Tag Archives: PHX Sky Train

traveltips

Sky Harbor Offers Holiday Travel Tips

July is a busy travel time at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, and passenger traffic for the July Fourth Holiday is expected to peak before the holiday on July 2nd and 3rd and after on July 6. America’s Friendliest Airport® has several travel tips to make your trip easier and more enjoyable.

Save Money with Convenient Parking: Prepaid Discount Parking gives travelers the opportunity to park in the terminal garage at a reduced price. Travelers can avoid the summer sun by booking and prepaying for their parking using an easy online reservation system. Discounted parking is available in the Terminal 2, Terminal 3, or Terminal 4 garages. Those using Prepaid Discount Parking should take a ticket when entering the garage, then present the ticket and the prepaid parking confirmation (printed or on a smartphone) to the cashier upon exit. To reserve parking, visit skyharbor.com/prepaidparking.

Check your bags before arriving at the terminal – Early Bag Check is a handy service that gives travelers flying American, Southwest or US Airways the opportunity to check their bags before they arrive at Terminal 4 and avoid the ticket counter lines. The service is available at East Economy Parking, the 44th Street PHX Sky Train Station® and at the Rental Car Center. Early Bag Check is free, though airline bag fees still apply. For additional information, including hours of operation at each location, visit skyharbor.com/earlybagcheck.

Additional important travel tips:
* Arrive at the Airport two hours before your flight departs, especially if you are parking in economy areas or checking bags.
* Looking for a handy pick-up and drop-off spot? Save time by dropping off and picking up your party at the 44th Street PHX Sky Train® Station rather than at Terminal 4. The station offers Early Bag Check and kiosks to print your boarding passes. It also offers a quick, five-minute ride to Terminal 4 on the PHX Sky Train ®. Wait for your party free of charge at the Cell Phone Waiting Lot or use a four-hour parking meter to ride the train in to meet your party. To access the 44th Street PHX Sky Train Station from the 202 Red Mountain Freeway, exit at 44th Street and head south. The PHX Sky Train Station is on the southwest corner of 44th Street and Washington.
* Look through your purse or carry-on bag before you come to the Airport. A forgotten weapon can cause you delays, hassles, and even fines. Make your travel experience hassle-free: double check your bag BEFORE you come to the airport. Visit tsa.gov for information about what can be placed in your carry-on. And, remember, fireworks are prohibited.
* For updated information on parking lot and garage availability, visit skyharbor.com/FindASpot or call our 24-hour parking hotline at 602-273-4545.
* Visit skyharbor.com on your smartphone or tablet to access our award-winning mobile website. Check your flight status and find out which shops and restaurants are near your gate. Arrive early and grab a bite to eat at one of our new restaurants. Enjoy traveler favorites like Matt’s Big Breakfast, Four Peaks Brewery, Blanco Tacos and more.

skytrain

Sky Train Project Recognized with Environmental Award

The PHX Sky Train™ has been selected for a top honor in the prestigious Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Awards, receiving the first-place Crescordia award in the Multi-modal Transportation & Connectivity category. In addition, a public art project featured on one of the PHX Sky Train™ pedestrian bridges received special recognition.

Arizona Forward, in partnership with SRP, presented the 33rd Annual Valley Forward Environmental Excellence Awards on Saturday September 14. Considered the “Academy Awards” of the environmental community, the event is the oldest competition of its kind in Arizona. This year, there were more than 100 entries.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s PHX Sky Train™ provides a connection between Valley Metro light rail, East Economy Parking and Terminal 4, which serves 80 percent of the Airport’s passengers. The project was recognized for providing a vital transit link to the Phoenix area, alleviating roadway congestion and enhancing customer service. The PHX Sky Train™ project reduces vehicular traffic and emissions, energy consumption and water use. It attained LEED Gold certification from the US Green Building Council.

