The stories are flying round-robin style around the office at Bill Westervelt Asphalt Paving, Inc. on a rare occasion when Bill, his daughter Pam and son Bill, Jr. are all gathered indoors. There’s the one about the engineer who fled a worksite in shock when he noticed the roller operator doing such a fine job of repaving a gas station one Saturday morning long ago was then nine-year-old Bill, Jr. That reminds Pam of the afternoon years later when she heard a backhoe digging outside her home and looked out the window. “I see my father and my husband and his father sitting there chatting. ‘Who’s running the backhoe?’ I want to know. ‘It’s your son!’ they tell me. Dylan was three or four at the time. They were watching him. It’s what we do.”
While other kids were pushing a Tonka truck around the sandbox or peering through a fence at a construction site, Bill Westervelt’s children were here on the job with their dad, and they still are. And now it is where a grown up Dylan and his brother Scott represent the third generation to join the family business, learning from their grandfather, literally from the ground up, the lessons of experience their college studies in mechanical engineering simply cannot provide.
For more than thirty years, Bill Westervelt Asphalt Paving (BWAP) has been a vital part of the Raritan Center family. The company has done the site and utility work for most of the buildings in the Center; it paves, improves, and maintains its roads and parking lots, and put in its miles of concrete curbs and sidewalks. Working in a place as active and heavily populated as Raritan Center presents a unique set of challenges. But as Bill explains, “We’ve always specialized in being able to get there, do what we’ve got to do and get out. With a lot of the places here we have just a little window of time on a Saturday to go in, get it all cleared, pave it, be out of there and turn it back over so Monday morning people have a new parking lot waiting for them.”
And if you have ever grumbled at having to slow down for a moment to allow a Westervelt crew to do a little road repair as you hurry home at the end of a nice summer day, consider this: It is that same crew that makes it possible for you to get in or out and around Raritan Center so easily during and after every winter storm. SnowFighters, a subsidiary of Bill Westervelt Asphalt Paving, employs as many as 100 pieces of equipment to ensure a safe commute and keep the parking lots slip-free and accessible. “Being a resident in Raritan Center allows us the ability to respond to the multitude of varying conditions that Mother Nature can produce,” says Bill. “SnowFighters maintains a fleet of front end loaders and salt spreaders right here, and warehouses over 500 tons of rock salt to assure quick response to the daily challenges. You might have to watch out for snow and ice on municipal roads but in here, we’re down to the pavement.”
In addition to its work in Raritan Center, BWAP maintains a large number of clients in the shipping, warehouse, and terminal industries, including BP, FedEx, Heller Park, Hess Refinery, Linden Warehouse, New England Motor Freight, Overnite Transportation, Prime Lube, Sears, UPS, Vesuvio Foods, Wakefern Foods, and shopping centers such as Midstate Mall. Its specialties and services emcompass site clearing, excavation and grading; storm water underground detention and recharge systems; storm water treatment systems; water mains; sanitary sewer systems; concrete pads, sidewalks, and curbs; pavement milling; and Petromat® construction fabric systems. Bill Westervelt Asphalt Paving provides “a total service concept from site plan review through project completion.”
If you think the Westervelts might curl up by the fire when they get a chance to get away from their grueling work in the elements you’d be wrong. It turns out the family that works this hard, plays with an equal degree of relentless intensity. Bill took up skiing in middle age, got the rest of the clan involved, and they have traveled to ski destinations around the world ever since. Instead of slowing down, Bill acquires and masters a faster set of professional racing skis every year and visits as many mountains as possible. “When I decide to retire,” he says, “I’m going to take up racing.”