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A different road

image The Roadway Specialties Inc. employees are a major reason for the company’s success.

AUSTIN - Danette Shelton and her husband John owned Sun Coast Construc-tion and were working on a large HUD-funded project when bad luck became good fortune in the late 1980s.






    “HUD lost all of its funding and they told us it would be three years before we would be paid,” she says. “It was a devastating times in our lives. We didn’t know what we were going to do.”
    Although the couple had worked together since John introduced Danette to construction, they used the upheaval as a chance to pursue different avenues.
    “John went to work for the Jimmy Evans Company and got to follow his passion, which was site preparation and excavation work,” she says. “I was embraced and encouraged by family and friends in our industry and started Roadway Specialties Inc. in 1992.” “When RSI began with five employees, we performed all phases of erosion control. We now average 85 employees and have grown to encompass installation of metal beam guard fence, cable barrier, bridge/hand rails, crash cushion attenuators, signage, concrete riprap and retaining walls – all of the labor intense items that are associated with building roadways and construction projects,” she says.
    Danette realizes she is fortunate and that not everyone can regain footing after life delivers a hard knock.
    “Something I am impassioned about is the homeless within the Austin area,” she says. “With highway construction taking place now, most structures are going vertical. Many of our homeless live underneath bridges and so they no longer have their safe haven. I’m hoping to get others in our industry connected and realize we can make a difference in the lives of others if we choose.
    “I’ve been so blessed with the relationships that we have built and the backlog that we have. Texas’ economy is booming and the opportunities are truly endless. I feel that we became successful by God’s grace, dedicated employees and the relationships that we have. I hope those continue and we are able to do what we love for another 26 years.”
    Roadway Specialties Inc. is a WBE- and HUB-certified subcontractor in Austin. –mjm

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Author Info

Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net