Tag Archives: Road construction

“Build For Tomorrow” – Key Takeaways from Midwestern Infrastructure Summit

Mark Stapleton, P.E.

Businesses, workers, citizens, and elected leaders came together this week to participate in National Infrastructure Week, May 13-20, 2019. The message this year is: America’s future will be shaped by the infrastructure choices we make today. #BuildForTomorrow

One of the many events that took place nationwide was the Midwestern Summit hosted by the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (MITA) and the Michigan Municipal League (MML) held at the Lansing Brewing Company in Lansing, Michigan.  State and local leaders discussed a regional strategy for economic success, the future of funding and financing infrastructure, and enhancing connectivity. I was fortunate to attend this summit and have a few key takeaways from the event.

Leading the Urban Infrastructure Renaissance

“People attract businesses. Places attract people. Good infrastructure makes good places.”

~ The Honorable Andy Schor, Mayor of Lansing, MI.

Takeaway #1: Quality infrastructure creates a quality lifestyle that attracts quality citizens. Investing in our towns and villages promotes economic success.


What’s next in Infrastructure Funding and Finance?

“Continuing to do things the way we have done them in the past is not working today regarding transportation. For instance, Michigan has 1,200+ bridges that are structurally deficient. The longer we wait to fix them, the more it will cost to repair them.”

~ Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President / Secretary, Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association.

Takeaway #2: The first step is educating community members on how infrastructure improvements are funded and financed. The next step is conversations with private and public entities to create and implement viable solutions.


Beyond Asphalt and Concrete: Infrastructure for Place Making

“Successful business is built on human capital and human intellectual property and place attracts people.”

~ Jared Fleisher, Vice President Quicken Loans Family of Companies

Takeaway #3: Private companies are investing in good infrastructure because it is good for business and their employees.

Final Takeaway: Infrastructure is built from the ground up. As geotechnical engineers, we have the opportunity to work with both private and public sectors to build sound, quality infrastructure for this generation and the next.

Mark Stapleton, P.E. is an Associate and Project Manager at G2 Consulting Group. His practice focuses on design and geotechnical instrumentation design and installation.


Michigan Concrete Association – growing an industry

Dan DeGraaf, PE Executive Director/CEO Michigan Concrete Association

Michigan Concrete Association (MCA) is everything concrete in Michigan.  We represent ready mix producers, concrete pavers, cement producers and the affiliate industry.  Our annual conference is designed to help our members learn about new things and to celebrate quality projects. 

“MCA serves as point for current or state of the art technical and business issues facing all sides of the concrete industry,” shares Bruce Wilberding, Principal and lead of G2’s Construction Engineering Services.  “G2 relies on this organization for technical updates and training.”

One of the most exciting highlights from this year’s conference is the announcement  of a new program for construction work force development (click here to learn more).  This program is dedicated to attracting new people to the construction industry in Michigan, which faces a massive labor shortage on the horizon.  MCA is leading a statewide awareness and branding campaign to increase interest in construction careers and simplify the process of finding training and employment in these careers.
The conference also included training on new test procedures for concrete, information on changes in MDOT specifications, announcements on new MDOT projects and updates on ongoing mega-projects,  and discussion on the future of coal (which impacts the supply of fly ash for use in concrete production).
Finally, the conference celebrated cool projects from around the state – G2 Consulting Group was on the team of two award-winning projects: Stephens Road (NB Kelly Rd to I-94) and Beaconsfield Avenue, 9 Mile to Biscayne Ave.

Allied Construction Is On a Roll

Jim Berry, PE Project Manager

Kevin Shell, VP, Allied Construction

G2 Consulting Group would like to congratulate Allied Construction on the innovative video that they created for their firm.  Congrats on your recent win for the Pine Knolls Condo Association as well!

“The construction industry is typically very traditional in its approach to communications,” shares Kevin Shell, VP at Allied, “but we realized that you can only show asphalt construction in so many ways.  We wanted something different that could be used in a number of different formats – including social media.  Stay tuned for our 30 second commercial which will be showing on TV in Oakland and Livingston Counties in the near future!”

Click below to view Allied’s new video.


MDOT / ACEC Partnering Workshop February 4

Mark Smolinski, P.E Principal/Project Consultant

Mark Smolinski, P.E
Principal/Project Consultant

The annual MDOT / ACEC Partnering Workshop is just around the corner – February 4.  The event drew over 500 attendees last year and will no doubt draw a crowd this year as well.  It will get kicked off the evening of February 3 with a networking reception for ACEC Members only, designed to provide an opportunity for some face time with MDOT leadership and staff.

