A Fast Haul: ESS Lays Groundwork for KC’s Newest Distribution Hub

Whitney Butler | Monday June 28, 2021
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Emery Sapp & Sons (ESS) has earned a reputation for constructing big-freight infrastructure for notable brands such as Amazon, Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree and Urban Outfitters. So when general contractor DF Chase was looking for an infrastructure partner to build the new Old Dominion Freight Line Service Center in Kansas City, Kansas, ESS stepped up to the plate. Our team developed a comprehensive bid package for multiple scopes of work including grading and excavation, underground utilities and pavement stabilization. With a speed-to-market project approach and competitive price proposal, DF Chase selected ESS to construct the project’s $9.2-million commercial site and roadway infrastructure package.

Old Dominion Freight Line (ODFL) is a new ESS client. They are a national LTL (less-than-truckload) freight leader and global transportation company. Big freight companies across the country are expanding at break-neck speeds to keep up with market trends and consumer demand. To keep its competitive advantage and continue serving its customers without disruption, it is imperative ODFL’s new facility open on time.

“This is the type of project we like to win. A project with large quantities of dirt that combines our mass grading expertise and ability to perform turn-key infrastructure services. When all of our teams work together, that’s when ESS exceeds the owner’s expectations. Our employee-owners have proven they can deliver impressive results for our big freight clients, and we’re committed to doing the same for Old Dominion.” said Tyler Myers, Assistant Vice President.

ESS crews broke ground on the new ODFL facility in April 2021 and dedicated to completing the project by April 2022. Just like Old Dominion Freight Line’s motto “Helping The World Keep Promises,” ESS is committed to delivering as promised. To meet this aggressive 12-month schedule, ESS plans to self-perform approximately 90% of the infrastructure package and maintain extended work hours as needed to maximize production.

There are currently 4 ESS crews working on the project site. Later this summer, at peak production, the project will benefit from the hard work of 7 crews and approximately 40 employee-owners. While this project team includes several new employee-owners, field supervisor James Stevens has quickly developed a high-performing crew.

Superintendent Trampus Tuggle gave a huge shoutout to the foreman leading the charge on this site, “What foreman James Stevens has done with a crew of new people is pretty impressive. James has been able to take these guys and give them the tools they need to help us succeed on this huge project.”

After two months on site, ESS crews have already put up some pretty impressive stats:

  • Stripped Topsoil – 85,000 CY
  • Respread Topsoil – 8,200 CY
  • Dirt Cut-to-Fill – 265,000 CY
  • RSS Slope Construction – 14,000 SY
  • Storm Sewer – 1,500 LF

While crews have made significant progress, there are a couple of project challenges worth noting. The first challenge is the existing terrain. It will require our teams to construct large quantities of Reinforced Slope Stabilization (RSS slopes) in order to place the fills within the tight project limits. In fact, in one portion of the project, we have approximately 60 feet of fill to reach the finish grade. In total, the team will stabilize 6,400 linear feet of reinforced 2:1 slope along the perimeter of the site. The fill for these engineered slopes is placed in 12” lifts with geogrid reinforcement placed every two feet. Once the fill and geogrid is placed, topsoil is required to be graded on the steep slope. The slope will be permanently seeded and Turf Reinforcement Mat will be placed on the surface for final stabilization. A second challenge is the sheer volume of underground utility work. In total, our crews will install an impressive 28,800 linear feet of wet utilities:

  • 13,600 LF of storm sewer
  • 4,000 LF of sanitary sewer
  • 11,200 LF of water line

The stats are impressive on their own, but there’s a clear indication our team’s delivering an outstanding performance. Since the groundbreaking of the project two months ago, the scope of the project has grown. ESS has seen its contract increase by 10% and has been invited to develop proposals for additional scopes of work on the project. We look forward to keeping up our “fast haul” on the project and will be excited to watch ODFL’s first big shipment leave KC’s new distribution hub next year.