All eyes are on Tampa Bay’s Interstate 275, where a highly coordinated, complex project is increasing six lanes of busy traffic to eight lanes. “It is important that the project goes well during construction, turns out well quality-wise and completes on time,” Ajax Paving of Florida President Mike Horan says. “This is a high-profile project in the heart of Tampa. I think it’s an exciting job.”
Based in Nokomis, Fla., Ajax Paving was founded by Herb Jacob in 1951 in Detroit and at the time focused on paving mall parking lots and subdivisions. Ajax Paving grew to 12 asphalt plants, several portable concrete plants, and several quarries in Michigan. A severe economic downturn in Michigan from 1979 to 1980 created the need to find new opportunities. In 1981, the company built an asphalt plant in Port Charlotte, Fla., and Horan was asked to move down to Florida and start the operation.
Today, Ajax Paving is dedicated to providing professional concrete and asphalt paving services that exceed its customers’ expectations. The Florida division performs its work mainly north of Tampa and south to Naples. It also covers the center of the state to Lakeland and Clewiston. The company has completed more than $10 billion of road construction for Florida DOT, counties, municipalities and private industry. Ajax Paving has seven asphalt plants in Florida, more than 500 pieces of equipment and 350 employees. It’s also widely known for paving automobile test tracks and for NASCAR racetracks, Horan says. “We have maintained a pretty high reputation for our quality work and timely completion of our projects,” he adds. “Ajax is one of the highest rated asphalt paving contractors by the Florida Department of Transportation. We do what we say we are going to do. We continue to strive for perfection and somewhere along the line hope to attain excellence. We’ll never be perfect, but we can get to be excellent.”