Ron Brenke, Executive Director of ACEC Michigan, says this year’s event will have some key highlights.  “MDOT is planning to make announcements about policy changes concerning several issues we have been working on for the past year,” shares Ron.  “In addition, the new MDOT Chief Operations Officer Mark Van Port Fleet will be  discussing where new money will be spent and what the spending approach means for consultants.   Of course,  the MDOT-ACEC Partnership Award winner also will be announced!”

Other workshop highlights include:

  • Transform I-66 Mega Project presentation by Virginia DOT.
  • 19 educational breakout sessions addressing topics ranging from bridge engineering and inspection updates to delivery of public-private partnerships to MDOT’s Smart Corridor Initiative to an overview of MDOT’s I-75 and I-94 Mega Projects.
  • Roundtable discussions with various MDOT departments concerning topics such as finance/contracts/DBE, Planning/Design/Multi-Modal, Construction Administration, Operations/ITS, and Bridge.

Click here for more information or to register.




I-75 / University Drive Interchange Under Construction

Noel J. Hargrave-Thomas, P.E. Principal/Project Consultant

Noel J. Hargrave-Thomas, P.E.
Principal/Project Consultant

Design and reconstruction of the I-75/University Drive interchange in Oakland County is well underway, scheduled to be completed by year-end with restoration work planned for early 2016.

The interchange features Michigan’s first “diverging diamond” interchange, a relatively new design technology in the U.S. but used extensively throughout Europe. Click here to read more about the diverging diamond design.

G2 Consulting Group provided geotechnical design services for bridge pile foundations, MSE abutments, roadway embankments, sign and signal foundations, and peat excavation as part of the Dan’s Excavating/Bergmann Associates Design-Build Team.

Click on the video below to learn more and watch construction activities.


I96 Fix: ASCE’s 2015 Outstanding Civil Engineering Award Winner


Mark Stapleton, P.E.
Project Manager

Congratulations to the construction team that won the 2015 Outstanding Civil Engineering Award announced by the American Society of Civil Engineers Michigan section at ASCE’s annual Michigan Infrastructure Conference last week!

The complex $150 million I-96 reconstruction project completed last summer in Western Wayne County included seven miles of highway and redevelopment of 37 bridges, overpasses and their respective on/off ramps and, with a 180-day start to finish timetable.  Considered one of the most compressed schedules for a project of its scope, the project was especially noteworthy for its use of e-construction methodologies which improved communication, driving efficiencies in both time and cost.

This was an unusually challenging project but that’s what made working on it so enjoyable.  We were brought in by the general contractor on the job, Dan’s Excavating, and we became part of an incredibly smart and efficient construction team.  The fact that we beat the timetable and lowered the forecasted project cost was a huge success. This award is the icing on the cake.

Click on the video below for additional project details.



First “Diverging Diamond” Interchange in Michigan

David Wanlass, P.E. Project Manager

David Wanlass, P.E.
Project Manager

G2 Consulting Group is proud to have been selected as part of the Design-Build team on one of MDOT’s premier projects for 2015:  design and reconstruction of the I-75/University Drive interchange in Oakland County.  The job kicked off in February and is scheduled to be completed by year-end with restoration work planned for early 2016.

The interchange will feature Michigan’s first “diverging diamond” interchange, a design that Popular Science named a ‘Best Innovation’ for its ability to allow left turns on and off the freeway to occur without crossing the approaching traffic flow.  The diverging diamond is a relatively new design technology in the U.S. but has been used extensively throughout Europe.  It is considered to be more efficient, user-friendly and safer than other design approaches.  Click here to read more about the diverging diamond design.

Read more about this G2’s involvement on this project.


Progress and Success are Themes of the ACEC/MDOT Partnering Conference

Ron Brenke, P.E., Executive Director of ACEC Michigan

Ron Brenke, P.E.
Executive Director

(Article jointly prepared by G2 Consulting Group with special thanks to Ron Brenke, P.E., Executive Director of ACEC Michigan)

ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies) of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) recently held their annual partnering workshop in Lansing.  ACEC of Michigan is committed to providing a competitive advantage to its member firms in their marketplace.  The meeting reviewed a number of significant accomplishments in 2014 including the culmination of efforts to simplify and improve the pre-qualification process for companies interested in working with  MDOT.

