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Walbridge

Walbridge is a privately-owned construction company offering diverse delivery options including construction management, program management, general contracting, design-build and turn-key solutions. Our services include pre-construction, engineering management and decommissioning. We self-perform structural concrete and flatwork, millwright and rigging, equipment installation and facilities management.


At Walbridge, we consider ourselves partners in our customers’ success. Since our founding in 1916, our singular purpose has been to provide world-class facility and related services. Our expert teams are prepared to adapt and respond quickly, and we are passionate about delivering innovative outcomes. Safety is first in everything we do and have strict standards for providing quality and value to every project.

Our success results from our ability to leverage the strengths of a large enterprise and provide the personal service of a smaller company. This strategic use of size combined with a hands-on approach has made Walbridge a construction industry leader. Engineering News-Record ranks Walbridge 48th on its annual Top 400 Contractors List; and, Walbridge ranks first in manufacturing construction and among the top 20 airport contractors and top 50 power contractors in the United States.


History

George B. Walbridge and Albert H. Aldinger pooled their substantial resources to form Walbridge Aldinger in 1916. These two founders brought different backgrounds and perspectives to their newly formed company. Walbridge, a colonel in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, came to Detroit in 1914 as vice president of George F. Fuller Company, a large contracting firm based in New York City. Aldinger, a German immigrant, was a banker who founded a construction company in Canada shortly before meeting George Walbridge. Both men became widely respected industry leaders who were instrumental in founding the Associated General Contractors of America and the Detroit Chapter. Roy Pickett followed Walbridge as chairman in 1955, and two years later, G.K. Chapman became the fourth company leader in Walbridge Aldinger history.

A major shift in leadership came when John Rakolta Sr., who began his career with Walbridge Aldinger as a timekeeper in 1946, purchased the company in 1963 with business partner Robert Robillard. Rakolta Sr. assumed control of the company in 1971 as Chairman and CEO. Rakolta served in the U.S. Air Force in World War II and was shot down in air strikes over Germany. Captured by the German Army, Rakolta Sr. was held as a prisoner of war until the war ended in 1945. Walbridge Aldinger was his first civilian job, one that would prove to be a lifetime commitment for him.

In 1984, Walbridge Aldinger acquired commercial contractor Darin & Armstrong, which was pivotal to growth. It catapulted Walbridge onto the national scene. The mid-80s also proved profitable for international work as Walbridge began working in Canada and Mexico. In 1993, John Rakolta Sr. stepped down as the Chairman and CEO of Walbridge Aldinger, passing the torch to his son, John Rakolta Jr., who started with the company as an estimator in 1970.

With Rakolta Jr. at the helm, Walbridge expanded operations into new regions and grew its service offerings. In 2008, the company began a historic and unprecedented journey to form a unified, one-company brand- Walbridge. The abbreviated name and contemporary look preserve the company’s heritage while also conveying innovation, precision and flexibility.


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Culture

Walbridge continually seeks new ways to meet our customers’ goals by adding value, shrinking costs and accomplishing more in less time. Our employees are experts at using our sophisticated Web-based Project Management Controls System that integrates cost control, planning and scheduling, document control and manages materials and equipment. Walbridge is a pioneer in lean construction principles. Since 2001, Walbridge has concentrated on reducing waste and applying lean concepts to everything we do. Our savings from lean construction alone have amounted to nearly $9 million in the past four years. Walbridge is ISO 9001:2000 registered. Every job site team implements a master project plan that builds quality into every project. We conduct internal audits, and external audits are performed by a third-party registrar. We employ continual improvement programs by including Opportunities for Improvement (OFIs), soliciting customer feedback, conducting subcontractor evaluations and providing training and development for our teams and partners. As a learning organization, we seek constant improvement using historical data including our Lessons-Learned Database and Value Analysis/Value Engineering Knowledgebase.