Creative Thinking Solves Problem Caused by Flooding


Author: William Charles Ltd.
Date posted: 11/8/2010

When a problem needs tackling, in some cases, even if it’s not our own, that’s where William Charles Construction excels. According to project manager Joe Francis, it’s a call to assemble creative thinkers with the given task of “let’s get this figured out.” 

When the Mississippi River rose 18 feet at William Charles Construction’s job site, Lock and Dam 12 at the Savanna Army Depot, flooding caused an official contractual delay which meant we were off the hook and not being charged workdays. However, the Army Corps of Engineers was still grappling with a difficult and timely situation.

Following on our crew’s heels, the refurbished bulkheads for the Lock and Dam 12 were going to be delivered from Minnesota in early November. The delivery of the refurbished bulkheads, which was not part of our contract, is critical to operation of the Dam over the winter and spring seasons. We had in our contract the refurbishing of the additional pieces, carts and rails, needed to complete the assembly of the bulkheads. The rails and carts were refurbished under our contract by a sub-contractor near the Quad-Cities and needed to be delivered to the bulkhead storage yard before the bulkheads could be delivered. With access to the site cut off by flooding, an alternate plan was required if we were to get the rails and carts to the Dam.

We made arrangements to deliver the carts and rails by water. It just so happened that a landowner we were working with on the IDOT US 20 East Dubuque project owns and operates Dubuque Barge & Fleeting. With one phone call, we had arranged to use a tug boat from Dubuque Barge and Fleeting for delivery of the rails and carts by barge. As a result, the job is proceeding and WC Construction has demonstrated to the Army Corps of Engineers that when there’s a problem, we definitely want to be part of the solution.

With over a century of quality work behind our name, William Charles is still guided by the pursuit of excellence and the “Do it right the first time” work ethic that has been at the cornerstone of our business philosophy since 1892. Our attention to the customer and to the highest safety standards are at the very heart of all we do.