Carter’s Captivating Adventure
POSTED ON SPETEMBER 9, 2019
Carter Madden, one of our project engineers, and his wife, Ashley, are currently in Ireland on a working holiday visa. They have been exploring the world since this past May, and they have been sharing some incredible footage with us that we want to share with you!
We interviewed Carter to get a better sense of what this adventure has been like for him and Ashley. Check out the interview below!
Q: What made you decide to get a working holiday visa? Why did you choose to go to Ireland?
A: “Ashley and I wanted to travel after college, and a working holiday visa is available during the first year after graduation. It was the best time to go before we had a house and other responsibilities. Ireland is one of the few countries to offer a working holiday visa so we could still work while traveling.”
Q: What are your top 3 favorite sites you have seen on your trip?
A: “Edinburgh Scotland: Aran Island, Ireland: Lagos Cliffs, Portugal”
Q: What is something about the culture there that you enjoy?
A: “Health and walkability. We can easily get anywhere we need to by a walking path or a short bus/train ride.”
Q: What is the community you live in like?
A: “We move around a lot, usually in a place for 2 – 4 weeks. So, I guess our community is the changes with the host we stay with. We have stayed with young families with children, an older grandma who had her extended family visit regularly, we worked/ stayed for room and board on the Aran Islands for a few weeks, and currently, we are staying in a small town with a retired math teacher.”
Q: What is your favorite part about currently living there?
A: “Learning and exchanging culture with the people we meet. Being able to take day trips exotic places is a bonus as well.”
Q: Is there anything else you think is worth mentioning about your experience?
A: “This has been the most amazing / toughest experience we have ever taken on and has taught us what things are important and what we can live without.”
Astra Group turned 25 this year!
Posted on May 20, 2019
We recently celebrated our 25th Anniversary on May 9th at New Realm Brewing — right off of the Astra-built Eastside Trail on the Atlanta Beltline! The venue provided an excellent rooftop setting with gorgeous views of the City. The DJ set us off with some fantastic music, while the brewery catered delicious spread of food and an open bar with their large selection of spring brews. What more could we ask for!
Each guest got the opportunity to participate in a raffle where we handed out prizes that included two giveaways of an insulated wine bag with complimentary wine, a waterproof GoPro camera, and a couple of Bluetooth speakers. As a parting gift, we gave each guest a custom pilsner glass with Astra’s 25th anniversary logo etched on it.
Andrew and Ian Lindsay (our president and chairman of the board) gave a heartfelt speech about their appreciation for all of their customers, employees, vendors, subs, and friends. Astra is a family run business, and as a result, the employees have created bonds beyond the scope of being coworkers. We have become good friends and our own little family, and this celebration was a beautiful representation of that. As we all laughed together and celebrated an incredible 25 years in business, we continued to build that company bond that makes Astra such an exceptional company.
Cory Reeves, a Project Engineer at Astra, did a wonderful job summing up how the employees felt about the event when he said:
“The birthday party for Astra Group, Inc., was memorable for several reasons. Still, one especially remarkable thing that stood out for me was the choice of venue which unbeknownst to me at the time had some symbolism behind it. Concerning the venue of choice [New Realm Brewery], I later found out that the recent development was effectively “anchored” in-part based on our contributions to the Atlanta Beltline! For Astra to have such an integral role in this form of community development definitely stood out to me; effectively letting me know once again that choosing this internship was a great idea!”
Astra Completes Construction of Georgia’s 1st EMAS System
Posted by Astra on December 19, 2018
[WOODSTOCK, GA, December 19, 2018—] Astra Grading & Pipe, LLC, completed construction of the very first Engineered Materials Arrestor System (EMAS) at DeKalb Peachtree Airport (PDK) in Atlanta this week.
The $5.6 million EMAS project at Runway 21L provides safety for aircraft & public. The system is comprised of specialized blocks that collapse under the weight of an aircraft, which stops by digging into the blocks without damaging the aircraft and preventing it from leaving airport property.
