Curb-and-gutter work goes seamlessly

Article July 12, 2013
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Work is progressing at the new Fred Couples-designed Whiskey Jack golf course and subdivision in Sparwood, British Columbia, Canada.

Bearspaw Contracting Inc., from Elkford, was busy hand-pouring foundations and driveways when one of the project developers approached Leonard Gostick, president of Bearspaw, and asked him if he knew of anyone who could slipform the 3.4 miles of curb and gutter and monolithic sidewalk and curb and gutter on the project.

“I jokingly told him I had done it before as a laborer and he dared me to go and buy a machine and he’d give us the contract,” Gostick said. “So, we did.”

The company turned to established slipform contractors, their local equipment distributor and the Internet for advice to help them find the right machine for their needs. Bearspaw’s choice was the GOMACO three-track Commander III. It has the size and versatility to handle multiple slipform applications, but yet isn’t too big to operate in tight working conditions.

The rollover-style curb and gutter at Whiskey Jack has a 19.7-in.-wide base and the curb is 9.25 in. tall. The monolithic sidewalk with curb-and-gutter features the same style of curb, with a 5-ft-wide and 5-in.-thick sidewalk.

The Commander III is used to pretrim the rocky base material for both applications. Then, when concrete is ordered, it simultaneously trims and pours. Production is dependent on concrete delivery, and in Sparwood and the surrounding area, the mines have priority for concrete orders. It’s a frustration for Bearspaw.

“Every time we try to book in a large pour, the mines will call right in the middle of it and there goes our concrete supply,” Gostick explained.

Bearspaw started slipforming on the project last fall, but winter caught them before they could complete all of the work. This spring, they are finishing the last of it and then will start on another 4 miles of both applications for phase two of the development project. They also are looking to expand into the concrete-safety-barrier market with their Commander III as the slipforming portion of their business grows. R&B

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