Carolinas AGC Presents 2018 Pinnacle Awards

Press Release Summary:

Carolinas AGC honors 2018 Pinnacle Awards to five construction projects. The award winners are best building project (Vidant Health and Cascade Saloon Redevelopment), best highway-heavy project (Salem Greek connector and Wilmington Bypass Segment B) and individual pinnacle award (Vaughn Wicker). The five construction excellence awardees are Cool Springs Volunteer Fire Department, Express Design-Build Replacement of Bridge #262 over Mill Pond, Applied Technology Center - Package B, Cary/Apex Raw Water Pump Station and Intake Improvements and Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital.

Original Press Release:

Carolinas AGC Announces Top Projects

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Carolinas AGC (CAGC) bestowed the 2018 Pinnacle Awards to five construction projects which enhance their communities, and the "Build with the Best" Pinnacle Award to an individual who spent his career assisting the construction industry. Pinnacle entries are judged on unique aspects and challenges; special values; project management; budget and schedule; and safety performance. CAGC also presented five contractors with Construction Excellence Awards for their work on projects recognized by the CAGC Pinnacle Award Judges as projects of distinction. To learn more about the CAGC Pinnacle Awards and Construction Excellence Awards, visit CAGC's awards page. Watch highlights from the Pinnacle Awards ceremony.

Vidant Health - Cancer Care at Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Tower, Greenville, NC
General Contractor:
 T.A. Loving Rodgers, A Joint Venture
Pinnacle Partner: SteelFab
Pinnacle Partner: North State Steel

In eastern North Carolina, the cancer mortality rate is 15% higher than the state and national averages. With a vision of seeing life without cancer, the team at Vidant Health in Greenville set out to make a difference in the lives of its community members with the new Vidant Cancer Center at the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Tower. T.A. Loving Rodgers, a Joint Venture, served as the construction manager to build the dream of the new six story, 418,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art cancer center with 96 inpatient rooms, 60 infusion areas, and 58 clinical exam rooms.

The interior features themes of flowering trees, calming color palettes and digital art walls with inspirational scenes from North Carolina landscapes. As a special detail, during the design phase, staff and patient and family advisors were consulted to help design the center's aesthetics. Outside, there are three healing gardens that offer a calm and quiet atmosphere designed to foster meditation and reflection. Unique indoor and outdoor labyrinths flow through the gardens as pathways to connect the spaces.

T.A. Loving Rodgers' strong partnership and collaboration among the owner, design team and specialty contractors resulted in a successful first project for this new Joint Venture.

Cascade Saloon Redevelopment, Greensboro, NC
General Contractor:
 The Christman Company
Pinnacle Partner: Tise-Kiester Architects
Pinnacle Partner: Bennett Preservation Engineering

The historic Cascade Saloon in downtown Greensboro, located in the city's South Elm Street Historic District, is a cherished but long neglected facility that had little hope for future use until this project gave it a new life. The Christman Company formed a public/private partnership with Preservation Greensboro and its development fund together with the City of Greensboro to save the structure, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and transform it into Christman's new regional offices.

Constructed in 1895 as a saloon and general store, the brick masonry building had served the community in many capacities over the years. But by the 1980s, the building had been all but abandoned; over the next three decades, the Saloon fell into a state of dangerous disrepair. 

Operating between two functioning railroad tracks adjacent to the site, stabilization of the historic masonry structure, working with extremely limited space for construction materials and deliveries, and replication of the historic exterior cornice were just some of the key project challenges that the team overcame. A construction approach of "building a ship in a bottle" was used to erect a new support structure inside the historic brick walls.

Glendale Pedestrian Bridge, Glendale, SC
General Contractor:
 Carolina Bridge Company, Inc.

The original bridge crossing Lawson Creek, built in 1903, provided access to the Glendale Mill and Mill Town. It was replaced in 1928 with a Pratt Style Truss utilizing the 1903 rock masonry piers. The structure was then closed to vehicle traffic in 1977 and then ultimately abandoned. After 40 years of neglect, at the ripe old age of 89, this Glendale Bridge was completely restored with the help of funding through private donations, grants, and by Spartanburg County.

The restoration project consisted of replacing 5200 rivets with high strength bolts, replacing all lower chords with higher grade steel, disassembling and repairing the bearings, replacing all significantly corroded steel, replacing the deteriorated asphalt deck with a new timber deck, and a new paint job complete with 100% removal of existing lead-based paint. The bridge also received lighting, hand rails, and improved access.

