March 22, 2012
Relationships are key, new Ontario Road Builders’ Association president says
Newly elected Ontario Road Builders’ Association (ORBA) president Jim Hurst got his feet wet in the industry as a field engineer on the $1 billion Highway 407 project north of Toronto while employed at Armbro Construction Ltd.
For the native of northern Ontario’s Larder Lake and University of Western Ontario educated civil engineer, that experience was memorable, in part because of the sheer magnitude of the toll highway built by the Canadian Highways International Corp. (CHIC) consortium.
“That was the single largest road contract in Canada’s history at that time,” says Hurst, now vice-president of construction/area maintenance contracts at Steed and Evans Ltd. of Heidelberg.
“I think in one month alone, we did $60 million of work.”
The fact that it was a design-build contract made the project noteworthy as well, says Hurst, who joined CHIC partner Armbro in 1994 after a seven-year stint at London’s Matthews Contracting.
“You actually could tweak the design as you went along and make some adjustments to enable ease of construction.”<0x000A>The initial 69-kilometre stretch of the highway opened in June 1997 “slightly ahead of schedule and on budget.
“You don’t hear that said much about mega-projects these days,” says Hurst, who notes that the project was a success both for the provincial government of the day as well as the four partners in CHIC.
Hurst joined Steed and Evans in 2001 and is now one of the company’s owners. Initially responsible for the company’s area maintenance contracts division, Hurst subsequently was named manager of construction and maintenance before assuming his current position.
“I guess you could say the buck stops here,” Hurst says of his added responsibilities as one of the company’s three owners.
Hurst became active in ORBA after joining Steed and Evans, a long-time supporter of the association.
“They suggested that I join the area maintenance contractors council, since I was managing that division.”<0x000A>Hurst became an ORBA director in 2007.
He believes the key to the association’s future success lies in maintaining solid relationships with key partners, among them, the Ministry of Transportation, Infrastructure Ontario, Metrolinx, educational institutions and First Nations communities.
“I’m big on partnerships,” he says, noting that the foundations are communications and trust.
The fourth executive from Steed and Evans to serve as ORBA president, Hurst is an advocate of volunteerism.
“I grew up volunteering in my community, as did my parents,” says Hurst whose father was a mining engineer and whose mother stayed at home to raise Hurst and his two older sisters.
“At ORBA, we’re donating our time to try and improve the roadbullding business for everyone.”
|MOST POPULAR STORIES|
- Construction begins on 1.5-kilometre western portion of Mississauga transitway
- “Super beam” installed in Montreal Champlain Bridge repair
- Tunnelling of the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension completed
- Concrete awards recognize Ontario’s best
- RCMP make another arrest in connection with its SNC-Lavalin probe
- 20 Most Popular Stories
|TODAY’S TOP CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS|
These projects have been selected from 331 projects with a total value of $3,875,502,154 that Reed Construction Data Building Reports reported on Monday.
$2,200,000,000 Toronto ON Prebid
$125,000,000 Scarborough ON Prebid
$49,900,000 Toronto ON Prebid
- Toronto firms tops for Winnipeg hut designs
- Toronto architect releases music album
- Road pricing an effective congestion fighter, say experts
- What does “Local Knowledge” really mean in Ontario AFPs?
- United States construction employers add 17,000 jobs in November but growth is uneven, finds AGC
- Toronto housing starts dip: CMHC
- Active unions needed, says Segal
- Saint John Harbour Bridge project wraps up
- New Westminster Development
- Natural gas generating facilities planned
- Refinery costs jump by $2.8 billion
- Employers must be aware of liability at holiday office parties
- New charges needed for infrastructure
- Skills Training at BCIT
- Auditor generals weigh in on value of P3s
- Low lead requirements kicking in next year
- Mental heath and workplace psychology must be addressed
- Edmonton International Airport mall takes shape
- University of Winnipeg building an apartment complex