When you consider the history of modern road construction in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, among the first contractors that comes to mind is Bacco Construction Company of Iron Mountain. It's no wonder, its roots stretch back to before the dawn of the last century.
By 1908, Medio J. Bacco, who founded the company, was working for the Dickinson County Road Commission. Those were the days of horse drawn scrapers, wagons and slushers, backed by plenty of manual labor. Through a combination of intelligence, responsibility and raw muscle power, Medio quickly gained a reputation as a hard worker who stepped up to just about any heavy construction challenge.
By 1915, Medio had established the M.J. Bacco Construction Co. and was awarded his first highway construction contract. The firm handled grading and built concrete roads throughout the Upper Peninsula and in the Wisconsin counties that border the U.P.
Horse drawn equipment slowly gave way to Model T trucks, gasoline powered tractors and primitive single drum concrete pavement. In 1930 Medio incorporated his company to create the Bacco Construction Company.
By the time the depression had ended, the company's operations included a fleet of over 20 trucks, 6 Northwest power shovels and draglines, assisted by a number of tractors. The company also had a dozen rock trucks and a number of drill rigs to enhance its blasting and rock moving capabilities. This was the mainstay of the company until it bought its first fleet of motor scrapers in 1960.
At one time, Bacco held the Michigan record for the most footage of concrete paving done in one day. The company holds several awards for its concrete pavement projects. As concrete gave way to asphalt pavement, the firm launched its bituminous paving unit. Today it owns two portable asphalt plants and all of the associated paving equipment required for quality work, including asphalt milling and recycling equipment. Its asphalt work has been frequently praised and honored for its quality.
Over the years Bacco Construction's philosophy has been to give the project owner a good job at a competitive price. Crucial to this approach has been the efforts of an excellent and experienced workforce.It's been a successful 20th century for Bacco Construction because the firm has combined traditional core values with a spirit of adventure. It has worked hard to stay at the peak of its industry by playing an active role within it. If there's any secret for success in the next century's highway industry, no doubt you'll find it in Iron Mountain, Michigan.