J. H. Maxymillian, Inc. & Maxymillian Technologies Inc.
- Written by: Molly Shaw
- Produced by: Jack Porter
- Estimated reading time: 5 mins
In 1969, James H. Maxymillian founded the general contracting company J.H. Maxymillian Inc. (JHM) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to provide heavy, civil construction services throughout New England. Just five years later, JHM tackled the first of many hazardous waste construction cleanup projects for General Electric Company, which expanded the firm from its general construction roots into the specialized environmental cleanup field.
In 1980, after a brief, but successful foray into the environmental remediation field, Maxymillian Construction Company renamed Maxymillian Technologies Inc. in 1996, was formed to specialize in the remediation of contaminated sites. The two family-run businesses have grown by leaps and bounds in the years since, serving a broad spectrum of customers in the Northeast and beyond.
“My father founded JHM, the original company from which we have branched in several directions,” says Neal Maxymillian, now president of both JHM and Maxymillian Technologies. “I’ve been involved in the business since 1980, full time in 1993, and I took over as president of both companies in 2006.”
Across both platforms, JHM and Maxymillian Technologies employ some 200 professionals. The businesses primarily serve Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont, though Maxymillian Technologies ventures outside of this footprint for specialized remediation jobs.
Consistently called on for infrastructure repair
JHM has made a name for itself in infrastructure contracting over its 46-year history, serving federal, state and municipal sectors. As one of western Massachusetts’ largest heavy-civil contractors, JHM has the experience, personnel, and equipment needed to complete a wide range of complex infrastructure projects.
“I would say the two things that set JHM apart from other general contractors are physical assets and employees,” measures Neal. “First, JHM has been around long enough that we are heavily invested in equipment and physical assets to get the job done. In the case of Hurricane Irene, we were one of the first companies the DOT and Feds called on because they knew we could get on-site and get the job done quickly.”
“Second, and although it may sound trite, is our team,” adds Neal. “We have a very strong team of supervisors averaging 20 years or more with the company.”
With expert upper management, on-staff engineers, skilled equipment operators, laborers and craftsmen, JHM can tackle any number of bridge or dam construction projects, blasting and rock removal, site work and development, utility installation, jacking and tunneling, sheeting and shoring, earthwork, form and concrete work, pile driving, demolition and more.
Moving and shaking for MassDOT
JHM frequently provides bridge, dam, and roadway replacement and reconstruction services of all size and scope for the MassDOT and local municipalities. These projects often involve working in, or adjacent to, closely regulated locations such as environmentally sensitive wetlands, and highly trafficked pedestrian areas. The company’s MassDOT projects typically include: excavation, demolition, sheeting & shoring, form & concrete work, utility installations, building construction, stone masonry, waterway diversion, complete site restoration services, and engineering technical review and design in-house engineers.
“We were involved in the major Route 2 rebuilding and repair after Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc on the area,” tells Neal. “For this work, JHM received a Project of the Year award in the $20 to $25 million emergency construction repair category.”
The company has also completed multiple rock blasting contracts for ledge removal along high-traffic roadways in Massachusetts. One of the largest to date came in 2013: “Along I-90 there was a section of deteriorated and falling rock that posed a major danger to motorists,” recounts Neal. “We went in and removed some 20,000 yards of rock, fabricating special protective shields along the highway to mitigate the issue of falling rock.”
Although JHM utilized a blasting subcontractor, Neal says the company still self-performed the majority of the work on the job. “You need a specific certification to set the blasting charges, but we performed all of the overburden and removal of the rock,” he tells. “State police would shut down the roadway before a blast and post-blast we had five minutes to clear everything and get things moving again. The shields worked well to keep most of the rock on the shoulder.”
Specialized environmental capabilities
While federal, state and municipal clients in New England frequently call on JHM for heavy infrastructure projects, Maxymillian Technologies’ footprint is much broader, due to the specialized nature of its work.
Site remediation, including the disposal and cleanup of hazardous waste, wetland and waterway remediation, earth support systems, landfill closures, environmental demolition and dismantlement and more, make Maxymillian Technologies’ scope of work unlike most contractors. This is one reason Neal says the company’s services are sought after far and wide.
“Maxymillian Technologies has traveled to the New York City borough of Brooklyn for Consolidated Edison projects and as far north as Maine,” details Neal. “We sometimes work right outside of Boston and have gone to Colorado for specialty jobs. Fifteen years ago we even went to Hong Kong. This work is usually through word-of-mouth leads because we have designed and built some environmental cleanup technology not found in many parts of the world.”
A target market for Maxymillian Technologies is former Manufactured Gas Plant (MGP) site remediation. The company has successfully remediated more than 40 MGP sites throughout the Northeast over the past 25 years. “We pioneered the use of thermal desorption for the treatment of MGP soils and have worked extensively with New England regulatory agencies,” shares Neal. “We just finished an MGP remediation project for Berkshire Gas in Greenfield, Massachusetts at the end of last season.”
To address contamination in the Green River, Maxymillian Technologies was hired to excavate and truck away the contaminated soil material, while following strict conservation standards. “To complete this job, we set up a custom dam system, bisecting the river to direct water and pump on one side,” explains Neal. “We used long reach excavators to remove the sediment and then redirected the river and restored it to its natural state.”
Comprehensive health and safety
The complex and highly regulated nature of this work means that Maxymillian Technologies cannot slack when it comes to safety. “Safety is our priority on every job we do. We know our clients want cost-effective, high quality work, delivered on time, and always as safely as possible,” says Neal. “Over the past 35 years, we have developed a comprehensive Health and Safety Program to meet industry regulations and client expectations.”
Business has yet to slow for widely demanded Maxymillian Technologies, but Neal says JHM saw a bit of a slowdown in early 2014. “Generally, infrastructure work is consistent, but because of budget cycles at the federal level and the transportation bill, work wasn’t being let out on time,” he says. “This was the trickle-down effect from the poor economic climate of years past. We were waiting on projects to start up, and fortunately everything is now worked out so we’ve gotten very busy again.”
With two very different lines of work, the hallmark of reputation and strong field project management remains across the board in J.H. Maxymillian Inc. and Maxymillian Technologies, Inc., keeping the companies going steady into 2015.
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