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Granite Contracting Relies on Carolina CAT Partnership

A partnership over a decade long bears fruit on some high profile projects.

Tue June 25, 2013 - Southeast Edition
Eric Olson

With all the work that Granite Contracting is involved with, the company needs the best paving equipment and service on the market. With that in mind, they turn to Carolina CAT.

Granite Contracting, located just north of Charlotte in Cornelius, N.C., is always working on a project somewhere in North or South Carolina.

The convenient location of Carolina CAT, headquartered nearby in Charlotte, gives Granite Contracting President Steve Cosper one less thing to worry about.

“They have always been very responsive to our needs,” said Cosper. “We have a good working relationship with them and we have had since we started in business in 1999.”

Carolina CAT’s Mitch Christenbury is the primary salesman that works with Granite Contracting, Cosper said. In addition, Gordon Johnson, paving products sales manager, calls on Cosper for paving related issues.

“Carolina CAT has become a real partner to our business,” Cosper said. “In the short-term we will rent, but for long-term needs we will buy.”

Cosper’s firm, with approximately 100 employees, specializes in paving, but also does grading, storm drain, water, sewer and utility work, as well as curb, gutter and stone-base work. The company does a great deal of site development work, too.

As a result, the company has a variety of different kinds of equipment. Much of this equipment has been acquired through Carolina CAT.

This includes a Caterpillar AP555E, a versatile paver that can do both routine commercial jobs as well as big highway projects. For smaller commercial projects, Cosper has added several LeeBoy 8515B asphalt pavers, all provided by Carolina CAT.

Among Granite Contracting’s arsenal is a Volvo paver, various pieces of John Deere dirt equipment, Sakai rollers and a mix of Caterpillar and John Deere excavators.

In the past few months the company has had a number of projects, including two different projects along South Carolina Highway 5 near Rock Hill, and a high-profile job on a new distribution center for Ross Stores in Fort Mill, S.C.

Cosper considers the Ross job to be “an anchor project for us.”

“Ross was a huge commercial project for our area, one of these that comes along every five years or so,” said Cosper.

Granite Contracting was tasked with putting down 250,000 tons (226,796 t) of stone base at the Ross site, followed by 100,000 tons (90,718.5 t) of asphalt and 20,000 linear ft. (6,096 m) of curb and gutter. The company’s project manager was Brad Whaley.

The $10 million project was built to create Ross’ Southeast Distribution Center and Corporate Transportation facility, just off Interstate 77. The general contractor on the project was The H&M Company, based in Jackson, Tenn.

In addition, Granite Contracting finished up two road projects nearby in the Rock Hill area.

On the west side of Rock Hill, the company just completed a resurfacing job on S.C. 5 between that city and York, to the west.

According to Steve Primm, the firm’s project manager on the job, the two-lane road serving as the primary link between the two cities, needed to be widened by 4 ft. (1.2 m) on each side for a paved shoulder.

“We finished paving a couple weeks ago and then we finished all the pavement markings and the final shoulder work, plus put down the rumble strips just this past week,” said Primm in late May. “We started that job last August and then stopped for a time during the winter.”

Primm used a standard 10-man paving crew, along with a traffic-control crew, to put down 26,000 tons (23,586.8 t) of asphalt on S.C. 5.

Primm said that traffic control was a major issue because the roads are heavily traveled, but they were able to complete the 4-mi. project without any real problems.

On the other side of Rock Hill in the southeast corner of York County, Whaley and his crews are still working on putting down 8,000 tons (7,257.5 t) of asphalt on two new end-to-end bridges that will take S.C. 5 traffic over both the Catawba River and a set of railroad tracks.

The $30.8 million bridge project should wrap up in June and give motorists a wider and safer route into Lancaster County. United Contractors LLC in Great Falls, S.C., is the general contractor on the job, and the owner is the South Carolina DOT.

“United built the bridges and then we came in and built new road sections to access them,” Cosper said. “Once traffic gets re-routed onto the new sections, we will go in and take out the old roadways and pavement. Traffic should be going over the bridges in June and the whole job should be completely finished up by mid-summer.”

Once the old pavement is removed, United will dismantle the old spans. Granite Contracting’s portion of the contract is about $600,000, according to Cosper.

“We have been in and out of that project a couple times in the last year,” said Cosper.

The trio of projects represents business as usual at Granite Contracting. The firm does the majority of its work in the greater Charlotte area, with a large part of its South Carolina efforts in York and Chester counties. In addition, the company has an asphalt plant in Marion County, S.C.

When the team at Granite Contracting has a problem with their construction equipment, they know that they can count on the professional staff at Carolina CAT to get them back to work.

Carolina CAT has been in business since 1926 and serves customers all over western North Carolina with nine locations, including stores in Charlotte, Monroe, Troy, Hickory, Statesville, Greensboro, Boone, Asheville and Dillsboro/Sylva. The company offers a full line of new, used and rental equipment that serve the construction, forestry, truck and trailer, and power generation industries.

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