Courtesy of M. Johnston Construction, Ltd.M. Johnston Construction, Ltd. always comes up with something to win the job

By Barb Feldman

M. Johnston Construction Ltd. is an industrial and civil contractor specializing in pile driving and foundation construction, bridge construction, maintenance and repair, bridge and mat rentals, industrial steel installation and removal, resource roads and industrial site work. The company is based in Cranbrook, B.C., with a yard in nearby Galloway and a separate avalanche consulting division in Squamish, B.C.

A proactive approach to environmental protection
The family-run business was begun by Mike Johnston and incorporated in 1978.

“Today, a number of employees are also shareholders,” said engineer Monte Johnston, Mike’s son, who began driving a backhoe as a teenager for his family’s company more than a decade ago. The company employs seven people full-time as project managers, supervisors and operators and relies on a core of up to 25 seasonal workers, providing a wide range of services, from small bridge repairs to multi-million dollar contracts, to clients across British Columbia and in Alberta, Saskatchewan, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Many projects are located in remote or rural locations, says Johnston, and most are in environmentally sensitive areas, often near fish-bearing creeks and rivers. Environmental professionals are called upon as needed to develop job-specific construction environmental management plans and to provide onsite assistance, and the company takes a proactive approach to environmental protection and has never had a major environmental incident.

“We use Berminghammer, APE and Bomag [equipment] for pile driving, but Berminghammers are our favourites because they’re so clean-burning,” said Johnston. He notes that diesel-burning engines can produce considerable exhaust when diesel in the chamber isn’t completely combusted. “The Berminghammer doesn’t do that, which really minimizes our environmental impact.” As a further precaution, the company uses biodiesel on these sites to lessen the environmental harm of possible small fuel spills.


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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.