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Mammoth Cave National Park was established in 1941 to protect the unparalleled underground labyrinth of caves, the rolling hilly country above and the Green River valley.  Visitors have toured the subterranean labyrinths of Mammoth Cave dating back to 1816.  Since the Mammoth Cave National Park was established in 1941, ongoing studies and explorations have shown the cave system to be far more complex than ever imagined and that the park hosts a broad diversity of species living in specialized and interconnected ecosystems.


To keep up with the ever growing flow of visitors in the cave, the National Park Service made the decision that a complete renovation of the most popular trails within the Cave was necessary.  This restoration includes both the Upper and the Lower Historic Trails, which lead visitors through such landmarks as the Methodist Church, Bottomless Pit, Fat Man’s Misery, Tall Man’s Misery and the Rotunda.  By providing a new, smooth pathway constructed of attractive concrete pavers and cast-in-place concrete, visitors to the Cave are now provided with a safe and more enjoyable experience.  


Having completed a comprehensive topographic survey of the interior of the Cave in 2008, DDS was the contractor of choice when it came to providing all support services required to complete this project.  Through a Federal Procurement Selection, The Tradesmen Group of Ohio was selected to provide the general contracting services required to complete the project, which was separated into two phases.  


Our Land Surveying Department provided as-needed construction layout services throughout the entire first phase of the project.  Utilizing the electronic surveying data retained from the 2008 survey, our surveyors provided invaluable benefit to the construction team.  Following the completion of the first phase in May of 2016, the surveying department returned to the Cave to complete an as-built survey of the completed trails.  Not only does this data provide the National Park Service with an accurate record of what was constructed in the Cave but it also provided The Tradesmen Group with as-built volumes required for final payment.


During this same time period, our Construction Materials Testing Department provided concrete testing services throughout the entire first phase.  Being that the trail has been replaced with concrete pathways, consistent testing of the concrete was essential to ensure a uniform, lasting finished product.  Due to project restrictions, as one would imagine in such a delicate environment, concrete was hand mixed on site inside the Cave.  This added an additional level of necessity for concrete testing to ensure that each on-site batch was of at least the same quality as the previous batch and as the specifications required.  


Through careful attentiveness and assistance, DDS provided Tradesmen with the support necessary to complete the first phase of this exciting project on schedule and, more importantly, in a manner that exceeded the client’s expectations.  We are looking forward to the commencement of the second phase beginning in the fall of 2016.

Project Location

Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

Client

The Tradesmen Group

Dates

2015 - Present

Project Type

Trail Restoration

Departments Involved

Surveying,

Construction Materials Testing

Rural/Urban

Rural

Project Management

The Tradesmen Group

Project Manager(s)

Dennis D. Smith, PE, PLS

Matt Rogers, PE

Principal-in-Charge

Dennis D. Smith, PE, PLS

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Mammoth Cave Trail Restoration