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NRC awards 2015 Field Employee and Rail Construction Project of the Year

Written by Jennifer Nunez, Assistant Editor, Railway Track & Structures

The National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) has selected the winners of its 2015 Field Employee of the Year and Project of the Year awards, which will be recognized at the 2016 NRC Conference in San Diego, Calif.

Dennis Riggs, general superintendent at Railroad Construction Company of South Jersey (RCCSJ), has been selected as the 2015 NRC Field Employee of the Year. Riggs began working at RCCSJ as a laborer in March of 1989. He quickly progressed to the position of foreman by 1991, becoming RCCSJ’s youngest ever foreman at that time. By 2000, he had continued his advancement to the position of general superintendent. In this role, he coordinates manpower, organizes deliveries of materials and equipment and spends countless hours answering questions from both customers and project personnel. He oversees as many as 12 projects at one time and deals with a work force of 110 people. He is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Riggs was described by a customer as their “most trusted source for honest, appropriate and effective rail construction and maintenance solutions” and as someone that “has always gone above and beyond.” His colleagues describe him as a mentor, an exemplary leader and “the backbone of the company.” NRC says Riggs’ unparalleled knowledge of the industry, his commitment to his customers and his dedication to safety are among many attributes that make for an outstanding NRC Field Employee of the Year.

Honorable mentions go to Michael Glover, Herzog Technologies, Inc.; Dave Keselburg, Herzog Contracting Corp.; Jeff McKeon, Railroad Construction Company, Inc.; Nick Partridge, Stacy and Witbeck, Inc. and Curt Rudolph, Ames Construction.

The 2015 Project of the Year award goes to the Port of Long Beach, Pier E project by Herzog/Reyes, A Joint Venture. Herzog is the managing joint venture partner, working with Reyes Construction for the Port of Long Beach, a project that is the centerpiece of the largest automated marine terminal in the United States.

This intermodal yard spans 345 acres and will handle 10,000 truck trips per day, 2,100 trains, 3.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units per year and will employ nearly 3,000 people. The total linear footage of crane rail foundation and rail installed was almost eight miles. The vehicle traffic areas required the construction of a flexible paving cross-section, which consisted of up to 13-inch thick roller compacted concrete, with a three-inch asphalt wear course.

The project also involved the installation of drainage structures, utilities and demolition of the prior site. The contract included the construction of reclaimed land by connecting Pier E to Pier F, which consisted of filling an area of the harbor previously used for ship navigation. The project was completed on schedule, within budget and with zero “lost time” accidents and 313,046 total man hours.

Honorable Mentions go to Balfour Beatty Rail, Coxsackie to Ravena Second Main – Phases 1 and 2; Balfour Beatty Rail, CSX Transportation Casky Inspection Yard; Ames Construction, BNSF Alva to Avard; Ames Construction, BNSF Glasgow Subdivision; Clark Construction Group, Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center and Railroad Construction Company, Inc./Iron Bridge Contractors – Joint Venture, LLC, Benjamin Franklin Bridge Track Rehab.

Both award winners will be featured in the May issue of RT&S

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