One of the many unique challenges (and greatest safety concern) of this project involved replacing the lower chords of the truss. Structurally the most critical member of a Pratt Truss is the lower chord—if one is removed without the truss being supported, the truss will collapse. Typically, the truss would be supported during chord replacement by vertical shoring towers at the bottom of the creek. However, due to the proximity of the historic dam, using these shoring towers could have damaged it. Carolina Bridge devised a way to strengthen the truss with threaded rods to allow for the replacement of the bottom chords without the need to use the shoring towers.

Salem Creek Connector, Winston-Salem, NC
General Contractor:
 Blythe Construction, Inc.

The Salem Creek Connector project was conceived to maintain and improve connectivity between the Research Triangle Corridor and Downtown Winston Salem, including: Winston-Salem State University, Salem College, Bowman Gray Stadium and Old Salem Visitors' Center. Also included in the construction was a new four-lane boulevard with a diverging-diamond interchange at US 52. 

The railroad bridge over US 52 offered other challenges, such as coordinating the construction of this bridge with the phasing of the US 52 roadway. Traffic flow had to be maintained during the construction, which required multiple traffic shifts, and temporarily diverting all south bound traffic onto the new ramp alignment.

Described as "the vanguard of road improvements designed to make coming into Winston-Salem a memorable experience" by the Winston-Salem Journal, the project included the erection of twin arches over US 52 to reflect the community's Moravian heritage which often included arches in their architecture. 

Wilmington Bypass Segment B, Wilmington, NC|
General Contractor:
 Balfour Beatty

This $124 million, three-mile bridge and roadway project – US-17 from State Road 1430 to West of US-421 North of Wilmington, represented the culmination of a 15-year plan to reduce traffic congestion in New Hanover County and improve accessibility to Brunswick County to the south. The project represents a successful collaboration between NCDOT, Balfour Beatty, the US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard, CSX Transportation, Duke Energy and a strong network of subcontractors.

As part of the project, Balfour Beatty drove the largest precast pile in southeastern North Carolina and constructed one of the longest post-tensioned spans in the state. The project team preserved the integrity of the untouched wetlands and delivered the three-mile bridge and roadway project on time to open to traffic on December 19, 2017.

The project is featured on a US Army Corps of Engineers promotional poster as a successful example of a new highway and bridge project built without damage to aquatic resources, and won accolades from ENR Southeast and the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials.

Individual Pinnacle Award
Vaughn Wicker, International Code Council (Retired)

The Build with the Best award honors someone who is not a contractor but has contributed to the betterment of the construction industry and the overall economic welfare of the Carolinas.

Carolinas AGC is proud to recognize Vaughn Wicker, who was employed by the International Code Council for 23 years prior to his retirement in May 2017. In this role at ICC, he served as the representative covering the southeast, including North Carolina and South Carolina.

Over the years, Vaughn's experience as a code official made him an excellent member advocate, and he always provided great service and support to the construction industry. CAGC's own Leslie Clark often called upon Vaughn anytime she had questions regarding codes—and he was always eager to help. Notorious for keeping up with legislation, Vaughn would also dedicate time to sharing the impact that proposed building code bills would have on the construction industry.

Construction Excellence Awards

Cool Springs Volunteer Fire Department 
Statesville, NC
D. R. Reynolds Company

Express Design-Build Replacement of Bridge #262 over Mill Pond 
Granite Falls, NC
R. E. Burns & Sons Company, Inc.

Applied Technology Center - Package B
Rock Hill, SC
Batson-Cook Company

Cary/Apex Raw Water Pump Station and Intake Improvements
Apex, NC
Crowder Construction Company

Novant Health Charlotte Orthopedic Hospital 
Charlotte, NC
Vannoy Construction

The CAGC Pinnacle Awards competition is co-sponsored by CPA firm GreerWalker LLP and the law firm of Johnston, Allison & Hord. The Pinnacle presentation was made at CAGC's 98th Annual Convention in Charleston, SC in January. Carolinas AGC is the construction industry association in the Carolinas, bringing value to our thousands of members through networking, government relations, job leads, meetings with owners/designers, education and training involving such issues as safety and open shop, and community development. Visit us at, connect with us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, and LinkedIn

For more information on Pinnacle Award winners and photos visit or contact Lori McGovern at 704/372-1450 ext. 5227.

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