Irby 2019  Superintendents’ Meeting

Irby 2019 Superintendents’ Meeting

The 2019 Irby Superintendents’ Meeting was held on February 27th and 28th at the Beau Rivage in Biloxi, MS. Irby President Lee Jones kicked off the meeting with a recap of 2018 and where we are headed this year. We heard from a range of speakers in all departments such as Operations, Safety, Accounting, and several more.

Quanta Services Senior Vice President Jody Shea spoke along with three other Quanta employees, Jack Dwyer, Amanda Miller, and David Flener.

Our guest speakers this year were Steve Davidow and Kevin Hariar from Quanta Subsurface. They gave great insight into engineering in the SouthEast and geotechnical data.

Following the meeting on Wednesday, Irby hosted a vendor fair where vendors set up booths and visited with other Irby employees. Thank you to Altec, TNT Crane & Rigging, Can-Fer, Scott Powerline, Yak Access, and Tyndale for your participation. Hope to see you all again next year.

We would also like to thank Scott Powerline for providing our meals during the meeting, and Yak Access for hosting our Social Hour on Wednesday night.

Thank you to all who participated in the 2019 Irby Superintendents’ Meeting. Looking forward to next year!

 

Duke Energy- Port St. Joe to Callaway 230kV Rebuild Project

Duke Energy- Port St. Joe to Callaway 230kV Rebuild Project

Hurricane Michael made landfall on October 10th, 2018 near Mexico Beach, Florida. Duke Energy’s 230kV 34-mile PX line from Port St. Joe to Callaway was damaged beyond repair. On November 15th, Irby was awarded the job from Duke with three months to remove and rebuild the line. Our preconstruction meeting was held in Wildwood, FL, on November 19th and work officially began on December 3rd.

Rufus Killen led field operations over seven subcontractors: Aldridge Electric, A&J Steel, HeliService Powerline Solutions and FireHawk Helicopters, ROW Masters, Probst Electric, and Thomasson Company. Gerald and Tammy Westmoreland ran all office operations while still handling their other Irby job assignments. Working six days a week, 12 hours per day, we were able to beat the scheduled completion time with no injuries and no environmental incidents. At the busiest time of the project, we had 220 crew members consisting of wire/tower removal crews, four drilling crews, multiple framing/setting crews spread over four yards, three helicopters (one BlackHawk and 2-MD500s), wire crews, one eagle’s nest, two boats, and well over 10,000 mats. With all the devastation, logistics and housing was an issue, many crew members driving over an hour and a half each way to the line.

We are proud of a few milestones- Day 39: 328 holes drilled and bases set; Day 43: all pole tops framed and set; Day 64: grounds removed and line turned over to Duke. Probst Electric averaged pulling and clipping a mile of wire a day with the help of two helicopters.

Thanks to Duane Bennet, Harry Carbo, Tim Edwards, Rick Lindsey, and Larry Etter for coordination of subcontractor daily activities. Quanta Safety was instrumental in safety oversight and conducting On Board sessions for every crew member before entering the ROW. Thanks also to one crew from 2036 and Irby distribution crew for their help when we first arrived on site.

Please continue to remember those affected by this storm. The residents in Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach were so welcoming and have made great progress in 3 months, but it will be many months, if not years, before this area sees anything close to normal. Our hearts go out to them as they continue to rebuild.

 

LEADERSHIP MISSISSIPPI GRADUATION

LEADERSHIP MISSISSIPPI GRADUATION

Since its inception in 1974, Leadership Mississippi has graduated more than 1,500 alumni active in Mississippi business and politics. Mississippi’s top business executives have participated in Leadership Mississippi as a way to expand their networks.

Our very own Amanda Lott was one of the 54 graduates in the Leadership Mississippi Class of 2018! Congratulations to all who were honored at graduation on Friday, December 7, 2018, at the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Looking forward, next year’s Irby representative is Operations Manager Amanda Cobb. Congrats Amanda! We know you will represent Irby well.

People of Irby: President, Lee Jones

People of Irby: President, Lee Jones

 

On Friday, November 16, Irby rolled out the last video in its series featuring the “People of Irby.” In this clip, Lee Jones, Irby President talks about the importance of safety and how Irby goes to great lengths to provide its employees with ample resources for doing quality work safely.

