Hubbard Construction Company Celebrates 100th Anniversary
BY Sandy Lender
Hubbard Construction Company, headquartered in Winter Park, Florida, celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2020. The company was founded by Francis Evans Hubbard in 1920, and over the next century expanded to become one of Florida’s premier heavy civil construction contractors and asphalt suppliers. Today, Hubbard is made up of approximately 900 employees, with office locations in Tampa, Jacksonville, Lakeland and Winter Park.
“100 years is a remarkable achievement and a major milestone in our company’s history,” Senior Vice President Tom Craft said. “We are excited to celebrate this moment, as an opportunity to reflect back on our accomplishments and the close relationships we have formed within our communities. Hubbard’s legacy is entwined with Florida’s historic growth over the last century.”
Craft shared that Hubbard has benefitted from the strength of the Florida market and the historic growth that has occurred throughout the state over the last century. “If you look at the major milestones of Florida’s development—from the creation of NASA’s Cape Canaveral Facility in the 1950s, to the arrival and expansion of Disney in the 1970s, to any number of public infrastructure projects that facilitated growth throughout the state—Hubbard has been there for them all. In a very real sense, our company’s history is the history of the state of Florida, both of which are remarkable.”
Of course, Craft stated, success requires more than simply being in the right place at the right time. “You have to operate according to a set of values. At Hubbard, we place a tremendous value on our employees and community. We are extremely proud of our numerous career-long Hubbard employees, many of whom have served our company for more than 40 years. We also invest heavily in community service to support the areas in which we do business. This is important, not only as a means of giving back to communities that support us, but also as a way of deepening our relationships with the public and our business partners. That helps ensure the quality of our work, because we are investing in our home and the future of our communities.”
Throughout its 100 years in business, Hubbard has played an essential role in Florida’s growth and development. A founding member of the Asphalt Contractors Association of Florida (ACAF), the company constructed the runway facilities at Orlando International Airport, and developed Cape Canaveral’s shuttle launch pads under contract by NASA in the 1950s.
During the following decade, Hubbard helped to expand Florida’s roadway infrastructure with major contracts including I-10 in Lake City, the Florida Turnpike, and much of downtown Orlando. Hubbard was involved in Florida’s boom period during the 1970s, developing sites for the University of Central Florida and becoming a trusted contractor for Walt Disney World on projects including the Disney Monorail and Bay Lake Lagoon. As these and other developers brought increased traffic to Orlando and the surrounding areas of Florida, Hubbard met the need for more infrastructure with projects including the I-4 Expansion and construction of the East/West Expressway.
Those projects are part of Hubbard’s history, but the company’s commitment to quality continues today. Phil Addison, vice president of asphalt operations, shared that just this year, teams from the company won ACAF’s prestigious A.P. Bolton Award in District 8 for their paving on the SR-528 Beachline widening project.
“The project, which started in September 2015, involved numerous parts and challenges: multiple MOT phases, including 22 ramps in a 4-mile section of SR-528 through some of the busiest interchanges in Orlando (I-4, International Drive, University Drive, JYP and the Turnpike),” Addison explained. “It required a large coordination effort from everyone involved, from day one of the project in September 2015. The SR-528 project is exemplary of the kind of challenging project that Hubbard excels in completing—engineering safe and efficient solutions to deliver a superior paving product. I could not be prouder of our teams on that project.”
Plant 2 of Orlando Paving Company (OPC) supplied the asphalt for the award-winning project. “Brant Larson, the plant foreman on the project, did an incredible job ensuring that our material needs were met,” Addison shared. “Brian LeClair was the project superintendent on SR-528 and did an outstanding job leading the team.”
Pride in the team members and pride in their work drives Hubbard workers to make each project the best it can be. Senior QC Manager Carl Moorefield is one of Hubbard’s veteran team members, celebrating 42 years with the company in 2020. He spoke of his most memorable experience with the team as the weekend that they repaved the runways and taxiways at the Orlando Executive Airport, removing and replacing close to 3,000 tons.
“It was an entire company effort,” Moorefield shared. “The CEO of the airport flew out on Friday night on the old pavement and returned amazed on Sunday night / Monday morning to all new pavement—this project was a great undertaking but was accomplished in one weekend as planned. It was a total team effort, everyone working together!
