Case Studies

Interstate Concrete & Asphalt

A preferred contractor and supplier in the Northwest

Since 1986 Interstate Concrete & Asphalt (ICA) has been specializing in aggregates, ready-mixed concrete, asphalt, paving and general road construction. Headquartered in Rathdrum, Idaho, ICA was acquired by Oldcastle Materials in 1997. In addition to its Rathdrum office, the company maintains locations in Elk, Washington, as well as Sandpoint, Dover, Smelterville and Hayden, Idaho.

Interstate Concrete & Asphalt

Among the six locations of ICA are two fixed asphalt plant locations, two portable asphalt plants, two ready-mix batch plants, and multiple gravel pits. While the company is part of a larger conglomerate, it continues to be managed locally and remains an industry leader in the communities it serves throughout northern Idaho and two northeastern counties of Washington.

Strength in numbers

ICA maintains advantages in the industry through being part of the larger Oldcastle organization allowing the local company access to a broader set of available construction and building product resources for the benefit of the customer. Jared Wise, manager of ICA’s Coeur d’Alene area, notes that the company’s turnkey operation is an aspect that sets ICA apart from its competition. “We have a very large geographical reach for resources,” says Wise. “Our diversity of products and services along with our reputation for quality work really gives us an edge.”

Expertise and experience is also on ICA’s side as the company remains strong in employee development and retention. “We have a lot of people that have been here for 20 to 25-plus years which speaks to our competitive edge,” says Wise. “That’s a major strength for us as the marketplace is starting to experience a shortage in qualified workers. We aim to be the employer of choice.”

As a vertically integrated company, ICA maintains control over the production schedule of each project. With approximately 120 employees providing a broad range of services, no job is too big or too small for ICA. “We’ll do anything from driveways to interstate highways,” Says Wise. “We also do maintenance for major roadways such as patching, bridge ends and mainline paving.”

Rising to the challenge

In 2012 ICA was involved in one of Idaho’s largest single highway projects. The company performed a significant amount of work on the Sand Creek byway in Sandpoint. The $106 million project was designed to redirect heavy traffic from Sandpoint’s quaint downtown area. A sweeping ramp now takes north bound motorists up the byway which runs 2.1 miles long Lake Pend Oreille.

During the course of the five-year project, ICA provided 16,575 yards of concrete and 51,425 tons of asphalt on the highway section. The project also included small parking lots and a bike trail for which ICA provided 3,120 tons of asphalt. “I really enjoyed working on this project,” says Scott Rusho, manager of ICA’s Sandpoint operations. “The overall project was a tremendous success, and I am proud of the part ICA played in it.”

While ICA is equipped to perform a majority of its work in-house, the company maintains a strong network of subcontractors to use in instances such as milling and electrical. While ICA also provides concrete materials the company outsources curb and gutter and concrete finish work. “This is a relationship business,” says Rusho. “In a relatively small market you have to look out for one another because what goes around comes around. You don’t stay in this business by not building and maintaining strong productive relationships.”

A smart career choice

Wise has always had a passion for the construction industry. Wise points out that ICA’s safety program is one of the best in the industry. “ICA and Oldcastle really care about its employees,” he says. “They want you to go home in even better shape than when they came to work each day.”

Rusho points out that the construction industry is not quite the stereotype that it once was. With new technology and safety regulations, working in the industry can present the opportunity for a fulfilling and financially rewarding career. “It’s not the dirty and grueling profession that it once was,” says Rusho. “It is becoming more and more high-tech each year. You can earn a good living with good benefits in this industry.”

The opportunity for development and advancement within the company has a proven track record as many associates that started at the bottom of the company have worked their way into management. “If you have the will and the desire, the opportunity is certainly there,” says Rusho. “I know people that began their career as a mixer-truck driver and are now regional managers.”

As the economy continues to bounce back from the recession, Interstate Concrete & Asphalt is looking to maintain sustainable growth as it continues to be a preferred contractor and supplier in the Northwest. 

Published on: November 25, 2015

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