Michigan Dept. of Transportation
A nation’s infrastructure is its circulatory system, distributing life-giving elements from one area of need to another. Keeping that system in good health is vital to the well-being of America, which is why much of the federal economic stimulus package was focused on infrastructure projects. At the local level, rehabbing roads and bridges not only helps communities maintain their economic health, but the work also provides a source of pride for residents in knowing their roads are in prime condition.
One such project that was completed recently in southeastern Michigan was the work done I-96 and Novi Road. According to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), this $45 million project got underway in 2009 and was completed in November 2010. The project’s aim was to rehabilitate eight bridges and repair four miles of pavement in Oakland County, and was part of a larger improvement program undertaken and financed entirely by the state.
“This investment does not reflect additional road and bridge improvements that will be provided under President Obama’s economic recovery plan,” Metro Region Engineer Greg Johnson said in a statement. “What it does reflect is our commitment to providing a safe and reliable infrastructure that will enhance the quality of life for our residents and assist in providing a stable economic base for growth and job retention.”
MDOT says the first half of the I-96/Novi Road project was completed in 2009, when crews replaced an overpass on Halsted Road and rehabilitated another overpass on Novi Road. This segment of the project also involved the resurfacing of 2 miles of eastbound and westbound I-96, as well as the rehabbing of ramps from northbound and southbound Novi Road to eastbound I-96. MDOT also completed bridge repairs to several structures over I-696, including Meadowbrook, Orchard Lake and Drake roads.
The second half of the project began in March 2010, according to MDOT. The department says this involved the rebuilding of the three remaining bridges along I-96: eastbound I-96 over the CSX Railroad, westbound I-96 over the CSX Railroad and the northbound M-5 ramp to westbound I-96. In addition to the rehab work, the project included the reconstruction of two ramps at the Novi Road interchange.
To help it realize the project’s goals, MDOT turned to Michigan general contractor C.A. Hull Co. Inc., a company that is no stranger to infrastructure projects in the state. “C.A. Hull’s beginnings date back to the era of Michigan road building when earth excavation was performed with horse-drawn implements,” the company says.
“Today’s C.A. Hull is bigger than it was during that era,” the company continues. “It has grown into one of the largest bridge-building firms in Michigan. It has advanced technologically with the changing times, too, but the foundation that was laid so many decades ago is still intact, and C.A. Hull is a tough competitor in the MDOT letting arena.”
In fact, the company adds, nearly 90 percent of the work it does comes from being the low bidder on MDOT contracts. Working primarily in bridge construction, C.A. Hull concentrates on the Detroit metro area. However, the company says, it has experience working on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and out of state.
C.A. Hull was founded in 1954 by Clarence Hull and Don Malloure. Hull got into the concrete construction business after gaining experience building concrete headwalls and culverts for his father’s earth-moving business. Malloure was an engineer hired by Hull who also was a minority shareholder in the fledgling company. Under an agreement between the two, Malloure would assume control of the company after 10 years. However, the company says, that all hinged on the success of one of its first projects.
“Needless to say, a bid to build a bridge that would carry what is now I-75 over a rail spur in Monroe County was a success, and C.A. Hull has continued to grow and thrive,” the company says. Malloure assumed control of the company in 1965, and today his three sons all “play integral roles in managing the company and its projects,” according to the company.
Other key partners to MDOT include Spartan Specialties.