BPA selected us to provide engineering, procurement and construction services on the new four-bay, 12-breaker, break and a half layout, including a new Power Control Assembly for substation controls. With a 16-month project timeline, scheduling was critical to successfully completing the work.
We implemented a project schedule that staged the release of design documents and material procurement in conjunction with construction. Working with BPA, we expedited multiple phases, including quality review of design documents, specifications, submittal reviews and responses to field requests. With lengthy lead times for some of the materials, procurement was coordinated with the project construction schedule to keep activities moving.
Construction sequences evolved over the course of the project, adopting and incorporating efficiencies uncovered along the way. Teamwork also played an important role as construction teams maintained 60-hour workweeks through the 12 months of construction.
The presence of culturally sensitive monuments within the construction footprint required working closely with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation to develop solutions that would enable the necessary civil grading and site work. The construction team barricaded some sensitive areas while site excavation continued elsewhere. The design was modified to avoid some of the monuments, and another was carefully relocated.
At the peak of construction, at least 60 craft and technical personnel were working on the site. Given the challenges of the terrain and potentially extreme weather, we worked with BPA to generate a site-specific safety and health plan that bridged the differences between the companies’ safety programs, leading with the more conservative approach. In addition, a detailed heavy-lift plan was implemented for the critical lift of the power control assembly building.
The new substation at the Port of The Dalles was completed on schedule, ready to help BPA address the significant load growth in the area, especially from the addition of a third Google data center in the area. Its successful completion will help the community retain and attract large industrial corporations.
The work was completed while maintaining respectful relationships with stakeholders, including local tribal members concerned about culturally sensitive areas affected by the project. Working within a relatively small footprint, we worked closely with BPA to optimize the layout to meet the utility’s needs while maximizing the available space.
Project sequencing took advantage of the efficiencies and flexibility of the selected engineer-procure-construct (EPC) approach, leading to highly responsive scheduling and review processes. And the thorough safety protocols we established resulted in zero recordable incidents throughout the aggressive construction timeline.