05 Jun Get to know Kubricky Construction Corp. Project Manager, John Whittaker
Get to know Kubricky Construction Corp. Project Manager, John Whittaker
Upon joining the Kubricky team, John Whittaker brought more than a decade of experience in construction, heavy highway, and engineering management to the table. With a B.S. in Engineering and Management from Clarkson University and close to 8 years with Kiewit in New York City under his belt, John has quickly become an indispensable member of the team.
How long have you been working in the industry?
I grew up working in the construction industry as a whole between building houses, landscaping, and performing odd jobs with my father/family/friends. I started working in the heavy highway industry in 2008 as an intern for Kiewit Corporation. I worked there for close to 8 years before coming up to Saratoga to begin working with Kubricky.
I attended Clarkson University where I received my B.S. in Engineering and Management with a focus in Construction Management.
Why did you choose the construction field?
I’ve always enjoyed the unique challenges that the construction field presents along with the satisfaction of seeing the completed projects.
Construction provides tangible results. These results are something you can look back on for several years and be proud to have been a part of.
We also get an opportunity to work with heavy equipment. Who doesn’t enjoy that?
What projects are you working on now?
I’m currently working on the 9W bridge replacement and rehabilitation project along the Route 9W corridor in Cornwall, NY. This project includes the complete replacement of four separate bridges along with the performance of three other bridge rehabilitations. It was started in the spring of 2020 and is currently scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2021.
This project has been a unique opportunity to be a part of several different types of work as each project site is slightly different from the other.
The bridge foundations range from large, cast-in-place concrete footings to H-piles to CIP O-piles. The abutments range in size and all require an architectural finish that results in a rock wall appearance when completed. Finally, there are different types of decks being placed, some of which are performed in stages and others that are placed all at once. Two of the rehabilitations are on existing arch bridges that have deteriorated over time and the other rehab occurs in a large box culvert that runs under 9W, requiring us to create a cofferdam to redirect the stream water to perform our work.
I’m also working on a bridge replacement in Proctor, VT. This project is the replacement of a small DOT bridge that goes over the railroad. To prepare for a 90 day shutdown period, this project will require installation of a soldier pile and lagging retaining wall, along with a temporary pedestrian bridge. The existing bridge will be closed to commuter traffic, and our team will work around live railroad traffic.
Within that shutdown period we will fully remove the existing bridge, excavate to bedrock, build up the new bridge, and reopen it to traffic. This project will then be wrapped up with the installation of a new waterline, drainage, and roadway in the surrounding area.
What has been the most challenging/fun?
The challenging part of both projects has been the management of the schedule.
9W maintains a large crew of employees and equipment that rely heavily on the management and planning of upcoming operations to efficiently complete the work across several sites being worked on at the same time. Not only do we need to be diligent in keeping the work moving from an efficiency standpoint, multiple sites are also tied to liquidated damages should we not complete them in the specified time identified in the contract.
Similarly, Proctor is tied to the same concept with liquidated damages built around the shutdown period. Not only do we need to remain focused on the plan to effectively complete the bridge replacement, but it also requires us to complete a large amount of prep work prior to shutdown.
This constant challenge in my mind is what creates excitement with this industry and helps to give you the sense of pride when you successfully complete these types of projects.
Any shot-outs/recognition you would like to make?
Thanks to the superintendents, field engineers, and crews on the projects that I have had the opportunity to be a part of. These projects would certainly not be nearly as successful without your leadership, planning, and assistance.
Thanks to the D.A. Collins family of companies for providing me with the opportunity to work on some unique projects with a great group of coworkers.
Are you excited about the upcoming construction season?
I’m excited for the upcoming construction season to take on some new projects/opportunities and create more relationships within the industry in doing so. It’s going to be an exciting year that I look forward to completing safely and successfully.