August 2017 Newsletter

A Message from Jim Reed

This weekend is the Labor Day holiday, which constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

For everyone here at Hull, Labor Day means a much-needed three-day break from a very busy season. This season has had everyone working long hours to meet demanding schedules on high profile projects. 

It is humbling to see how much has been built already this year.

Take some time before you leave the site today to look around. Notice the changes you have made to the landscape around you. None of this work can be built without you and the other members of the Hull Team.

Be proud of what you have accomplished, and know that C.A. Hull thanks you for all your hard work and sacrifice. You are what makes C.A. Hull great.

Not many people build bridges and roads for a living, and those who do have a drive and passion for hard work beyond most.  We send a special thank you to our spouses and family members for supporting us in what we do.  Many of you have had to put the job first, and your family has understood and supported the careers we have chosen. 

We thank you and the contribution your support makes to the success of C.A. Hull.

Have a relaxing, fun and safe Labor Day holiday.

Jim Reed
Director of Project Management

Job Spotlight

Job 1124: I-75 over the Rouge River

Key Dates
Start Date: February 2, 2017
End Date: July 1, 2018
Traffic Switch from SB to NB I-75: November 1, 2017

Project Team
Superintendent: Gary Bischer
Project Managers: Randy Rossow, Clay Malloure
Project Engineer: Jake Hall

Key Subcontractors
Dan’s Excavating, Blackswamp Steel, AJAX Paving, GM&Sons

C.A. Hull’s scope includes bridge deck reconstruction on seven bridges on I-75, south of Detroit. The main focus of the project’s 2017 bridge work is the Rouge River bridge’s deck replacement, which is approximately 8,500 lft long and crosses over multiple streets, railroads, and the river. There is also substantial retaining wall work occurring on the south end of the job, near Goddard Road in the Allen Park community.

Given the size and scope of this project, the crews have faced a few challenges while innovating new ways and equipment to safely perform work. Several new pieces of equipment and equipment attachments have been utilized, and the shop has been crucial in working with the project team and crews to fabricate custom pieces for the project.

Many new fascia forming ideas have been used as well, namely the Needlebeam system. Crews are mounting 18” wide beams to the bottom flange of the outside fascia and next interior girder, and building falsework off of that. This is a new system, and all crews involved have been doing a great job stringing all 8,500 lft.

Another challenge faced by crews includes the deck removal, which is all saw and slab. The demo crew has been steadily removing the deck for six months and has done a great job finding some efficiencies and avoiding damaging the bridge beams with the many saw cuts.

The SafeSpan system is being utilized for false decking the entire BO1 bridge, so the crews installing and removing the system have been working out of manlifts and MOOGs, often over 60’ in the air. As the bridge is approximately 106’ above the water in the river span, fall protection and equipment inspections have been critical – and well done.

CAH’s scope of work in 2018 will increase with the full reconstruction of the NB I-75 bridge over the Sexton-Kilfoil Drain. Work here includes two river piers with extensive sheeting and piling work, pier cap post-tensioning, and temporary steel bents in the river to assist with setting the new steel girders.

We will also reconstruct NB I-75 over Rouge River bridge and Fort Street bridge, similar to work currently on-going. Work on all three structures will begin in the fall of 2017 once traffic is switched in early November.

A message from the Project Team:

Great work by all of our foremen on the project to coordinate with each other and keep everything running smoothly.  All CAH employees on the job are working to keep safety as their top priority. 

Safety Spotlight: 360 Walk-Around

Safety is CAH’s number one priority, and we are committed to creating a positive, proactive safety culture for everyone. With some help from our employees, we have created the 360 Walk-Around that will soon be implemented for all CAH vehicles.

The 360 Walk-Around will help prevent accidents by requiring drivers to place safety cones in front and back of the vehicle, and retrieve them by doing a 360 Walk-Around before they set off for their next destination.

How to Conduct a 360 Walk-Around:

  • Exit your vehicle and place one safety cone in front of the vehicle, and another at the back of the vehicle.
  • When it’s time to move your vehicle again, retrieve your cones while walking in a circle around the vehicle as you check the following points:
    • Look low to the ground, particularly on the sides of the vehicle. Be on the lookout for pallets, fire hydrants, trailers, rocks and other fixed objects low to the ground. This is especially important during the winter months when snow and ice can cover and camouflage such objects.
    • When you reach the back of the vehicle, look over all loaded material and equipment. Make sure everything is secure and will not fall and strike another vehicle while in motion.
    • Be sure to check the rear lights, and make sure they are working properly and not cracked.
    • Will you be backing up? Look to see what may be behind you and use a spotter.
    • Check mirrors and glass to ensure they are free of damage.
    • Look at the front of your vehicle and the path of intended travel to make sure it is clear.
    • Remember that the scenario can quickly change from the time you park, finalize your assignment, and complete simple tasks such as paperwork, making a phone call or adjusting your GPS. Always make sure a 360° Walk-Around is the last order of business before leaving an area.

It’s not just about going through the motions to get moving! Be sure to pay attention to details as you perform your 360 Walk-Around because it can save a life.


Equipment Focus: Preventative Maintenance

It is the responsibility of every CAH employee to perform basic Preventative Maintenance (PM) on all equipment, including small tools. Basic PM includes checking fluids and filters prior to use. In recent months, we have had several pieces of equipment reported as not running, only to later find out they were actually lacking critical fluids.

Seven Critical Fluids to Pay Attention To:

  • Oil: Your engine needs oil to keep the moving parts lubricated and cooled - Check daily!
  • Radiator Fluid: The radiator fluid keeps your engine from overheating - Check daily!
  • Transmission Fluid: This fluid is used to lubricate the components of the transmission and acts as a coolant.
  • Power Steering Fluid: Simply put, power-steering fluid is the hydraulic fluid that transmits the power in power steering.
  • Brake Fluid: This is a type of hydraulic fluid used in hydraulic brake and hydraulic clutch applications. It is used to transfer force into pressure, and to amplify braking force.
  • Air Conditioning Coolant: Freon is the cooling agent used in most air conditioning systems. Every air conditioning system needs a refrigerant that actually creates the cool air.
  • Fuel - Don’t laugh! We actually had a repair request described as “engine not running.” When the mechanic arrived, he discovered the equipment was out of fuel.

While these seem like obvious necessities when operating equipment, they are some of the most basic and crucial elements in accomplishing our work. Negligence such as this
is the broadest type of equipment abuse, and is associated with laziness, carelessness, and loss of production.
Negligence = Loss of production

Employee Anniversaries: May to August

June 14: Mike Brown, 10 Years
July 25: Bryan Osantowski, 10 Years
August 5: Javier Araiza, 10 Years
August 27: Dan Armstead, 15 Years

Thank your for your years of service. We appreciate your hard work and loyalty!


Thank you for reading!

The C.A. Hull Team