Simple as it sounds, this effort has been ongoing for a number of years.  Prequalification has been extremely costly and time consuming, both for the companies trying to become qualified to do work for MDOT and for the agency itself.  It involved wheelbarrows of paperwork that took hours to prepare and review.  The new process is nearly paperless, streamlined and up-to-date and will enable companies to more quickly renew their prequalification on an annual basis.  Bravo, Director Kirk Steudle  and MDOT! This is a needed change that’s been a long time coming.

Also at the meeting Andrew Doctoroff, Senior Advisor to MDOT on Transportation Initiatives, gave a bullish update on the International Bridge project, the $1 billion trade crossing project connecting Windsor, Ont. and Detroit that will be primarily funded by Canada.  Doctoroff reported on property acquisition, environmental permits, and the new joint authority that will operate the bridge and talked about the creation of more than 10,000 construction-related jobs that will be created during the estimated six year project (scheduled to be completed in 2020).

Another proud moment in the meeting came when last summer’s reconstruction of I-96 was singled out for kudos from MDOT.  That project, which took the unusual step of entirely closing a heavily travelled seven mile section of the freeway, was a completely paperless job that utilized new technologies and techniques, saved millions of dollars in costs (est. at $4.5M), and finished ahead of schedule. G2 Consulting Group, an ACEC Michigan member firm, engineered earth retention systems to safeguard underground infrastructure during construction of the project (click here to view a video overview of the I-96 Reconstruction Project).

The meeting wrapped up with an enthusiastic roundtable discussion covering design, contracts, environmental and operational issues.

This year’s ACEC meeting was one of the biggest ever and drew a healthy audience of over 500 on a cold February day.  But planners are looking to grow the program in the future.  Next year’s meeting will be held on February 4, 2016 at the Lansing Center.

Click here for more information on ACEC Michigan and upcoming events.


Proposed sales tax hike deserves support

Mark Smolinski, P.E Principal/Project Consultant

Mark Smolinski, P.E
Principal/Project Consultant

For the fourth time in as many years, Gov. Rick Snyder focused on Michigan’s crumbling roads, bridges and infrastructure in his State of the State address Jan. 21. But this year something was different. Instead of asking the state legislature to come up with a plan as he’s done in the past, he appealed to voters in the state to approve a 1 percent hike in the state sales tax coupled with concurrent actions that would raise the additional $1.2 billion needed to start to get Michigan’s roads back in shape.

Click here to read full article printed in The Lansing State Journal.


G2 Completes Record Year; Anticipates Strong 2015

Mark Smolinski, P.E Principal/Project Consultant

Mark Smolinski, P.E
Principal/Project Consultant

Like others in our industry, we stayed focused and struggled through the economic downturn of 2008-2011, but we were able to hold onto all of our people during the recession and put them to work improving our services and processes.  That work is paying dividends for us now.  The continued growth of our telecom business and the long lack of attention to Michigan’s roads and highways that’s finally now being addressed have put our services in greater demand than ever.

G2 Consulting recorded 2,700 projects in 2014 leading the firm to its third consecutive year of revenue growth.  Revenues for the company grew by 50% in 2014 following growth of 31% in 2012 and 20% in 2013.  Pent-up demand for new development and deferred maintenance from the economic downtown are putting real pressure on companies like ours to produce.  This is a good thing and we’re ready for it.  2015 should be an even better year.

Click here to read the full press release.


G2 Selected for MDOT ‘As-Needed’ Contract

Mark Smolinski, P.E Principal/Project Consultant

Mark Smolinski, P.E
Principal/Project Consultant

Road reconstruction in Michigan has become a top priority for the state’s leadership team, with Gov. Snyder proposing to raise an additional $1.2 billion to maintain and improve this vital infrastructure.  

Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has named G2 Consulting Group as one of its pre-approved engineering team through an “as-needed” indefinite service contract.

G2 has the know-how and capability to bring real added value to road design and construction. With all the construction projects and all the roadwork being done in Michigan these days, we welcome this opportunity to contribute.

Click here to read the full press release.


Vote for G2 Photo Contest Winner!

G2 Consulting Group is out on thousands of construction sites each year performing geotechnical, environmental and construction engineering.  Much of our work is captured in photographs documenting progress and milestones.  Some of these photos are really cool!

