6. St Marys Cement Parking Lot-1

st marys Cement parking lot

Location: 9333 Dearborn St., Detroit
Contractor: Albanelli Cement Contractors
Supplier: Superior Materials
Engineer: Hennessey Engineers
Owner: Votorantim Cimentos / St. Marys Cement

At its conception in 1974, the American Cement Company constructed a fully functional cement plant, nestled against I-75 and the Rouge River in Detroit. To service the plant and office staff, the company constructed a long concrete entrance driveway to accommodate truck traffic and a large concrete parking lot that serviced truck pass-through traffic as well as a receiving dock.

The plant, owned by St. Marys Cement for many years now, decided that last year was the time to make some much-needed updates to the property. Despite their placement on sub-par soil, minimal to no drainage, and continued ponding due to poor initial design, the severely deteriorated parking lot and driveway were still able to support consistent car and truck traffic for 46 years. This goes to show you that even under the worst conditions, concrete is still tough and usable for long periods of time!

The parking lot and roughly 40% of its half mile long driveway were in dire need of reconstruction. The entire parking lot was demolished in less than one week as the pavement was so severely cracked. Additional drains incorporating perimeter drainage requiring additional underground concrete pipe were installed. Downspouts were directed underground and the grading adjusted to slope the concrete pavement properly.

The driveway’s partial reconstruction required 45,000 square feet of 10-inch doweled concrete pavement to accommodate truck traffic and roughly 20,000 square feet of 6-inch unreinforced concrete pavement for the parking lot to accommodate lighter traffic. The entire pavement was placed over 10 inches of granular fill and was curbed to provide additional drainage and edge strength. The overall footprint was reduced in size to reduce cost and maintenance requirements. Albanelli, Superior, and Hennessey worked together seamlessly and the end result is a stunning driveway and parking lot that will both serve St. Marys Cement for at least another half century!