NEWPORT Construction Corporation President and CEO Richard A. DeFelice grew up in the road construction business, watching both his father and grandfather work for the Watertown, Mass., public works department.
As he got older, his fascination with the industry grew, to the point where he knew it was the career direction he wanted to pursue. In his 40-plus year career, he has performed at all levels, beginning in the field at the age of 17 and eventually parlaying into sales, estimating, operations, finance and partnership positions. With his sights set on sole proprietorship, in early 2000, DeFelice left an existing large firm that he was a founder and co-owner of, and formed NEWPORT Construction Corporation.
DeFelice started the business with 10 employees, one pick-up truck and a 1-ton dump truck. His first job was a sidewalk job in Townsend, Mass.
In the beginning, NEWPORT focused on small road, utility and sidewalk jobs, but the company has drastically expanded its arena to major roadway reconstruction, bridges and marine work throughout the state of Massachusetts. Future expansion goals include expanding with growth into different verticals, as well as expansion into warmer regions of the country.
During the average season, NEWPORT has 25 to 30 jobs going at once. A major support machine that is needed on a majority of its job sites is skid steers, which are used across all crews for various roles. NEWPORT said the compact size and versatility of the skid steers makes them the ideal machine on the job site.
In preparation for the upcoming 2015 season, NEWPORT turned to Ambrose Equipment, who it had been using for 15 years, to have its skid steers serviced. In the meantime, NEWPORT had rented a few of Ambrose Equipment’s Wacker Neuson skid steer loaders, to rave reviews from the crew.
“Wacker’s innovative design and high quality engineering has created a skid steer that is operated strictly by a hand held joy-stick device, rather than making our operators use a combination of foot and arm controls,” said Tony Barrile, vice president of NEWPORT.
NEWPORT is now the proud owner of eight new Wacker Neuson skid steer loaders, all purchased from Ambrose Equipment, formerly known as Woods CRW Corp. of New Hampshire, in Hooksett, N.H. Ambrose Equipment has historically focused on the paving arena within the construction industry and is now carrying Wacker’s new line of compact, earth moving equipment.
“Ambrose Equipment has been a trusted dealer that we have turned to since NEWPORT began. They have an impeccable service team that is willing to assist us around the clock, along with a sales team that has profound knowledge of the industry and equipment. They take the time to listen to our needs and guide us to machines that meet the specific demands of the job. We have developed and maintained a great relationship with them over the years, and they have and will continue to be a company that we rely on for continued support,” said Ralph Longfellow, NEWPORT?fleet manager.
The fleet of skid steers came special ordered with Michelin X TWEEL SSL tires.
Longfellow said, “The Michelin X TWEEL SSL provides us with the traction that we need for our skid steer loaders to be productive. When retrofitting with the airless radial tire, we do not have to worry about flats and down time, which have been an issue for us in the past. The large footprint delivers even wear. Our operators love the smooth, cushioned ride provided by the Michelin X TWEEL. And, in addition to making our operators more comfortable, the cushioned ride helps to reduce the wear and tear on our skid steer loaders.”
NEWPORT’s new Wacker skid steer loaders were immediately put to use on multiple job sites throughout Massachusetts.
In Belmont/Watertown, Mass., NEWPORT is currently doing a $15.5 million complete road reconstruction project for Massachusetts DOT. This 4 mi. (6.4 km) stretch of road hadn’t been completely redone since the 1950s and the underground utilities were more than 80 years old. The job also has entailed removing the trolley tracks that ran across the road, installing updated traffic equipment, creating new concrete sidewalks with different patterns and colors. NEWPORT was not able to use a vibratory roller in certain areas, as it typically would on this type of job, because it couldn’t risk damaging some of the existing pipework. It also found itself improvising and adjusting to the original plans, because everything was far more outdated than anticipated.
The job began in 2013 and is expected to be completed in spring of 2016. The job has used a total of 29,000 sq. yds. (24,247 sq m) of asphalt and 26,000 sq. yds. (21,739 sq m) of cement for the sidewalks.
“One of the things that make NEWPORT unique is our ability to self-perform all of our own work. When we bid on a project, we go into it knowing that we can get the work done with our own labor force — over all aspects of a project. While we can perform our work, we do have strong relationships with subcontractors, and work regularly with them. Having our own paving crews is also very beneficial to us, because it allows us to be in control of our finished product, and not be reliant on other’s schedules,” said Richard L. DeFelice, executive vice president of NEWPORT.
In Gloucester, Mass., NEWPORT is currently doing a $6.9 million seawall reconstruction. This is NEWPORT’s first job in this arena, and is one area that it is looking to expand into.
“We currently have a solid foundation. We are looking to expand on that, by exploring other verticals, as well as other areas of the country,” said DeFelice. “Having our home base in New England means we are bound by the weather. We are exploring the options to also expand into warmer climates, to facilitate full operational capacity 12 months a year.”
NEWPORT also began a job for the Massachusetts DCR Agency on Memorial Drive in Cambridge, Mass. This $6.8 million dollar job will include new sidewalks, hardscape and underground utilities, and is expected to be completed next year, at the end of the 2016 season.
For more information on NEWPORT Construction, visit http://www.newportcorporation.com/.
For more information on Ambrose Equipment, visit www.ambroseequipment.com.
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