Waters Construction Co. keeps strong after more than 50 years by focusing on the bottom line rather than growth, President Mario Smith says. “We focus on what we do well, rather than chasing volume for volume’s sake,” he says.

Based in Bridgeport, Conn., Waters Construction specializes in site work, paving, heavy and highway work, bridges and mass transit projects. Al Waters founded the company in the early 1950s, Smith says.

Torbear Contracting has provided clients with high-quality, cost-effective solutions on countless projects in a diverse array of industries. Based in Ontario, Torbear has grown almost under the radar. Torbear’s primary source of work has been competitive tendering, which has usually followed an open public prequalification process. It has also grown through referrals and repeat business rather than endlessly and expensively touting its own success.  

“We just passed our 20 year anniversary,” General Manager Michael Helyer says. “We don’t advertise, we get our business through competitive tenders, the majority of which are prequalified and require you to have a track record of successful completion, quality workmanship and strong financial backing.”

After 90 years, T.A. Loving Co. has earned a reputation for quality construction and a loyal customer base in North Carolina, Project Manager Mark Harris says. “That’s what got us through the rough part of the economy of the last few years,” he says. “We were able to keep everybody busy.”

The contractor is bringing its talents to the Valley Proteins Wastewater Treatment Plant improvement project in Fayetteville, N.C. The project, with a budget of more than $3 million, includes a new concrete-lined lagoon, the demolition and replacement of old pipe, and a new pump station and concrete basin.

The United States Golf Association selected the Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa., as the site for the 2016 U.S. Open, and the only direct-access route into town is Hulton Bridge, which will be under construction for the next year. “When this project was put out there, it was kept in mind that this new bridge has to be done before the U.S. Open comes,” Project Manager John Myler says. “It would be a big black eye for the Pennsylvania DOT if we started and didn’t get it done on time.”

Oakland County Director of Central Services J. David VanderVeen says that in today’s global economy, airports have become regional ambassadors since they are often the first impression a person has of a new area. VanderVeen says Oakland County in southeast Michigan makes sure that the impression its airports leave with guests is a positive one. 

“When someone lands or takes off from your facility for the first time, you make an impression and you want to make a good impression,” VanderVeen says. “At the direction of County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, we started a campaign years ago to make the airport more attractive. We cleaned up signs along the highway, and received landscape and beautification awards so we could put our best face forward.” 

More than just concrete and rebar go into the foundation of a building. The integrity and reputation of the builder also play a vital role in ensuring that the project not only succeeds in terms of meeting its schedule and budget goals, but also stands the test of time. In the Bay Area, Empire Engineering & Construction Inc. has been putting its heart and soul into every project it has undertaken, and the company says its strong ties with the San Francisco Bay Area community inspire it to give its best effort every time. 

In 2012, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) began work on one of the most challenging but necessary projects in recent history – the widening of the I-70 Twin Tunnels to accommodate new and future lane expansions. The project involves boring through solid mountain to make room for these expansions, and the considerable experience of two industry heavyweights has been combined to help bring the project to fruition without delays or headaches for the thousands of motorists who use the I-70 Mountain Corridor every day. 

Keeping two lanes of a highway open during 24-hour construction with only a four- and eight-hour period each day during which lanes could be closed kept Thomas Cavanagh Construction Ltd. challenged. The project required the addition of new lanes within the existing Highway 417 corridor in the west end of Ottawa. In Canada, a 400 number indicates the highway is at least four-lane. 

“We had to maintain one lane in each direction at all times,” Project Manager Chris Fischer emphasizes. “We were restricted as to when we could do lane closures. To do some of the work, the daytime window was only between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The night shift provided us with an eight-hour window from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. This was the biggest window. So all the paving happened at night. It’s with 180,000 tons of hot mix paving that we’ve completed this project.”

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