As one of the largest precast concrete producers in the state of Mississippi, Lee’s Precast Concrete has the expertise, the resources and the capacity to deliver on the most complex projects with aggressive schedules. In fact, it even finds ways to save its customers time and money through its time tested precast concrete solutions.
Lee’s Precast Concrete has come a long way since its early days when it operated with one truck, two forms and later, a one-ton crane. It has grown on the basis of doing what it says it is going to do and customers have come to rely on the consistency and integrity the company offers.
Headquartered in Aberdeen, Mississippi, Lee’s Precast Concrete is a family-owned and operated concrete producer and precast specialist that serves a 200-mile radius surrounding its home base. The company essentially produces anything that can be formed out of concrete and shipped, and it has shipped as far as California for the right project.
At Lee’s Precast Concrete, while it makes a quality concrete and formed products such as safe rooms with above and below ground configurations, catch basins, box culverts, retaining walls and more, it is its approach to projects that makes it a concrete solutions provider of choice across state lines and what has been driving growth for the company.
Serving the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDoT), municipalities and private developer markets, Lee’s Precast Concrete maintains a batch plant which enables it to produce its own concrete, as well as impressive fabrication capabilities, which have set it apart in the market and afforded it the opportunity to work on projects like the Columbus Air Force Base runway project.
Lee’s Precast Concrete was part of a team responsible for the design, engineering, production, and installation of underground boxes on the 12,000-foot-long 13C/31C runway at the Columbus Air Force Base just north of Columbus, Mississippi, one of the busiest United States Air Force airfields. The team was tasked with producing a total of 90 boxes, 88 of which were five feet by five feet by five feet two-compartment manholes that weighed approximately 11,000 pounds, while the other two were five feet by fifteen feet by five feet to support the runway lighting.
“They were, with the block outs and everything in them, about 17,000 pounds and what they were designed for was to be able to hold multiple runway lights instead of just one single light,” said Steven Floyd, project manager for the larger of the two structures.
The fast-track runway reconstruction project saw the replacement of existing pavement sections and underdrains, the placement of a new drainage system and the placement of a new asphalt section. Initially, twelve designs were up for consideration and in choosing Lee’s Precast Concrete, the project saved time and money to the tune of $3 million.
“The alternative they had for replacing these underground manholes or electrical boxes – they were removing all of the old ones – the only option they had other than precast was to pour these in place,” explained Floyd, which leaves the project subject to curing times, inclement weather and delays and money lost.
Much of the cost savings came in the form of labor. The project was slated to run twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, with two to three different crews operating at all times and the reality was that the project only required one shift, cutting the labor force in half and trimming the budget substantially. As Floyd explained, “What we were able to do is, with the fabrication and design that we did, we were able to have all of those boxes ready, the majority of them on our yard before they ever started their construction, so it allowed them, instead of doing two to three to possibly four boxes a day, from my understanding, their record was fourteen in one day.”
Precast offered the client an advantage in getting ahead of delays caused by weather, and enabled much simpler, faster installation and a positive outcome for a satisfied client. Floyd credits the fabrication department for the company’s ability to deliver such outstanding results.
“Our fabrication department did an amazing job,” he shared. “They actually built a specifically designed mold or form just for this project to be able to pour multiple boxes in one day out of the same form,” using a high visual stability index (VSI) self-consolidating concrete (SCC) that was high-performance and supported the project’s aggressive timeline.
Using the VSI-SCC, Lee’s Precast Concrete was able to cycle through two to three structures a day, manipulating the dry time to be able to expedite the process without compromising the structural soundness of the product.
Floyd then went on to acknowledge the company’s supplier on the project that enabled Lee’s to get a start on casting, supporting the fabrication team as they worked day and night and even some weekends to bring the project to life. Lee’s Precast Concrete was part of a team that made project success on the Columbus Air Force Base runway project possible. According to Floyd, “We were lucky to be able to work with a design company and engineering company that got everything put together in a very timely manner.”
Burns Dirt also played a major role in the project’s optimal outcome as the installers on the project. As Floyd noted, “They’re the ones that make our product look good because they’re the ones installing fourteen in a day,” referring to the company and the teamwork on the project as “the epitome of a well-oiled machine.”
While Lee’s Precast Concrete is MDoT certified and a member of the National Precast Concrete Association (NPCA), it has its sights set on new horizons as demand for its services and its products grows outside of its existing service area.
“We have done a good bit more work with MDoT and right now we’re looking at possibly venturing out into Alabama and Tennessee,” said Floyd. This move would require additional DoT certifications in the various states, which are currently in the approval process.
General Manager Allen Lee, son of company president Milton Lee, explained that last year was the company’s biggest year to date, and regardless of the challenges others are facing in the market, the team is on pace to top last year with an even stronger performance in 2018. Investments are being made to improve Lee’s Precast Concrete’s capacity, increasing the size and rate of production at its batch plant and thus the amount of concrete that is available to support the various projects it undertakes. The company also added five more offices and a conference room at its headquarters to support its growth.
For Floyd, “It was a good year to see what we could do,” and with projects like the Columbus Air Force Base runway project behind it, he feels the market has “really tested our fabrication and so far, our guys have been able to come out on top.”