By Sigrid Tornquist
For any business in the hail belt—an area east of the continental divide from northern Texas into Canada—that has the need for outdoor, extended parking, protecting cars from hail damage is a priority concern. Currently managing a project that is in phase two for Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Marc Shellshear of USA SHADE & Fabric Structures has had a lot of experience with hail protection projects in the last few years.
“For phase one, which is now complete, everyone involved performed over and above to make the project happen within a very strict timeline,” Shellshear says. “We installed 10 acres of shade in 90 days.” Paramount among the challenges for the installation was setting footings in the caliche clay that is common to the region. “It was an engineering challenge,” he says. “We were punching holes in the ground that were 36 inches in diameter and 20 feet deep.” There was also an inner terminal train, requiring those tracks to be pulled out, and utilities that had to be moved.
“The whole thing was intense and required a lot of coordination,” Shellshear says. “But it went extremely well. And we’ve got four more phases to go.”