Graycor Industrial Constructors recently completed a new electrical substation for ComEd in Waukegan, Illinois. The project was initiated by ComEd to increase the reliability in electricity delivery within northeastern Illinois, a densely populated area of 444 square miles with 283,000 customers, through the Northeast Suburban Reliability Project. To deliver this power and enhance the reliability of it, the project included the construction of a 345kV gas insulated substation building, a four-bay 70 foot tall dead-end structure, an open air transformer bay structure and an outside 138kV switchyard (steel box structure) measuring 200 feet by 500 feet.
The project included the site preparation and grading of 18 acres of land, as well as the installation of 2,100 pipe piles. The foundations and building slabs included nearly 6,000 cubic yards of concrete and 360 tons of rebar. The structures required approximately 800 tons of structural steel and included HVAC, roofing, and some unique architectural features in an effort to be aesthetically pleasing in light of the facility being situated so close to Lake Michigan.
The site presented many challenges, including the need to track and keep segregated the contaminated soils from the clean soils. With the site being so close to Lake Michigan, other challenges such as local wildlife and a high water table were closely monitored and managed.
Safety was paramount to the success of the project. Nearly 400 tradesmen successfully completed the work with zero recordable incidents. This success can be attributed to the commitment of the Graycor and ComEd teams with their continual and unwavering focus on safety being the top priority, inside and outside the fence.
"This was a great opportunity to work with the team at ComEd. This was a sophisticated project that took place on a unique site. It took careful planning, focused execution and a commitment to safety. The entire team worked collaboratively and took the appropriate steps to ensure the success of the project", said Stephen Brown, Project Manager at Graycor Industrial Constructors.
Commonwealth Edison Company, perhaps better known as ComEd, is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation. Exelon is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, with approximately 5.4 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across Northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population.