Lee mentions the support the field workers receive from Irby’s corporate office, especially when dealing with safety, and how much that means to them. Check out the full story to hear about how Irby lineman complete work quickly, without any injuries.

Film crews visited Irby job sites from Texas to Florida, and a couple spots in between, to interview team members and gather footage of crews at work. Lee’s spotlight video is the tenth in a series of videos Irby is rolling out in 2018. Follow Irby on Facebook and YouTube for updates and watch the company website for more to come.

LCRA Transmission Alliance

LCRA Transmission Alliance

Irby Construction Company has maintained its reputation for producing a quality product with substantial core values since its foundation in 1946. With powerful capabilities and a team eager to perform, Irby continues to serve customers by building powerlines safely and efficiently whether it be for surrounding communities, across state lines, or overseas. Without our clients’ trust, communication and flexibility, Irby would not have the success story that it does today.

The Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) shares several of the same values as Irby Construction. A primary wholesale provider of electricity in Central Texas since 1934, LCRA sells to retail utilities including cities and electric cooperatives. Catering to one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions, LCRA continues to strengthen its community by providing public power, managing the lower ColoradoRiver, and building and operating transmission lines across its service territories. LCRA’s Mission is, “To enhance the quality of life of the Texas we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service.

For more than 20 years, Irby Construction and the Lower Colorado River Authority have developed a substantial relationship that has proven to play a key role in the success of both companies. Through the years, Irby Construction has collectively built over 1,500 miles of transmission lines for LCRA, performed countless hours of maintenance services, and completed emergency restoration services in response to severe weather events.

On September 29th, 2018, LCRA awarded Irby Construction a 5-year AllianceAgreement that will provide steady work for Irby crews in the Central Texas region. This work will be primarily transmission including anything from upgrades to new construction. Work under this Alliance is projected to begin in November of2018. Irby firmly believes that this Alliance relationship will most efficiently help LCRA meet its capital investment objectives.

When news spread that the Alliance was awarded to Irby, the reaction was positive across the board.

“We would not even be offered the Alliance if we didn’t do a good job—if we didn’t build it with quality and on time, and with a good safety record,” Irby Superintendent Bo Barfield said. Barfield worked on his first LCRA job in 2006 as Assistant Superintendent and said that LCRA has always done their best to help Irby figure out any problems they may have on the job—from engineering to materials.

Aurturo Covarrubias, an Irby Journeyman Lineman Foreman, worked on his first LCRA job six years ago. “We always have their support. We always have an inspector around us helping with whatever we need,” Covarrubias said. “This Alliance will be a huge opportunity for me to grow and gain both knowledge and experience.”

Tyler Mazac, an Irby Tech Foreman in the Texas region, completed his first job with LCRA in January of 2017 and will be working on the Alliance projects when they begin. Mazac said that LCRA is easy to work with and that he is very happy about the Alliance.

“LCRA is very accommodating to anything that we need,” Mazac said. “They strive to help us complete each job. We appreciate the work and look forward to a good relationship and what LCRA has to come.”

The responses from Irby employees are overwhelmingly similar to Mazac’s. Time and time again, LCRA has proven to be a company primarily focused on safety and completing each job efficiently, both primary values of Irby Construction.

Brandon Cox is an Irby Superintendent who has been working on LCRA projects since 2008.

“I know LCRA’s potential. I know the scale of their work. Some of the biggest, most successful jobs I have ever had in my 18-year career have been here in Texas with LCRA,” Cox said. “Some of the most impressive feats that we have ever met were right here with LCRA. All-in-all, I’ve had a good experience with LCRA.”

It is no surprise that safety is the priority above all within this Alliance in conjunction with the relationship that has formed between LCRA and Irby Construction. No matter what level employee one may be at Irby, it is widely known that safety is and always will be number one, no questions asked.

“Irby is a wise companybecause we learn from other electrical companies and use that knowledge to keep our guys safe,” Mazac said. “We do things the right way the first timeand don’t allow people to take shortcuts.”

