For the second year in a row the construction workers on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project were given a grilling by residents of Porto Vecchio condominiums. And, they loved it.
The "grilling," as in charcoal flavored, happened last Wednesday night on the river dock behind the condominium complex as a thank you to workers and project managers. Billed as "The Second Annual Hard Hat Barbecue," members of the condominium's External Affairs Committee grilled burgers accompanied by homemade cole slaw, salad, chips and beverages for the contractors.
"This is a good way to build relations with these fellows. They have done a wonderful job by us. So far everything has gone off without a hitch," said Philip Bradbury, chair of the committee, as he tended burgers on the grill.
His sentiments were echoed by Frederick Kroesen, president, Porto Vecchio Residents Association. "We try to keep in touch with all the things that are going on in the City. These bridge crews are doing a yeoman's service for everybody. They haven't disrupted our lives at all. It has been a well-organized and well-run project," he said.
JOINING the approximate dozen bridge crew personnel and like number of Porto Vecchio residents, were Alexandria Mayor William Euille; Transportation and Environmental Service Administration director Richard Baier, and Norine Walker, project coordination manager, Potomac Crossing Consultants.
"This is really great and we really appreciate it," said Ryan Gorman, project manager, Washington Street Urban Deck. A resident of Richmond, Gorman has been with the project for the past 18 months.
He was joined by Shawn Cannon of Corman Construction who is also primarily involved with the Urban Deck element of the project. "We're making good progress and it's been going well. But, we've still got a lot to do," he said.
"We're right on schedule and under budget by 12.4 percent which equates to $147 million," said James T. Ruddell, P.E., construction manager, Potomac Crossing Consultants. With overall responsibility for construction, Ruddell is entering his fourth year with the project, having signed on in the planning stage.
Damian Jorge works on all elements of the project as an inspector. Residing in Fort Washington, Md., Jorge said, "I've only been on the project for four months and I'm still getting familiar with many of the details. There are so many plans to grasp."
Many crew members live a considerable distance from the project and commute home on weekends, according to Doug Bannerman, another External Affairs Committee member. "This is our opportunity to show them some hospitality and that we appreciate their efforts," he said.