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Clark Pacific secures 2,000-piece San Francisco 49ers stadium contract

A joint venture of Turner Construction and Devcon Construction charged with design-build delivery of a $1.2 billion, 68,500-seat stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., has awarded the precast contract to West Sacramento-based Clark Pacific. Designed by architect HNTB, the new home to the San Francisco 49ers NFL franchise is scheduled to open for the 2014 season, making the venue the first new NFL stadium built in California in 50 years.

Clark Pacific will fabricate and install more than 2,000 precast components, including treads, risers, and steps for seating plus various stadium walls. The pieces will range in size from 20- to 40-ft. long and weigh as much as 35,000 lbs. According to the project's “super fast track” schedule, casting the precast elements will begin sometime in May, with erecting commencing in September; all precast work will be completed by early 2013, with deliveries happening via flatbed primarily at night.

During daylight hours, the project's four cranes will handle steel erection, then switch over to precast placement at night as the deliveries arrive, primarily from Clark Pacific's Woodland plant, about 95 miles away, although some pieces will arrive from the company's West Sacramento plant as well.

“This is an important, highly visible project for Santa Clara and the San Francisco Bay Area, and it has a very demanding schedule,” says Don Clark, president of business development for Clark Pacific. “Precast concrete is an essential aspect of Turner/Devcon’s strategy to quickly build a high-quality project that will successfully serve the community for decades to come.”

“We often look to precast concrete solutions in stadium design,” adds Turner Construction Project Executive Robert Rayburn. “The plant-fabricated quality and durability of the material are important, and the speed of precast construction makes it very attractive for owners and builders.”

The three precast companies bidding for the project worked with the design/build team for about two years before the contract was preliminarily awarded to Clark Pacific in January (and made official the following month). The team agreed SCC should be used, which is not common for stadium work, according to Clark, who runs the nearly 50-year-old company jointly with brother Robert Clark. The mix design will include 15 percent fly ash, which Don says “is about average for the work we do. We're aiming to make this the first-ever LEED Gold certified stadium in the NFL.”

At the Woodland facility, Clark Pacific had to put in foundation forms on the edge of their main production line to accommodate the larger pieces. Although the company has 90 acres of zoned property, it only takes up seven or eight for actual production—with much of the rest used for storage—so adding a line for the stadium job was an easy task.

Clark Pacific previously provided precast for the San Jose Sharks’ “Shark Tank,” San Jose State Spartan Stadium, Indian Well’s Garden of Champions Tennis Stadium, plus track and soccer venues for Stanford University. It also recently produced and erected extensive precast for the Norman Mineta San Jose International Airport parking structure.

Don Clark said Clark Pacific took a significant hit during the recession, so this project came at the right time and is expected to add 100 new jobs, mostly to the Woodland operation. “We were just starting to see the market loosen up and come back a little when we were awarded the stadium job,” he explains. “This was a much-welcome early injection of business that will not affect the other work we have lined up as well during this production cycle.” — by Steve Prokopy