Case Study: Safeway #3250

Safeway #3250 is one of eight Safeway stores that Chesapeake Contracting Group has built to date. Located on King Street in Alexandria, Virginia this project included the demolition of an existing store and associated site work. In its place, CCG constructed a new 62,000 SF lifestyle Safeway and a 3,000 SF retail building. The new grocery store was built on precast concrete podiums with at grade parking and associated infrastructure. The project incorporated materials from around the world, including slate from Brazil and cement fiber panels from Austria. The new store was not without its share of trials, including contaminated soils and significant structural challenges.

During construction, CCG discovered a crack in a cast-in-place beam pocket that was supporting pre-cast beams. This prompted a review from both the structural engineer of record and the structural engineers from the pre-cast company. After review, both engineers determined that the beam pockets were not structurally able to hold the pre-cast. Realizing the severity of this issue, CCG quickly hired a shoring engineer. At the engineer’s direction, the shoring company shored the pockets to keep the building from collapsing. With approval from the City of Alexandria, corrective measures began.

After the crack was discovered, CCG encouraged the owner to solicit the opinion of another structural engineer to ensure that the jobsite was safe. The third party engineer determined that not only were the beam pockets not designed correctly, but many areas of the beam were under designed. Upon further review, it was determined that five areas of the cast in place elevated deck were under designed as well. These alarming findings required immediate attention from the project team. The shoring engineer was reengaged, shoring was put in place and repairs were made to the beams. In addition, columns and footings were added and helical piers were installed. Once the City of Alexandria inspected the repair work, the shoring was removed and construction resumed in all areas of the building.

Almost seven months passed from when the first crack in the beam was discovered to the end of the structural repairs and inspections. This included several stop work orders from the City and over a third of the building not under construction for the duration of the project. Despite these setbacks, CCG only lost two months to the overall project schedule. We credit a proactive project team that put safety first. Safeway #3250, an icon of sustainability in Alexandria, achieved a LEED Silver Certification. It also won ABC Metro Washington’s Award of Excellence. For additional photos, please visit our Project Showcase.

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