NuEdge Construction Ltd.: Helping Assure Alberta’s Utilities Flow

Summer 2010 - Wayne Bowman was introduced to the construction industry as a child. “My dad was a small operator, so I grew up in the business and always had an interest in it,” he says. Inevitably, Bowman became a mechanic by trade, and he worked for the local school board for 20 years before he decided he “had to make a change,” he states.

Thus, Bowman took stock of his available opportunities and in 2004 founded his own primary infrastructure development company: NuEdge Construction Ltd. Bowman continues to be NuEdge’s president and runs the business out of its Camrose, Alberta, location. NuEdge does “rehab and new infrastructure for cities, towns and private developers,” Bowman describes. “We specialize in that and horizontal directional drilling.”

Digging Deep

NuEdge’s approximately 70 employees work throughout central Alberta. Their combined efforts create annual revenue of $20 million. “We do a lot of rural installations of new pipelines to bring water to existing communities that don’t have safe drinking water and need servicing of town water to the existing homes,” Bowman explains.

In addition to bringing resources to those who have less access to them, NuEdge “does a lot of lagoon rehabilitation – so we’ll put in new lagoons, new piping and new underground services. We do new industrial and residential developments, such as new subdivisions or new industrial subdivisions,” Bowman further explains.

According to Bowman’s estimation, 20 percent of NuEdge’s business is in commercial development and 80 percent is involved with the municipal side. However, what really sets NuEdge apart is that 90 percent of the company’s overall tasks are completed in-house. These tasks include directional drilling, hydroback work and gravel hauling. “Our underground service crews are in-house. The only thing we sub out is larger earthwork jobs and maybe something specialized like the inside liner of a lagoon,” says Bowman.

Improved Opportunities

NuEdge is definitely making use of those in-house capabilities. As of the summer of 2010, the company had numerous large-scale and substantial projects running alongside the smaller, typical projects. “Right now we’re doing a rehab project to bring new water and a sewer system into Barrhead, Alberta, and one in the town of Wabamun, Alberta, of the same nature,” Bowman shares.

Additionally, “in Blackfalds we’re doing a new industrial development providing new services to industrial lots, and we’re doing the water distribution system for Whitecourt, which feeds water from town to airport and gate bridges,” Bowman adds.

On the residential side of the business, “we’re doing two rural contracts regarding water distribution for Stettler County. It’s about 50 kilometers of water main that distributes water to rural residents and small centers. We’re also doing one for Kneehill County distribution to a number of existing acreage and rural landowners,” Bowman says.

Lastly, NuEdge is putting in new lagoon systems for the villages of Edberg, Czar and Fabian.

Despite this impressive list of ongoing projects, NuEdge has seen changes in the market as results of the economic recession. “Margins are tighter on projects, which is pretty typical of the industry right now. But that’s starting to change. I think we’re seeing an improvement,” Bowman says optimistically.

This change in the economic situation gives Bowman hope that growth, and lots of it, are in his company’s future. “We’re going to see major growth over the next five years. We’re also looking at developing a P3 [public-private partnerships] program in the company,” he predicts. “We’re looking at putting a couple models together and loading that type of business. It would be aimed at cities, villages and municipalities in general. These types of projects are unique from other contractors.”

With an eye toward the future and a conscious expansion plan, NuEdge Construction will make excellent use of its distinctive in-house abilities and build on its experience in rural and developed areas to become the go-to company for revamping and improving Alberta’s infrastructure for the betterment of its citizens.