News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 12, 2012

Indy firm wins plant cleanup bid

More than 7,000 round trips by trucks will be needed before coke/carbon site cleaned up by next November

Arthur Foulkes
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — After years of careful and costly environmental study, actual cleanup of the former Terre Haute Coke and Carbon site at 13th and Hulman streets is set to begin.

On Tuesday, the Terre Haute Board of Sanitary Commissioners awarded a $2.7-million contract to HIS Constructors Inc. of Indianapolis to remediate 20 acres of the former manufactured gas and coke producing facility.

The company is now charged with removing about 80,000 cubic yards of soil contaminated with a variety of toxic materials. Testing of the site has found tar, arsenic, lead, naphthalene, benzo(a)pyrene and other hazardous substances.

HIS Constructors had the second-lowest bid for the work, which is expected to last several months. The only lower bid failed to include the necessary documentation to make it a “responsive” bid, said Pat Martin, city planner.

Only two of the companies submitting bids had completed all required bid materials, Martin said.

The five-person Board of Sanitary Commissioners voted unanimously to award the bid to HIS Constructors at a meeting Tuesday morning in City Hall.

“It was very competitive bidding,” said Jim Winning, board president.

This is the first job HIS Constructors has undertaken for the City of Terre Haute, said Jim Nance, vice president of business development for the company, which specializes in civil construction and environmental remediation. The company typically handles jobs in the cost-range of the Coke and Carbon job, he said.

One of the company’s largest assignments was a mass excavation for Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Nance said.

The company is currently handling several remediation projects in Indiana and elsewhere in the Midwest, according to its website.

It was not yet clear when soil removal will begin at the Coke and Carbon site, Nance said. However, the work is expected to be completed by next November, Martin noted.

The job will involve hauling contaminated soil to the Sycamore Ridge Landfill in southern Vigo County. Disposal fees will add several million dollars to the project, expected to cost about $7 million in total, Martin said. The job will also include capping a “tar pit” at the site, Martin said.

For trucks hauling the soil, there will be more than 7,000 round trips to the landfill, Martin said.

“This is our first major step for redevelopment of the site and reclamation of the site,” Martin said.

City officials hope to eventually transform the site into a location for private, light-industrial manufacturers. The property is currently owned by the Terre Haute Department of Redevelopment.

Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or