By Ms. Rachel Newton (AMC)April 15, 2013
A project to remove old steam lines and upgrade other critical energy infrastructure here at Pine Bluff Arsenal has been underway since 2010. The project has been extended to approximately
mid-June, according to Eric Benoit, contract officer representative, for the Arsenal's Directorate of Public Works.
"The contract not only included steam line removal but replacement of fiber, natural gas lines and electric power systems," said Benoit. "When you drive through the production areas now, all
the old poles that used to hold the steam lines, as well as the concrete pedestals holding those poles, and steam vaults are pretty much gone now."
Approximately 28 miles of steam lines are being removed on the installation. Benoit said about two miles are left to be removed.
This project was funded through American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Little Rock District has oversight of the project. The contract was awarded to Carson and Associates, Inc., of Little Rock, in May 2010.
Benoit said his role in the process has been to coordinate the efforts between the Corps, the contractor and the Arsenal.
"It has been quite the coordination effort to get into some of the production buildings," he said. "I give them the answers or the permissions, or I get them the answers."
Greg Yada, project manager with the Corps, said that this project has been a challenging one.
"My commander recognized the difficulty of the project and quickly identified it as one of the Little
Rock District's top five priority projects," he said. "This means the project had high visibility and priority in resources."
Part of the project challenge was to integrate the scope of work with the installation's Energy Savings Performance contractor and coordinate with an on-going PBA production schedule.
"I believe the project has been very successful so far. We've overcome many challenges
including working in a high-voltage environment as well as the constraints of the Recovery Act funding," said Yada. "As with all projects the Corps and Arsenal have worked together on, it has been a total team effort."