Acme Concrete Paving Inc.
- Written by: Acme Concrete Paving Inc.
- Produced by: Acme Concrete Paving Inc.
- Estimated reading time: 4 mins
Municipal offices for years have debated whether it is more advantageous to use asphalt or concrete pavement when paving. Tim Welsh, owner of Acme Concrete Paving Inc. (Acme), is quick to point out that each has its advantages depending on the location of the project and its purpose, but when all conditions are equal concrete has some significant advantages to asphalt.
Because of its lighter color, concrete pavement can help lower the “heat-island effect” that is prevalent in large cities. Concrete is also better for the environment, because it’s made out of items that are found naturally and abundantly in nature: water, rocks and a cement binder. Asphalt, on the other hand, requires the use of nonrenewable oil supplies. In addition, concrete is fully 100-percent recyclable when it comes time to replace pavement.
Typically, this recycled concrete is used as the granular fill base course for new pavement, or as aggregate to strengthen new concrete pavement. State and local agencies have specified recycled aggregate for all types of concrete pavements and some state’s Department of Transportation (DOT) allow up to 100 percent of recycled concrete aggregate in concrete mixtures.
Rapid Changes Lead to Stability
Acme, a Spokane, Wash.-based company led by President Tim Welsh, has a long history providing Portland cement concrete (PCC) pavement for a variety of projects, including highways, intersections, airport runways, taxiways and fueling depots. Robert Seghetti, a vice president with the company, explains Acme’s somewhat complicated history as follows:
“The company has been around since the ’60s and we were owned by Don Herek until 1987, when we were purchased by Koppers. Through the consolidation of Aggregate Producers, Ready Mix and Asphalt companies in the late ’80s and early ’90s we became part of Beazer, Hanson. In 1999 we were purchased by our local competitor, a division of Oldcastle, but in 2001 they sold off the concrete paving division, and on Jan. 1, 2002, Acme Concrete Paving was born.”
All of the concrete paving division employees remained with the newly formed Acme. The company currently employs 120 personnel during the peak of the season and Seghetti says the company works on projects throughout the western states. “We prefer to do business in Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon, but in order to keep crews working we have expanded our bidding Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and California,” he says.
The company also expanded its list of services to help counterbalance the slowdown as well. Acme launched a rehabilitation division that offers clients dowel-bar retrofits, concrete panel replacements and concrete grinding.
Acme also made another strategic decision to help increase the company’s backlog. North Dakota’s economy is red hot right now due to its expanding oilfield operations. The company sent units to Williston, N.D., to capitalize on that rapid growth.
A lot of construction companies like to say that they are committed to safety, but Acme demonstrates how fully it is committed with its “Safety Bucks Program.” Each employee is automatically enrolled in the program and receives one “Acme Buck” each week in their paycheck if they haven’t been injured, involved in a claim, or damaged company equipment during the previous week. The safety rewards accumulate and employees can spend them in a virtual company store on items ranging from a stainless steel coffee mug to a Peet boot dryer.
Multiple Projects at Local Airport
With its nearly 50-year history of safety-minded quality, Acme has played an integral role in infrastructure development along the West Coast. Seghetti outlines one of the company’s typical projects, saying, “We work a lot for the Federal Aviation Admission [FAA] and our crews have been out at Spokane International Airport many times.”
The company recently completed a runway extension at the airport, adding 2,000 feet to the main runway, Taxiway A, Taxiway G and a new run-up area. The project involved value-engineering Taxiway A and Taxiway G and changing the surfacing from asphalt to concrete, which saved Spokane International $1 million while providing a long-term pavement solution. This project led to the reconstruction of the east end of Runway 3-21, which corrected the gradient issue and replaced asphalt with concrete.
A crew from Acme was also responsible for the successful completion of a highway expansion project along Interstate 90 (I-90). “The I-90 project was a $15 million job where we successfully widened the highway from two to three lanes along a two-mile stretch from Barker Road to Sullivan Road,” says Seghetti.
Acme has had a colorful history. It went from being a family-owned company to making the rounds of corporate ownership before it finally reverted back to its natural form as a privately held company. In spite of the fluctuations in leadership, Acme crews have consistently done what the company does best, mobilizing concrete plants, pavers and quality-control labs to provide top-notch paving wherever and whenever necessary. Now under the solid leadership of Tim Welsh, Acme Concrete Paving Inc. is set to flourish for another 60 years.
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