Kiewit Dives Further into the Marine Market

March 28, 2024 |

It’s been a year since Kiewit Corporation finalized its acquisition of Weeks Marine, Inc. (WMI), a leading maritime contractor in North America. As a result, Kiewit is formally expanding its expertise.

“We’ve gone from specializing in seven market segments to focusing on eight, with marine being the eighth market as a result of our 2023 acquisition of Weeks Marine,” said Executive Vice President Dave Miles.
With a 10-year opportunity forecast of $128 billion, the marine market is full of opportunities, explains Miles.

“Before Weeks, Kiewit performed a number of marine projects on both the east and west coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, but most of that work was in support of heavy, large construction projects,” he said. “However, the acquisition of Weeks has really put us in a different position, specifically in dredging projects around North America.”

Dredging plays a critical role in the maritime market, as it is the most efficient way to create and maintain safe navigation channels. The material dredged is often used for environmentally beneficial purposes, such as the creation of fish and wildlife habitats.

According to “The Mike Hooks Report: An Analysis of the FY22 U.S. Federal Dredging Market,” only 52 companies were awarded federal dredging contracts, with a number of those contracts going to Weeks Marine. These statistics include small-scale and inland dredging, which Weeks does not participate in. Only a small number of contractors own dredges capable of tackling the more complex contracts Weeks traditionally takes on.

“The Weeks acquisition added 600 marine units to an already sizeable marine fleet,” explains Kiewit Vice President of Equipment Steve Curry. “This included seven cutter suction hydraulic dredges, four trailing suction hopper dredges, marine and land boosters, along with a variety of other dredging support equipment.”

While many of the dredging opportunities are public contracts — with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers being the leading federal agency responsible for dredging activities in the United States — it’s not uncommon for dredging to be part of a scope for an oil and gas facility.

“When you talk about oil, gas and chemical (OGC), you don’t really think about marine,” said Executive Vice President Tom Shelby, “but the fact of the matter is we now have the premier marine contractor associated with OGC work up and down North America on our team.”

According to Shelby, while Kiewit was building on-ground work for many OGC facilities, Weeks was contracted to build the clients’ jetties and offloading facilities.

“With Weeks joining our team — its people, expertise, technology and equipment — we’re able to create and grow a phenomenal workforce well into the future,” Miles said. “We weren’t equipped to take a lot of those opportunities on until we brought them into the family of our companies. Now, our marine portfolio is going to easily put us into the position of being the best marine contractor in North America going forward.”

Kiewit’s acquisition of Weeks Marine creates maritime powerhouse

When Kiewit acquired Weeks Marine, it brought together Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) top two marine contractors, resulting in a formidable force poised to make waves in the industry. Within its marine market, Kiewit focuses on three key areas: coastal resiliency, dredging and marine construction.


Dredging plays a pivotal role in improving waterways, ensuring effective navigation, and mitigating the impacts of sedimentation and debris. Precise removal of sediment helps maintain critical channels for maritime traffic while fostering environmental sustainability. Dredging supports international trade, tourism, and coastal communities.

Coastal Resiliency

These projects aim to enhance ecosystems’ ability to withstand and recover from climate change impacts and hazards such as storms, floods, and erosion. Activities may include constructing seawalls, beach renourishment, elevating infrastructure or creating new wildlife habitats.

Marine Construction

This encompasses a wide range of activities related to building and maintaining structures in, on or around water. Due to the unique challenges of working in aquatic environments, marine construction requires specialized expertise and equipment. Examples include wharfs, harbors, breakwaters, terminals, piers, overwater or coastal bridges and immersed tube tunnels.


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