Brunch can be a lifesaver if you join us at Pink Roses Teal Magnolias, The Cooper Foundation's signature event, dedicated to raising funds for breast and gynecological cancer programs at MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. The event recognizes the physicians, nurses and staff at MD Anderson Cooper who have dedicated their careers to improving the lives of women with cancer.
It's ironic, says Dave Smith, President of Mount Construction Co., Inc., that the only type of work his contracting firm doesn't handle - concrete flatwork - was the first service Smith offered when he founded his business in 1991.
"At this point we do cleaning, demolition, earthmoving, all phases of pipe work, structural concrete and milling" said Smith of his Berlin (New Jersey) paving and earthmoving company. "The only thing we sub out is the stuff I started doing first, the flat work."
Smith turned to concrete work after high school and vocational school, where he concentrated on carpentry and the building trades. "When I graduated, the small jobs I had been doing turned into a lot concrete work - flatwork, foundations, brick block, that type of stuff," he recalled.
"When I was 22 or 23 years old, I was living out of a motel in Dover, Delaware, five days a week doing concrete on a housing job," Smith continued. "I rented a backhoe from a farm equipment sales place down there and began talking to the owner. He created a situation where I was able to purchase the backhoe. To this day, I remember my first payment was $396.84"
Smith put everything he made with that backhoe into more equipment. "I finally got the guy down in Delaware to sell me an old truck tractor," he smiled. "I used a hydraulic bottle jack, torches and a rented welder in my house's driveway to put a dump body on it. At that point I had a truck, a trailer and a backhoe - I was unstoppable."
Today Mount Construction Co., Inc. employs 100 people and divides its efforts between commercial and public projects.
In January of this year, the Willingboro MUA investigated the cause of a sinkhole on Beverly-Rancocas Road in Burlington County, a major roadway, and it was determined that there was a collapse of the main line sewer interceptor which had been installed in the 1950’s. Mount Construction Co., Inc. was contacted by the Willingboro MUA and was onsite within one hour of the determination. Mount is very experienced in emergency construction and had worked for the MUA on previous projects.
The affected area runs under Beverly-Rancocas Road, which is a four-lane highway, approaches a bridge and is adjacent to Mill Creek. The contractor immediately set up traffic control devices and detours, and then installed a temporary bypass system to keep the service available to local users.
Mount needed to install approximately one mile of bypass piping to complete this task as the system processes approximately ten million gallons of sewage per day. The firm was also required to relocate water main and fiber optic, and also suspend and support an existing gas main. All electrical wires in the area were deactivated during crane operations.
As a young man Dave Smith, the found of Mount Construction Co., Inc., trained as a carpenter with the thought that he would eventually start his own construction business. While only 22 years old, Dave found considerable work installing concrete for homebuilders in Delaware during 1990. The work was good, and Smith kept busy working long days.
With some of his income, Dave Smith purchased a used backhoe, truck and trailer which he reconditioned. He was soon completing various excavations during the day, while hauling dirt and other materials at night. This was a difficult period for him as he had returned to southern New Jersey to help support his family due to the death of his father. A lesser person might have been overwhelmed due to these events - Dave Smith just worked harder and longer each day, while still focusing on his goals.
During the early years, Mount Construction Co., Inc. worked for many South Jersey builders while gaining valuable experience. This was a time when the youthful contractor began to purchase various tools and small equipment.