Keeping America Flowing

Shenandoah Construction

Cleaning and maintaining pipelines, big and small, without digging trenches, is probably the most thankless task there is. Unless you’re Shenandoah Construction of Florida, with expert crews and specialized and evolved equipment to make it efficient and easy.

As one of Florida’s leaders in trenchless construction, Shenandoah Construction is a true one-stop shop that has made its mark on the industry by keeping up-to-date with the latest technology, and developing and refining techniques. Not to mention its reputation for trumping the competition in service delivery and the range of its services.

Based in Pompano Beach, Shenandoah also has offices in Fort Myers, which serves Florida’s West Coast, and Fort Pierce, which serves central and northern Florida. The Lakeland office handles projects involving urethane injection and grouting.

This impressive footprint – along with its large fleet of specialized trucks for hydraulic cleaning, CCTV inspection, test and seal pipe and structures, and a variety of heavy equipment, combined with a great support staff – enables the company to serve clients across Florida, and even further with speed and high-tech efficiency.

Underground, under water, under control
While the company specializes in trenchless large-diameter pipeline rehabilitation, a general overview of its services includes accessing, trenchless reporting on and repairing of existing pipelines; embankment restoration; flood response; root treatment; pipe air, dye, and smoke testing; and even ocean wall sealing – a service that forms part of its soil stabilization service.

The company’s message is clear. “There is no trenchless, underground rehabilitation job that Shenandoah Construction cannot tackle,” says Manager Anthony Guglielmi. In addition to a well-weighted service portfolio, clients also benefit from the company’s 24/7 response team, always at the ready for unforeseen events.

To manage a large and varied portfolio of operations, Shenandoah Construction streamlines its services into three divisions. The first focuses on pipeline cleaning and video inspections, providing documentation for the creation of a repair matrix. All this is accomplished with the use of specialty Jet / Vac equipment to effectively clean pipe and structures, followed by CCTV camera and crawler equipment inserted into pipe. With this equipment video and computer generated detailed reports are produced. This division handles the bulk of the company’s services.

The second division focuses on the trenchless installation of cured-in-place pipe lining (CIPP), Slip-Lining, and Sectional CIPP lining, where a specialized fabric liner is cured with resin inside the damaged service pipe, as a means of restoration to a virtually new pipe. Point repairs, when necessary to accommodate the lining process, can also be accomplished in house.

The third division focuses on structural urethane chemical grout injections used in soil stabilization operations. This includes lifting foundations and large concrete slabs, cavity-filling, roadway stabilization, and seawall sealing.

Special care and techniques are required to waterproof and stabilize the structure of a seawall. As the name suggests, seawalls separate the sea from waterways and are typically built using sheet piling – metal sheets most commonly installed by being driven into the ground with a hydraulic vibratory hammer suspended from a crane.

The need for waterproofing and stabilization typically arises after many years, when the seams between the metal sheets disintegrate, causing water damage that leads to sinkholes next to the superstructures as sand washes through the cracks and onto the waterway.

To remedy the issue, Shenandoah drives injection ports behind the seawall, injecting urethane foam that expands into the leaks and fills any cavities. The result is a stabilized and waterproof seawall. The urethane is exceptionally durable, solidifying into an inert, hard, insoluble substrate similar to concrete, but without micro-particles that can be washed away.

History of service
The industry giant has been in business since 1976. It got started performing storm-water and wastewater pipeline cleaning and video inspections. It quickly established itself as a trustworthy and reputable service provider by adapting to a much larger range of client needs. As a result, its very expansion was directed by what its customers wanted, with an emphasis on employing the latest technology available in the field.

To this day, the company offers outstanding customer service, earning the respect of scores of municipalities and government offices like the Florida Department of Transportation, many other departments of transportation (DOT) districts, and water-management districts throughout the state.

Add to this its private clients, like some of the bigger homeowners associations and country clubs with golfing facilities, and it quickly becomes clear that the company is as popular as it is dynamic. Of course, having its own teams gives it full control and the ability to adapt to customers’ time schedules – a huge plus in a time-sensitive industry.

Team spirit
Anthony Guglielmi, who is a senior staff member, recalls how Shenandoah’s vibrant service and team spirit attracted him into joining the company after working with one of its teams. Anthony had originally subcontracted the company to test a pipeline he’d installed while working for another firm. After that, Anthony kept in touch with his counterparts at Shenandoah and before long became a valued member of the staff. Anthony has now been with the team for 10 years.

The company now employs 103 permanent staff members. Considering the close-knit culture, it’s not surprising that many of its new intakes are the second generation of Shenandoah employees. Many of its team members have been with the company long-term, contributing to its great family atmosphere. “As in a family, we always look out for one another and do what is in the best interest of the company,” says Guglielmi.

Respect is decidedly important here, with every single team member’s work and opinion being valued and appreciated. Promotions are typically from within the company’s own ranks. “There’s a lot of opportunity at Shenandoah. [Whether] you want to move up the ranks quick, or not [at all], there is room for [growth]. It is all up to the individual and how badly they want it,” he adds.

Stand-out jobs
As most of what Shenandoah Construction does is big, it has naturally completed many impressive projects over the years. Three in particular stand out.

One, a project completed for the Engineering and Public Work Department of the City of West Palm Beach, involved a massive dredge-pump clean-out, a 66-inch storm drainage culvert pipe, and the installation of 416-feet of CIPP liner. Another big project comprised repairs on 30- and 60-inch corrugated metal pipes with 30- and 60-inch CIPP liner for the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners.

This was followed by a project for the City of Fort Pierce Engineering Department, where a 1000-foot slip line of 54-inch high-density polyethylene pipe was fed through a 60-inch diameter reinforced concrete (RCP) pipe – from a golf course, beneath several Florida East Coast railway lines, across Florida state road A1A, and into the inter-coastal waterway – a mammoth task.

As a state-certified general contractor, the company works to keep its certification up to date and relevant to its service offering. It is also a licensed underground utility contractor; is certified by the National Association of Sewer Service Companies (NASCO); and its TV Operations team members are all individually certified under NAASCO’s Pipeline Assessment Certification Program (PACP). It also belongs to the National Underground Contractors Association (NUCA).

Upward trajectory
Shenandoah’s working focus may be on heading down below ground, but its growth is on a strong upward trajectory of between five and ten percent annually. Furthermore, Guglielmi sees the need for infrastructure upgrades across the country – and especially in Florida – as another huge opportunity for the company’s growth.

“I see our industry getting busier seeing that the infrastructure of the United States is long overdue for rehabilitation. Especially south Florida’s drainage lines – they’ve been in the ground twenty-five to fifty-plus years,” he says. According to Guglielmi, many of these storm water and wastewater pipes are in a serious state of deterioration and often run under roads and mainline highways, making regular inspection and cleaning to prevent system failures even more important.

It is thanks to these major capacities that the company is secure in its ambition for growth. Part of its strategy is to expand its number of field-ready, professional crews, followed by moving up Florida’s East Coast into Georgia and South Carolina.

“There is always room for bringing in new talent and people with good minds to expand the company into areas where people want our turnkey services,” adds Guglielmi. With its instinct for excellence and its can-do touch, it looks like this team is out of the trenches and up and away.

More Than Just a Trend

The construction industry is typically slow to evolve. Despite the existence of countless new innovations and technologies, and safer, better ways to do things, it is an industry where tried and true construction methods and long-accepted materials are seldom replaced by a new product or approach.

April 17, 2021, 5:13 PM EDT