Picture workers slinging hammers, dozens of drills buzzing as dust swirls in the air, materials and equipment laying everywhere. Add to the scene LVS' crew installing 13 miles of delicate fiber and other voice and data systems. Now, you have an inside look into the construction site for the 1.75 million-square-foot state-of-the-art distribution facility for tire manufacturer Michelin. Located in Ridgeport Logistics Center, 40 miles southwest of Chicago in Wilmington, Ill., the project was dubbed "one of the largest industrial projects to break ground in the United States" according to a news article in "Midwest Real Estate News."
At its high point, LVS' crew numbered a dozen led by Foreman Anthony Brown. In addition to fiber, LVS installed 250 wireless antennaes, 60 cameras, access control systems, fire alarm system and data cabling for executive offices, guard houses and five buildings.
LVS was assigned the work long after building began and worked hard to catch up. From the start, deadlines rigidly defined the project – work started in April with some cabinet installations and ramped up in early May. As a result, low voltage work was done side by side with other trades as construction was well underway. "The crew did a really great job working around all that activity. The conditions were extreme," said Mark Graczyk, project manager for LVS. "Plus, there was all that fiber."
Miles and miles of fiber was laid. Fiber optics work is meticulous; the material itself is essentially made of glass. The risk of crushing fiber runs high. LVS electricians first set up pulling routes in the ceiling using cable supports and string or rope, then coned off the area to place the fiber reel. Once the routes were set, a ground feeder and puller carefully worked together at each end. Pulleys helped workers get around tight corners to limit pull points throughout the total cable run.
"We were pulling fiber everywhere," said Graczyk. "It's staggering to see the amount of fiber we installed. It's based off of the owners design criteria. Sometimes within a data center, you will see that many strands of fiber but not in a distribution center. Here, we were pulling across warehouses, thirty to forty feet in the air."
The job tapped one of LVS' biggest strengths, that is, its knack for streamlining efficiency on large-scale projects. With the company’s extensive track record, LVS technicians were confident they could get the job done right and on time.
Ridge Development Company, LLC oversaw the construction project. The company’s Director of Development Services Tim Stuchly commented on LVS' work, saying, "Low Voltage Solutions provided professional, timely responses to all requests to help accommodate multiple changes in the scope with the end user. Both the office staff and field staff were committed to providing our client with the various systems required for their business operation."