Despite the struggling paper mill industry in Maine, the St. Croix Tissue Mill in the remote town of Baileyville began a $120M expansion. This expansion consisted of two large tissue machines that would serve to increase the capacity of the plant to generate “at home” tissue products such as; paper towels, toilet paper, facial tissues, and napkins. While most paper products are made overseas, the shipping of tissue paper is expensive due to the lightweight and bulkiness of shipments. This expansion is a major boom to the Maine economy and region as it will add 70 direct new plant employees, along with 300 indirect support jobs. The mill is the largest employer in the region and has been the “economic engine” for Downeast Maine and SW New Brunswick. According to Gov. LePage, this expansion has been the largest single investment in the Maine paper industry in decades.
Bancroft Contracting was awarded the concrete package for the two large support foundations for the two tissue machines. The foundations were made up of stem walls and slabs that formed water tanks supported by massive foundation pads. These foundations are side by side and will be enclosed by a new steel building.
Around the Christmas Holiday in 2014, Bancroft was given the notice to proceed and required formwork on site very quickly for the two foundation pads. These pads were approximately 110’ wide x 30’ long x 10’ and 12’ tall. Forming them both simultaneously required over 6,000 sf of Harris 1500. Large panels were used to reduce the number of ties needed. Due to the sensitive nature of the project and money involved, the structures needed to be started immediately. This large order was turned around extremely quickly by the Westfield team, led by Lou Viscarrondo and Ramon Gonzalez.
The next phase of the project was the stem walls. These walls were 13’ tall and up to 4’ thick, and needed to be watertight. The design required over 7,000 sf Harris 1500 form, which would be cycled between the two tissue machine stem walls. Due to delays on the final structural drawings being released, Bancroft began erecting the steel structure around the tissue foundations in order to keep their crew busy. This created a challenge in that they had to handset a large portion of the stem walls that would usually require a crane set. The light weight of the Harris 1500 allowed this to be accomplished.
The “cap” was a sloping slab with haunched edges that cantilevered over the stem walls. Some areas of this slab were over 5’ thick. It required a very intricate shoring design. The shoring was made up of the Megashore system with A225s and H20s. Each cap required 4,500 sf of shoring. In order to speed up the construction process, they shored both at the same time.
The following associates played a huge role in this project:
Robin Nichols: Designed wall and cap
Roberta Flanagan: Responsible for formwork rental processing
Matt Finkle: Shoring rentals
Chuck Kuon: Kept a close contact with Ischebeck regarding the amount of shoring required for the project
Bancroft looked to Harmac to provide the rebar on this project. In the words of the contractor, Harmac employee Marcus Fox did an “unbelievable” job detailing the structures. Rob Wagner, Jason Potter, and Tad Spiller provided local support for all the material needs. Between all these combined efforts, A.H. Harris was able to capture all three legs of the stool and provide the service and breadth of products that differentiates us from the competition.