When Andy Zarecky was in elementary school, he brought his parents’ plans for a marina development in for show-and-tell. About 15 years later, he’s helping bring that development to fruition as a precast sales rep for his family’s company, Midwest Construction & Development.
The Zareckys purchased the first parcel of property for the marina development along the Missouri River in Fort Pierre, South Dakota, in 2006, and they purchased the last parcel in 2013; however, it wasn’t just acquiring land that prolonged the multi-phase development from moving forward.
In 2011, as plans for the first phase of development for a restaurant and event center were near completion, there was major flooding along the Missouri River. With the property under water, they needed to go back to the drawing board.
“We had a big flood, which really changed the way people started building along the river,” explained Andy. In order to overcome the site difficulties, they turned to the precast concrete products from Redi-Rock and Pole Base.
The first issue that needed addressing was raising the footprint of the development site above the potential flood zone. With an increase in elevation of eight feet needed, the Zareckys used Redi-Rock retaining wall blocks.
In the first phase of construction, Midwest installed 3,300 square feet (306 square meters) of Redi- Rock retaining walls for site elevation, landscaping and signage. While the elevation increase solved one problem, it created others.
The silty, sandy soil used as the fill at the site upon the recommendation of the civil engineer meant typical poured-in-place site lighting bases wouldn’t be an option.
“When you drilled it, the composition of the soil had a tendency to crumble,” explained Mark Zarecky, Andy’s father and co-owner of Midwest Construction & Development with his wife Glennis. “The use of precast Pole Bases was ideal because you were able to drill it, drop the Pole Base into grade and backfill it right away. It worked out really well for that aspect.”
Being located along the river, “we weren’t sure if we were going to hit water when we augered in,” added Andy. “Fortunately enough, we didn’t have to deal with any water, but if we did, we would have been okay because of the Pole Base system.” Unlike poured-in-place concrete options, Pole Base is made in a controlled environment and arrives to the site fully cured, so water or weather conditions onsite wouldn’t deter installation or diminish quality.
Midwest Construction electrical contractor Bryon Eaton touted the benefits of using a precast Pole Base on the project that would translate to other job sites.
“We could stand the lights the same day and be done with them. We didn’t have to bring the equipment back into the parking lot two weeks later. We used the same equipment we used to set the Pole Bases to stand the lights,” said Bryon. “There’s no mess, you don’t have to have a concrete truck following you along. You don’t have to wait for the truck, schedule the mud–it takes a lot out of the equation.”
As a contracting company, having the in-house crew they needed to do the job certainly sped up the installation, but even as a first time install of the product for the company it went really smooth.
“We averaged 7-minutes per base to set them and backfill the hole,” said Andy. In addition to the quick installation, Bryon was able to keep two of his crew members inside working on other aspects of the project while two crew members installed the outdoor site lighting.
“When things were moving over there they were moving very quickly,” said Mark. “It worked well for us to get the Pole Bases in quickly and stay ahead of schedule.”
The 130-space parking lot for the restaurant, bar, and event center is now illuminated by seven large overhead lights standing tall with Pole Base.