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Building Carbon County's future at Nielson Construction

Plant operator Rex Rich explains the automated system used to produce and distribute the asphalt.
Nielson crews prepare to pave S.R. 123 in East Carbon and Sunnyside on the morning of June 25.

Since 1967 Nielson Construction has been at the heart of structural growth in Castle Valley. Their fierce work ethic and constant attention to detail has made the small family owned company a household name in the Carbon, Emery area. The Nielson name along with their reputation has continued to grow year by year and with the addition of their second asphalt production facility this year it seems that the sky is the limit for this construction juggernaut.

"We take a lot of pride in what we do," said paving superintendent Bobby Peirce. "This company started as a small family owned business and even though we have grown by leaps and bounds everyone who works for Nielson maintains a sense of ownership in all we do."

Company founder John C. Nielson fostered the small company for many years after its inception in 1967 by dedicating himself to taking good care of his customers and providing them with quality work. In 1981, two of John's children Wayne and Ralph Nielson, joined him in the development of the company, according to Nielson's website at The company incorporated in that same year and grew slowly due to their ability to perform a diverse array of jobs with skill and dedication.

The 1990s brought unprecedented growth to Nielson as it more than tripled in size and capabilities. According to the site, when John Nielson lost his battle with cancer, Wayne and Ralph committed themselves to the company's continued growth. In 1999 the company acquired an asphalt plant and took the bold step of making superpave for federal highways. Despite many naysayers Nielson reached their goal in the first year.

What started as a small family company is now the largest locally owned employer in Castle Valley and they are still family owned. Wayne and his sons, Jesse and John, now own a company that considers its diversity its strength. Nielson currently operates projects in gas well site development, mine site development and reclamation, coal haul trucking, crane service, general trucking, road construction and asphalt.

In April, Nielson opened their Price asphalt production facility allowing them to expand their project capabilities. During a Sun Advocate tour of the facility on June 24, plant operator Rex Rich and plant manager Jeremy Draper detailed the production process.

Gravel is crushed to variable sizes from sand all the way up to three quarter inch rock. The sized aggregate is then loaded into feeder bins where screens remove any odd sized particles from the mix. A state-of-art automated system then weighs and determines how much of each mixed aggregate goes in depending on the customers specifications.

The different aggregates are combined on a belt line and fed into the mixing drum that brings the components to above 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The mix is then fed into the mixing chamber where it is combined with oil to create the "hot mix," which is apply named as the batch witnessed was being produced at 309 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to Draper, the facility can produce as much 1,500 tons of hot mix a day which is loaded into a variety of vehicles from a storage silo. He stipulated that the production plant typically manufactures approximately 800 tons every day.

During the current summer season, Nielson has completed or is currently working on:

•Price city's Homestead Blvd. project.

•The Cat Canyon renovation on U.S. Highway 6.

•A nine point two mile repave from the junction of U.S. Highway 6 to the Sunnyside Co-Generation Plant along S.R. 123.

•The Moore cutoff project that will connect to U.S. Interstate 70.

•Providing W.W. Clyde with the asphalt for the Helper Interchange project.

•Providing Carbon and Emery County road crews with asphalt for their independent projects.

The Nielson website states, it has been said, "the road to success is always under construction. We couldn't agree more, which is why we have dedicated ourselves to being the best at what we do. Our customers have come to rely on us for our experience, or professionalism and our determination to get the job done right the first time."

Peirce, who has worked for Nielson since 2000 when the company got into asphalt, is fiercely proud of the work that is done by Nielson's paving department and echoed the company's philosophy.

"We put the same work ethic into any job no matter how big or small," concluded Peirce. "And what is important to us is that we treat all of our customers with the same respect and priority. This company has maintained its family roots and I think that really shows in our track record."

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