“The PHX Sky Train™ is a shining example of what we can accomplish when we work to improve our transportation system in a way that improves the air we breathe and reduces the water we use,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “Phoenix will continue to reduce our energy consumption through green construction and energy efficient facilities.”

The stunning glass mural project incorporated into the walls of the walkways between Terminal 4 and the PHX Sky Train station™ was also recognized. Artist Daniel Mayer, glass fabricator Franz Mayer, glass installers Walters and Wolf and the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture were honored with an Award of Merit in the Art in Public Places category.

“We are humbled by this recognition,” said Phoenix Aviation Director, Danny Murphy. “We owe the success of this project to our employees city-wide and to our business partners who put in countless hours of work to ensure a world-class experience for our customers on the PHX Sky Train.™”

Mr. Murphy thanked the Phoenix Aviation Department’s many partners in the project, including: Bombardier Transportation, Gannett Fleming, HOK, Fore Dimensions, Hensel Phelps, Kimley Horn & Associates, MEP Engineer, Dinter Engineering and Advance Terrazzo.

architectural photography

The Weitz Company Being Sold to Egyptian Construction Firm

General contractor The Weitz Company, which employs about 60 people in Arizona,  announced it has signed a letter of intent for acquisition by Egyptian construction company Orascom Construction Industries.

Based in Des Moines, Iowa, Weitz is the second oldest commercial GC in the United States. Weitz has three core business lines: commercial, federal, and industrial and has typically ranked among the top 50 in Engineering News-Record’s Top 400 Contractors list.

Weitz has 15 offices in the U.S. — including the Arizona office at 5555 E. Van Buren in Phoenix — and Guam. Weitz generated $681.5M of revenue in 2011 and prior to the recent economic downturn generated revenues in excess of $1.5B.

Weitz projects in Arizona include the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort in Tucson, Mayo Clinic, CityScape, Sagewood (above photo), Scottsdale Waterfront, and a portion of the PHX Sky Train.

All of Weitz’s current management and employees will be retained following the acquisition, according to a release. Terms of the deal were not released.

“This is an excellent opportunity for us to accelerate our growth plan,” Leonard Martling, chairman and CEO of Weitz, said in a release. “Weitz will be able to significantly expand its activities throughout the United States capitalizing on OCI’s financial strength and its industrial and infrastructure track record.

“In addition to our traditional commercial construction projects, we will be better positioned to pursue larger industrial projects and to target infrastructure concessions and Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects as a part of one of the world’s top global contractors.”

Orascom said the deal will allow it to establish a strong strategic foothold in the U.S. construction market.

“The acquisition of Weitz will allow the OCI Construction Group to be strategically positioned to undertake a variety of commercial, industrial and infrastructure opportunities in the U.S.,” said Osama Bishai, COO of OCI Construction Group.

“Weitz will also provide the OCI Construction Group with a solid base to play a major role in the construction of greenfield industrial projects developed by OCI. Weitz is an excellent construction company and we are excited to be able to provide all the necessary support to enable the management team to grow its business.”

OCI is an international construction contractor and fertilizer producer, employing more than 72,000 people in 35 countries. The OCI Construction Group provides international engineering and construction services primarily on infrastructure, industrial and high-end commercial projects in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa for public and private clients.

 

Steve Grauer - AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

Q&A: Vice President/Western District Manager Steve Grauer

Steve Grauer shares how he got started in the construction industry and what he thinks about the future of Hensel Phelps Construction in Arizona.

Q: How did you get your start in the construction industry?

A: As a young boy, I was constantly around the construction business. My father was a vice president of an interior subcontractor in the Northwest. During high school, my brother and I worked part time on residential projects doing laborer work and light carpentry. While attending college (University of Washington), I continued to work on commercial projects as well. I knew from an early age that construction was an industry that I wanted to be part of and that would provide a challenging career. Construction has certainly done that for me.

Q: Hensel Phelps has made its mark in Arizona for more than 30 years, with 30 projects worth an estimated $1.8B. How proud are you of that mark?

