Gateway Demo/Civil Corp.

GatewayGateway’s shift to heavy civil work has allowed it to grow.

By Alan Dorich

Gateway Demo/Civil Corp. primarily takes the role of a subcontractor on its projects, but it makes sure to bring a general contractor’s mentality to each job. “We’re not there to slow down the GC,” President Alex Concannon asserts.

“They appreciate that and having someone who is reliable and can complete the job ahead of schedule,” he says, noting that the company has a diverse range of capabilities. “We are able to do any type of job that comes our way.”Gateway info box

Based in Hicksville, N.Y., Gateway is a leading certified MBE/DBE demolition and heavy civil construction contractor. When founder Ken Frohlick started the company in 1976, it focused on the hand demolition of skyscrapers, bridges, factories, warehouses, apartments and single-family dwellings.

Gateway also became an emergency response demolition contractor for New York City Housing Preservation & Development. “If they needed us for any emergency job, they would call us and we were there,” Concannon says.

In 2013, Frohlick wanted to move on from Gateway, and met Concannon, who brought with him 25 years of heavy civil construction experience. “I had the opportunity to become a majority shareholder/owner, and take over the company,” he recalls.

Concannon bought Gateway in 2014 and changed its focus to reflect his previous experience. This allowed the company to grow its revenues to more than $15 million last year. “We still do demo work, but we’re predominantly a civil company now,” he states.

“We’re also a sub to most of the big general contractors in New York City,” he says, noting that 90 percent of its work is for public projects, while 10 percent is for private work.

Gateway is on the path of positive growth, but Concannon does not consider the firm a complete success. “It is getting successful, but we’re not there yet,” he states. “It’s on a positive growth incline.”

Client Favorite
Gateway is serving as a subcontractor on a $300 million project for the Queens-Midtown Tunnel, a highway, tunnel and toll road in New York City. “We have a nice portion of work in the tunnels to remove the existing curbs, catwalks and additional concrete work,” Concannon says.

Gateway has worked at night and stayed on schedule. “We’ve completed half the job,” he says, noting that Gateway finished work on the Tunnel’s south tube. “We anticipate starting the South Tube in July. It’s a pleasure working with Judlau Contracting and their team on the job.”

It also is working with Skanska/Posillico on the Long Island Railroad track extension that will stretch from New York City to east of Long Island. “This is the second contract we’ve gotten Skanska/Posillico,” he adds.

Gateway is enjoying an increase in its repeat business from large general contractors, Concannon says. “Once they know that you can complete the work successfully in time and on budget, they will tend to call you back and bring you to the table. That’s all you can ask for,” he says.

They appreciate Gateway’s open communication, too. “My phone is on 24 hours a day,” Concannon says. “If they have a problem or if there is a question, they know they can call me or anyone on our team.”

Rocking and Rolling
Gateway’s employees work very hard. “As far as in the office, we’re an early company,” Concannon says. “People are here at 7 a.m., and by 7:05, we’re rocking and rolling and working.”

But the company also keeps its work environment enjoyable, which has led it to avoid any turnover since Concannon took ownership. “I want to make sure the people who work with me carry the same enthusiasm as I do. When they drive into work, they’re excited!” he says.

A key member of his team is Project Manager Martin Dusihj. “He’s involved in every project from the onset to the close out,” he states. “It’s good to know you have somebody you can rely on.”

Concannon also praises Steven Palmadesso, who oversees the civil and the estimating sides of the business. “He’s on top of everything,” Concannon says, also praising General Superintendent Rocco Cipriano, who runs field ops and handles the day-to-day issues.

He predicts steady growth for Gateway. “We don’t need to be the biggest player out there,” he says. “We just like to have steady growth at a point where we just have jobs that we can complete and stay profitable.”

The company’s current portfolio includes retaining walls, caissons, bridge structures, steel repair and rebar, but it plans to diversify even further. “I see us continuing in different avenues because of the team that I have here and the experience and ability to be open,” he says. “I just like going into any type of job with an open mind.”

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