Sturgeon Electric was awarded a Silver in the 2014 Annual Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Colorado Industry Gala and ACE Awards held in Denver. The second place award for Meeting the Challenge of a Difficult Job – Specialty Contractor category was based on the successful completion of the Climax Mine Discharge Water Treatment Plant in Lake County, Colo., under severe winter conditions. The two-year project required workers enduring frequent blizzards to outfit their boots with tracking beacons for rescue in potential avalanches. Add to this a limited footprint for staging material, safety hazards inherent with working in a 100-year-old mine at 10,300 feet, and executing work to meet frequent safety and compliance Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) audits.
Sturgeon Vice President Jeff Waneka said, “We have a hard-working and dedicated group of employees who work safely in hazardous conditions across the country. We are proud of our team and the recognition by the AGC.”
Sturgeon was one of nine specialty contractors competing for the award, including four electrical contractors.
The Property Discharge Water Treatment Plant (PDWTP) at Climax was an industrial-scale, design-build project consisting of a new multi-building complex, housing components of a system designed to reduce or eliminate water contamination which can occur during the mining process.
Upon being awarded the electrical subcontract from Moltz Construction in 2012, the 100-year-old electrical company began to help reshape the future of the 100-year-old mine. Crews quickly learned to adapt to the problems of wind and snowfall in the area after the first weekend snowstorm. So much snow fell between the end of the shift on Friday and the beginning of the shift on Monday that all of the equipment and material in the laydown yard seemed to have literally disappeared. As this created inefficiency and safety concerns, crews took to a meticulous system of material placement, snow-proof marking methods, and even mapping out the locations of materials and equipment to quickly locate and recover them. These processes greatly reduced the amount of labor required to continually move the snow to keep tabs on the material. Enough snow fell during the winter of 2012-2013 to cause an avalanche on February 14 at the Tucker Iron Mask slope. Although the avalanche turned over some heavy equipment and destroyed the incoming temporary overhead electrical lines, it occurred off-hours and no one was injured.
Sturgeon Electric’s crews were able to carry out the project without a single safety incident, and without sacrificing a day of scheduled work due to inclement weather.