The photos below were selected as winners for our first quarterly employee photo contest, and we are asking you to pick the “people’s choice” winner.  Please choose your favorite by January 22 – we’ll let you know who takes the prize!
Wrigley Field Construction by Ben Youra.
Providing Phase I Environmental Site Assessment adjacent to Wrigley Field during modifications to historic structure
Self Support Mat Foundation by Tim Dumala.
Providing geotechnical study, environmental services & onsite construction observation & testing for self supported communications tower
Roof Top Cell Site  by Drew Temerowski.
Providing hazardous materials survey for roof top cell site adjacent to Comerica Park
Ann Arbor Trench Footing by Mike Dagher.
Providing construction observation & testing for shallow trench footing (including bearing capacity evaluation)
Red Run Shaft by Nick Berkholz.
Providing geotechnical design of temporary earth retention system at Red Run Shaft
Ambassador Bridge Gateway Deck Placement by James Mazur.
Providing construction observation & testing for concrete placement using conveyor belt and pump trucks

I-94 and Sargent Road Interchange Reconstruction

David Wanlass, P.E. Project Manager

David Wanlass, P.E.
Project Manager

The I-94 and Sargent Road Interchange is a key transportation route for this area – especially when Michigan International Speedway is holding a race or the University of Michigan is hosting a football game. When MDOT began considering a major reconstruction of this area, the team understood careful planning would be required to keep traffic flowing.  What was not so apparent was how subsurface conditions would increase project complexity.

The realigned segment of Sargent Road and portions of the realigned ramps (with embankments up to 24 feet high) were to be constructed through significant wetland areas with up to 6 feet of peat, muck and organic silt at the surface, underlain by up to 39 feet of loose granular soils.  Construction could not proceed without treating these soils. Click on the video below learn how this challenge was solved.

P.S. This project approach is being presented at the 2014 Ohio Transportation Engineering Conference later today.


I-94 & I-69 Interchange Reconstruction

Port Huron Township, St. Clair County, Michigan

The Michigan Department of Transportation reconstructed 3.7 miles of the I-94/I-69 interchange in Port Huron Township, St. Clair County, replacing bridges and reconstructing ramps. G2 Consulting Group and Toebe Construction teamed up to complete this $76 million project, maximizing construction efficiency and minimizing construction cost – while protecting nearby residences.

Fast Facts

Project Owner

Michigan Department of Transportation


3.7 miles of interstate, replacing bridges and reconstructing ramps

G2 Services Provided

Geotechnical engineering
Remote instrumentation monitoring settlement and vibration
Value engineering


      • The construction schedule was contingent on embankment soils settling. The team installed 12 vibrating wire piezometers to monitor pore water pressure changes as the embankments were constructed. In addition, a new innovative settlement cell system was used to monitor actual settlement of embankment soils to signal when bridge construction could proceed. This approach shortened the specified six-month waiting period by one month.
      •  Project budget was tight. Prior to starting, G2 recommended Elastizell as a more cost effective light weight fill in place of the polystyrene block that was proposed in the design, simplifying installation and reducing material costs. G2 also worked with Toebe Construction to optimize equipment efficiency and reduce construction costs, particularly during installation of piles, using static load tests and PDA testing to confirm design capacities for the piles.
      • Nearby residential structures were protected by specifying the maximum vibration levels allowed during construction. G2 then implemented remote vibration units to monitor vibration continually – without needing a field engineer on site – providing critical data while minimizing costs.

Smart. Results. Fast. G2 provided geotechnical solutions to protect  nearby residences and provide adequate support for the roadway and embankments, while shortening the project schedule and reducing costs.

Accelerated Bridge Replacement in Rhode Island

Bruce J. Wilberding, P.E. Principal/Project Consultant

Bruce J. Wilberding, P.E.
Principal/Project Consultant

Motorists constantly complain about the condition of roads and bridges, and rightly so.  The engineering community is listening and developing new ways to repair infrastructure with as little disturbance to the motoring public as possible.  Take a look at this time lapse video of a bridge replacement, and the unique repair of the structure including staged construction to maintain traffic flow and use of precast pier/bridge deck elements.

Also shows that civil engineers are down right cool!!


Congrats I-96 Reconstruction Team!


Mark Stapleton, P.E.
Project Manager

Tremendous engineering and construction horsepower came together to tackle the “I-96 fix,” rebuilding 56 lane miles of freeway, repairing 37 bridges, reconstructing 26 ramps, and new lighting and utilities – and finishing 2 weeks ahead of schedule!

This is a proud moment for MDOT, for Dan’s Excavating, and for every member of the project team.  Check out the video below for more details and some cool project shots.