AUSTIN – East Texan Robert Adamson has been elected president of the association that represents most of the state’s highway and bridge builders.
Adamson is vice-president of operations for Longview Bridge & Road, a highway construction company that builds and maintains roads and bridges throughout east and northeast Texas.
He became president of the Texas Chapter of the Highway, Heavy, Utilities and Industrial Branch of the Associated General Contractors of America Wednesday (Jan. 8) during a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in Austin. AGC of Texas represents approximately 300 contractors and 500 associate companies, which provide equipment, materials and various services for the highway construction industry. The industry employees thousands of workers and is responsible for nearly $9 billion of state highway construction and maintenance each year.
“AGC of Texas is an organization of businesses that realize the importance of our transportation system,” Adamson says. “Everything we do contributes to the economy of all other businesses in Texas.”
People need roads and bridges to travel in their daily lives; businesses and commerce depend on the transportation system to move products from factories to the marketplace.
“AGC is about people. It’s about the people who are a part of the organization and being president of AGC is a tremendous honor and responsibility,” Adamson said. “But leading the AGC is not about me. It’s about the celebration of an industry that has continued for so long and provides the opportunity for so many to be productive.”
Adamson remembers the advice that his father imparted decades ago:
“’Whatever you do, be a part of something that serves other people,’ and I can’t think of anything where you contribute more service to people than helping build the roads they travel on every day – to get to work, to take their children to school, to provide access to food, clothing and shelter,” he told members attending the luncheon. “Roads and bridges make it possible for emergency services to reach those in need and to provide a way out when disaster strikes. Roads and bridges make lives better.”
Adamson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1980 from Trinity University, with a major area of study in construction management focusing on the homebuilding industry, where he learned the basics of estimating costs and bidding on jobs and how to design and plan a construction job.
He has been in the highway construction industry for nearly 40 years, including 22 with Longview Bridge & Road. The last East Texan to lead the Associated General Contractors of Texas was Larry Johnson (2010) founder of Longview Bridge & Road.
“Larry afforded me a tremendous opportunity to be a part of this statewide industry. Not many people get the opportunity to do that,” Adamson said. “It’s a great privilege.”
Longview Bridge & Road works on road projects north to the Red River along the Oklahoma border; south to Interstate 10, east to the Sabine River along the border with Louisiana, and west to Interstate 45. The company employs approximately 300 people.
Texas voters overwhelming approved ballot issues in 2014 and 2015 to significantly increase highway funding, necessary to improve aging roads and also to address traffic congestion. The state’s population grows by some 1,000 people each day.
Voters delivered a clear message, Adamson reminded his colleagues: “Meet the transportation needs of our state!”
“We are on the edge of a new era in highway construction in the state of Texas,” he said. “AGC has to maintain the innovation and the dedication that we have exemplified in the last 95 years.”
Adamson and his wife, Cheryl, live in Jacksonville.