Enormous Excavation Marks Major DC Convention Center

Jan. 1, 2000
Gx Bug Web

Cherry Hill’s first urban mass excavation project in Washington, DC, was for the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center at Federal Triangle. That project began in 1993, and Cherry Hill was responsible for the excavation and removal of 800,000 yd.3 of dirt. Following on the company’s success with its first project, Cherry Hill was recently awarded the excavation contract for the new Washington, DC Convention Center. At a total cost of $560 million, the 2.3-million-ft.2 facility will surpass the existing DC convention center in size and will be among the largest convention centers in the country. It should host its first meetings in 2003.

This immense facility could provide adequate hangar space for four Boeing 747 jumbo jets at once, reports the owner, the Washington Convention Center Authority. Its upper exhibit hall alone could accommodate two Major League Baseball fields.

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In March 1999, work began in earnest. Clark/Smoot Construction, the construction manager, awarded the excavation contract to Cherry Hill and Goldin Stafford and the foundation contract to Clark Foundations. During the summer of 1999, Cherry Hill and its partner, Goldin Stafford, were busy moving the earth for the 1.3-million-yd.3 excavation for the proposed facility. “Cherry Hill also is responsible for construction of certain footings and heel blocks,” Jim Landis, onsite project superintendent, points out. In August 1999, Cherry Hill was typically utilizing 80 contracted trucks to haul the excavated material each day. At that time, Landis was in charge of about 46 employees. Plans call for excavation depths ranging from 45 ft. at the southern edge to 65 ft. at the northern end. The excavation phase is scheduled to be completed within a 13-month period. Cherry Hill, however, will continue to provide environmental services, including sweeping, throughout the entire construction project.