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Contractor Chooses Precast Runway Light Bases for Grosse Ile Airport

With 145 new runway lights at the Grosse Ile Municipal Airport, Dan's Excavating was in need of a quick and simple solution to expedite the concrete foundations.

In the summer of 2015, Petoskey Public Schools broke ground on a brand new athletic stadium. With the current stadium miles away from campus and unable to accommodate the masses of "Fighting Northmen" fans, a new facility was desperately needed.
But the new stadium site was very large, requiring 40 new lights for multiple parking lots, sidewalks, and a roadway. Completing the installation on a tight deadline became the project's main challenge.


In 2015, the Grosse Ile Municipal Airport in Grosse Ile, Michigan, decided that Runway 4-22 was ready for an upgrade. The proposed reconstruction project included brand new asphalt as well as 145 new runway lights.

Each runway light required a concrete foundation that needed to extend 40 inches below grade to be below the frost line in the cold winter months.

To build these foundations, contractors traditionally use a cardboard forming system that often proves time-consuming. This method requires an on-site team to build the foundations by hand, utilizing a mechanism to hold everything in place while waiting for a cement truck. At that point, they need to wait even longer while the concrete cured enough to mount a light fixture.

With 145 new lights, building each foundation on site by hand would be a daunting task for even the most experienced contractor.


Dan's Excavating was awarded the project in late 2015 and decided to look for alternative solutions that would expedite the foundation installation.

For each new light fixture, the foundation housing the L-867 lighting had to be 42 inches tall with a 24-inch diameter and two segments of 2-inch conduit. After careful consideration, Dan's Excavating chose Pole Base--a precast concrete foundation system specializing in lighting foundations--to provide the foundations.

Manufactured and cured in a controlled setting before being shipped directly to the site, the Pole Base foundations allowed Dan's Excavating to save time and labor by eliminating the need to build the cardboard form themselves and wait for the concrete to cure.

As the bases began arriving on site, the team from Dan's Excavating stored them in a staging area until installation began. All the installers had to do was dig the hole, lay some crushed stone at the base of that hole, and set the unit in place utilizing Pole Base's unique lifting device that hooked to the inside of the light can. Once the base was set, and after running the necessary wire and backfilling, the team was ready to move onto the next base.

"This product gave us the flexibility to install on our own schedule, which makes us much more efficient and in turn, more competitive," said Randy McTaggart of Dan's Excavating. "The product also installed quickly and was easier to work with than traditional methods."


In the end, Dan's Excavating was able to install the foundations lining the runway and complete the lighting portion of the project quickly and efficiently.

"These bases were very easy to work with and it's been very helpful to be able to install them without having to wait for a mixer to show up on site," explained McTaggart.


Project Name: Grosse Ile Municipal Airport Runway 4-22 Reconstruction and Lighting Rehabilitation Manufacturer: Brutsche Concrete Products Installer: Dan's Excavating Location: Grosse Ile Township, MI Year Built: 2016 Case: 017 - Grosse Ile Airport



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