The Rocket Express Car Wash in Midvale, Utah, is the longest, most innovative and most technologically advanced car wash in the nation, says the submitter. There is only one other facility like it—the original Rocket Express in Twin Falls, Idaho. The new car wash represents a unique culmination of project conception, site selection and planning, thematic building design, technology integration and project execution.

Photo courtesy of Ascent Construction
Rocket's wash tunnel features a 220-ft-long conveyor.

Rocket Express aims to serve between one-quarter-million and one-half-million vehicles per year by significantly reducing cleaning time. The wash tunnel features a 220-ft-long conveyor. It totes each vehicle through a vast array of custom-engineered wash-and-rinse equipment and drying systems, all operated from a closely monitored, computerized control center. State-of-the-art water reclamation and conditioning systems ensure efficient water use.

The construction team faced many unforeseen conditions throughout the project. Once part of an older residential neighborhood, the property appeared clean at the start of the project, but while excavating for the footings, the team discovered basement walls, floors and footings of former homes on the site.

Site utilities were not located per the design, and the storm drainage system had to be redesigned to comply with Midvale city standards. Old drainage ditches were discovered, replaced and brought up to code.

Working through a record-setting cold winter was also a challenge. The team focused on tasks that could be finished inside to keep the project moving.

The team closely coordinated its construction schedule with the Utah Dept. of Transportation to redirect traffic, close lanes, construct a new turnout lane, manage large-material deliveries and ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians at the busy location.

It was difficult to keep heavy traffic flowing properly while making progress, but through careful planning and execution, the Ascent project team delivered this unusual car wash on time and within budget.


Best Intermountain Specialty Contracting Project

Rocket Express Car Wash

Midvale, Utah

Key Players

Owner Rocket Express LLC, Twin Falls, Idaho

Architect Howa Design, Boise

General Contractor Ascent Construction Inc., Centerville, Utah

Structural Engineer SEC Idaho, Boise

Civil Engineer/Landscape Architect The Land Group Inc., Eagle, Idaho

MEP Engineer Musgrove Engineering, Boise

Surveying Ensign Engineering, Sandy, Utah