Bizzack Construction LLC
With highway infrastructure undergoing constant improvement throughout the U.S., state transportation agencies continue to seek out contractors who can provide leading value, safety and efficiency. Bizzack Construction LLC has long been a reliable partner to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and over the years has extended its reach from the headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, to serve agencies in surrounding states.
In business for more than 50 years, Bizzack Construction has leading experience in heavy highway design-build, project management and excavation. The company has built valuable relationships with the KYTC as well as the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) as well as the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).
“Long-term relationships are immensely important to our business,” explains Stewart Gaither, vice president and project manager for Bizzack Construction. “We have worked in Kentucky for more than 50 years and Virginia and West Virginia for the last 20. We maintain these relationships by providing a good end product for a fair price and doing it safely and efficiently.”
While client relationships are paramount, the business has several long-term strategic partners who help to build and maintain efficiencies and qualify Bizzack Construction for increasingly larger and more challenging projects.
John Hampton of GCH Insurance has worked in insurance and bonding with the company for roughly 15 years. “Bizzack Construction is a great company,” he explains. “They’ve been good to us and we certainly take pride in our relationship with them. They have so many long-term employees, it’s amazing how many folks have been with the company their entire careers.”
The road to success
While recent years have seen a dip in contract pricing in the Southeast, Gaither and his colleagues have maintained a strong focus on value that keeps them busy. “We’ve been aggressive in design-build,” he explains. “Traditional bid-build is down, according to the Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors. Design-build has been growing, especially in the other states we service.”
Bizzack Construction manages everything from conception through putting together the design-build team, acquiring the contract, execution and completion. While the business does not have a huge capacity for in-house design, the team works with design partners throughout the country. With a network of reliable subcontractors, Bizzack Construction is able to provide efficient and safe completion of projects. The company has worked with many of these subcontractors for 50 years or more, turning over quality road projects time and again.
“We’re finishing a project for VDOT right now, which when completed will be the two tallest bridges in Virginia,” says Gaither. “They’re called the Twin Bridges and the project is Phase 1 of the U.S. Route 460 Connector project. We are the prime contractor of this design-build project. We subbed design and most of the bridge work; our primary in-house services are heavy highway excavation and project management, so we managed the entire project and excavated 2.5 million yards.”
Now the team is preparing for construction on Phase 2 of the U.S. Route 460 Connector project. Awaiting a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bizzack Construction will begin excavation of 17 million yards as well as instrumentation of the $108 million design-build contract for the Virginia DOT. “Phase 2 starts where Phase 1 left off,” explains Gaither. “We’re taking that to rough grade – we don’t do paving on that – it’s 6.4 miles with no bridges, but some smaller structures.”
Bizzack Construction was also recently awarded another large project: upgrading U.S. Route 35 in West Virginia for WVDOH. The $174.4 million project includes 14.6 miles of road replacement, including around 13 million yards of excavation. “With these excavation-heavy projects, we have more of the construction than the Phase 1 project where almost half of the contract was bridge construction,” Gaither notes.
Relationships are the lifeblood of Bizzack Construction’s operations. In order to maintain them, the company has to stay on top of safety issues, efficiencies and ensure all team members are providing exceptional service in the office or on-site.
“We have a company safety officer who takes care of most of our safety oversight as well as that of several sister companies,” says Gaither. “We hold regular weekly toolbox meetings as well as preparatory meetings before each new type of activity, where we discuss hazards and the procedures to put in place to prevent or mitigate any accidents. We also have weekly and monthly team meetings, during which we discuss any hazards we foresee and go over that as well.”
The business is continuously upgrading equipment to keep up with demand, although Gaither notes that the company is frugal with new purchases. “At a certain point, it becomes financially beneficial to replace equipment rather than repair it,” he explains. “But we don’t go out and buy all new to completely replace our fleet. We use it until it’s worn-out.
“The biggest change as far as technology is that we use a grade control, which has reduced a lot of the layout requirements we had,” he adds. “We have seen our surveying and layout crews go from four or five people down to one, which has really changed over last 15 to 20 years.”
As the business continues to adapt to keep up with the market, Gaither and his colleagues are pursuing larger and more complex jobs. “We enjoy what we do and it’s great to see how our projects provide a benefit to the areas we serve,” says Gaither.
Over the coming years, Bizzack Construction LLC will continue to work safely and efficiently to provide improved infrastructure throughout Kentucky, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee.
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