A: I am extremely proud to continue the legacy whose foundation was set in 1979. A repeat corporate client, IBM, brought us to Tucson from Colorado. Our continued success with IBM on their projects in Tucson created the opportunity to continue to work together and took us further West to California, where today we have two district offices. The construction market has changed greatly in Arizona since then. With the approval of Alternate Project Delivery Methods in the early 2000’s, the diverse portfolio of project types that Hensel Phelps undertakes, as well as the experience of our people on those projects, has allowed for growth and opportunities with many new owners. Regionalization and establishing a permanent presence here is key to developing longterm relationships with owners, subcontractors, designers, trade associations and the communities our people live in. We are proud to live and work in a community and state as great as Arizona.

Q: How did Hensel Phelps weather the Great Recession, which took its toll in Arizona on the commercial real estate industry?

A: This year marks Hensel Phelps’ 75th anniversary in business. From that first farmhouse in Northern Colorado that Hensel built, we have come a long way and seen many tough and challenging times. The Hensel Phelps organization and the Western District each had their 3 best years in our 75-year history during the Great Recession. We attribute this to our repeat clients that continue to entrust their projects to us, relationships in the Industry as a whole and the unparalleled performance of our people. We are grateful for all of them.

Q: Hensel Phelps is completing its portion of PHX Sky Train this year and embarking on another major project – the Solar Tower in La Paz County. How optimistic are you about Hensel Phelps’ presence in Arizona the next 10, 20 or even 30 years?

A: I am extremely optimistic and confident about our continued presence in Arizona in the future. In the construction industry, change is constant. Market sectors and economic conditions are always providing challenges to change. It is a matter of survival. While we may not look exactly the same 30 years from now, we will be here.

Q: You went to college in Washington and now live in Arizona. How important is the Western Division to the overall picture at Hensel Phelps?

A: The Western District, covering Arizona, Southern Nevada, New Mexico and Oklahoma, is extremely important to Hensel Phelps. Establishing a local presence, committing to the communities in which our families live and developing relationships is critical to our continued success. Prior to our corporate commitment of establishing a district office in Arizona, these states where covered by other district offices. Our CEO and President, Jeff Wenaas, is from Tucson and attended both UA and ASU. There is a strong commitment from the top. Arizona and the Southwest have been and will continue to be very important to us. We are the local contractor with the national reach!

Q: As Vice President and Western District Manager, what project (or projects) are you most proud of?

A: As a district manager, I am proud of all of our projects, but most importantly our people and performance on those projects. We are fortunate to get the opportunity to perform a wide range of project types for both public and private owners, utilizing a wide variety of project delivery methods. The depth of experience of our people allows them to seamlessly operate on these different projects and exceed our owner’s expectations in the overall construction experience.

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STATS:

  • Number of years with HP: 22, with stints in Washington, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado.
  • Number of years as Vice President/Western District Manager: 4
  • Family: Wife Stephanie and daughters Morgan and Skyla; and two Labrador Retrievers, Dakota and Mocha.
  • Hobbies: Traveling, fishing, hunting and shooting.
  • Favorite sports teams: Denver Broncos – and of course the Arizona Cardinals.

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For more information on Steve Grauer of Hensel Phelps Construction, visit Hensel Phelps’ website at henselphelps.com.

AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

PHX skytrain - AZRE Magazine May/June 2012

All Aboard The PHX Sky Train

PHX Sky Train Stage 1 at Sky Harbor is a moving example of Hensel Phelps’ grand presence and reputation in Arizona

Ask Allan Bliesmer what’s most special about the $644M PHX Sky Train project, and his answer isn’t that surprising.

“The team effort toward a common goal,” responds Bliesmer, operations manager for Hensel Phelps Construction Co., general contractor for the Stage 1 fixed facilities of the massive project at Sky Harbor International Airport. “The city, designer, and Hensel Phelps addressed each challenge with a solutions-orientated approach.

