Building a large metropolitan city on an island means more than putting in roads, tunnels and bridges that connect it to the mainland. It also takes constant care and maintenance of the infrastructure in and out of the water that surrounds it. Much of that involves highly specialized skills that only a few companies, such as Trevcon Construction Company, possess.
For more than two decades, the Liberty Corner, N.J., company has focused a large part of its attention on marine construction and services that help ensure New York City’s waterways remain protected from erosion and are able to handle massive amounts of waterway traffic that comes and goes from the Big Apple. It was founded in 1987 by Owner/President Ron Treveloni, whose background included marine construction.
“I was managing the marine division for another company that decided to get out of that aspect of its business,” recounted Treveloni. “There was an opportunity there, and I decided to take it. It’s a niche business that’s very demanding. Marine construction is certainly not for everyone.”
But Treveloni has made it the cornerstone of Trevcon Construction’s offerings, which also include general construction, such as foundations, sanitary sewer and water-main installations and general excavations. He estimates marine construction makes up about 90 percent of the company’s current business.
“It’s gone the other way before,” noted Treveloni. “There have been times when we’ve done very little marine construction, but that’s been the bulk of our work for the company’s existence. I expect it to remain that way over the long haul.”
Marine construction involves working in and around waterways, installing and maintaining vital systems. As part of its services, Trevcon Construction does beach restoration, bulkheads, channels, dredging, fender systems, flood control, groins and jetties, levee construction, new pier construction, embankment reinforcement, river widening, relocation and reconstruction, and shore protection. In addition, bulkhead restoration, pier and dock repair, pile rehabilitation and pipeline repairs are on its list.
Trevcon Construction invented the Trevcon-Veyor. The flexible barge uses a partially submerged conveyer system to place reinforcement stone directly at previously unreachable pile and bulkhead bases. The advantage is work can be done without using dock space and interrupting daily operations. It allows for aggregate sizes from sand to 12-in. (30.5 cm) stone and can run between piles as narrow as 1 ft. (0.3 m). It also will extend more than 100 ft. (30.5 m) under a pier.
“It’s proven to be a very cost-effective solution for situations where it’s not feasible to take large machinery,” said Treveloni. “The machine really works well for stabilizing pilings and bulkheads that have been weakened by erosion or other factors. Because it operates from the water without using dock space, it’s not intrusive to the customer’s operations. We’ve used it for several ports to repair or prevent any future damage that may result from several factors.”
Jobs Made Easier With Excellent Employees
While other construction companies have constructed the high-profile buildings that make up the New York City skyline, Trevcon Construction has done much of the work on the shores that surround it and adjacent areas of New Jersey. Some of its work is just as notable as the skyscrapers, such as the Brooklyn/Pier 12 project, which created a new United States Port for the Queen Mary II.
The job called for Trevcon to upgrade the substructure of the pier and install large mooring structures. It also repaired existing timber piles, installed 85 new, 2- by 120-ft. (0.6 by 36.6 m) steel piles, placed 1,500 yd. (1,372 m) of structural concrete, put in an interior water and sewer system, did foundation work for buildings, and installed fenders and bulkheads.
Other notable projects include pier restoration and repair for the New York City Passenger Ship Terminal, the West Harlem Waterfront/Riverwalk, Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Terminal, the Barnegat Lighthouse and the New West Midtown Ferry Terminal. Current projects include a new 4-acre (1.6 ha) pier in Manhattan and demolition and replacement of a new pier for the New York City Fire Department.
Treveloni estimates the company usually has six active jobs going at any one time, all done by an experienced group of approximately 125 dedicated and talented employees. Key personnel include Vice President Ray Lijo, who’s been with Trevcon since day one, and Operations Manager Chris Devine. Treveloni’s son, Ron, and Lijo’s son, Justin, are project managers.
“Success in this business is due to excellent people,” Treveloni acknowledged. “They’re very good at taking what’s potentially a very complicated situation or project and making it look easy. Our projects are generally around the $10 million mark in terms of size and scope. We’re able to do those jobs on time, and often ahead of schedule, because our employees have the knowledge and experience to make that happen.”
Dependable Equipment Keeps Projects Moving
Assisting Trevcon Construction’s employees is a dependable fleet of equipment that includes Komatsu excavators and wheel loaders, as well as a Kobelco CK2000 crawler crane, all purchased from Binder Machinery Company.
“Komatsu has been in our equipment fleet almost from Trevcon’s beginning,” said Treveloni. “Our applications can be very tough on equipment, so it’s vital we have machinery that’s capable of handling that. We’re often digging under water or making deep excavations. The Komatsu excavators work under those conditions without losing power and speed, which is necessary for us to remain productive.
“We’re very happy with all our Komatsu equipment,” he continued. “The wheel loaders perform for digging, loading and other general-purpose applications. Komatsu became our machinery of choice many years ago when we were doing more general construction work, and they were so productive in that, we continued to use the excavators and wheel loaders in our marine projects. Komatsus have met the challenge.”
Trevcon Construction added the Kobelco crawler crane last year and uses it mainly in its marine construction operations. It has a 350,000-lb.-plus (158,757 kg) lift capacity with a maximum boom length of 280 ft. (85.3 m) using the standard boom.
“It gives excellent lift capacity, which is often necessary when dealing with the large picks we encounter,” said Treveloni. “At the same time, it’s fast and smooth to operate, so our guys really love it. It’s done everything we expected and more.”
Treveloni has found the same in Binder Machinery as well. The relationship between him and Binder goes back two decades, and when Treveloni is looking for equipment, Binder is his first call.
“We had some of the first pieces of Komatsu equipment in this area, and a big reason for that is the outstanding service we get from Binder,” said Treveloni. “When I first started Trevcon, I spent a couple weeks demo’ing different brands, and Komatsu and Binder stood out. As the standard construction side of Trevcon grew, I just called up Binder and continued to buy Komatsu. When Binder began carrying Kobelco cranes, it was a natural decision to call them up when we were looking for a new one.”
Strong Nucleus in Place
Treveloni said it’s been a natural decision for customers to call on Trevcon Construction as well. A large percentage of the company’s business comes from repeat customers.
“We believe Trevcon Construction has a solid reputation for coming in on time and budget, and that’s a reason why our customers trust us and continue to call us back. As we go forward, and the next generation eventually assumes responsibility for the business, we want to pass on that tradition.
“There’s a very good nucleus in place to carry Trevcon into the future,” Treveloni added. “It’s grown considerably in the last five or six years, yet there’s room for more growth. We’re in several good market areas, so we feel very positive about the years ahead.”