FORT BRAGG, N.C. (March 29, 2011) - "Gentlemen - start your engines!"

On command, engines from three stock cars rumbled to life as Art Chambers, safety manager, Hensel Phelps Construction Co., kicked off the "Race to the Finish" celebration here, March 24.

As hundreds of craft workers, project leaders and representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gathered to mark a significant safety milestone, quality, and progress as work on the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM)/U.S. Army Reserve Command (USARC) Combined Headquarters Project nears completion.

"We thought bringing in race cars owned by some of our employees would add some splash to the lunch," said Chambers. "Race to the Finish seemed like a good way to focus everyone on bringing the project to as successful a finish as the work has been so far."

If large numbers are an indication, the work done here has been a success.

According to Adam Rogers, project manager, Hensel Phelps Construction Co., more than 1.3 million 'craft hours' without a lost-time injury have been accomplished since work began here in December 2008.

More than 66,000 cubic yards of earth have been excavated, and 1.2 million sq. ft. of drywall have been installed in the 631,000 sq. ft. complex, Rogers said. Additonally, more than 18.5 million feet of cable have been run, all while ensuring quality in the construction progress.

"Since we started work here, there have only been 36 quality deficiencies reported, with just one in the past six weeks," he continued. "All of them were corrected within two weeks."

The complex will be home to nearly 2,800 staff members of FORSCOM and USARC headquarters as each element relocates here this spring and summer in accordance with the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure legislation, which also directed the closure of Fort McPherson, Ga., their current location.

Rogers challenged the workers to stay focused as the project winds down.

"They say that on a site like this, 90-percent of the effort goes into the last 10-percent of the job," he said. "We have to maintain our safety, quality and stay on schedule."

Finally, Rogers told the workers their dedication to the task is important to the users of the facility - FORSCOM and USARC, as the ultimate function of the world-class capabilities built in will be to oversee more than a million Soldiers of the active Army, Army Reserve and National Guard.

Dan Davis, the project's resident engineer for the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, echoed Rogers' comments and thanked everyone for their performance to date.

With the completion of formal remarks, individual workers and supervisors were recognized for a variety of accomplishments, as commemorative coins and donated prizes were presented to employees who had demonstrated good work practices or made suggestions for improvements incorporated into daily operations.

The FORSCOM/USARC headquarters project is scheduled to be delivered to the Army by June 21. Shortly after delivery, Soldiers, Army civilian employees and contractors will begin to occupy the work space, a process that will wrap up by late summer.

Page last updated Tue March 29th, 2011 at 16:16