“Great job! The entire team has put an enormous amount of effort into making this project successful,” said Andrew Lindsay, President of Astra Grading & Pipe. “It is one you all should be very proud of.”
The project site features variable height Mechanically Stabilized Earth (MSE) wall from zero to 30 feet high and 5,200 square yards of grooved asphalt that is designed as a warning track from the end of the runway to the blocks.
Four Astra crews worked 24/7 for 30 days tomove 50,000 cubic yards of dirt to complete the project before the Christmasholidays. As part of the overall scope, Astra also relocated an existing localizer and installed a new electrical shelter.
“Great job team!” said Theresa Rivera, Astra project manager. “We wouldn’t have gotten this done before Christmas without all the hours spent by our crews in the field (and there were definitely a lot of hours put in!)
“Special shout out to Darrin [Johnson] (site superintendent) & David [Torres] (site foreman) for sticking with it the past year and a half! We’ve definitely encountered some unique challenges on this one,” Rivera said.
Kudos to the entire project team as well as DeKalb County, Georgia Department of Transportation, Baker International, Aulick Engineering & the Federal Aviation Administration.
Astra Group, Inc., is a leader in Southeast in the delivery of general contracting and job order contracting to private, commercial, government and municipal entities. We operate from our headquarters in Woodstock with other offices in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia, and Tampa, Florida, employing more than 160 people with revenues of more than $100 million. We are comprised of three divisions – Astra Group, Inc., Astra Grading and Pipe, LLC, and Astra Construction Services, LLC.
If you would like more information about Astra Group, Inc., please call Regina Pitts at (770) 992-9300, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Astra named as a finalist for ULI’s Excellence in the Public Realm Award
Posted by Astra on August 9, 2018
Astra has been named as a finalist for the Urban Land Institute’s 24th Annual Atlanta Awards for Excellence. As part of the project team for the Atlanta BeltLine’s Westside Trail team, the project is being recognized in the “Excellence in the Public Realm” category!
Astra BeltLine Projects featured in GUCA Annual Magazine
Posted by Astra on June 18, 2018
As a member of the Georgia Utility Contractors Association (GUCA), Astra and its affiliated subsidiary, Astra Grading and Pipe, LLC (AGAP), were featured in the 2018 GUCA Annual Magazine for our work on various parts of the Atlanta BeltLine. The goal of article is to highlight GUCA’s members and their achievements!
Also included in the magazine is coverage from the 2018 Hard Hat Safety Award Gala in March where Astra received an award in the 200,001-500,000 Man-Hours Pipeline Contractor category.
Port of Savannah IMMC
POSTED BY ASTRA on JANUARY 31, 2018
Astra received its Notice to Proceed for the civil infrastructure portion of the $128 million rail expansion for the Port of Savannah’s International Multi-Modal Connector (IMMC) project at the Garden City Terminal in Garden City, Ga. This $35 million civil infrastructure project consists of providing soil improvements, earthwork, drainage and erosion control within and adjacent to the James D. Mason Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF), the realignment of a portion of Pipemakers Canal, installation of two (2) structures across the realigned canal to accommodate future rail tracks, and the installation of a bridge across the canal for maintenance. Part of the project is funded by FASTLANE, a federal grant program, that requires expedited delivery of infrastructure projects to support the growth of the economy and encourages the use of American products.
The two (2) rail bridges across Pipemakers Canal will ultimately connect the Chatham and Mason rail yards, operated by CSX and Norfolk Southern railroads. This Mega-Rail project will allow 10,000-foot trains to be loaded on a terminal with containers double-stacked. The trains will increase the capacity from 500,000 container lifts per year to 1 million when the project is finished.
We are proud to be the contractor for this important Georgia Ports Authority project as it is the first of its kind for the east coast. Once completed, the state-of-the-art expansion will reduce transit times to already in-service routes by more than 24 hours, and will also allow open service to inland markets in the Midwest, including Chicago, St. Louis and the Ohio Valley. The entire project is estimated for completion by the end of 2020.