Client DMB Mesa Proving Grounds, LLC
Location Mesa, Arizona
Scope Earthwork balancing for 3,200 acres and 6.2 M cubic yards of cut and fill

Eastmark Mass Grading

Project Details

Westwood’s Role

  • Aerial Mapping and Surveying
  • Civil Engineering
  • Mass Grading

Project Overview

Eastmark is situated on what was once the Mesa Proving Grounds, a 3,200-acre facility of test tracks, infrastructure, and buildings, used for years by General Motors (GM) to test their vehicles in hot-weather conditions. DMB purchased the property from GM in the early 2000s and began moving dirt in 2012.

Balancing 6.2 Million Cubic Yards of Cut and Fill

A huge challenge for Eastmark was balancing the earthwork within the 3,200-acre site – estimated to be over 6.2 million cubic yards of combined cut and fill.

Coupled with balancing the site was the equally important task of determining how other site features and soil characteristics would affect overall earthwork quantities. For example, the asphalt concrete in the site’s network of test tracks and roadways could not be used as fill, and, when removed, created a void requiring 45,000 cubic yards of additional fill. 

Also, areas with extensive depressions and a mile-long test track more than 15 feet below adjacent grade created significant needs for fill. When combined with construction phasing, earthwork haul requirements, drainage and retention requirements, soil shrinkage of more than 25%, and regularly-changing land uses, the result was an extremely complicated set of conditions Westwood had to take into account.

Aerial Mapping and High-Tech Superpad Modeling Solutions

First, Westwood’s aerial mapping group, with field support from our Phoenix-based survey crews, prepared a fully rectified topographic map of the existing conditions at the 3,200-acre site, including the perimeter roads.

Then, working closely with DMB, Westwood utilized all available information about the site and surrounding properties (e.g. master water and sewer plans, master drainage plan, conceptual and preliminary land plans, roadway alignments and cross-sections, final plats, ALTA surveys, etc.) to divide the site into 18 “Superpads.” Preliminary rough grades were determined for each Superpad, and then, using Civil3D software, Westwood modeled the Superpads to determine their respective cut and fill quantities. After several iterations, Westwood achieved a balanced earthwork condition, which confirmed for DMB that, with respect to earthwork, development of Eastmark was proceeding in the right direction.


  • Existing Conditions Topographic Map
  • Digital Aerial Photo
  • Mass Grading Plan
  • Cut-and-Fill Exhibit
  • Haul Route Exhibit
  • Earthwork quantities by Superpad
  • Cost estimate

See also:

Eastmark Overview
The Eastmark Great Park ® Master Plan
The Eastmark Great Park ® Palm Plaza and Splash Pad
The Eastmark Great Park ® Water Harvesting
The Eastmark Great Park ® Event Pavilion
The Eastmark Great Park ® Orange Monster