Ghilotti Brothers Inc.

Specializing in demolition, underground utility, earthwork, concrete and asphalt paving, California-based Ghilotti Bros. Inc. (GBI) can provide diverse services for roadway projects, it says. “If you have ever visited the Bay Area, you have more than likely traveled upon a road that GBI has paved,” the company remarks. “GBI provides various types of paving, from highways and interstates to public and private roadways, as well as commercial parking lots and residential driveways.”

When winter has passed, the company will use that expertise to finish a project on Highway 80 in a small window of 125 days. The critical path portion of the project, soil nail wall 1, was temporarily suspended until April 2 due to the winter weather. However, GBI pursued other work that could be completed during the rainy season.

“The 4.1 mile-long project will widen eastbound Interstate 80 to add a high-occupancy vehicle lane from just west of the State Route 4 interchange to almost half-a-mile east of Cummings Skyway Overcrossing,” the city of Hercules, Calif., said in a statement. “Other improvements include the widening of the eastbound Willow Avenue undercrossing, construction of a new bridge for the eastbound Willow off-ramp, realignment of ramps, construction of retaining walls, and installation of new sign structures, lighting, sign illumination, and planting and permanent erosion control.”

Project Manager Lance Bushnell says that after April 2, GBI will have its hands full with a wide range of tasks to complete. Crews will install two soil nail walls, which are a type of earth-retaining wall. The walls will help widen the freeway from three lanes to four. GBI will excavate 130,000 cubic yards of roadway material when widening the highway. Crews also will install new drainage systems, aggregate sections, lean concrete base; place Portland cement concrete paving; construct a new Willow Avenue bridge structure; widen the existing Willow Avenue bridge; remove and replace failing concrete slabs with rapid strength concrete, cold plane existing asphalt section; construct new pavement section; and complete all electrical and fiber optic work.

Plotting Against Challenges

“A major challenge will be soil nail wall No. 1,” Bushnell explains. “That’s the critical path because it’s the longest piece. That’ll be our biggest challenge.” 

Another challenge will be for GBI to complete the project by September 2010. “It will be a challenge just staying on top of the work,” Bushnell says. “We may have to do double shifts – day and night – to maintain the schedule, but we feel we can do it.”

Bushnell credits the GBI leadership team with devising a good plan to mitigate these challenges. The leaders include:

  • Trevor Nuccio, project engineer
  • Mike Llamas, vice president
  • Clarence Cleaver, project superintendent

That team also is more than willing to partner with project owner California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to ensure the project progresses smoothly. “We believe in partnering with Caltrans to facilitate quick problem resolution,” Bushnell says. “We’re willing to work with the state to get the job done together as a team – we’re not going to be adversarial. We know what we’re doing, and we have the resources, equipment and manpower to get the job done.”


GBI has operated in Marin County and California’s North Bay area since it was founded in San Rafael, Calif., in 1914. James Ghilotti founded the company as a small stone masonry company. “[Ghilotti] laid down the foundation of integrity, hard work and respect that continues to set GBI apart from the rest,” the company remarks. Due to customer demand, the company expanded into East Bay and South Bay counties and today works within a 50-mile radius of its home office. 

“Our broad range of specialties makes GBI a sought-after contractor for many diverse and challenging projects, such as emergency slide repairs, airport runways and complex refinery work,” the company says. “By specializing in these dynamic fields of construction, GBI has enhanced its ability to adapt to each individual project and provide exceptional responsiveness to the needs of our clients.”

Since 1986, the company has completed more than 40 airport projects worth more than $100 million. 

“GBI’s reputation as a premier contractor for airports stems from its experienced and knowledgeable project teams that dedicate themselves to the completion of the work, using only the finest materials and the best equipment,” the contractor states. “GBI has maintained good working relationships with major airports all over the Bay Area.”

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