By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- Work on the valley's next regional jail progresses as crews clear trees and rock from the site.
The Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail under construction on U.S. 522 is scheduled for completion in spring 2014, according to Mike Stanger, project superintendent with Howard Shockey & Sons Inc. Approximately 50 workers from several firms are on the job site, but Stanger explained that number would grow to about 300 at the peak of construction. Signs along U.S. 522 alert motorists to the current blasting operations on the site.
The multimillion project includes the construction a 270,000-square-foot jail on the 28-acre site. The facility is designed to house 375 inmates, but space on the site remains available for future jail expansion. The main entrance to the facility will be on U.S. 52, but plans also call for the construction of a 1,900-foot connector route from Fairgrounds Road to the rear of the jail.
Since June 1 construction crews have installed the erosion and sediment control system on the site, the main electrical duct bank and they continue to clear brush and trees from the property. Much of the site contained scrub pine trees and other vegetation, according to project manager Alex Lane. Workers continue to drill and blast through rock formations on the site, the presence of which do not come as a surprise given the prevalence of karst soil in the valley, Stanger explained.
"Well, you always have opportunities on a site, OK, and these opportunities are conquered by communication and thorough planning with a team approach," Stanger said.
Should workers hit a sinkhole -- a soft place inside a rock formation -- the contractor would contact the design team and the structural engineer with Moseley Architects of Richmond, according to Stanger. Experts with the architectural firm then would determine how the contractor would resolve the issue, which could involve the removal of the soft material and replacement with structural fill, Stanger explained.
Shockey serves as contractor on the project and currently has three superintendents on site. The Winchester-based firm is joined on the project by workers with site contractor Laurita, PRK Drilling & Blasting, P.J. Casanave, Trumbo Electric and Colonial Webb.
Stanger stressed that Shockey is "employing local people." People seeking jobs related to the project should visit the offices of the firms involved and not come to the construction site.