New Phase I – Double Eagle Waterline

Owner: City of Carlsbad
Engineer: Molzen-Corbin & Associates
Location of Project: Maljamar, NM
Final Contract Amount: $9,351,098
Completion Date: June 2015

Project Description:
The New Phase I – Double Eagle Waterline Project presented many unique challenges, so the Owner chose to use a qualifications-based selection process to select AUI as the Contractor. The project scope included:

  • Over 3.5 miles of 24” water transmission line
  • Over 11 miles of 16” water transmission line
  • Four jack and bore crossings under state and county roads and 59 jack and bore crossings under other utilities
  • Four pressure reducing/pressure sustaining stations in pre-cast concrete structures
  • Associated shutoff valves, air release/vacuum valve stations, and appurtenances

Located between Carlsbad and Hobbs, the Project spanned a remote area of about 20 miles. The numerous hills and soft, sandy soil required 4-wheel drive trucks to traverse and limited the ability to get equipment in and out.

The Project area contained dozens of gas and oil lines, from 2” to 16”, running both above and underground. More than one excavation site had in excess of 30 existing utility lines that had to be protected while carefully trenching in the area. Many of the underground lines had to be crossed by the new waterline. All major underground crossings required jacking and boring, and lines were buried up to 13-feet deep, requiring bore pits of 16- to 17-feet. To further complicate the situation, the oil and gas lines running through the Project area had more than 30 different owners.

Approximately two-thirds of the Project area was designated as an “Environmental Area.” This area is habitat for the potentially endangered Sand Dune Lizard and Lesser Prairie Chicken. In addition to providing special precautions to protect these species, any wildlife discovered in the active Project area had to be relocated by the New Mexico Environmental Department (NMED) monitor prior to work continuing. Even rattlesnakes were protected in this area, and some were encountered during the Project. This area was also restricted to having no more than 400 feet of trench open at any one time. Even though the total contract time allowed for the Project was one year, all of the work in the Environmental Area (2/3 of the job) had to be constructed between August 1st and November 30th to avoid disrupting the nesting season of the Sand Dune Lizard. This seemingly insurmountable schedule milestone was met by overlapping crews working 16-hour days, seven days a week, including staggering lunches for crews so that equipment never stopped working.

Because the locations for water were so far apart (only four locations over the 20-mile Project area), and the terrain was not suitable for water trucks, we had to find another way to get water for dust control and backfill to the needed locations. The Project superintendent had our crews weld taps into the existing steel waterline every 5,000 feet. He then used 2,500-foot sections of 2-inch poly hose with a tee installed every 500 feet to have water available anywhere it was needed.

These are just a few of the many unique challenges that had to be overcome to successfully complete the Project. By responding to the challenges with innovative solutions, AUI completed the Project on time and on budget with a high level of quality.




Farmington Lift Station Improvements

Wet well with valve vault

Wet well with valve vault

Owner: City of Farmington
Engineer: HDR Engineering, Inc.
Location of Project: Farmington, NM
Final Contract Amounts / Completion Dates
Lift Station No. 2:
$1,385,518 / September 2015
Lift Station Nos. 3, 5, and 22:
$1,099,740 / November 2015

These projects provided improvements to existing lift stations with the complete rehabilitation of existing wet wells and valve vaults including new piping, pumps, process controls, and structural concrete. During construction, each lift station was taken off-line and sewage was by-passed for approximately three months.

Motor Control Center with conduit to wet well

Motor Control Center with conduit to wet well


13th Street Reconstruction – Phase I

Installing the triple 60-inch storm drain

Owner: City of Artesia
Engineer: Smith Engineering Company

Location of Project: Artesia, NM
Contract Amount: $8,524,429
Completion Date: July 2015

This project was a full-width street reconstruction including over 10,000 LF of 60-in storm drain plus water lines, valves, fire hydrants, sanitary sewer line, manholes, sub-grade prep, base course, hot mix asphalt paving, concrete paving, concrete curb and cutter, sidewalks/fillets, and signalized intersections.  AUI completed the project within budget and over two months ahead of schedule.