“The people involved in the project refrained from developing or maintaining personal agendas, and worked together, utilizing each member’s expertise, to develop the best design and construction solutions for the project.”

Once Hensel Phelps was selected as construction manager for the first phase of the train’s stations and elevated guide-way tracks, preliminary work began and lasted 20 months — from June 2008 to February 2010. (Bombardier Transportation was chosen as the system provider).

Stage 1 — a 1.7-mile stretch — will transport airport visitors and employees between METRO light rail, east economy parking and Terminal 4, which serves 80% of Sky Harbor’s passengers. Stage 1 is scheduled for completion in 2Q 2012.

What was it about the company that helped Hensel Phelps land such a historic project? Prior to the start of the PHX Sky Train project, Bliesmer says, Hensel Phelps had just completed the automated train project at the Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport. The Dallas-Ft. Worth system was installed throughout the entire airport and spanned a total of 5 miles in length with 8 stations.

In addition, Hensel Phelps has completed billions of dollars of aviation work around the country including automated train systems, terminals, hangars, administration facilities, rental car facilities, air traffic control towers and parking structures at a number of airports.

But one feature that makes PHX Sky Train different from other projects is a 350- foot bridge that carries the train above an active taxiway that is large enough for a 747 to pass through. An article in a national construction magazine boasted that the project “features many innovative design elements,” including the bridge.

“The Taxiway R crossing is a unique item not generally featured at other airports around the world,” Bliesmer says. “In order to maintain full use of the taxiway, the design had to accommodate a ‘bridge’ that would not encumber the use of the largest aircraft planned at the airport.

“To satisfy this, a 350-foot cast in-place concrete ‘bridge,’ at an elevation of 80 feet above grade, was incorporated to provide the necessary clearance. Another innovative approach was the use of precast tub girders in lieu of cast in-place concrete structural elements for a majority of the guideway structure,” Bliesmer adds. “The use of precast allowed the construction team to minimize the real estate needed on the ground to install shoring required for a traditional cast in-place concrete approach, resulting in minimization of issues associated with public access, airport operations and safety.”

The automated train was a necessity. Sky Harbor serves 42M passengers a year, and the number is projected to rise to 40M to 50M in 2013. The goal is to remove about 20,000 cars and trucks — up to 20% of the traffic circling Sky Harbor — from the airport area. The project is also a boon to the local economy. Stage 1 has created an estimated 6,000 jobs.

What are some of the challenges Hensel Phelps faced?

“The primary challenge with the integration of such a large construction project into an active airport,” Bliesmer explains, “is completing the work without causing interruption to the airport and airline operations, as well as maintaining safe access by public and airport employees.”

In order to accomplish public safety and minimize any impact to the airport operations and airline operations, much of the work activity is conducted during night-time hours when flight activity and public access at the airport is at a minimum, Bliesmer adds.

Stage 2, which will continue through the airport to the rental car center, was scheduled for completion in 2020. But last June, the Phoenix City Council voted to move up completion of a .6-mile section to connect Terminal 4 with Terminal 3, along with a walkway for passengers to access Terminal 2, to early 2015. Final cost of the project: $1.5B.

“The state-of-the-art system installed at Sky Harbor is the latest and greatest in the industry,” Bliesmer says proudly. “Having the opportunity to work with the City of Phoenix and the aviation team at Sky Harbor has furthered Hensel Phelps’ experience and recognition throughout the industry.”

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PHX SKY TRAIN BY THE NUMBERS

  • 14M: Pounds of precast concrete
  • 12M: Pounds of structural steel
  • 5,000: Drawings issued for construction
  • 340: Subcontracts issued
  • 40: Miles of wiring (power cabling)

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For more information on PHX Sky Train, visit Sky Harbors’ website at skyharbor.com/about/automatedtrain.html.

AZRE Magazine May/June 2012