The 20-hour job required 150 concrete trucks circulating from six batch plants.
(Photo courtesy of Alex Gort)

The Miami-based construction company placed 13,511 yards of concrete that will serve as the foundation for Trump Royale, a 55-story, $180 million oceanfront condominium that is part of the $750 million Trump Grande Ocean Resort and Residences, an 11-acre enclave that includes the 278-unit Trump Palace, and a 372-unit condo hotel. (ENR's Nov. 2003 Construction Facts Sourcebook lists a 1988 job by Hochtief AG as the largest continuous pour in the world. The Messe Turm office building placement required 22,236 cu yd of concrete. In the U.S., Dick Corp. placed 21,000 cu yd for the Venetian Casino mat in Las Vegas in 1997.) "We think this may be a world record for a residential mat pour," said Coastal vice President Ed Fallin. "We averaged 676 cu yd per hour."

The pour began at 2 a.m. Jan. 7 and finished at approximately 10:15 p.m. that night.

"We didn't have a glitch," said Thomas P. Murphy, Jr., CEO, Coastal Construction Group.

Once Murphy and company decided a monolithic placement would best serve the project they began their planning six months in advance.

The foundation slab, 11 ft thick, measured 138 ft by 270 ft. It contained 3,200,000 lbs of high-strength reinforcing steel.

Rinker Materials Corp., headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla., provided the 7,000 psi concrete, using 190 trucks to taxi their product to the pour from seven batch plants in the proximity of the project. Rinker used the services of 1,000 employees including those at the plant, drivers and management. Coupled with Coastal personnel and others, more than 1,500 people were involved.

Once trucks reached the site they were guided to one of eight placing booms stationed around the perimeter of the foundation.

During the first two hours they emptied over 2,000 cu yds of the special pump mix that included Grace Construction Products' superplaticizer, which allowed the concrete to be placed with a 9-inch slump while keeping a constant water to cement ratio.

"The staging was magnificent," Murphy said.

Coastal choreographed the pour like a Broadway musical -- successfully directing traffic, tallying the amount of batched concrete, and washing the trucks out before sending them back to the plants. Rinker's suppliers stayed busy as well making sure the batch plants maintained their stock of rock, sand, cement and additives. Coastal's quality control supervisors inspected every sixth truck. "They only rejected one truck - for slump," said Fallin.

Coastal had an extra two pumps on hand in the event of a breakdown and two bobcats servicing the job site to clean up any spills, which helped prevent stoppages. The only delays came via the inevitable traffic backups, which at one point saw 25 trucks bumper to bumper on Collins Ave. waiting to unload. And toward the end the process slowed while Coastal prudently monitored the amount of concrete needed to finish the pour. When the pour finished approximately 50 yards of surplus concrete remained.

Murphy said the spectacle of the pour captured the imagination of the area, including those in concrete business.

"One Rinker [driver] gets out of the truck with tears in his eyes and said [the pour] was the highlight of his career," Murphy said. "I never saw anything like it in my life."

oastal Construction Group orchestrated and successfully executed what the company claims is the largest-ever concrete placement in the Southeast Jan. 7 at Sunny Isles Beach in Miami.