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2013WinShotcreteEMag

2012 Outstanding Repair & Rehabilitation Project St. Paul Union Depot By Richard Maxwell and Dave Sawyer tat which time it became a landmark transporta- glory, and RAM Construction Services, out ofCurrently, a massive rehabilitation project isunderway to restore SPUD (Fig. 1) to its historical-he St. Paul Union Depot, also known affectionately as SPUD, was originally built in 1881, tion facility in downtown St. Paul, MN. It served as nearby Little Canada, MN, is playing a key part a major Midwestern rail hub until its tragic destruc- in the restoration. tion by fire in 1915. Construction of a new facility According to Bryan Dziuban, RAM’s Minnesota began in earnest soon after World War I and reached Regional Manager, the scope of work at SPUD completion in 1923. At its height of operation in the involved some restoration of the carriageway and 1920s, millions of pieces of mail moved through the tunnels connecting it with the depot, but the bulk of depot annually; there were nine railroads operating the work took place in the southwest parking struc- within its walls, with an average daily train move- ture under the train deck (Fig. 2 to 5). The parking ment of close to 300. structure required over 30,000 ft2 (2800 m2) of The depot effectively ceased all transportation removal and replacement of concrete. While the vast functions in 1971, when Amtrak moved its rail majority of delaminated concrete removal was services elsewhere. The head house, a stark example achieved through hydrodemolition, RAM was of neoclassical architecture, was added to the National responsible for hand-chipping those areas where the Register of Historic Places in 1974. Since that time, hydrodemolition apparatus was unable to reach. a number of businesses have occupied it, along with From the outset, RAM’s focus was on the mandate the U.S. Postal Service, which had been using it in given by the RCRRA and the general contractor, conjunction with the neighboring Central Post Office. Mortenson Construction (located in neighboring But that all changed in 2011, when the Ramsey Minneapolis): restore the structural integrity to the County Regional Railway Authority (RCRRA) historical landmark while remaining as true as approved plans to purchase the head house as part possible to the original construction aesthetics. of a massive $250 million effort to return the But RAM didn’t once consider a form-and- trains to the depot. pour approach to this extensive challenge. As Jody Forsman, RAM’s Restoration Field Superintendent, puts it, “The company prides itself on its knowledge of the materials and techniques that will yield the highest performance for any given application” and, as one of the largest shotcrete restoration contractors in the Fig. 2: The majority of concrete removals were Fig. 1: St. Paul Union Depot performed by hydrodemolition 24 Shotcrete • Winter 2013


2013WinShotcreteEMag
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