Risk is a subjective in civil engineering. What some consider too much, others see as worth the potential reward.
Traylor Bros. Inc. – and its co-president, Chris Traylor, M.ASCE – is among those who embrace risk and reap the rewards.
“A higher risk requires more talent and might keep others away from the project,” he said. “Those are the projects that we look for and thrive on.”
That approach has made Traylor Bros. one of the nation’s leading heavy civil contractors, and Chris the worthy recipient of ASCE’s 2016 Outstanding Projects and Leaders award for career achievements in construction.
“The nature of those jobs fits our strategies,” he said. “We look to innovate and manage that risk in a way so that we can take advantage of opportunities. Frankly, it’s just who we’ve been from the very beginning.”
The firm recently completed two major projects – the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier in New Orleans, winner of ASCE’s 2014 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement award, and the Huey P. Long Bridge Widening Project in Jefferson, LA, which won an AGC of America Alliant Build America award.
See a video about the winner, as presented at the gala:
Behind these massive infrastructure achievements is a family-owned business based in Evansville, IN, where Chris’s grandfather William Traylor founded the firm in 1946. William handed down the firm to his son, Thomas, who handed it off in 2008 to his sons Chris, Mike, Tom Jr., and Daniel, before passing away in 2013.
“My dad passed the company to the third generation of our family and our team, a company that had one of the most outstanding reputations in the industry,” Chris Traylor said. “I think that’s one of our most valuable traits. We cherish that. And I think he’d just be glad to know that the industry continues to hold us in that same regard.”
Chris considers his OPAL a tribute to all three generations of Traylors. “I see this as recognition of our company’s efforts. I think my dad would be very proud of the recognition,” he said.
The OPAL awards honor outstanding leaders whose lifetime accomplishments contributed to civil engineering in one of five categories – construction, design, education, government, or management. The 2016 honorees were recognized at the OPAL Awards Gala, March 17, 2016, in Arlington, VA.