By Tom Underhill, Executive Director of SEAA The Steel Erectors Association of America (SEAA) recently announced the winners of its annual Project of the Year competition. Winners were selected by an independent panel of judges, and projects were recognized for their complexity and ability to overcome challenges while maintaining safe work standards. Awards were presented in April at SEAA’s National Convention and Trade Show in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. 2014 SEAA Project of the Year Winners: [caption id="attachment_5647" align="alignright" width="225"] V&M Erectors complete final connections of the gantries onto the pylons.[/caption]

Miami-Dade Expressway Open Road Tolling, Wing Gantry at State Road 836 & 17th Street Class I: Erection Contract up to $500,000 Company: V&M Erectors, Inc. of Pembroke Pines, Florida

The infrastructure modifications to create Open Road Tolling on State Road 836 of the Miami-Dade Expressway in Florida involved erecting and installing wing gantries and pylons for the new tolling structures. The challenge was to complete the project with minimal disruption to traffic. To accomplish this, a minimal number of pre-assembled lifts were used over a short period of time.

V&M completed the work with less than 10 hours of road closures over two nights with a single 350-ton Terex AC350 all-terrain crane. Each wing gantry was 85 feet long and weighed 110,000 pounds. Each pylon was 74 feet long and weighed 80,000 pounds. For the erection plan, the crane was positioned so that it could lift and set the assembly from one location. The wing gantry was rigged with a 40-foot spreader beam. Each wing gantry was held in place by four suspension cables anchored to the pylon.

  [caption id="attachment_5645" align="alignright" width="300"] Elevation view of typical precast seating support truss, floor framing, roof framing and tree column at the First Tennessee Park construction project.[/caption] Cooper Steel Hits a Home Run for First Tennessee Park Class II: Erection Contract of $500,000 to $1 Million Company: Cooper Steel of Nashville, Tennessee The City of Nashville needed steel erected for a ballpark in a short amount of time. Given a 12-week schedule, Cooper Steel was able to top out all of the steel erection in just nine weeks. More than 850 tons of steel and 45,000 sq. ft. of deck were installed. Over 8,000 man hours were logged with no lost time accidents. This project had a little of everything: joist framing, conventional steel framing, long-span trusses, light supports, canopies, screen walls, batters eye steel and even a guitar shaped scoreboard. Typical of ballpark construction, most connections were skewed and/or sloped, requiring careful alignment both vertically and horizontally. Laser alignment was key in meeting the requirements for precast stadium risers.   [caption id="attachment_5646" align="alignright" width="300"] LPR Construction used a variety of boom lifts and cranes in the detailing of the train canopy.[/caption] Denver International Airport: New hotel and transit center canopies Class III: Erection Contract of Greater than $1 Million Company: LPR Construction Co. of Loveland, Colorado Part of Denver International Airport’s South Terminal redevelopment program included construction of two large canopies, a lower train canopy covering the train station and tracks and an upper hotel canopy spanning through the airport hotel and cantilevering out on both the north and south sides. These intricate projects involved placing 900 tons of HSS members and box girders installed to tight tolerances, where all welds had to be uniform. The geometry of the arched structure was very unique, consisting of interior tube members that twist about their axis as they go up and over the canopy. In all, there were hundreds of steel nodes, where the steel members enter and exit the node at different angles of twist. LPR considered stick building the canopies in place, but that would have required the use of hundreds of shores and caused worker access issues. Instead, the company pre-assembled modules to lift into place. The biggest challenge for the team was the cantilevered portion at the south end of the hotel canopy. This portion was 140 feet off the ground and cantilevered out over the train canopy below, creating difficultly in shoring and access. The solution was to build an access platform integrated with shore towers to support the south hotel canopy, which allowed access for all trades to install finishes after steel installation was complete.   Interested in submitting a project for next year’s Project of the Year awards? Nominations are due Feb. 1, 2016. For more information, visit

Leave a comment


NCCER develops standardized construction and maintenance curricula and assessments with portable credentials. These credentials are tracked through NCCER’s National Registry which allows organizations and companies to track the qualifications of their craft professionals and/or check the qualifications of possible new hires. The National Registry also assists craft professionals by maintaining their records in a secure database.