Mitchell Isaak is a 2nd Year Apprentice Lineman who has worked on LCRA projects for the past fivemonths. He insists that Irby has the best-trainedhands, helping them get the job done quickly and properly.

“We are our brother’s keeper,” Isaaksaid. “We are all constantly watching out for each other. We have safety meetings up to twice a week and crew meetings daily. We also have our JSA’s, and we take all of this very seriously.”

Equipment Supervisor Daniel Navarro who has been working for Irby for 13 years, said that PPE is just as importantas following any other safety measure.

“As far as safety goes, we follow it to the ‘T’,” Navarro said. “What can I say, we are living proof of it. We have our safety briefings every daywith the entire crew, and we also have a re-focus every dayafter 12.”

Another extensive positive from the Alliance is the potential growth, both as a region and a company as a whole. Currently, Irby employs more than 850 people—150 of which are dedicated to working in the Texas region—across the country servicing numerousclients under various contract structures. Irby has employed nearly 1200 people—with more than 400 dedicated to workin the Texas region—in recent years during the CREZ buildout. As the workload increases within the Texas region, the demand for crews will increase, growingthe region and in turn, making Irby’s safety numbers much stronger. Barfield simply stated that Texas is growing fast and LCRA has to growwith it.

Josh Clines, an Irby General Foreman, has primarily worked on LCRA projects for the past tenyears.

“We have a lot ofwork coming up, and we are going to have to expand a little bit to maintain it, but we will be able to grow,” Clines said. “I’m looking forward to staying on the LCRA system. I have always enjoyed working with them.”

The new challenges and abundance of work yieldan exciting time for Irby and LCRA that we are all proud to be a part of. We look forward to the next five years of growing relationshipswith the Central Texas region through our work with LCRA as we build quality power delivery projects to serve the community in the safest ways possible.

“I think we have built a good relationship with them [LCRA], andthat is a big part of it, but at the same time we have a good safety record, we have the manpower, we have the equipment, we have the resources to do the work for them, and I think we are a perfect fit,” Clines said.

 

Distribution Repairs Through Hurricanes Florence and Michael

Distribution Repairs Through Hurricanes Florence and Michael

This quarter Irby crews were presented with the ultimate test as they worked tirelessly to restore power following Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael. These storms are destructive and dangerous but gave Irby the opportunity to once again, turn the lights back on and help those affected feel some sense of normalcy after enduring a natural disaster.

Hurricane Florence was the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season and quickly formed into a Category 4, hitting its peak intensity with 140 mph winds southeast of Bermuda on September 10th. Florence made landfall as a Category 1 just south of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on September 14th, weakening as it made its way inland. Despite its fall from a Category 4 to a 1 by landfall, the wind speed caused massive destruction and power outages to the Carolinas.

Irby immediately sent 72 linemen to restore power in South Carolina for Duke Energy and South Carolina Electric and Gas. For two weeks, the crews endured the harsh conditions of Florence, and they got the job done safely. Great work.

Hurricane Michael formed in the Caribbean in early October and was declared a major hurricane on October 9th. At peak intensity on October 10th, Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 with 155 mph winds.

Irby crews were once again prepared to face the destruction of yet another fatal natural disaster. 288 Irby linemen were working for various companies such as Gulf Power and Entergy in Pensacola, Duke Energy in Ocala, Florida Power and Light in Lake City. Our crews were scattered throughout the Panhandle as well. This is a dangerous but vital job in the modern world. We are proud to be a part of a company that serves communities nation and worldwide, no matter what the risk or circumstances.

Robert Nixon is an Irby Welder who worked on Hurricane Florence for several days. Nixon and Irby General Superintendent Jon Pigott And Vice President of Operations Tim Henry, cooked Boston butt, brisket and all the fixings for the Irby crews. On October 23rd, as storm work was wrapping up for Irby crews in Florida, Pigott and Henry drove the meals down to the crews for them to enjoy.

“These conditions are not ideal, but the guys are willing to go out there and get the job done,” Irby General Superintendent Jon Pigott said. “I want the guys to know that we appreciate the work that they do for Irby, especially on a storm. They are away from their families, working long, tough hours. We want them to know that we know how much that means to us.”