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Public Buildings

Oregon State Capitol Accessibility, Maintenance and Safety (CAMS III)

Client: Hoffman Construction
Scope of Work: Engineering, Micropiles, Shoring, Fabrication, Underpinning
Project Years: 2022-2025

The Oregon Capitol Accessibility, Maintenance, and Safety (CAMS) Phase III project has passed a critical milestone in the seismic retrofit and base isolation of the historical Capitol building. With the building now fully supported by the shoring tower structure, build backs and base isolator installation are underway. Watch the video to learn more about this innovative and historic project!

About the Project

CAMS3 leveraged the full resources and talent pool at Pacific, with engineering spearheaded Dominic Webber, David Kumarich and Sean Kloos at our sister company Pacific Structural. The towers required the installation of 722 micropiles throughout the basement footprint of the capitol upon which a tower structure is constructed to support the foundation load. To combat incredibly difficult ground conditions, Pacific Foundation made a significant investment in additional manpower and equipment to maintain the extremely aggressive pace and meet our deadlines.

But unlike many projects where our work stopped at the micropiles, this one includes the design and installation of the tower assemblies, demo of portions of the existing structure, jacking of the entire capital building and the installation of the seismic isolators.  We are working with exceptional partners, Carr Construction fabricating the towers onsite, and Sheedy performing the jacking operations.  Both have been excellent team members, also excelling under difficult conditions.  We have also partnered with new suppliers and offsite fabricators, developing relationships that will go beyond this project.

While space and access were the first challenges to address, this project required massive amounts of structural engineering and careful planning by all participating parties to execute safety.  With a weight of a 100+ year old marble building supported entirely on our engineered solution (while the legislature is in session and the Governor is occupying the building), mission success has never been more critical. 

The Project

The Capitol Accessibility, Maintenance and Safety project was approved by the 2016 Legislative Assembly to address Americans with Disabilities Act deficiencies; at-risk mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; and security and life-safety issues in the Oregon State Capitol building

The Solution

CAMS III included the installation of 722 Micropiles  as well as the design, construction, loading, and demo of the towers after the sesmic upgrades and related construction is completed.  Due to the complexity and unique loads of the Capitol building, this phase also required extensive engineering by Pacific Structural and close coordination of multiple contractors and subs. 

The Result

Our team overcame extremely difficult working conditions, challenging and unique design issues and difficult soils to successfully complete the micropiles and tower installation. As of December 2023, our team is now transferring building load onto the towers to complete the seismic isolation installation. 

The team had to innovate and find a drilling system that could handle adverse cobble conditions, all while operating within the constraints of an active and spatially restricted jobsite.

Without the luxury of space comes a lot more handwork to get the tooling and gear into position – everything is more labor intensive. Working long hours, underground, with new processes and a tight schedule was one of the many challenge the CAMS3 crew had to overcome.

Communication was pivotal in managing the project’s scale and complexity, transforming Pacific Foundation from a specialized contractor to one with the operational capabilities of a general contractor. “We adapted exceptionally well to tough circumstances and changes.  We also learned how much attention and resource a subcontract of this size requires – none of us new or expected where we are today” Ben Baldridge explained. While we are a great drilling contractor, the sheer number of participants in this project meant we had to start operating much more like a general contractor.  “Communication was definitely a big thing” Deevon Castaneda added.

The project’s success hinged on the collective effort of more than 30 full-time employees, and as many as 90 participants of the course of the past year. Leadership within the team, from Foremen to Superintendents, relied on each person to resolve issues promptly and maintain the project timeline. The dedication of team members like Emilio Soto, Bruce Churrey, Josh Wells, and Jacob Conley, along with the onsite support of Pacific mechanic Usille Carillo, were crucial to the project’s advancement.

Cesar Castenaga, in particular, was acknowledged for his unwavering commitment and leadership. “Cesar really stepped up and stuck it out on this job where other good superintendents would have buckled. He never lost his composure and did a great job leading the team,” Ben explained.  That was no small feat by Cesar when supervising as many as 5 drill crews at one time.

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