Earthworks with an audience for MGI Construction Corp

MGI Construction Corp is redeveloping 93,000 square metres before 350,000 daily commuters

MGI Construction Corp is working before a rather large audience, and its Hitachi excavators have taken centre stage. 

The Etobicoke, Ontario-based company is tasked with redeveloping a 93,000 square metre warehouse in North York, Ontario, adjacent to the 400 Highway.

The site previously served as a warehouse for The Home Depot, but was purchased by One Properties and is being redeveloped into several leasable spaces.

MGI Construction Corp was tasked with the demolition of the warehouse, as well as the earthworks and civil construction for the site.

“It’s a high-profile project. You get 350,000 people passing by everyday on the 400 Highway,” said, Lou DeVuono project supervisor with MGI Construction Corp . “It’s important we’re out there and make our presence known.”

To tackle the depths required for the civil portion of the project, MGI brought in a Hitachi ZX670LC-6 and a ZX870LC-6.

“Some of our depths were 6 metres, so you needed something with significant reach to move a large volume of material to get there,” DeVuono said. “The Hitachi’s were brought in specifically for the excessive digging.”

The Hitachi 870 and 670 are the manufacturer’s largest production-class excavators.

The 870 is powered by an Isuzu 512 hp Tier 4 Final engine and features an operating weight of 85,600 kg, a maximum dig reach of 14.9 metres and a maximum dig depth of 9.57 metres.

The 670 is powered by an Isuzu 463 hp Tier 4 Final engine and features an operating weight of 69,900 kg, a maximum dig reach of 13.8 metres and a maximum dig depth of 9.15 metres.

While the Hitachi excavators worked before the thousands of commuters travelling the 400, the machines also garnered an international audience.

“We’ve been visited by a Japanese construction firm so they could see the Hitachi’s at work,” DeVuono said.

The Hitachi excavators, however, were two of about two dozen excavators onsite during the height of remediation. Following the demolition of the previous buildings, a garage service floor and parking areas, MGI Construction Corp re-engineered the land to grade for the revamped property.

“We had to take out all the footings and engineer the new elevation to the end of the building. This was all extensive earthworks,” DeVuono said.

The demolition generated a significant amount of asphalt and concrete. While some of the material was taken offsite, a Rubble Master RM 100GO! mobile crusher was used to process the more than 70,000 tonnes of concrete on site.

“We did a lot of recycling on the project. All the concrete generated from the demo was stockpiled, crushed and reused,” DeVuono said. “And we had a contractor come into help us due to the excessive amount of concrete.”

While the majority of the site was demolished — and is now in the process of being rebuilt — Home Depot still operates out of another structure on the property.

“They wanted to maintain a certain segment of the building,” DeVuono said. “One of the challenges here was working in conjunction to maintain access for Home Depot, and severing the building to make sure the employees were not at risk any time.”