“I enjoy developing new asphalt mix designs,” Moorefield continued. “Through the experience that we have gained from doing so many MDs, using many different aggregate sources, we have been able to develop mix designs that are economic and competitive. By establishing cost effective designs, it helps bring down the expense of production and increases the potential profit margin at all nine Hubbard asphalt plants in Florida. I work behind the scenes, but I know my efforts contribute directly to our company’s profitability. I feel a real sense of satisfaction knowing what I do contributes directly to Hubbard’s success. I take pride in my work and strive to be the best at what I do.”
Different projects throughout the state require material and crew participation from different arms of the Hubbard family. Over the years, Hubbard has expanded its business through acquisitions to keep up with growth and demand. Those acquisitions have included Orlando Paving Company, Atlantic Coast Asphalt, Tampa Pavement Constructors, and most recently, a portion of Lane Construction now operating as Lakeland Paving. Hubbard also diversified its business lines to include landfill and material recycling services, which operate under the Mid-Florida Materials business name. This fall, a new plant will begin production in Orlando.
“We purchased three Florida plants in the acquisition of Lane Construction’s P&P business line: Lakeland, Loughman and Port Tampa Bay,” Addison explained. “All three plants were running as Hubbard Construction plants in 2019. Adding the three plants helps Hubbard cover the I-4 corridor from Orlando to Tampa, gaining us more market share in the areas where we already operated. The plants were already permitted, so all that was required was to transfer them to Hubbard. The biggest positive has been the addition of hard-working, talented people to our team and the increase in market share. With the acquisition, our annual production has grown from 1.5 million tons to more than 2 million tons annually. It’s [significantly] increased our asphalt revenue.”
What’s New at Hubbard
John Sharp, the group equipment director for Eurovia USA, spoke of the new plant: “We needed to be able to provide additional flexibility with higher production rates to support our internal crews and FOB customers.” The newest plant will be set up to serve East Central Florida. “The new plant features a relocatable 600 TPH Dillman Unified counterflow drum with a 50 percent recycle rate. It also features an eight-compartment cold feed system with a dual bin recycle system. We’re including a 150MBTU gas burner, six 300-ton storage silos, and two truck scales.”
Craft stated: “Our legacy is one of industry leadership—from our top-notch safety program, to our innovated asphalt mix designs, to our environmentally sustainable practices. Hubbard has been on the leading edge of every major development in our industry.”
That sentiment was obvious in the state of the art environmental and safety aspects Sharp detailed in the new plant’s design. He listed safety features such as walkways throughout the plant to allow for safer inspection and maintenance; interlocks for major plant components that can shut down sections of the plant if there is ever an issue in the production process; and an internal traffic control plan designed to limit interdictions of trucks, equipment and people working at the plant site.
Sharp listed the following positive considerations designed to limit overall environmental impact with the goal of producing a ton of asphalt at 70 KWH/ton, which Sharp stated is an 18 to 23 percent reduction in overall energy consumption compared to former operations:
- 100 percent electrical heated tank farm, eliminating the need for natural gas heater;
- Material covers for the RAP and fine materials reducing the overall moisture percent by 30 to 40 percent compared to former plant operations;
- Variable frequency drives installed on baghouse, dryer, drag slat reduce overall energy usage by 2 percent compared to former plant operations; and
- “Driving” program, Eurovia, allows “live” remote monitoring, reporting of plant operations and energy consumption.
“Hubbard’s business model has remained remarkably consistent over the last 100 years,” Craft said. “If you look at the kinds of projects our company completed during our first 50 years, they’re very similar to the projects we take on today—a mix of public and private roadway construction and paving projects, site development work, and asphalt manufacturing. Our business has grown through strategic acquisitions within our area of expertise, which have allowed us to increase volume and expand our market region, without losing focus of what we do best. To this day, we remain a local Florida-based company, committed to improving the state we call home.”
Hubbard continues to serve Florida as a respected civil construction and asphalt paving contractor. Its founding commitment to providing superior quality and customer service remains central to the Hubbard name and identity. Hubbard is celebrating its 100th anniversary with employee, customer and community events throughout 2020. Learn more about the company’s legacy and bright future by visiting the website, www.hubbard.com.