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Jackie A. Meck Water Campus

Buckeye, Arizona

Among the fastest growing cities in the United States, the city of Buckeye needed to expand its water infrastructure and supply to meet the community’s needs. Yet drought and aging infrastructure exacerbated the issue. The city’s original storage tank not only was deteriorating, but it also held just one million gallons of water.

The city chose the joint-venture team of Kiewit and Haydon Building Corp. to deliver a new 6-million-gallons-per-day (MGD) water treatment plant – later named the Jackie A. Meck Water Campus – and associated infrastructure to bolster the community’s water supply and accommodate future growth. It was the largest capital improvement undertaking in the city’s history.

This project, delivered in the progressive design-build (PDB) model, was built in multiple phases. The scope included:

  • New 4-million-gallon reservoir
  • Construction of three new well sites
  • Approximately 35,000 linear feet of transmission piping
  • A booster pump station
  • Multiple surge tanks
  • Pressure reducing station
  • Treatment waste stream analysis to determine the most efficient disposal of plant effluent
  • Building that houses all arsenic treatment process equipment as well as electrical and chemical feed equipment

The first phase of the project was the urgent design and construction of the new production wells, storage reservoir and new conveyance pipeline between the new wells and storage facility.

Kiewit self-performed all major civil, grading, utility, concrete, mechanical and commissioning work for the project.

The PBD method allowed the project to be fast-tracked and facilitated early involvement from the construction team, owner, engineers and technical experts in developing collaborative solutions. It marked the first time for the city of Buckeye to use the PDB method, and the Kiewit team fostered collaboration and synergy by conducting partnering meetings with the city to ensure alignment on goals.

The new 20-acre plant, delivered on-time and under budget, is expandable to 16 MGD, enabling it to accommodate the city’s continued growth.

Kiewit’s in-house procurement team started the procurement early in design and, where possible, re-sequenced construction activities to mitigate schedule impact due to long-lead items.

The Kiewit team provided value engineering alternatives that optimized project scope and saved Buckeye approximately $11 million. Examples of these alternatives included:

  • Realigned pressure zones in treatment plant service area, eliminating more than 5,000 linear feet of distribution pipeline, saving $1.5 million and six months of construction.
  • Proposed open bidding of the arsenic supply contract. Through careful evaluation and selection, the city saved $1.2 million.
  • Worked with consultant to develop a concrete mix that would provide more stability and crack resistance for the cast-in-place (CIP) reservoir. The CIP concrete approach, rather than steel, mitigates long-term maintenance costs as well.

The team also deployed additional elements that reduce lifecycle costs for the facility. This included:

  • Installed variable frequency drives to reduce energy costs.
  • Optimized deployment of standby generators to save costs and maintenance.
  • Enabled easier, cost-effective access to replacement parts in the treatment system with supplier agnostic approach.

In the community, the project team performed significant planning and community outreach to address potential construction concerns and communicate upcoming construction activities. It also prioritized some construction activities at night that reduced impacts to neighbors and minimized traffic disruptions.