Case Studies

John G. Walton Construction Company

Widening Interstate 10 in Butler, Ala.
  • Written by: John G. Walton Construction Company
  • Produced by: John G. Walton Construction Company
  • Estimated reading time: 3 mins

John G. Walton Construction Company (JGW) is in the middle of a major construction project along Interstate 10, just west of Mobile, Ala. Drivers will gain an additional lane of traffic in each direction along the approximately four-mile stretch, as well as a brand new bridge system over highway 90. The project is the largest in JGW’s history, and one of Mobile’s largest in recent years as well. The company is on track for completion in August 2013 as JGW’s crews are working day and night on the challenging project.

The price tag of the Interstate 10 project stands at $26.4 million, and JGW is self-performing $19 million of the project total, including dirt work, drainage and asphalt. The company is subbing out the bridge construction and some of the concrete work, but is performing the rest of the work in-house. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), an agency JGW has worked with frequently throughout its history, owns the project.

Making It Work

JGW won the bid for Interstate 10 in December 2010. At that time, JGW was not in the asphalt business and was strictly a grading contractor. It was an unusual set of circumstances that lead to JGW landing the contract, but the team managed 140,000 tons of asphalt without any equipment or experience. September 2010 was the first time the project was bid, and the team learned the day before that the only two suppliers of asphalt in Mobile were bidding as a joint venture. The JGW team decided not to enter a bid on the project.

The joint venture bid was thrown out due to the fact that there was only one bid and it was over budget. ALDOT then decided to rebid in December, and JGW decided to seize the opportunity to break into the asphalt business. JGW put in a bid without any prior notice to the company’s competitors.

JGW was awarded the contract and the team quickly prepared for the beginning of an asphalt operation. With a summer startup date, the company bought property and a new ALMIX asphalt plant in addition to hiring a laydown crew. Just like that, JGW entered the asphalt market. JGW had a few issues in the beginning, but the talented team worked out all the kinks for the first phase of paving to run smoothly.

The state requires any interstate paving work to be performed between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., if crews need to shut down a main lane of travel, so the first ton of asphalt was laid at 9 p.m. JGW lays stone matrix asphalt, which is one of the most difficult mixes to produce and place, which allotted JGW bonus money for superior performance on the asphalt production and placement.


Busy Bodies

Now that the company owns its own equipment, JGW has been able to pick up even more asphalt work to self-perform. The company has since completed several projects that are part of Mobile County’s Pay As You Go Program, as JGW has built a niche in that market.

As the economy has slowed the industry JGW has remained busy with seven additional projects, which are smaller than the interstate project. JGW states that the crew’s workload is starting to improve and the company is seeing more bidding opportunities than 2011.

JGW does not only perform road construction; the team also boasts site preparation, airport projects, as well as sports field and golf course construction capabilities. Additionally, the company operates within a 150-mile radius of Mobile for road, heavy construction and dirt work projects. JGW has performed golf course construction throughout the southeastern United States, but has not been awarded a golf course project recently, as the golf course industry is in depression levels compared to the road construction industry.

The business has seen steady growth since John G. Walton, president of JGW, founded it in 1994. JGW started out slow, but the company has grown into one of the largest highway contractors in Mobile, Ala., due to the team’s imitative in pursuing challenging projects. Today the team at John G. Walton Construction Company offers innovative solutions to common problems that save owners time and money, while delivering a quality finished product.

Published on: July 15, 2013

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