RIPA and Associates

As a family owned company, R.E. Goodson Construction has a simpler operation than some general contractors, Office Project Manager James Goodson says. For instance, “We’re able to handle the day-to-day [matters] with the owner of the company,” he says. “[It’s] not an outside person, [but] an inside person that makes the decisions.”

The Darlington, S.C.-based general contractor started operations in 1957, and be­gan by taking on projects for Sonoco and forestry companies, Goodson says. It later began bidding for highway projects in North and South Carolina, which remain its main focus today, he says. 

Currently, Goodson says, the company is at work on the Fayetteville Outer Loop project, which involves the construction of a new highway loop around the city of Fayetteville, N.C. When finished in July 2012, the road will join two portions of Interstate 995 and run alongside Fort Bragg, a U.S. Army base.

During the construction process, Goodson says, Fort Bragg will close one of the roads which will enhance its security. Another road will be made into a bypass.

R.E. Goodson Construction is at work on a portion of the highway that spans more than a mile, Goodson says. Although the company is not adding any new lanes to the road, “We’re doing a lot of grading for future [lanes],” he says, noting that the highway will have six when finished.

For the grading process, the company has used large amounts of dirt mound. “It’s a very hard dirt job,” Goodson admits, noting that the company has had the material transported to the site via highway trucks. 

Filling the Need

R.E. Goodson Construction’s client on the Fayetteville project is the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), which it has worked for repeatedly in the last six years. “We’ve done three major projects [for them],” Goodson recalls. 

Currently, NCDOT says it employs more than 14,000 workers that manage all modes of transportation in the state, including highway, rail, aviation and public transit transportation. “The department also oversees North Carolina’s Division of Motor Vehicles,” it says.

In addition, NCDOT maintains approxi­mately 80,000 miles of road, the second-largest highway system in the nation. “As the population of North Carolina grows, so does the need for new highways and other road improvements that will ease congestion and ensure the safety and mobility of motorists,” the department says.

According to NCDOT, extensive planning goes into each of its highways, and its staff provides inspection and testing functions to assure projects are built properly. “An NCDOT resident engineer and his/her staff interpret plan details and contract requirements, test for quality, check for conformity with contractual requirements, and document the quantity of work performed, so the contractor can be paid on a monthly basis,” it says.

“Once the project is complete, a final inspection is made by an engineer not involved in the project’s construction to verify it has been completed properly,” NCDOT says. “The highway is then opened to traffic.”

Highway Focused

Goodson joined his family’s company in 1984 and notes that the highway projects keep R.E. Goodson Construction strong. He adds that the company hopes to gain more contracts for the Fayetteville Outer Loop project.

“The next contract will be for the actual asphalt/stone base road surfaces,” he says. “Our hope is ... to be the low bidder again and work in the same area. 

“If not, we will move to wherever the funding is available for highway projects and [we] will bid them.” 

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