Unique Pump Puts Foxwoods Casino Addition on Fast Track
A unique telescopic boom concrete pump is helping to speed the $750 million expansion of New England’s Foxwoods Casino. In a first-ever arrangement, MGM has agreed to license its name to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation for the addition to this existing casino near Hartford, Connecticut. Independent Concrete Pumping, Wakefield, Massachusetts is working extensively on the project for General Contractors J.L. Marshall & Sons, Inc., Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
“We are using the pump almost everyday, but it has been an absolute necessity on the theatre and casino floors,” explains Ken Marshall, fourth generation owner and longtime customer of Independents. The theatre is a 5500 seat venue with tiers which had to be pumped from an enclosed area. The arc of the seating area measures 225-feet. A narrow set-up area followed the curve of the arc and was bordered on one side by the seating and by an excavation on the other side. “This was as challenging of a pump job as you get. It’s indoors, you’ve got limited room to maneuver the boom and you are trying to reach under the ceiling to pour the top tiers,” according to John Wulforst, Marshall’s superintendent on the project.
The concrete pump is the Schwing S 31 XT with a telescopic first section. “If we could only have one pump it would be this one,” states Jim Toothaker, Independent owner, “It can maneuver into configurations no other boom can and telescope straight in or straight out on a complex pour and then go out on a house foundation the next day and pour like a regular boom.” Independent operates a fleet of 25 truck-mounted concrete pumps from 17 to 52 meter boom lengths and a fleet of trailer pumps.
“It requires a lot less labor when you can stick the end hose into these tight spots, “Wulforst adds, “In this case the overhead clearance was not an issue as much as the ability to maneuver the boom up under the top tiers. I’m not sure how we could have done this job any other way. We didn’t want to run slickline because of the combination of vertical and horizontal runs required to reach all of the areas.”
In practice the operator would configure the boom and use the 15’2” of telescopic action to boom up the four levels of seating. This point and shoot method was used to swing through the arc of the semicircular theatre seating from one location. Good planning and strategic positioning of the pump with its 545-degree boom rotation allowed the crew to accomplish four pours from one set-up.
Overall production was been sufficient to keep the project on schedule but short of the telescopic pumps 170 cubic yard per hour output. “The owners expect a fast track pace because of the millions of dollars of revenue that can be generated daily once the facility opens,” Marshall noted, “The telescopic pump has been a key to keeping the indoor work moving quickly.”
The pump’s ability to unfold in only 18’8” really paid off on the casino floor where only 22-feet separated the bottom of the joists from the slab. “We used the telescopic pump with a laser screed to pour more than 500,000 square feet of slab on grade,” explains Marshall. The owners required a FF 72 flatness specification for the ballroom floor.
The casino floor where slot machines are positioned was poured in two lifts. First a 4,000 psi slab was pumped with the telescopic boom action keeping the end hose positioned in front of the walk-behind laser screed. The operator was able to use the Vector controls with proportional joystick action to good use. In addition the Vector remote box provided digital readout of important operational data such as hydraulic oil pressure, strokes per minute and hydraulic oil temperature that are useful to fine tuning the controlled output of the pump. “An operator will listen to the sound of a pump and notice immediately any change,” Toothaker explained, “But in an enclosed structure it can be harder to hear and the Vector system can really pay off.”
The slab varied in thickness from four to eight inches. Then a three-inch topping slab was poured around more than 500 6”x9” boxes that contain the electrical connection for each gaming machine. “There’s no way we could have dragged three-hundred feet of slickline over these sensitive areas, “Wolforst claims. In a testament to the precision placement of the boom and a great finishing crew, the end result is “an eighth inch of cream over the top of each one of those boxes,” according to Marshall, ”The installers have easy access to the boxes and the machines sit on a super flat floor.”
Foxwoods is the largest casino in the world, with 340,000 square feet of gaming space in a complex that covers 4.7 million square feet. More than 40,000 guests visit Foxwoods each day. By the summer of 2008, the resort will add nearly 2 million square feet of overall space, featuring significantly increased hotel, entertainment, restaurants and gaming venues as well as enhanced corporate retreat, meeting and convention resources. The project will also positively impact the local employment landscape, with 2,300 new jobs expected to be generated.
Owner: Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
Developer/Architect: Foxwoods Development Company
Subcontractor: J.L. Marshall & Sons, Inc., Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Pumping Contractor: Independent Concrete Pumping, Wakefield, Massachusetts
Equipment: Schwng S 31 XT telescopic boom truck-mounted concrete pump