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CAT truck-1

We rolled into Boise pretty beat. I felt like I’d woken up at 3 AM, stumbled through the woods all morning, and driven eight hours. Oh… That’s because I had!

I awoke to my alarm, feeling like I needed at least twice the sleep. But that was too damn bad… We had dirt to look at.

I didn’t initially have Idaho on the list of projects/people/companies to check out, but I had to connect the dots between Oregon and Montana, a vast expanse. I scratched my head...

I GOT IT! For months, I’d watched Ralph Wadsworth working on a monster earthwork project in Boise via social media. Thanks to Kjell, I connected with the Wadsworth team, and we had the green light.

We rolled up to the project first thing and checked in with security.

Security? You’ll have that on high-profile jobs.

Men of DirtWorld

I can’t say what the project is precisely for fear of an army of lawyers arriving at my doorstep. Let’s say that when you use the internet like you are now, you generate data. All that data has to live somewhere. Internet companies build centers to house the data, and with the ever-expanding volume of said data, they’re building bigger data centers.

And this one was BIG.

The main building pad was around 3.5 million square feet, which Ralph Wadsworth was finishing up as we visited.

On top of the scale, it wasn’t as simple as smoothing out the land… Data centers rely on a complex network of utilities and footings, requiring deep trenching. But the site was solid rock, which isn’t easy to trench through. To solve the problem, the engineers called for a 10’ over-excavation.

CAT Truck on top of the mountain

Wadsworth crews blasted and excavated what’s basically a HUGE rectangle 10’ deep. They hauled the material to multiple crushing spreads to reduce all the rock to 3” minus. Following crushing, they must return all material to the excavation site for placement.

 We checked out the crushing operations, capable of producing over 10,000 tons of rock daily, and the placement operations. Rigid frame haul trucks dumped the crushed basalt in front of awaiting dozers, which graded everything in 1’ lifts. After a few more months and a lot of compaction, they’ll complete the building pad.

 So… As long as you keep using your computer and phone, the crews of Ralph Wadsworth and other contractors should enjoy solid job security.

 Now for another long drive to Montana—God’s country.

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