Select Page

Concrete Openings Award Winners

Concrete Openings Award Winners

World of Concrete Awards Ceremony Celebrates CSDA Members

The most innovative and challenging projects completed by CSDA contractors in 2015 were recognized during a prestigious World of Concrete ceremony in Las Vegas.

The association, in conjunction with the Praxis event, hosted the third annual Concrete Openings Awards. This year’s ceremony was staged at the Praxis booth in the outdoor Gold Lot of the Las Vegas Convention Center and drew a good crowd. CSDA Executive Director Patrick O’Brien acted as Master of Ceremonies while the association’s president, Kevin Baron, presented the awards to the winner. World of Concrete attendees and members of the industry media joined CSDA to celebrate with the winning contractors over champagne and strawberries.

The inaugural Concrete Openings Awards ceremony was held in 2014 to showcase the best projects covered in CSDA’s official magazine and recognize the contractors who performed the work. This year, sixteen job stories were split into four categories and put before a panel of judges. The panel scored each job based on its pre-planning, use of innovation, degree of difficulty and quality requirements. The project with the highest score in each category was declared the winner.

“Just as I have seen for the past couple of years, these 2015 entries show the amazing skill and intricate planning that go into concrete cutting, polishing and imaging jobs,” said Tom Stowell, CSDA Past President and industry professional from Gainesville, Georgia. “It was a pleasure to be involved in the judging process and I congratulate the winners for their fantastic work.”

These winning projects are just some of the innovative and complex jobs being done by CSDA contractors everyday on jobsites around the U.S. and beyond. The association encourages all concrete cutting, breaking, polishing and imaging members to submit their best job stories for publication in Concrete Openings, and to consider entry to this year’s awards. Look out for more information about the Concrete Openings 2016 Awards later in the year.

To read any, or all, of these job stories in full, find them on this website by searching through our Job Stories section or search by issue. For more information about the winning projects, the awards or about CSDA, call 727-577-5004 or email

And the winners are….


1 COA - Logo CobraCompany: Cobra Concrete Cutting Services Co.
Location: Arlington Heights, Illinois
Category: Building Construction
Issue Published: March 2015

Daniel Foley of Cobra Concrete Cutting Services Co. receives the award.

Daniel Foley of Cobra Concrete Cutting Services Co. receives the award.

The winner of the this category cut and removed approximately 100,000 pounds of concrete as part of a two-phase, $5.2-million renovation project at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois. The work involved creating several 9.5-foot-tall openings, some as wide as 6 feet, in the 14-inch-thick exterior wall of the Doane Observatory, home to the largest aperture telescope available to the public in the Chicagoland area. A raked concrete finish had to be chipped from the outer wall to position track-mounted wall sawing equipment for cutting the openings.

An interior wall within the cylindrical-shaped structure was made up of 12 concrete sections that were positioned together at 30-degree angles. This meant using precise calculations and cutting techniques to ensure the work was completed within specified tolerances. Further precise cutting and removal tasks were completed to help transform the observatory into a modern tourist attraction.


1 COA - Logo Hard RockCompany: Hard Rock Concrete Cutters, Inc.
Location: Wheeling, Illinois
Category: Industrial Renovation
Issue Published: September 2015

This contractor was tasked with cutting and removing a giant 400-ton concrete shielding door from a laboratory within a scientific research center in Chicago, Illinois. The moveable concrete structure weighed in excess of 800,000 pounds and served as a giant door for a previous experiment at the lab. However, it stood in the way of renovation works and was to be removed.

The successful completion of this highly technical concrete sawing project required two years of planning, using a diamond wire saw to dissect the door into smaller manageable blocks for removal. By the end of the job, operators had cored approximately 60 feet of concrete and cut over 2,100 square feet of concrete, creating over 50 concrete blocks – some of which weighed 16,000 pounds. The contractor also had to cut through steel plating and five 3-foot I-beams, creating three b;ocks weighing an average of 25 tons each.

COA - Win Hard Rock

Company owner Jim Dvoratchek (right) with members of his cutting team.

1 COA - Logo MinneapolisCompany: Minneapolis Concrete Sawing & Drilling
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Category: Infrastructure Renovation
Issue Published: June 2015

Kay Fuglie with daughter Tami, Representing Minneapolis Concrete Sawing & Drilling

Kay Fuglie with daughter Tami, Representing Minneapolis Concrete Sawing & Drilling

In the case of this winning project, the professional cutting contractor was tasked with drilling out over 38,000 pounds of steel when the pins of six large lock gate hinges on the Mississippi River became stuck in their bushing and would not allow the gates to rotate properly.

The General Zebulon Pike Lock & Dam No. 11 is located between Dubuque, Iowa, and rural Grant County, Wisconsin, on the Upper Mississippi River. The lock hinge issue would eventually lead to the failure of the gates, so the contractor was tasked with core drilling the twelve 6-foot-long, 14-inch-diameter pins from the gate hinges within 0.125 inch of the outside diameter and without piercing the sides of the pins. A hydraulic core drill fitted with 13.875-inch-diameter carbide bits was utilized for the work and spun at a rate of 50 RPM to cut the pins free.


1 COA - Logo A1Company: A1 Kiwi Cutters & Drillers Ltd
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Category: Roads, Bridges & Airports
Issue Published: December 2015

CSDA Past President Ted Johnston received the award on behalf of A1 Kiwi Cutters & Drillers

CSDA Past President Ted Johnston received the award on behalf of A1 Kiwi Cutters & Drillers

The first international Concrete Openings Award winner, the winner of this category completed an extensive amount of cutting work to help remove 1,200 tons of concrete as part of a two-year, $1.9-billion widening and tunneling scheme on a motorway in Auckland, New Zealand. The work included over 1,640 feet of flat and wall sawing, 538 square feet of wire sawing and the coring of almost 200 holes for the replacement of a bridge as part of the motorway widening work.

St Lukes Road spans the North Western Motorway in Auckland via a 144-foot-long by 53-foot-wide reinforced concrete bridge, which consisted of 24 precast, pre-tensioned beams. Each beam was 43 inches tall and transitioned from 35 inches wide at the top to 20 inches at the bottom, spaced at 4.1-foot centers. The bridge had a 4 to 8-inch-thick topping slab and two abutments, one of which remained in use for a new bridge while the other was cut up and removed. In addition, a center pier and headstock structure were removed. A combination of flat sawing, core drilling, wall sawing and wire sawing techniques were used to decommission the bridge.

About The Author

Leave a reply