Brayman Construction Corp.

Today, Brayman Construction Corp. is a large general and specialty geotechnical contractor based out of Saxonburg, Pa.; but the company has not always been this way. In 1947, George Brayman began the family business. He and then his son-in-law operated the business until January 1993, when Steve Muck purchased the company. At the time, Muck says, Brayman was doing about $7 million worth of business annually; a figure that has grown roughly 30 percent each year since Muck, president and CEO, took over. 

A large part of Brayman’s growth is a result of diversifying its capabilities. The company now provides heavy civil and geotechnical con­struction services to its clients. This inc­ludes a general contracting division, foundation division – caissons, drilling and grouting, and marine and piling – and a demolition and steel erection division. 

“Our diverse capabilities, coupled with our strong financial backing and bonding capacity, allow us to effectively and efficiently manage, staff and equip each of our construction projects,” Brayman Construction says. “The experience of our people along with our processes ensures every project is executed safely within budget and on schedule.” 

Muck says what sets his company apart from competitors is its problem-solving approach. “We help our customers solve problems; the ones they know they have and the ones that are discovered during the project,” Muck says. Additionally, the company’s diversity helps because most solutions can be found in-house, without the need to hire an outside source to address the problem. “We are able to bring resources to the client, for any type of project, that maintain the schedule, optimize time and minimize cost,” he adds.

Brayman’s main focus is in the East Coast, with projects spanning from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic Ocean. Currently, Brayman is working to build a $1.6 billion, 11.7-mile extension of the Metrorail Orange line for the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority. This project will create five new stations running from the East Falls Church Station in Fairfax County, Va., through Tysons Corner, to Dulles International Airport and ending along Route 722 in Loudoun County, Va. 

Brayman was selected as a subcontractor on this project because of its expertise in foundation work and ability to offer the client, Bechtel, all the services for this portion of the project under one roof. Brayman will install more than 900 concrete piers, which will support the elevated guideways and Metrorail stations for this project. The drilled piers range in size from five to 10 feet in diameter. 

Initially, Muck says, when Dulles Transit Partners was looking for subcontractors to com­plete the caisson work, it separated the tasks into three different packages. Brayman was one of only two companies to bid on and offer pricing for all three packages. “We be­lie­ved that this would make the project a little bit easier to manage for the client, working with one subcontractor vs. three, and we had the capacity and experience to do that,” he says.   

For Brayman, the large project was attractive because it gave the company more exposure within the Washington, D.C., area. “Looking at the magnitude, this is one of the lar­gest projects being completed in the country today, specific to highway construction, looking at the number of rigs being operated, environment we’re working in and size of the caissons being drilled,” Muck says. “It’s also one of the most challenging caisson projects in the country.”

Part of the challenge comes from the need to be as nimble as Dulles Transit Partners needs Brayman to be. There have been changes in the diameters needed as well as the sequence of events. “In order for Dulles Transit Partners to maintain the schedule and optimize the cost, our biggest challenge is to be where they need us to be on the project and to deliver the work as timely as possible,” Muck says. 

Additionally, since the majority of the work is being done along active and some of the most heavily congested highways in the country, the safety of those working on-site, as well as those traveling along the roadways is priority in everything Brayman does. At any given time, there are between 20 to 50 Brayman emp­loyees working on various parts of the project. 

Metropolitan Washington Airports Auth­ority is likely to have a second phase of the project in the works for another 11-mile extension. When the time comes, Muck says his company plans to bid on that work as well. Bids for the overall project will go out in the late spring of 2011, followed by subcontractor bids, all with the goal of seeing phase two brought to completion by the end of 2016.

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