Rockwell Collins Fire Main Upgrade

Project Information

  • Owner

    Rockwell Collins

  • Location

    Cedar Rapids, IA

  • Engineer

    Baker Group

  • Baker Group Scope


  • Year Completed


Installed a half-century ago, the 1,700-ft. fire main at Rockwell Collins’ expansive Cedar Rapids campus runs between buildings, beneath the parking lot, in front of loading docks, and over and under existing utility lines. When the main began leaking under one building, the aerospace company initiated an upgrade of the entire main. However, installing and tying a new main to existing fire systems had to be done without impeding the company’s daily operations. 

Although another contractor had begun the three-phase upgrade, Baker Group’s Mechanical team was called in to plan and execute the latter two phases. “Baker Group has the knowledge and full underground capabilities to accommodate complex projects such as this, and we have the flexibility to put our clients’ needs above our own,” says Gary Dale, Project Manager with Baker Group. “The right solution might not be the easy one for us, but it makes things easier and better for our client.”

Working under, over, around existing underground infrastructure
Keeping existing underground infrastructure intact and ensuring that loading docks could receive daily deliveries required meticulous planning and daily meetings. Baker Group coordinated its work with Rockwell Collins’ on-the-ground employees, facility managers, internal departments and suppliers, the Cedar Rapids Water Division and a boring contractor, which Baker Group subcontracted to place the new main under existing buildings.

At the loading docks in particular, “We timed ourselves carefully – we got in there, got the pipe in the ground and then set up street plates so the trucks could have access right when they were due to arrive,” Dale says.

Quality, cost-effective execution
Planning and executing projects without interrupting clients’ daily operations is a key competence of Baker Group. This, combined with Baker Group’s skilled employees, resulted in on-time, high-quality and cost-effective results for Rockwell Collins.

“When your mechanical and underground contractor has the expertise and full capabilities to do the job, you benefit in terms of quality and cost-savings. We are delighted that Baker Group could provide these benefits to Rockwell Collins,” Dale adds.

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