meeting their own deadlines." This focus on building strong relationships within the company fosters a collaborative environment where everyone works together towards a common goal.

Innovation: Paving the Way for Efficiency

A.W. Oakes' commitment to innovation played a significant role in the project's success. Ed details how they utilized technology to streamline operations: "During the project we utilized a handful of key innovative and technological aspects. A.W. Oakes utilized GPS machine control for all the grading operations and used TPS (stingless paving) for concrete fine grading and concrete placement operations." These investments in advanced technologies demonstrate A.W. Oakes' dedication to staying at the forefront of the construction industry.

The benefits of these innovations are clear. Ed explains, "The time saved by using these machine control upgrades saved A.W. Oakes a significant amount of time during grading and concrete placement operations and was one of the major factors in completing the project within the contractual timeframes." Efficiency gained through innovation allowed the project to stay on schedule despite the initial delays.

Innovation wasn't limited to just technology. Ed highlights other creative solutions: "Along with that, A.W. Oakes was also able to save time by utilizing their track crushing equipment onsite to process existing roadway materials more than 30,000 tons onsite to be reused as base aggregates saving time and keeping the roadbed covered and protected from adverse weather." This resourcefulness demonstrates A.W. Oakes' ability to adapt and find creative solutions to challenges.

Moorland Road Rebuild

Looking Forward: A Source of Pride

All three team members express immense pride in their accomplishments on the Moorland Road project. Ed acknowledges the hard work of everyone involved, stating, "I am most proud of all the crew members that put in their blood, sweat and tears into this project to achieve completion." This sentiment reflects the dedication and commitment of the entire A.W. Oakes team.

Connor highlights the successful use of a new approach, "A.W. Oakes was able to utilize our mobile batch plant and fleet of mixer trucks to supply and deliver the majority of the concrete for this project. This project was among our first big paving jobs to use the plant on, and it was a huge success. Supplying our own material allowed us to hit the critical project completion/milestone dates." This success story showcases A.W. Oakes' ability to implement innovative solutions and achieve exceptional results.

A.W. Oakes & Son: Building Strong Relationships

A common thread throughout the interviews is the positive work environment at A.W. Oakes. Both Jay and Connor mention the camaraderie and strong relationships fostered within the company. Jay says, "It's a great team!" and Connor highlights, "As a local/regional, family-owned company, A.W. Oakes takes pride in the work we do for the communities we live and work in. As a New Berlin resident, I am proud to say that I played a role in the Moorland Rd reconstruction project as part of the A.W. Oakes & Son team." This sense of community and shared purpose is a valuable asset that contributes to A.W. Oakes' success.

Conclusion: A Model for Success

The Moorland Road reconstruction project stands as a remarkable example of A.W. Oakes & Son's expertise, adaptability, and commitment to quality. It is a successful collaboration that highlights the importance of:

  • Teamwork: The seamless collaboration between different teams within A.W. Oakes was essential for overcoming challenges and achieving project goals.
  • Innovation: A.W. Oakes' embrace of innovative technologies and resourceful solutions streamlined operations and ensured project completion within the timeframe.
  • Dedication: The unwavering dedication and hard work of every crew member involved in the project is a testament to A.W. Oakes' commitment to excellence.
  • Community Focus: A.W. Oakes takes pride in giving back to the communities they serve, and the Moorland Road reconstruction is a prime example of their commitment to improving local infrastructure.

The successful completion of the Moorland Road project serves as a model for future endeavors. By fostering a collaborative and innovative work environment, A.W. Oakes & Son is well-positioned to continue delivering exceptional construction projects that benefit communities for years to come.

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