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Company Reports - River City Construction  


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River City Construction

Your project partner

Written by Pat Harlow

In 1984, River City Construction was formed and structured to provide high quality to their clients. In the years since River City has grown to more than 200 people and has worked on more than $2.5 billion worth of construction projects.
Your project partner

In 1984, River City Construction was formed and structured to provide high quality to their clients. In the years since River City has grown to more than 200 people and has worked on more than $2.5 billion worth of construction projects.

As essentially a project management firm, River City has continually offered the highest quality design and construction services to their customers in the Illinois region by employing crew foremen, builders, tradespeople, superintendents, architects, project managers, and estimators. They have completed projects in many different fields including commercial, college/university, federal government, health care facilities, parking structures, schools, and correctional facilities.


According to River City’s website, their mission is "to be the leading builder" in their operating area by establishing and maintaining "the most talented and dedicated group of construction professionals..." To continue delivering each job on time and on budget, River City must employ top-quality individuals throughout their company. They have historically taken on a number of self-starting recruits and trained them to be some of the most highly-skilled tradesmen in the market.

River City offers employees specialized training, including LEED certification and accreditation for green construction, ASHE construction training for the health care market, AISC certification for steel fabrication/erection, IAQ Mold Awareness training, and safety training through OSHA.


In addition to their reputation for high quality service and expertise, what really makes River City unique in the industry is the focus they place on partnering. They partner with customers, employees, and the community, and they focus on completing projects with efficiency, quality, and profitability. River City has found that, by focusing on partnering on each and every project that they undertake, they are able to build trust, goal development, shared vision, and cooperation between themselves, owners, and subcontractors.

The company’s partnering programs have been rewarded, receiving the prestigious Marvin M. Black Excellence in Partnering Award in 1999 for their work Building RR for Caterpillar Inc. and the Director’s Award for Pride in Partnership by the Capital Development Board of Illinois in 2005.

Because of the project management nature of their business, River City works with a number of key subcontractors on each of their projects. The firm’s partnering focus makes their dealings with subcontractors unique to the field. They are able to work together in the field and often have long-standing relationships with the subcontractors and superintendents they work with.


As a continuation of their partnering programs, River City is also licensed by Illinois to perform architectural and engineering services through design/build. River City is able to provide pre-construction services to their clients and offer their design/build capabilities in order to provide fast-track project execution with reduced schedules and costs.

River City’s partnering approach allows for the development of relationships with clients, owners, and subcontractors to establish project goals in the early phases and ensure a successful result for all involved.


For the last two years, River City has been working on the SNIPE 97 Mill project, the largest that River City has ever taken on. It is a $97 million dollar project that has employed the company’s top 40 employees. The project started in March 2008 and is scheduled to be completed this month. River City was able to self-perform roughly 25-30 percent of the work and subcontract out the remainder.

Although it was a single building, the project was separated into two phases. The first phase was the interior and the second phase was the exterior; a program set up in the pre-construction phases so that the project could operate on a condensed schedule.

The building is unique, doubling the tonnage of any other building its size. River City designed and constructed the building’s exterior to withstand earthquake and blasts. The company utilized new techniques by drilling piers into the ground before testing the dirt for infractions. This was a lengthy process and a volatile one because of the price of steel in 2008 when the project began. River City was able to subsidize the costs of this portion of the project by self-performing the drilled piers and foundations.

In addition to the complex foundation and pier system, the building required a complex electrical and heating system for the ceiling and floors. The River City partnering approach allowed them to keep this portion of the project on-schedule for the May 1, 2010 finish date by selecting top-quality subcontractors.

The company also equipped the building with state-of –the-art security and transcomm systems, including a security system just to enter the building.


River City has built a strong reputation in the industry for partnering with employees, subcontractors, and owners on all of their projects. They continue to offer their clients high quality work in a number of different fields, and they are preparing themselves for the future by adding new services and techniques on each and every project.

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