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Rea Makes its Mark on South Carolina, One Road at a Time

Wed July 12, 2000 - Southeast Edition
Diane Jowers

Rea Construction Company is widening St. Matthews Road in Orangeburg, SC, from two lanes to four lanes. The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) project started in September of last year, and the scheduled completion date is November 2001. Rea Area Operations Manager Sinkler Boone is optimistic that the work will be finished ahead of this schedule.

The project, valued at $6.7 million, involves 3.7 kilometers (2.3 mi.) of heavily-traveled highway near the Orangeburg bypass and includes construction of a bridge. Murray Douglas is Rea Construction’s project superintendent on the job, and he is coordinating the work with SCDOT Resident Construction Engineer Jim Porth.

Marvin R. Rea of Gates County, NC, started Rea Construction in 1937. He foresaw the boom in paving roads to link rural areas to cities. Based in Charlotte, the company is now a division of J. A. Jones Construction. Rea has offices in Orangeburg, Beaufort, and Columbia, SC, and in Charlotte and Raleigh, NC. The company specializes in grading, paving, and bridge construction. Its annual volume in South Carolina is approximately $80 million.

Recent projects include the widening of Highway 17 near Walterboro, SC, and the widening of Interstate Highway 26 near Summerville, SC. Rea is one of the leading pavement contracting companies in the Southeast. It has a broad range of public and private customers and offers large subdivision street packages, as well as parking lots of all sizes and complexity. The company is a leading provider of the “street printing” method of asphalt paving, which produces a brick and mortar appearance. Rea’s expertise in asphalt and concrete work has obtained projects such as the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, NC; the widening of Interstate Highway 77 through central Charlotte, NC; and the Interstate Highway 26 and Piney Grove Road interchange project in Columbia, SC. Rea Construction takes pride in its ability to meet tight deadlines and minimize disruption to established traffic patterns. Traffic volume in the Piney Grove Road area is 80,000 cars per day, and that project was completed ahead of schedule without a single major accident.

Rea added bridge construction to its services in 1984 and is among the largest bridge contractors in the Carolinas. The CSX Railroad Bridge over the Trenholm Road extension in Columbia, SC is one of its many bridge accomplishments. Rea’s registered engineers handle design issues in-house, and the company also constructs culverts, drives piles, and creates heavy foundations for industrial and commercial buildings.

Rea Construction owns and operates asphalt plants strategically located throughout its service area in the Carolinas; South Carolina plants are in Columbia, Orangeburg, and Ridgeland with mobile facilities in Ridgeville, Greeleyville, and Ulmer. Each plant has a testing laboratory that uses the latest equipment to formulate mixes to meet exact specifications, and there is a Superpave mobile lab (with compactor, ovens, scales, and computers) that moves between the asphalt plants and project sites. This approach has won Rea numerous awards from the National Asphalt Pavement Association.

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