Although it is under new ownership, the leaders of Wellington Construction Contractors Inc. have vowed that the company’s founding principles will remain the same. The heavy civil contractor with a focus in water and wastewater treatment plants will continue to serve the southwest Ontario region as it has for the past 30-plus years, and Bert Stevens, one of three owners running the company, says it will continue to serve customers with the same level of quality as years past.
“We are going to be doing exactly what we’ve been shown over the years and keep a good thing going,” Stevens says. “We have a lot of employees that have been here with us for 15 [to] 20 years. We don’t have a lot a turnover and that’s because we pay good attention to how we treat our employees and the quality of work we do. That’s how you get return business and keep a good name in the industry amongst the various engineering firms and municipalities in the area.”
Not everyone compares Chicago to Paris, but for those who have visited both cities, the double decks of Wacker Drive that follow the river into the city’s downtown can resemble the charms of the Seine River that flows through the City of Light.
Now, first-term Mayor Rahm Emmanuel is intent on making Chicago literally the City of Lights with an ambitious competition by artists, architects and engineers to design innovative lighting along the river, under its series of bascule bridges that span the river at every downtown street, and on nearby landmarks to illuminate the evenings and create a tourist destination.
At Milestone Contractors L.P., employees depend on each other to get the job done right, President CJ Potts says. “It’s about not letting each other fail,” he declares. “We have to lift each other up to a new level every day.”
Indianapolis-based Milestone provides asphalt paving, asphalt sales, concrete paving, miscellaneous concrete services, underground water, storm and sewer installation, and grading and bridge construction services. Founders Bob Studler and Harry and Oscar Meshberger started the company in 1937 as Meshberger Stone.
Within the past decade, McKinney Drilling has evolved to be not only the largest drilled shaft contractor in North America, but also the safest.
Safety has always been one of the contractor’s highest priorities, but since its 2002 acquisition by Keller Group plc, the world’s largest independent ground engineering specialist, McKinney has developed into an industry leader. “Before our acquisition we were a very safe company, but we knew we had room for improvement,” says Bill Maher, McKinney Drilling’s president since 2005 and a 44-year veteran of the Hanover, Md.-based company. “Each of our 15 offices had its own safety program, but we felt we needed standardized expectations and guidelines across the board.”
The two large twin bridges that make up the bulk of the Route 460 Connector Phase 1 project in Buchanan County, Va., are unique to the region in several ways. At 250 feet in height and 1,700 linear feet in length, the bridges – which extend U.S. Route 460 over Virginia Route 610 and Grassy Creek just south of the Virginia/Kentucky border – will be the tallest in the state when fully completed in 2015.
General contractor Bizzack Construction of Lexington, Ky., has a $97 million design/build contract for the bridges and related work, at the time the largest design/build contract in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s history. Design/build projects are relatively new to the Virginia Department of Transportation, Bizzack’s client. “The department felt they could get the best value for the project by completing it as a design/build,” Project Manager Stewart Gaither says.
Georgia’s Cherokee County is in the middle of a growth spurt. As a result, the Cherokee County School District has needed to address capacity issues at the county’s schools. In the last few years, it has been reshaping its footprint to better serve its students and teachers.
“This is a suburban Atlanta bedroom community,” Assistant Superintendent William Sebring says. “We’ve seen quite a bit of growth in the area, almost extensively residential. When the economy and real estate market are strong, that impacts residential growth and the school district. In the last 16 years, we’ve built 17 new schools.”
The Zoo Interchange, named for its proximity to the Milwaukee County Zoo, was build in 1963 as one of the first Interstate Highway Projects in Wisconsin. A total of 350,000 vehicles travel on the interchange daily located in the center of the state transport system.
The interchange forms the junction of I-94, I-894 and US 45.
The freeway interchange’s design was innovative in the early 1960s. It features ramps on both sides of the road with drivers turning left exiting on left ramps and those turning right exiting on right side ramps.
As time went by, however, it was determined this design leads to excessive merging and has since become obsolete. The antiquated design, along with aging structures, necessitated the repair project.
For many years, Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport was the world’s busiest airport until Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta took the title. Now, O’Hare wants to regain that status, and Plote Construction Inc. is helping as it works on a portion of the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP).
The company is a subcontractor for Turner Construction Co., Acura Construction and Lindahl. Its portion of the project is the paving of a 7,500-foot by 150-foot runway, a 75-foot parallel taxiway, and connecting taxiway. “They’ll be able to do multiple landings and takeoffs at the same time,” Plote Construction President Dan Plote says.