Editorial: 09.15.2020

Brian Carlson Focuses on Contractor and Client Relationships

brian carlson quote

Born into a family of engineers, Brian Carlson was destined to follow a similar career path.

But his journey to civil engineering wasn’t a direct one.

“Originally I thought I wanted to be an architect,” recalls Carlson. “I enjoyed drawing, sketching and drafting so I took an interest in architecture from a young age.”

At an engineering camp (which forced him to miss a week of summer baseball), he discovered civil engineering and pivoted his career aspirations. “I liked the real-world aspect of civil engineering and the fact that you can see what you build,” he says.

After earning a civil engineering degree at the University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri S&T), Carlson launched his career at Fred Weber, Inc., a local construction materials supplier. He began on the materials testing side of the business before transitioning to road and bridge construction. Years later, when Fred Weber’s construction business merged with Millstone Bangert, he continued working for Millstone Weber, LLC.

During his 14-year tenure with those firms, Carlson managed large-scale projects that included rebuilding multiple segments of Interstate 64 in western St. Charles County, constructing the region’s first diverging diamond interchange at I-270 and Dorsett Road, and completing the final nine-mile segment of the Page Avenue extension, a $100 million design-build project.

In 2016, Castle invited Carlson to join the company as project director. “It was very appealing to come to a company that was growing at a time when other construction firms were stagnant or even shrinking,” he says. “I was familiar with Castle, but I didn't realize how much the company had evolved. I was particularly impressed by how much their earthwork capabilities had grown.”

Carlson is the market leader for general contractor and prime contract projects. The role involves demonstrating Castle’s specialized expertise and resources to current and potential clients.

“Dollars can certainly drive a lot of the decisions owners make, but we believe we have a lot more to offer than just being the lowest-cost contractor,” he says. “We identify risk early in the process to protect our clients and work very hard to mitigate risk. Our team has considerable depth and knowledge of our craft and we take great pride in the work that we do.”

Since coming onboard, Carlson has provided oversight to a wide range of projects that include assignments at Maryville University, Topgolf, TD Ameritrade, Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital, the Friendship Village Retirement Community, St. Louis County Libraries and the Bunge headquarters.

His DBIA certification and background in design-build work have helped Castle continue expanding its civil design-build experience. He was actively involved in the La Collina residential development, a civil design-build project in The Hill neighborhood. He also assisted with McCarthy’s successful pursuit of the Next NGA West campus, a design-build project on a 97-acre site in north St. Louis city.

A typical workday for Carlson involves lots of interaction with project managers and other colleagues to move projects forward. “My door’s open and folks swing by to talk about what's going on with jobs,” he says.

He also stays connected with the sales and estimating teams to strategize about current and future project opportunities. “I’m involved in a lot of bid reviews and following up with our clients to get feedback and see what we can do to better position ourselves,” he says.

Castle’s fast pace appeals to Carlson. “We’re super busy and there’s a lot of stuff going on, which creates a pretty cool buzz around the office.”


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