719 Main Rd N,
Hampden, ME
(207) 942-4606
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Construction Is in the Family Bloodline

The Hughes family began gravel and sand mining along the banks of the Penobscot River of Hampden in the 1920's. Peter Hughes is the current Owner, however, his great-grandfather started the operations. Peter's grandfather Edward came to lead the company for over 45 years, and his dad, Bill and uncle, Paul continued the same for another 30 years. Their brothers Richie and Edward II were also involved in the company. It seemed that everyone with the last name Hughes was driving a truck, operating equipment, working in the trenches, or repairing equipment in the shop.

What started as a sand and gravel mining company, grew to concrete business and earthwork contracting business through the four generations. Materials from the Hughes were installed for the runways at Dow Air Base during World War II, built many roads in the Hampden and Bangor region, and built bridges such as the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge. The company grew to 35 people in the 80's and now over 50 during peak season.

You can still see Peter's father, Bill checking in on crews, questioning a driver, or sweeping the driveway. He has seen a lot of change, from the 1960's before OSHA's Health and Safety Regulations, Mine Safety and Health Regulations and stringent environmental rules and regulations of the EPA and MDEP. He had seen hard times in the 70's and the economic boom of the 80's and 90's.

Peter Hughes & Billy Hughes
Larry Langille II & Billy Hughes

You can also see the 5th generation going strong. Peter's son Billy Hughes is an excavator operator and stepson Larry Langille II is a Project Manager with the company.

Concrete Business

The company started its concrete business in 1941, with the railroad using the trolley tracks on lower Main Street to send boxcars of bagged cement to the batch plant on the riverbank. After World War II, technology began to change the truck, equipment, and construction industry. The company invested in larger mixers and aggregate processing equipment and began expanding in a busy economy. After World War II, cement could then be trucked from Thomaston.

Edward Hughes III (Eddie) came to work at Hughes Bros. in 1984 as a Concrete Plant Manager. After over 30 years of managing the concrete plant, Eddie has become one of the regions experts in concrete redi-mix. Eddie manages the Materials Division including concrete operations and the operation of aggregate pits and quarries. The Materials Division makes up 50% of the Hughes business.

Earthwork Contracting

In the 1980's, the company further expanded to include full-scale earthwork contracting and expanded their fleet of equipment to include state of the art earthmoving equipment. The Hughes family has provided earthworks projects to the region since the 1920's building roads and installing utilities, however, that work expanded into contract earthwork, working on large bonded projects for clients such as the City of Bangor, City of Brewer, Towns of Hampden and Winterport, the Maine Department of Transportation, and the Maine Army National Guard. Peter enjoys site work projects and takes pride in site development of commercial projects such as Shaw's Supermarket, Tim Horton's, Chick-Fil-A, Wendy's, Hilton Garden Inn, Husson's Gracie Theater, Eastern Maine Community College Expansions, Ross Manor, Machias Savings Bank, and Emera. The firm continues to work on government projects including City of Bangor, Hampden Water District, Winterport Sewer District, Bangor Housing Authority, the Maine Army National Guard, Maine Department of Transportation, U S Postal Service, and the Bangor International Airport.

Changing with the Times

Things have changed….from bagged cement transported by trolley to concrete trucks, steam shovels to excavators, and transits to geographical positioning systems (GPS). In the 1980's, the company expanded to include full-scale earthwork contracting and expanded their fleet of equipment to include state of the art earthmoving equipment. Mining activities in Hampden were discontinued and processed aggregates were trucked from outlying gravel pits in Hampden, Winterport, and Newburgh. These facilities contained millions of yards of valuable aggregate materials. The riverfront property in Hampden was refurbished to respond to changing environmental trends and regulations, in efforts to become a part of an environmentally friendly community. Today, sediment ponds, storm water treatment facilities, and shore land zoning protection features, spot the property extending 2,500' along the shores of the Penobscot River. Years ago, a job site was outlined with transits and wooden stakes, which these days more often than not are replaced with computers and GPS devices that clearly map out the site. Concrete plants are operated by computer systems.

The Hughes' have survived the economic downturns, managed through family loss, responded to the environmental changes of the 70's, and grew to become a leader in construction health and safety. Peter says "We want our employees to go home safe to their families each and every night".

Peter's wife, Janet joined the firm 10 years ago, as a Professional Engineer who helps manage the business and is responsible for environmental management of the Hughes properties. "Peter and I needed to be focused as a team in one direction, and at the same time bring balance to our family", says Janet Hughes. "I am very proud to be part of the incredible family history of the Hughes firm. It takes a lot of work to keep a family business running generation after generation". Janet also grew up in a construction family.

It's all about the People

"We have great people here," Peter says... "We have some of the best people in the business." Larry Clay has been with the firm since 1967 and continues to be with one of the best excavator operators in the State. Peter says "We keep hoping he will semi-retire and work in the Pits, and other properties for maintenance but he keeps finding his way back out on to the job sites". Larry knows the company history and is sharp, if I can't remember something about an old job or even our own properties, just ask Larry. Janet says "I love working with Larry. He has done it all, and doesn't have to be told how to shape a drainage ditch, build a sediment pond, or cleanup a site to meet environmental regulations." Rick McTague has been a driver with the company since 1988, almost 30 years. Shawn Meehan, the Dispatcher has also been with the company for over 20 years. Many employees have been with the company for 15 years or so, Peter says, adding that they consider employees as extended family.

Peter and Janet have been known to help employees, and truly care about the health and well-being of their extended family. They have helped employees during sickness or hard times, and just to lend a good listening ear.

The company's graciousness extends beyond employees. The Hughes' believe in giving back to the community. Each year, they contribute to good causes including local schools, youth sports teams, Camp Capella, Habitat for Humanity, Hampden Children's Day, Sarah's House and many others.