Keeping Eagle Mountain in the Dark

Interstates has recently completed a greenfield project for Tyson Fresh Meats in Eagle Mountain, UT. Working under Salt Lake City-based general contractor Big-D Construction, Interstates provided all power for the facility’s core and shell, including temp power, power distribution, lighting, wireless network, fire alarm systems, security and commercial office areas.

Case-ready Facility in Eagle Mountain
This Tyson facility prepares case-ready food, cutting meat, putting it on the trays you find at the grocery store and shipping them out to big-box stores. According to Adam Wilson, Project Manager at Interstates, this facility is the first of its type that Tyson has built in over 20 years. He says that Tyson knew it could rely on Interstates for this project from the start. “Our relationship with Tyson is valuable because they know they can come to us with an idea of what they want, and we can come up with the design and make it happen. They know we are capable of getting them there,” says Wilson.

Dennon Windsor, Superintendent at Interstates, agrees that Tyson and Interstates have a history that adds value to projects. Time and money are saved when communication and trust prevent mistakes and rework. “We are there to dig in and tell the client what the best options are. We’ve proven with past projects that we can meet their needs,” says Windsor. The experience Tyson and Interstates have had on past case-ready facilities, red meat facilities and prepared plants played a big part in the success of this project from both sides.

Achieving Dark Sky Compliance
One interesting aspect of this project featured Utah’s starry night skies. Following the International Dark-Sky Association’s standards, the City of Eagle Mountain passed a Dark Sky Initiative in 2014. Essentially, any lights that are outside cannot produce uplight or light pollution at night. Senior Project Manager at Interstates, Shaun Maloney, says, “This is a standard we haven’t come across before. The light fixtures had to include reflectors to direct light downward and had to be shielded, so none of the light bounces up into the night sky. The standard wasn’t particularly hard to comply with, but handling the relay controls was slightly complicated.”

Working through COVID-19
While coordinating with all the other trades could be cumbersome at times, the project’s biggest challenge was probably the strangeness that comes with a global pandemic. Maloney says Utah’s travel restrictions had a slight impact on personnel, but most of the traveling workforce had already mobilized by the time restrictions were put into place. “Tyson is considered part of a critical industry, so we were happy to keep working on this project. Temp checks, masks, social distancing and cleaning just became normal. Managing these changes and coming up with a site-specific plan was initially challenging, but as time has gone on, COVID-19 has not really impacted productivity or staffing,” says Maloney.

Despite a few supply chain issues and challenging equipment lead times, the project was ultimately successful – thanks in large part to the teams that came together during a challenging year. “This was the best team I’ve ever worked with,” says Wilson. “They took what could have been a tough job in a challenging year and knocked it out of the park,” he says.