Black construction firm gets more than $80.3 million from Atlanta’s new water project


HJ Russell & Co. has boosted revenue significantly and could potentially position itself for such deals in the future after helping to complete what is reported to be the largest water supply project ever in Georgia.

CEO on Tuesday Michael Russell Was one of executives discussing the joint venture partnership between PC Construction and Russell and their work on the City of Atlanta’s water program. The expansion of the city’s raw water storage capacity will provide Atlanta with a reliable supply of drinking water for the next 100 years and increase its raw water storage from three days to more than 30 days.

From a revenue and profitability standpoint, Russell said his company has a 25% stake in the $321.3 million, five-year project.Among the new revenue streams, the company harvested over $80.3 million over the life of the project, based on black business analyze.

Atlanta’s new water system comes at a time when some U.S. cities with large black populations have experienced drinking water problems in recent years, including lead contamination. Take Flint, Michigan, for example. In 2020, Michigan officials announced a $600 million settlement related to Flint’s water woes after residents filed a lawsuit.

HJ Russell is one of the largest black-owned construction firms in the United ended up at number 25 black business BE 100 The List, an annual ranking of America’s top black-owned businesses. The Atlanta-based company’s main lines of business are construction, project management and real estate development.

“We pride ourselves on being able to take on complex projects and perform well; however, this is one of the most complex for us and we don’t have a better partner in PC Construction and the City of Atlanta,” Russell said in a news release said at the meeting.

The work, which includes the conversion of a 400-foot-deep quarry into a 2.4 billion-gallon water storage facility, was completed in December 2020. Reginald WellsAssistant Commissioner, Department of Watershed Management, City of Atlanta

“The city could lose more than $250 million a day in economic activity if the water supply is affected — a risk profile that will be fully mitigated when the project comes online,” he said before the project was completed.

The joint venture could attract Russell’s business. “This is one of our key projects moving forward,” said Michael Russell.

From a growth perspective, Russell said the water project would give his company the ability to help generate new revenue. This, he added, will increase the company’s credibility to execute other such projects in Atlanta and other markets across the country. He said doing such a major water project could help bring in future business and contribute revenue to his company’s construction and project management businesses.

Russell added that in the short term, his company’s position to handle a job as important as the Atlanta water project from a risk perspective is to form a joint venture with another company. But he added that, over time, Russell’s goal will be to tackle such projects exclusively for cities.

According to the press release, the project has received seven global, national and regional awards, as well as three sustainability certifications

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