Costello Industries Raises Profile in GA, Across the Southeast

Thu May 22, 2003 - Southeast Edition
G.W. Hall

From Atlanta to Key West to Birmingham to the Carolinas, Costello Industries has become a familiar presence on highway construction sites, military installations, airports and many other locations throughout the southeastern United States in recent years.

“The Southeastern office of Costello Industries focuses primarily on concrete slab repair, concrete joint and crack sealing, concrete milling, bridge joint installation and geofabrics,” said Rick Brockman, Southeast area manager, of Costello Industries. “In comparison, our Northeastern office focuses more on infrared asphalt repair, asphalt joint and crack sealing, asphalt milling, pavement reinforcing fabrics, pavement reclamation and bridge deck membranes.”

Costello Industries first established a presence in the Southeast in 1971. The company’s move south began shortly after its president, Frank Costello, began a visionary effort to diversify the business.

Founded in the early 1940s by Frank Costello’s father, Jack Costello, the Newington, CT-based company originally focused entirely on new road construction. In 1969, however, Frank Costello realized that federal, state and municipal governments would soon begin shifting their resources from new road construction to preserving the enormous investments they had already made in their network of roadways.

“By the early 1970s, Costello Industries had become one of the first companies in New England to apply slurry seal as a way of prolonging the life of existing asphalt roadways,” Brockman said. “The company also pioneered the use of milling machines in the Northeast, techniques for repairing joints in roads and bridges, the installation of waterproof membranes on bridge decks and microseal application. Costello Industries also was among the first companies to get involved in sawing and sealing pavement overlays and using geotextiles to prevent substrate cracks from reflecting up through asphalt overlays.”

During its early years in the Southeast, the company operated primarily out of various field offices and an equipment yard.

“Our construction teams began to travel to Georgia, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, and anywhere else there was a hot market for our rehabilitation techniques,” Brockman said. “While Jack Costello ran the company, Frank Costello would travel across the country and run the jobs.”

The company eventually established an office in Jacksonville, FL, during the mid-1980s. It then relocated the office to College Park, GA, just south of Atlanta, in 2001. The volume of work handled out of this office has grown so much that it now exceeds that of the Northeast office in Newington, CT.

The Southeast office of Costello Industries credits much of its success to the strong partnerships it has established with strategic business partners. For example, the division partnered with ABC Cutting Contractors of Atlanta for many critical sawing operations on its Interstate work.

Brockman has assembled a talented team of equipment operators and construction specialists in the Southeast office of Costello Industries. The company employs 85 people, and can call in additional resources from its Northeast office when needed.

“We take our crews with us to each project,” Brockman noted. “We prefer having the same faces out there every night, rather than trying to hire local help. Depending on a project’s duration, we either put them up in area hotels or lease apartments.”

The company maintains a fleet of speciality equipment, however. The Costello Industries’ Southeast equipment fleet consists primarily of special silicone pumps, rider saws, walk-behind saws, screeds, trucks, traffic control devices and generators. The division leases the majority of its heavy equipment from Rental Services Corporation and other Rental Vendors such as Hertz, Nations Rent and Neff.

“RSC is by far our largest vendor,” Brockman said. “They have a $330-million fleet in the Southeast and do a superb job of taking care of their equipment. On the I-75 project, we have rented more than 40 pieces of equipment, including skid steers, loaders, sweepers and excavators.”

Depending on the location of a particular project, the division also leases equipment from Nations Rental, Neff Rental, Hertz and other equipment rental services on occasion. Costello Industries uses a lot of RPOs on smaller equipment such as screeds, vibrators and trailer jackhammers.

The division currently has equipment obtained from these various sources deployed at projects in or near Macon, GA; Birmingham, AL; Key West and Milton, FL; and Aiken, SC. In all, the company is a prequalified highway contractor in 36 states.

In addition, the company has moved into the field of airport pavement rehabilitation and continues its tradition of innovation in bringing special products and services to this highly technical and safety-conscious sector of the construction industry. Costello Industries has successfully completed projects for the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and NASA, as well as numerous state-owned and municipal airports. The company is fully insured, with extra limits for airport construction, and can supply 100-percent payment and performance bonds for all projects.

The company’s successful completion of so many airport and highway projects through the years also has helped Costello Industries build a reputation for excellence during its more than 60 years in business. By remaining focused on quality and customer service, company officials intend to continue this tradition for many years to come.

“At Costello Industries, we believe that safety and customer satisfaction is the most important part of every job,” said Frank Costello, president of Costello Industries. “This is what we strive for, and what every member of our organization is committed to.”