Editorial: 02.19.2020

Duane Hidritch is in it for the Long Haul

Duane Hidritch, Castle Contracting Superintendent

Castle Site Superintendent Duane Hidritch does some of his best work during his daily commute.                    

“My truck is my office,” says Hidritch, who lives about 75 miles west of St. Louis in the rural community of Rosebud, Missouri. “I've built a lot of jobs in my head as I’m headed to and from work.”

Over the course of his 17-year Castle career, he’s worked on hundreds of projects that range from utility upgrades to major earthwork assignments. “Every job is a challenge and you're always learning something new,” he says. “You're never going to be a know-it-all in this business. The manpower, equipment, site utilities and ground conditions are always changing.”

On a typical day, Hidritch engages with teams working on several different projects. “If everything's hopping and weather conditions are good, I'm usually going to multiple jobsites to put out fires, answer questions and move things forward,” he says.

As one of Castle’s most experienced superintendents and longest-serving employees, Hidritch provides valuable insights to construction crews. “I can see opportunities to speed up production or notice something that's potentially going to go wrong and nip it in the bud to keep the job on track,“ he says.

Several years ago, he recalls traveling back and forth to Columbia, Missouri, to manage five separate projects that included digging the foundation for a new patient tower at University Hospital, overhauling three parking lots and associated streets at Boone Hospital Center and installing a new steam line in front of Faurot Field at the University of Missouri.

“All of this was going on at the same time, and the steam line had to be done by the opening of football season, so it was a real time crunch,” he says. “I was serving as a project manager, superintendent, laborer and mechanic. It was quite an experience.”

His current assignments include the development of a new parking lot and tunnel at TD Ameritrade’s corporate office and an expansion of Friendship Village’s senior living campus in Chesterfield. 

“I like working for Castle. I've been offered other jobs, but this company has offered me everything I've ever needed,” he says.

When Hidritch is off the clock, he manages a 30-head cattle farm. “Sometimes I'm out feeding at three in the morning before I go to work,” he says. “And after work, I might have a cow to tend to or a baby calf that needs assistance.” He recently purchased another farm in Portland, Missouri, about an hour away from his home.

Deer hunting is Hidritch’s favorite pastime, and he’s also hunted bear, mountain lion, elk and mule deer. “Hunting is my getaway, my church,” he says. “I've traveled all over, and I get a kick out of visiting different areas and noticing how wild things are and how small we are.”

Even when he’s in the wilderness far away from a Castle jobsite, Hidritch stays connected to his projects. “I take off deer season every year, but I'm still on the phone in the deer stand or texting and emailing,” he says. “I want to be there when my guys need help.”


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