For over 40 years, Maine Technical Source (MTS) has proudly supplied surveyors, engineers, contractors, and architects with the world’s finest technical and measurement tools, supplies, software, training and service. MTS has earned a reputation for outstanding customer service as well as their expertly trained repair department. A Leica Geosystems authorized distributor and service center, MTS sells Leica Geosystems products as well as cleans and calibrates the equipment in the local New York area.
Skanska is one of the leading construction and development companies in the USA, specializing in building construction, civil engineering and developing commercial properties in select U.S. markets. Skanska, an MTS client, uses Leica Geosystems exclusively.
Skanska is leading the design and construction of the LaGuardia Central project, a public-private partnership between LaGuardia Gateway Partners and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The project will improve the traveling experience for millions of people and it will be a major economic generator for the region. The redevelopment at one of the nation’s busiest airports began in 2016 and is the largest public-private-partnership (P3) in U.S. aviation history and one of the most complex projects ever undertaken by Skanska.
Through close collaboration with the Port Authority and other stakeholders, Skanska developed a multi-phase construction plan that allowed for the ground-up construction of a brand-new terminal on a small geographic footprint, all without disrupting operations of the existing facility. Under this plan, old facilities are demolished only as new facilities are completed to ensure the airport – which handled a record 31 million passengers in 2019 – never loses capacity.
To make that happen, Skanska required cutting-edge tools and robotics. Already a familiar user of Leica Geosystems equipment, Skanska turned to MTS at the onset of the project to determine which new products and capabilities would benefit the LaGuardia project.
“Leica Geosystems provided the cutting-edge tools and equipment needed for a project of this scale,” said Brad Beeler, New York Market Lead, Maine Technical Source. “We also benefitted from Leica Geosystems’ accuracy, longevity and reliability. But the real game changer was Leica Captivate. It gave us a whole new way to visualize the project.”
For the LaGuardia project, Skanska uses multiple Leica field controllers (CS20 & CS35) and total robotic stations, a high performance total station designed for one-person operation. The foundation work for the entire project was done with Leica iCON GPS, which was helpful in the open space in an airport to provide robust design and high performance requiring minimal team members able to work precisely and efficiently. Other stages of the construction project also benefited from GPS, including excavation, utilities, layout and foundation, reducing human capital requirements.
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Once out of ground with foundations, Skanska needed more details than GPS provides. The layout had to be accurate. Control was a big concern, and they had to build a new airport with an existing foundation in place. Skanska utilized surrounding hotels, buildings and bridges to set up a perimeter to assess the environment, making robotics critical to this step. “Without robotics, this project would have been virtually impossible to do,” said Beata Lizak, project manager SKANSKA WALSH Joint Venture LaGuardia Airport CTB Replacement Project. “We haven’t worked with anything better than Leica’s equipment, and their capabilities have been critical to the success of the LaGuardia project.”
Skanska’s use of emerging technologies and other innovative tools have been critical in delivering a project of this scale and complexity. The team developed a series of three-dimensional models – as well as 4D or time-dependent models – using Leica Captivate, an industry-revolutionizing software that creates the most realistic 3D renderings with familiar apps and easy-to-use touch technology. By building the 3D and 4D models, Skanska was able to develop the project phasing that visualized both the new airport layout and how the existing structures and roadway networks would be staged and modified over the project’s duration.
With the schedule in place, Skanska utilized 360-degree photography courtesy of Multivista Document Services, as well as laser scanning to capture accurate, real-time construction updates. These allowed the team to measure progress, work collaboratively with subcontractors to resolve construction challenges, and coordinate work across different areas of the project site.
With the extensive use of Leica Captivate, Skanska was able to load all information to calculate and compute in the fields with access to data on tablets or instruments. The 2D/3D lines allowed the team to be much more efficient and accurate, and eliminated the back-end office work. In particular, all bridge and road work in 3D saved time by enabling crews in the field to make decisions, avoiding the need to exchange information via email to review line work to compute in the office.
“It’s hard to compare Leica Geosystems to other vendors since we don’t use any others. We only use Leica,” continued Beata Lizak. “No other provider can deliver the comprehensive benefits we get with Leica Geosystems.”