Liesfeld Contractor Inc.

Liesfeld Contractor picLiesfeld Contractor has evolved from residential lot grading to a host of heavy civil capabilities including site preparation and road building during its 45-year history.
By Jim Harris

Liesfeld Contractor Inc.’s ability to expand into diverse markets and adapt to the latest developments in its industry have helped it to grow significantly during its 45-year history.

Founded in 1972 by Joe Liesfeld Jr. as a small residential home lot grading provider, the company greatly evolved its capabilities during its first few decades in business to include additional work in the residential and commercial sectors. Liesfeld Contractor has further grown in the 21st century into the industrial and governmental markets.

The company specializes in sitework services including clearing and grubbing, erosion control, earthwork and grading, storm sewer, sanitary sewer, water, site concrete, stone base and asphalt paving.

In recent years, Liesfeld Contractor further expanded its sitework offerings into the power generation and federal government markets. “At the time of the 2008/2009 recession, 70 percent of our work was in the commercial and residential markets,” Business Development Manager William Roberts says. “With the downturn, we pivoted toward more federal work.”

Sitework on military bases, mandated by a government military base realignment program, made up most of the company’s work during and following the recession, he adds. Liesfeld box

Liesfeld Contractor in 2016 entered yet another market when it began site and civil support work on a 1,200-acre, 80-megawatt solar farm in Accomack County, Va. The project will conclude this summer.

In addition to sitework, Liesfeld Contractor also performs road, rail, trail, airport and port projects for government agencies and other clients in the public and private sector. The company also performs grading and other support services to mining projects.

The Liesfeld family also owns and operates Byrd Creek, which provides environmental design, construction and restoration services for wetland and stream projects; and Gillies Creek, an industrial recycling company.

High Standards

Most of Liesfeld Contractor’s projects are located in a two-hour driving distance of Richmond, Va. The company typically serves as a subcontractor to other contractors except on its mining projects, where it acts as the prime contractor.

“We cater to many of the same contractors in the Richmond market that we’ve built up a reputation with over time,” Roberts says. “When larger contractors come into the area for a larger project, we are typically one of the first civil contractors they call.”

Liesfeld Contractor uses a fleet of state-of-art GPS-guided heavy equipment, such as intelligent bulldozers, to perform its projects. “These machines almost operate themselves,” he adds, noting that the bulldozer’s computerized controls can guide blades and control tracks.

Using the latest equipment helps the company complete its projects at the high level of quality for which it has become known. “We perform work that requires a higher standard [of quality],” Roberts says. “We like difficult projects that other companies might shy away from because of scheduling demands or risk.”

Investing in new technology and equipment is a high priority for the company’s owners, who include Joe Liesfeld III, its vice president and the founder’s son.

Liesfeld Contractor prides itself on the level of training its staff members receive. “We train our employees well,” he adds, noting that all staff members, including management, spend at least a year in the field. “That makes us stand out, and gives us a little more credibility – anyone you talk to here has had quite a bit of experience and will know what our clients are talking about.”

Experience Applied

The company is applying its equipment and the knowledge of its staff to a number of projects in central Virginia.

For the past two-and-a-half years, Liesfeld Contractor has worked on a sitework project at the 80-acre site of West Broad Marketplace in Henrico, Va., for developer N.V. Retail. The commercial development will include a Wegmans supermarket and Cabela’s store as its anchors. The Cabela’s store will open in April, but work on the rest of the site will continue around it, Roberts notes. 

Liesfeld Contractor’s work on the site includes moving thousands of tons of rock and building large retaining walls. “We are providing out client a turnkey site package that includes everything from clearing to paving and striping, as well as erosion control and blasting,” he says.

The company placed a utility trench on a major road near the project. “Because we were so close to the road, we couldn’t perform any blasting for the trench, so we used a rock saw to cut the trench,” Roberts says.

The company is also finishing site work for a future Niagara Bottling manufacturing and distribution facility in Chesterfield, Va.

Both the West Broad Marketplace and the Niagara Bottling projects are being performed on a fast-paced schedule that required crews to work through the winter. Both projects including significant blasting of rock as well as soil stabilization work.

Liesfeld Contractor’s other recent projects include building a large dam at the site of a mining project in Southern Virginia.

Quality Recognized

Two of Liesfeld Contractor’s projects have earned the company positive notice from its peers throughout the northeast within the past five years.

The company in 2014 completed work on a turnkey heavy civil project for the U.S. Army’s 700-acre Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) Training Complex at Fort AP Hill, Virginia. The project included three major components: 800-meter and 1,200-meter target ranges, an urban training facility that included mock buildings and a subway tunnel, and an administrative area that included more than 50 building pads. The company also constructed more than 15 miles of stone, concrete and asphalt roadways for the project.

The AWG complex “provides operational advisory support to Army and joint force commanders globally to enhance solider survivability, combat effectiveness and enable the defeat of current and emerging threats,” Liesfeld Contractor says.

The project was awarded Best Project for the Mid-Atlantic region in the government/public buildings category by Engineering News-Record. 

Last year, the company again warranted notice by ENR, as its work on the Stone Brewery East Coast Facility in Richmond, Va., was named the Best Manufacturing Project in the Mid-Atlantic region. The facility – a 216,000-square-foot production brewery and distribution center located on a 16-acre former brownfield site – was named Project of the Year by Richmond Real Estate Group.

Liesfeld Contractor’s work on the project included grading, road work and stream restoration work. The company provided more than 61,000 tons of recycled crushed concrete material on a tight schedule for construction of the building pad, Roberts notes. 

Corporate Head Office

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