Combining prominent transportation and energy projects, impressive revenue growth in the Golden State and an active community outreach program, Kiewit has been selected as ENR California's Contractor of the Year.

Kiewit is based in Omaha, Neb., but put down roots in California long ago, opening an office in the state in the 1940s. It now has offices in Fairfield, Poway and Santa Fe Springs.

High-profile transportation projects are helping to reinforce Kiewit's presence in the Golden State. In Southern California, Kiewit has teamed with joint-venture partner Parsons to build a $486-million Metro Gold Line Foothill light-rail extension from Pasadena to Azusa. In Northern California, Kiewit is constructing the $890-million Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) Warm Springs extension, from the existing Fremont Station to a new station in the city of Fremont's Warm Springs area.

Booming Business

In this year's Top Contractors ranking, Kiewit shot up to No. 3, from ninth place last year, as its 2011 California revenue soared 81%, to nearly $1.1 billion.

Market diversity has spurred Kiewit's success. Transportation is the company's largest sector, but it also serves the petroleum, power, water supply, buildings, industrial process and sewerage-solid waste markets.

Tom Shelby, president of the Kiewit Power division in Lenexa, Kan., says the company and its subsidiaries had a strong year in California, not only in power and transportation, but also in petroleum.

"We made more than nine times the revenue in pipelines and more than 20 times the revenue in refineries from 2010 to 2011," says Shelby. "Our overall revenue in petroleum increased by more than 1,000%. This is a testament to opportunities in the state." He also says that Kiewit's power business revenue grew by 312%.

Kiewit is undertaking three major power projects in California:

• Haynes Generating Station modernization, Long Beach. Owner: Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power. When finished in December 2013, the re-powered plant will meet new California emissions standards and reduce pollutants. It also will have a 10-minute start capability, which will ensure power reliability during periods of high demand and act as a backup to renewable electricity sources.