Joe Kandefer started out as a plumbing contractor, but it wasn’t long before his company began to take on bigger, more complex projects. Kandefer made the decision to form Kandey Company, Inc. That was in 1984, and his union contracting company has been a trusted partner in municipal civil engineering construction projects in the Western New York area ever since. It’s no surprise that Kandey Company specializes in sizeable water and sewer projects including pipeline construction, filter plans and pump stations.


One of the Kandey Company’s most challenging projects to date was the Rush Creek Interceptor Project, a massive wastewater pipeline project in Hamburg, New York. The project was for the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning and was designed to abandon an existing wastewater treatment plant. The plant was unable to handle the water capacities it was taking in. Spanning over 8600 linear feet (2622m), Kandefer’s crews installed a combination of 1,700 feet (518.2 m) gravity and force main sewer line that was placed within a 48-inch (1463 cm) steel casing. With a project of this magnitude, contractors always anticipate some challenges. This project in particular meant traversing soft, saturated soils under four railroads and many highways and off-ramps.


The sewer line was installed in an abandoned industrial area, which made for unpredictable and challenging ground conditions. “There’s been decades and centuries of changes made in this area,” says Kandefer. “A lot of this stuff, nobody has records of, so there’s no way to even anticipate what you’re going to run into.” Foundations that have been abandoned and unreported utilities are just a couple of the unknowns Kandey Company crews ran into on the Rush Creek Project. Knowing that surprises would continue throughout the remainder of the project, Kandefer was confident in his decision to use an auger boring machine with the McLaughlin On Target steering system to install the 48-inch (1463 cm) diameter steel casing that would house the sewer line.


The biggest advantage of the McLaughlin On Target system is the ability to steer the head. The On Target steering head allows contractors to not only control horizontal on-grade (up and down) changes but also allows for lateral (left to right) direction changes. The new system provides contractors with more control of the auger boring steering head, leading to more accuracy for difficult on-grade bores. “By using an auger boring machine with the On Target system, Kandey Company was able to complete a 335 foot (102.1 m) bore to install a 48-inch (1463 cm) diameter steel casing in one pass. Even with grade changes that varied as much as 2 percent and all the unknown debris in the ground, Kandefer’s crew was able to adjust the steering to produce an accurate bore.”

“We were right on the money with the On Target system, Kandefer says. “It gives us the opportunity to make corrections on the fly instead of hoping for a good result.”


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