The project site was constrained by the 32-ft street width. The triple 60-in storm drain installation required complete excavation and a trench width of 25-ft, plus access for material removal. Careful planning and execution was necessary to avoid damaging nearby facilities. The existing infrastructure was quite old, leading to numerous unknown utilities. We avoided damage by potholing each area prior to beginning excavation.

“It has been one of the most efficiently managed projects I have ever been associated with.”

Scott Hicks, PE/VP
Project Engineer
Smith Engineering Company

School children walking through the 60-in storm drain pipe

School children walking through the 60-in storm drain pipe

The project area included a school, a hospital, parks, businesses, and residences. Extra care was required to maintain both vehicle and pedestrian safety. In addition to cordoning off work areas, AUI held a “Safety Day” at the elementary school. We placed a piece of the storm drain pipe in the school parking lot and let the children walk through it to understand how large it was. We also brought in and demonstrated a trackhoe. We talked about what the heavy equipment does and how much it weighs, as well as explaining the reasons for the construction fences.

Because maintenance of access was required for all constituents throughout the project, we completed the project in four phases to limit the number of alternative entrances required at any one time. Utility services also had to be maintained during construction so bypass pumping was used to maintain sewer service during construction.

Special Assessment District #228

Removing boulders to allow trenching for utilities

Removing boulders to allow trenching for utilities

Owner: City of Albuquerque
Engineer: Wilson & Company
Location of Project: Albuquerque, NM
Contract Amount: $26,750,711
Completion Date: June 2014

AUI’s largest site development project to date, Special Assessment District (SAD) #228 consisted of 72-acres of site work including:

  • Over 65,000 CY of rock excavation requiring extensive blasting and rock trenching
  • Over 200,000 CY of import fill material
  • Over 50,000 TN of base course material
  • Over 200,000 SY of superpave asphalt concrete
  • Over 90,000 LF of concrete work that included curb and gutter, sidewalks, ADA ramps, and driveways
  • Over 12,000 LF of reinforced concrete pipe in various diameters from 18-in to 96-in
  • Approximately 38,000 LF of 8-in to 18-in diameter PVC sanitary sewer pipe installation, 2,000 LF of 6-in ductile iron forcemain, and 1,500 LF of 2-in PVC forcemain, plus a lift station
  • Over 200 manholes ranging in diameter from 4-ft to 10-ft
  • Approximately 42,000 LF of 4-in to 12-in diameter PVC waterline requiring over 30,000 lbs of ductile iron fittings
  • Water and sanitary services to approximately 430 individually owned properties
  • Over 66,000 LF of dry utility installation to include electrical, communication, and natural gas infrastructure
  • Signalization and lighting
  • Signage and striping
  • Garden walls and landscaping
  • Bike trail

The extensive rock removal on the project had numerous challenges. Basalt formations were very diverse and unpredictable; a single formation could contain voids, veins, and cracks which made blasting difficult due to the unpredictable release of pressure. Blasting was required directly above existing residences and both above and adjacent to active arterial roadways. The entire site was adjacent the Petroglyph National Monument, containing federally protected artifacts. We mitigated these challenges by using vibration and air blast monitoring for all rock blasts, utilizing both permanent and roving monitoring stations.

The fixed Owner’s budget with minimal contingency required careful budget management, especially since the entire design was preliminary and had to be constantly modified to meet the intent. We were also required to provide access to over 300 private land owners throughout the project.

Mayor Richard Berry and other dignitaries cut the ribbon on the finished Project

Mayor Richard Berry and other dignitaries cut the ribbon on the finished Project

Lead and Coal Avenues Improvements

After: Coal Avenue at Ash Street

After: Coal Avenue at Ash Street

Owner: City of Albuquerque
Engineer: Wilson & Company
Location of Project: Albuquerque, NM
Final Contract Amount: $26,896,887
Completion Date: May 2012

Awards Received:
Three awards from the Associated General Contractors-New Mexico Building Branch (AGC-NM) Best Buildings 2013

  • Municipal and Utilities
  • ACE Leadership High School Students Award
  • Grand Prize of Show

Lead and Coal Avenues serve as main arterials connecting downtown Albuquerque to its east side. The project involved over five and a half miles of construction through the heavily traveled residential area. In addition to resident and business access, mail, bus service, garbage pick-up and other services had to be maintained throughout the project, and heavy pedestrian traffic was a concern with the project’s proximity to CNM and UNM.

