CFR Paving Inc. located in Canastota, N.Y., is a “Transformer” of sorts. Michael Costello Sr. founded Costello Blacktop Paving in the 1950s during the interstate boom when the New York State Thruway was being constructed. Costello Blacktop Paving started out as a trucking company, which later transformed and expanded into paving.
In 1985 Costello Sr. passed away and the company was taken over by Mike Jr. and his mother Toni. As the company grew, it took on more and more large commercial and highway paving jobs so that by 2000 it was doing $3 million to $4 million worth of paving annually.
Costello joined forces in 2000 with three partners of CCI, a general contractor located in Canastota. The partners, Doug Fusillo, Jack Romagnali and Jerry Romagnali along with Costello established CFR Paving, which performs in excess of $6 million of paving work annually. Although CFR Paving works closely on road projects with CCI, it does not work exclusively for it.
“Previous to the merger, I was really thinking of getting out of the business, however I enjoy what I do now far more, ” said Costello.
“It’s great to have experienced and qualified partners to confer with when making critical decisions. Plus, with more parties involved, we have more horsepower, which allows us to expand,” explained Costello.
For its paving operations, Costello is firmly committed to Cedarapids pavers. He purchased his first Cedarapids paver in 1997 from Richard Way, which at the time was the owner of Way Equipment in Syracuse, N.Y. However, Way and Cedarapids entered the picture late in the buying process.
“I had pretty much made up my mind to purchase another brand, but when I compared the Cedarapids feature by feature to the other brand, I found that the Cedarapids had heavier construction, was priced reasonably, and was up to date from a technological standpoint,” said Costello.
In the end, he purchased the Cedarapids paver and has been very satisfied and loyal to the brand ever since. He currently owns a CR362 8-ft. rubber-tracked machine and a CR552 10-ft. wheeled machine.
Along with his pavers and fleet of trucks, Costello owns several Ingersoll Rand double-drum asphalt rollers, which he uses for small jobs. For highway work, Costello has found that it is more economical to rent the larger asphalt rollers. When renting rollers, Costello prefers Ingersoll Rand, which are rented from Tracey Road Equipment in Syracuse, N.Y. One of the primary reasons that Costello uses Ingersoll Rand rollers is that his operators prefer the visibility that they get from the machines. Although CFR Paving does all of its own paving work, it subcontracts the milling portion of the projects.
During most of the paving season, CFR Paving’s crew totals approximately 12 members.
“When paving, your crew is everything. We have a union crew and we generally work with the same people year after year.” Costello said.
“It takes a special kind of person to lay asphalt. You really have to enjoy the job and take pride in it, even though at times you are working in very miserable conditions. If we find someone who loves this kind of work, we work very hard to keep him,” he explained.
Currently, CFR Paving is working on a $6 million Morrisville, N.Y., project of which $1.2 million is for paving. The project involves the construction of three lanes and a bike path along Route 20 extending approximately 1.25 mi. (2 km). The project started in the fall of 2006 and is scheduled for completion the fall of 2007.
Other current projects of CFR Paving include: repaving of Route 28 in Andes, N.Y.; repaving a section of Interstate 690 with Vector Construction; and a paving project in Holland Patent, N.Y.