After three years of negotiations and planning, a groundbreaking ceremony on October 22, 2001 marked the beginning of construction on the Niagara Falls Casino/Gateway Project. A consortium of five firms hired several contractors to complete work on the CDN$800 million entertainment park. Owners Hyatt Development Corp., Highland Gaming, Inc., Shiplake Gaming Corp., Olympic V, Inc., and Falls Entertainment Corp. anticipate the new casino, hotel and entertainment complex will open to the public in Spring 2004.

Thus far, project managers estimate that over sixty-five percent of the 2.5 million-square foot hotel/casino project is complete, with several concrete projects in progress. Construction Manager PCL Construction Canada, Inc. commissioned the help of Pumpcrete Canada, Inc., Concord, Ontario, and their extensive concrete pumping fleet to complete several projects on the Gateway site, including a 130,000 square foot casino foundation pour and pumping work on one of the largest cast-in-place parking garages in the world.

Pumpcrete has been serving general contractors throughout the province for over 35 years with its extensive line of concrete boom pumps and line pumps, all manufactured by Schwing America. Pumpcrete’s fleet as sub-contracted on several high profile projects including the Canadian National Trade Center and the Toronto Skydome.

Pumpcrete began the 130,000 square foot casino foundation pour early on in the Niagara Falls Casino/Gateway Project on January 22, 2002. Pumcprete President Ken Williams, Jr. says his crews used a KVM 42, a KVM 52 and the S 31 HT on the project. According to Williams, the S 31 HT has proved to be an asset on the site, with a vertical reach of 100’ 2” for maximum reach on the conventional pour. Equipped with an 18’9” unfolding height and telescopic first boom section, the 31-meter truck mounted boom pump has also proved to be a versatile piece of equipment on tight indoor pours.

“We used it on the foundation pour with the rest of the long booms,” said Williams, “And now it’s doing the job on an indoor basement pour. We’ll continue to use it as the project nears completion and structures start to close up.”

In all, contractors also installed a total 7500 tons of steel into the casino, including 900,000 square feet of steel deck throughout the structure and 200 tons of architectural steel into the entrance alone. Upon completion, the facility will hold 3,000 slot machines and 150 table games.

Wrapping up the foundation pour in early Winter 2002, Pumpcrete moved on to pumping the complex’s 3,000-car parking garage. The garage is 3 levels below and 6 levels above grade, and is cast-in-place concrete with two-way post tensioning above grade. Pumpcrete used the 42-meter and 52-meter as well as their S 58 SX on site. The urban job site provided little room for set up, but all three long boom models maneuvered and set up like a short boom models, with compact outrigger spread and tri-axle steering. For maximum production, Pumpcrete crews also used the BPA 8000 Schwing trailer pump in concert with a KVM 28 placing boom, which provided a maximum reach of 79 feet from the center of slab pours. Williams estimates Pumpcrete crews and concrete contractors MCH Joint Venture Partners, London, ON, will complete the structure in mid-June. Placing and finishing is completed by Duron Ontario Ltd., Mississauga, ON, and Metro Concrete Floors, Woodridge, ON. The exterior of the garage will consist of architectural precast and architectural metals.

Concrete contractors MCH Joint Venture Partners McKay-Cocker Construction Limited and Jon Hayman & Sons Co., Ltd., began miscellaneous projects within the massive job site in February 2002. Upon completion, MCH Vice Predsident David Blake estimates that the total concrete volume incorporated into the parking structure will measure 37,000 cubic meters, with a total floor area of 122,000 square meters.

Overlooking Horseshoe Falls, the Niagara Casino / Gateway Project also includes the construction of a new high-rise hotel consisting of 32 floors with 368 rooms. The hotel is cast-in-place concrete with a precast and curtain wall exterior.

Fund-raising events and receptions at the complex will be held in 72,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space. Business travelers will appreciate nearly 50,000 square feet of convention space. A 1200-seat performing arts center will host live theater and other special events. A retail galleria measuring 120,000 square feet will house several food, beverage, and retail outlets. In and around the hotel/casino project, several structures for meeting space, restaurants and lounges, and a health spa are also being constructed. Most structures on the Niagara Casion / Gateway site will be primarily structural steel with brick, precast and curtainwall exteriors.

Off-site attractions will include a giant theme park called River Country, a 1500-seat outdoor amphitheater, and the proposed people mover, a multi-million dollar project which involves the removal of the existing downtown rail line and the relocation of train operations. Preliminary demolition and planning is still in the works.