The existing three-lane streets that encouraged speeding and weaving were replaced with two-lane streets that included traffic-calming features and encouraged multi-modal transportation. The project made the entire corridor ADA accessible with the installation of over 500 wheelchair ramps. In addition, designated transit stops with shaded structures were installed, bike lanes were added throughout the length of the project, and the existing 3’ sidewalks were widened to a minimum of 6’ wide. Over 18,000 cubic yards of concrete were placed within the project.

The inadequate storm drain system and aging infrastructure were updated, including installation of up to 66” diameter storm drain that had to be placed up to 20’ deep in some sections. The project also included signalization and roadway lighting; fiber optic cable, splicing and terminating; CCTV installation; traffic count station installation; signing and striping; garden walls, retaining walls and landscaping. The 18-month project was completed on time and under the City’s budget.


Effluent Reuse Pipeline Improvements Contract 2

Owner: Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority
Engineer: Wilson & Company
Project Location: Albuquerque, NM
Contract Amount: $7,029,510.19

The Effluent Reuse Pipeline Improvements project included the installation of 27,500 LF of large (30” to 16”) and 28,200 LF of small (12” to 4”) diameter pipeline with appurtenances in southeast Albuquerque from University Boulevard by the Albuquerque Sunport Aviation Facility north towards the University of New Mexico sports facilities on University Boulevard and also east up to Louisiana Boulevard.  The pipeline threaded its way through arterial and residential roadways towards public parks, golf courses and other sports facilities to provide stub outs which will eventually be connected to the existing irrigation systems in order to replace the potable water supply currently being utilized.  Roadway surfaces and structures were removed and replaced in-kind.

Working through the middle of congested arterial corridors and established residential neighborhoods, AUI was met with a complicated maze of underground public utility lines.  Exhaustive efforts were made to pre-locate and expose the numerous gas lines, sanitary sewer and storm drain lines, water mains and services, communication lines, street lighting and traffic signal lines the length of the project.  AUI’s vacuum excavators were used to pothole and explore without damaging the facility.

In an effort to minimize the duration of disturbance through residential areas, AUI worked extended hours, seven days a week.  Extensive planning and coordination was required to keep the fast paced project moving smoothly without obstructing or restricting access of the public.

UNM Domestic Water Phase 5

Owner: The University of New Mexico
Engineer: WHPacific, Inc.
Location of Project: Albuquerque, NM
Final Contract Amount: $1,162,520.55

The scope of work for this project included installation of 3,370 LF of 10” water line through the most central and heavily utilized sections of the University of New Mexico (UNM) main campus. The path of the water line crossed existing pedestrian walkways, mature landscaping and existing irrigation lines. This project was scheduled for construction during the summer break months to allow enough time for completion of the project while the student and faculty population would be at a minimum. Offering a large selection of classes during the summer break and many students take advantage of the fast-track summer semester classes to gain additional credit hours; presented some challenges during the construction of this project.

This project also included a portion of the water line installed within the utility tunnel. Installation within the tunnel required AUI crews to work in severely constricted space, with limited access, and in close proximity to live utility lines within the tunnel. AUI crews completed this portion of the project successfully.

This project serves as a clear demonstration of AUI’s ability to remove and replace waterline on a University campus setting, within constricted spaces, to manage utility replacements and new installations within complex existing utility systems, and to care for existing utilities during all phases of construction. AUI completed this project well within the contract amount and calendar days allotted by the Owner.

