Exploring Construction Inspection
What do you think of when you think of a Construction Inspector? Typically, notions of hard hats and stereotypical pick-up trucks fill our heads. Construction inspectors and inspection services teams are much more than this however. The inspection services team here at BHC offers full service project management and aims to make jobs as seamless and easy as possible for the customer. The team is involved in every step of the project from groundbreaking, to progress meetings, to sanitation inspections and onward. Their aim is to work cohesively with contractors and customers as a team to produce the best possible product.
Today we caught up with Joe White, head of Construction Management and our Inspection Services team, to dive in and explore all the team has to offer. Government agencies or private sectors will hire an inspection services team to help maintain order of any new site construction project. The inspectors make sure everyone is on board with the same plan and stick to it in order to give the customer exactly what they want. Longevity is the goal. If projects are done properly, they will not only be aesthetically pleasing, but the full life span of the road will be utilized. This is not always an easy feat for Joe and his team, but they are not ones to shy away from a challenge. In fact, Joe’s favorite projects often seem to push him out of his comfort zone.
In May of 2012, BHC worked with the city of Ft Scott, KS to be a part of the Riverfront Park Loop Design project. Nestled between the Marmaton River and the historic Old Fort Scott site, the project aimed to create access roads, walking trails and parking areas in the new park space. 2012 experienced heavier rainfall than usual for the area and the team faced more obstacles than they were used to. The construction site was flooded twice and seemed to bring the project to a halt. This didn’t derail Joe and his team though.
A huge part of any construction inspectors job entails the ability to think on their feet. Finding solutions quickly and efficiently is vital in the world of construction, especially in the face of defeat. The team persevered to create a mile of paved walking trails through dense wooded area accompanied by 3,400 LF of new access road along the river. BHC was able to provide surveying, flood modeling, site design assistance and, of course, construction inspection to craft a visually stunning end product, a product that won BHC a Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) Excellence in Partnering Award.
The job of a construction inspector is never over. In February of 2016, BHC was selected by the City of Edwardsville to design 4,000 feet of roadway improvements along the 1-435 interchange. This project aimed to enhance safety along the road by reconstructing several intersections, improving the vertical profile and widening the roadway. Due to uneven landscape and turns with virtually no visibility, the project was daunting.
The team worked together with the city to secure additional Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds in order to vamp up project improvements to over 5,000 feet of better roadway for Edwardsville residents. The inspection services team coordinated with utility providers to ensure the project complied with EPA requirements and provided full service construction inspection and materials testing to once again produce an aesthetically pleasing and fully functional project.
So, what do we think of when we think of Construction Inspectors? Sure, the hardhat stereotype holds true, but there are so many more moving parts involved. Underground utility checks, sanitation inspections, utility coordination, project management and surveying do not even begin to cover the broad scope of services BHC has to offer. The roads we drive on every day, the sidewalks we bike on, the parks we enjoy – all of these things would not be possible without the hard work and quick thinking of construction inspection teams.