The Devastation Caused By Zebra Mussels

Seeing a recent kvue article (link below) about the growing Zebra Mussel problem in several area lakes brought back memories from the winter of 2011-2012 when our company was awarded a large contract to clean up a water line up on the northern border of Texas at Lake Texoma. That was the first recognized Zebra Mussel infestation to reach Texas. Our contract was comprised of building appurtenances that allowed a huge rubber pig (a large cylindrical apparatus with an abrasive coating) that could be inserted in the lake end of an eleven mile six foot diameter water line. This would … Continue reading The Devastation Caused By Zebra Mussels

The Martin’s – Dirt Men All The Way

Uncle Bob Martin worked for me a couple of times in the 70’s. He was slow and steady but was accomplishing something with every motion. Cousin Butch Martin worked for me several times. We was the opposite of his Dad. He was fast and all over everything, but man could he move dirt. You just always knew it wouldn’t last long, before he’d twist off and not show up. Each time I’d swear that was the last. But he had an uncanny way of arriving when you most needed someone in the seat of that dozer, so I’d put him … Continue reading The Martin’s – Dirt Men All The Way

It Was A Sign Of The Times

Back in 1976 we headed off to Houston to build a project out off of Highway 6 between I-10 and 290. A new housing development. We installed the utilities (water, wastewater and storm sewers) while a company from Houston built the streets and did the grading for the project. This company was new to that type of work, as their primary business had been building and maintaining railroads. It may have been their first venture into subdivisions. They were really a bunch of nice guys that were easy to get along with. Something I can’t say for all companies we … Continue reading It Was A Sign Of The Times

Bill Tabor – Inventor & Hydronaut

I can’t tell you that I ever really got to know Bill, but we were in the same type of construction business in and around Austin, back in the 70’s. I’d run into him from time to time. We both frequented the Jim’s Coffee Shop on Ben White Blvd and we would see and chat with each other there. Bill had a horse stable out by Travis Country toward Oak Hill. He had his finger in a lot of things. He also operated a store, Tabor Town down around Cedar Creek, I believe it was. I read where Bill passed … Continue reading Bill Tabor – Inventor & Hydronaut

A Case of Limestone Poisoning ?

Sometime in 1973 we were doing a project for the new I-35 expansion in downtown Austin. It was a crazy, difficult project with old pipes running underground every which way. We had one place that we were excavating about 40 deep and then bored underneath I-35 for about 250 feet to run a new wastewater line. In those days the road bores were done where water was mixed with the limestone rock cuttings that were being excavated. It was called Wet Bore Method as opposed to now most all road bores are done using the Dry Bore Method. Wet Boring … Continue reading A Case of Limestone Poisoning ?

Watch Out What You Say, You Never Know When It Will Come Back And Bite You In The Rear End

One time we laid a 48″ waterline up through a neighborhood in Northwest Austin, a real high dollar part of town called Cat Mountain. Our line started at RM 2222 and continued to the top of the mountain on Mt. Bonnell Blvd and various other streets to reach its terminus. Mt. Bonnell – Cat Mountain Project It was really a picture perfect project that kept us busy for most of a year. When we reach the termination point on that job, another contractor, a competitor, was picking up where we left off. This competitor was a friendly one. We had … Continue reading Watch Out What You Say, You Never Know When It Will Come Back And Bite You In The Rear End

The South San Gabriel Wastewater Project

Me being a person that would never be involved in self-promotion (cough cough cough) I’m going to tell you about myself. I’m in my 48th year in the underground contracting business. Perhaps the single toughest business where we encounter unknown obstacles daily, never knowing what’s below. There may not be any other business where the liabilities are as great and the rewards are as uncertain. “What was I thinking when I jumped off into this industry and started subcontracting“, mostly on a shoestring, in 1972, the replacing of water lines all over Burnet, Texas. I was a few months short … Continue reading The South San Gabriel Wastewater Project

Sidewalk and Curb Markings

Once upon a time, wherever you went around Austin, the concrete curbs and sidewalks had a stamp of the company that did the work. Maufrais Bros was the ones most often seen. While Maufrais Bros did the work, they also operated their own ready mix plant, which for many years could be seen east of Lamar, on the north side of West First St. (Cesar Chavez) This article delves into the story of the Markings. These are a few of the names you’d see: In the older sections of the city, these stamps can still be seen, but are … Continue reading Sidewalk and Curb Markings

A Slight Miscalculation

We were working in Lakeway laying a wastewater off a really steep hill. This was back in the late 1970’s. I ordered gravel that came all the way from Georgetown. I would place an order for 200 tons, about 10 truckloads, but 2 trucks would show up. The next day the same scenario played out. We were really needing some gravel, if we were ever going to finish that job. I decided I would get that truckers attention so I ordered 1000 tons. I figured that way I may get my 200 tons that I needed. I was a Friday. … Continue reading A Slight Miscalculation

The Goat Shed Up On Possum Kingdom Lake

There was a time between our first two sons being born and we had a project laying a 24″ water line up in Stephens County. Housing was hard to find so while driving around the area, I found The Possum Kingdom Fishing Camp. This was a place that was very active in the summers but pretty well shut down during the winter. I found the owner and made a deal to rent the whole place. There was a little 2 bedroom house in the center of the property with one bedroom cabins surrounding it. This was in December of 1975. … Continue reading The Goat Shed Up On Possum Kingdom Lake