The Main Stream

Jun 9, 2012 1:34 AM

Crews work throughout the night to construct foundation

TUCSON - A major construction project is underway from midnight to 6 Saturday morning.

It's happening downtown at Toole and Stone Avenue.

It's construction for a new, joint court complex for Pima County and the city of Tucson.

Construction started in February and should be complete in August 2013.

The first seven to nine months will be spent on actual foundation.

Workers are pouring 33 hundred yards of concrete into half an acre.

330 trucks will be crowding the streets.

"On this portion of Council street will be a staging area for concrete trucks in line waiting for the placements," said Elizabeth Hernandez, project engineer at Sundt Construction.

Each truck will need to pour the concrete into the hole as soon as possible.

Hernandez said it's important the concrete is poured no less than 90 minutes from the time the trucks leave the plant.

"So it can all cure at one pace rather than it getting too hot in the center and causing cracks," said Hernandez.

Keeping the concrete at or below 70 degrees is essential to avoiding cracks in the foundation.

"The water for the concrete will be chilled at the plants before they bring them out," said Hernandez.

It's important the construction be done at the stroke of midnight.

"It helps keep the temperature down of the concrete as well as it's such a large placement that doing it at night will also alleviate any issues with traffic," said Hernandez.

There will be around 50 people working throughout the night into the morning.

Half of them in the 25-foot hole making sure the concrete is five feet deep and placed correctly.

The other half will be at ground-level directing the 330 trucks.

Pima County Facilities Management Director Reid Spaulding said the end result will be beneficial to the city and county.
"It'll take tremendous pressure off of the current justice court and city court system," said Spaulding. "They are both antiquated facilities that lack proper square footage, lack proper safety, and that this will consolidate and reduce operating costs and move those functions to a new facility."

A second, larger pour is scheduled in about two weeks, June 22.

This will finish the foundation and bring the total footprint to approximately one acre.

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