News and Events

Accreditations Matter: Being the Best Project Partner

posted 01.05.2018

For many municipalities, protecting the public and homes and businesses from the threat of flooding is a major priority. Based on geographic location and local topographic and man-made drainage conditions, they may be more susceptible to flooding due to heavy rains, hurricanes, and or downstream floodplain issues. Such was the case for rehabilitation of the floodwater-retarding structure for the Olmitos and Garcia Watershed #7 near the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas.

The Heeter Construction project management team quickly recognized the need for a partner with specific experienced staff and accreditation to provide quality control during construction. Terracon had the experienced staff and facilities, and was also able to draw additional staff from our other offices in the region to fully support the project demands.

Unique project needs met

Terracon met the general overall needs and requirements of the project with our ACI and NICET certified personnel and our AASHTO accredited and U.S. Army Corp of Engineers validated laboratory. In addition, the project involved the use of roller-compacted concrete (RCC), a construction technique that is not new to this type of construction project but one that was new to the region. RCC can be simpler, faster, and more economical than conventional concrete using the same components – cement, water, and coarse and fine aggregates – but using a drier mix stiff enough to be compacted into place by vibratory rollers.

With the wide breadth of Terracon’s experience in other regions of the country on similar projects, our team could bring their knowledge of the roller-compacted concrete process to the project and reduce the learning curve for our other staff and quickly support the project. Terracon was also able to provide quality control services that were new to the region as well. This included conducting a Vebe consistency test for RCC and slurry wall inspections (a construction technique used to build reinforced concrete walls in areas of soft ground near open water or with a high groundwater table).

Going the extra mile

Because Heeter could not proceed with certain phases of construction until test results were completed, submitted and reviewed, our team set up a 24/7 schedule and provided on-site quality control throughout the project’s construction stage. To save both time and money, our team also set up a mobile laboratory on site to avoid the need for transporting samples to our main laboratory 40 miles away, saving our client and the project time and money.

By providing the necessary qualified and experienced staff and accreditation along with our knowledge of the specialized construction methods used, Terracon played a key role in supporting Heeter’s on-time delivery of this important project. The result: a safer, more efficient process to make sure floodwaters can be properly controlled to protect the residents, homes, and businesses in the Olmitos and Garcia Watershed #7 region – and a successful partnership.

“Everyone has been fantastic and exceptional in response to our project needs and requirements” said Tony Rathbun, manager/business development, Heeter Construction. “We are very pleased and consider you folks a ‘project partner’ as we move forward.”


Guadalupe Leal is a field supervisor in our Pharr, Texas, office and was the project manager for this project. He has more than 22 years of experience in quality control testing and inspection services for the engineering, manufacturing, and construction industries. Guadalupe is familiar with the standards and procedures on field and laboratory testing, inspection, and reporting published by the Association of American State and Highway Transportation Officials, the Association of Soil and Testing Materials, and the Texas Department of Transportation.