Can You Dig It Blog

Innovative work, found close to home

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As you go up and down the many concrete stairs at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown on Lehigh Valley IronPigs baseball game nights, you may not know that the stadium staircases were built by a Bethlehem manufacturer, covering 10,000 seats. And when a new ice-hockey arena opens in Downtown Allentown in September, the stairs you will use to get to your seat also are built by that same company.

And not to be outdone, the staircases found inside Two City Center, a new 365,000-square-foot-office building in Downtown Allentown, also were built by this same company – Bethlehem Pre-Cast Inc.

The company manufactured 47 stairs and 47 pre-cast landings, a total of 8,000 square feet of pre-cast concrete for Two City Center, an undertaking that took nearly 900 hours of work to do from start to finish, in about six months.

One element that speeds the process is the company’s products, which are pre-cast offsite at its Bethlehem manufacturing facility and then shipped to the job site, eliminating forming, pouring and stripping. Once the Two City Center tower was finished, the stairs would then be dropped into place from a crane.

It’s an impressive feat that highlights the innovations that can be found with manufacturers just a stone’s throw away.

By finishing the products off-site, the company eliminates many of the time-consuming factors that can rise up when building materials with concrete on an active jobsite, according to David Faust, business development specialist/estimator for Bethlehem Pre-Cast. Since the materials are manufactured indoors and not in the open, the products are not subject to weather changes and harsh elements such as rain, heat or cold, he added.

It allows Bethlehem Pre-Cast to build all types of concrete stair systems, landings, bleacher systems and other products.

It’s a small operation, but one with far-reaching results.

Not only has the company built pre-cast materials for local middle and high school gyms, but also worked on a massive project for the World Trade Center transportation hub, creating 123 stairs, and a crystal-accented concrete staircase for the New York studio headquarters for Diane von Furstenberg, an American fashion designer.

The company is working on the U.S. Tennis Center in New York and recently built cable concrete mats to help stabilize dunes and create buffers along a New Jersey shore town, which proved critical during Hurricane Sandy and ended up saving the dune and a nearby structure from major destruction.

While a significant amount of Bethlehem Pre-Cast’s work is for projects outside the state, many high-profile projects can be found throughout the Lehigh Valley.

Engleman, Bethlehem Pre-Cast’s parent company, built the concrete for many warehouses in the Lehigh Valley, about 50 percent of them, Faust said.

It should be well-known by now that the Valley is well-stocked with many creative innovative companies. Bethlehem Pre-Cast’s customers are well-known, and it deserves a high profile, too.

 

Brian Pedersen

Brian Pedersen

Reporter Brian Pedersen covers construction, development, warehousing and real estate and keeps you up to date on the changing landscape of our community. He can be reached at brianp@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 108. Follow him on Twitter @BrianLehigh.

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