V. Sue Cleveland High School Waterline Improvements, Phase I

Prime Contractor: Jaynes Corporation
Owner: City of Rio Rancho
Engineer: Huitt-Zollars, Inc.
Location of Project: Albuquerque, NM
Contract Amount: $2,741,238

AUI negotiated with Jaynes Corporation, the prime contractor, under a gross maximum price contract for the V. Sue Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho.  AUI’s scope included sewer, water and storm drainage installation. The water services portion included installation of 1217 LF of 2” – 3” PVC waterline, nine 3” meter boxes and two 4″ meter pits w/valves.  The sanitary sewer portion of this contract consisted of installation of 5178 LF of 8” SDR 35 and 777 LF of 6” SDR 35 PVC sewer main.  Additionally, a total of 22 each 4′ diameter sanitary sewer manholes ranging in depth from 4′ to 12′ and 27 each storm drain manholes varying in size from 4′ to 8′ diameter and ranging in depth from 4’ to 16’ were installed. Storm drain installation included approximately 7,200LF of 18” to 60” storm drain pipe. AUI was also responsible for the install of approximately 10,439LF of 4”, 6”, and 8” DR-18 C900 PVC waterline. Being new construction, the coordination efforts consisted primarily of inspection and acceptance meetings with the City of Rio Rancho and Southern Sandoval County Flood Control Authority (SSCFCA) who would take eventual ownership of the systems and coordination with the other building trades who would connect to the new lines.

Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) Water and Sewer Infrastructure Phases III & IV

Owner: Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer: Brown & Caldwell
Location of Project: Fort Bliss, Texas
Contract Amount: $7,171,179

AUI was asked to perform this scope of work under an accelerated schedule which was accomplished utilizing a 7 day work week with a consistently scheduled transition of crews and equipment. This allowed for maintaining effective daily production and adherence to the schedule despite unforeseen changes in conditions. AUI’s contracted scope of work included the installation of approximately 17,940LF of C-900 PVC water line of various sizes ranging from 4” to 24”, including meters and valve vaults. Also involved in this project was the installation of approximately 9,225LF of SDR-35 PVC sanitary sewer pipe of various sizes ranging from 6″ to 12” and installation of approximately twenty-nine 48″ precast manholes including all necessary appurtenances and coatings. Additional work included removal and disposal of approximately 5,400LF of asbestos contaminated pipe ranging from 4“ to 12”. AUI was also involved in the demolition, removal and replacement of the existing ground and elevated water storage tanks. This work included, but was not limited to SCADA, yard piping, special coatings and cathodic protection.

AUI’s on-going presence at Fort Bliss has enabled us to become familiar with the base required processes and procedures for participation in construction activities on a military installation from safety regulations, permits and badging, to protocols that are to be followed with the Director of Information Managements (DUIM) and other base entities possibly affected by our scope of work.

Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) Water and Sewer Infrastructure Phases I & II

Owner: Army Corps of Engineers
Engineer: Brown & Caldwell
Location of Project: Fort Bliss, Texas
Contract Amount: $8,511,910

AUI built and maintained a solid relationship with Brown and Caldwell, Fort Bliss Water Services, Co. and the Army Corps. of Engineers throughout the CAB Phase I and II Project which in turn lead to the completion of Phase I ahead of schedule and the start of Phase II earlier than anticipated. AUI was contracted for the demolition and replacement of existing water and sanitary sewer. This water and sewer infrastructure project included construction of approximately 23,887LF of 8”, 12” and 15” respectively of SDR-35 PVC sanitary sewer  pipe in addition to 33,903 LF of C-900 PVC pipe waterline varying in sizes from 6” to 12”, which included all necessary fittings, valves, and appurtenances. Contracted work also involved the installation of approximately eighty-five 48” precast manholes with required appurtenances and coatings, and twenty-eight fire hydrants. During the installation and tie-ins of new services, AUI installed temporary connections as necessary to maintain services, ensuring limited interruptions for the Fort Bliss area.

AUI was presented with a safety award from the Corps of Engineers while working this project, exemplifying our dedication to the safety of our employees.

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Project News

AUI Breaks Ground on Largest Project in Company History

Rio Bravo Groundbreaking

July 31, 2017–

The NMDOT held a groundbreaking ceremony for the I-25/Rio Bravo Interchange Project today, and construction is scheduled to begin on August 8th.

The $50M project is the largest in AUI’s 36-year history.
Read more…

Employee News

Deluca Presented with Albuquerque Good Samaritan Award

Photo of Mayor Richard Berry presenting Good Samaritan Award to Anthony Deluca.

September 1, 2017–

Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized Anthony Deluca as this week’s Good Samaritan for helping a man who was blind cross a busy intersection. Deluca is an employee of AUI, Inc., a contractor for the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) project. Read more…