On Thursday, construction workers poured concrete for the new Dollar Tree store in Pratt, utilizing special tricks to get the base to set up faster than usual because of cold weather coming.
The base of the new Dollar Tree store coming soon to Pratt was poured Thursday despite cold weather and predicted snow storms for the weekend.
"We have tricks we use to make the concrete set up quicker," said Concrete Enterprises General Manager Derick Tyler. "Hot water and a non-chlorine accelerator make set-time a lot faster."
Tyler had six trucks on duty Thursday, bringing in more than 130 yards of concrete mixed up at their Pratt facility on the south end of Main Street off U.S. Highway 281. Sand, rock and cement powder (6,000 pounds of it, to be exact) were combined in churning tanks on Concrete Enterprise trucks and one-by-one they navigated somewhat rough terrain to deposit loads of liquid cement into a large concrete pumper truck. All this activity took place on the site of the new Dollar Tree location across the road from Walmart on the north side of First Street on the east end of town.
Reaching high into the sky, the long arm of the pumper truck (from a Hutchinson firm) then deposited the concrete mix into a special contraption that took the hard work of laying and smoothing the large concrete slab that will be the base of the new store. More than eight workers were on site to guide the machines and smooth the edges with special paddles.
"The chemical reaction in the mix will have it set in just a few hours," Tyler said.
He manages Concrete Enterprises businesses in Pratt and Kingman.
After the concrete was poured and smoothed, special blankets brought in by Arensdorf Construction of Pratt, were placed over the slab to keep it warm. The blankets were tarps filled with bubble-wrap layers.
"The blankets will keep that chemically generated heat in as long as possible which will help the set up," Tyler said.
Brian Arensdorf said his company's contribution would be part of the next phase of construction on the Dollar Tree project, putting in the parking lot, but that would likely take place after the ground has warmed up considerably.