Civil Engineering Specialists

Bocol Constructions

Since 1979, Bocol Constructions Pty Ltd has been constructing these bridges, roads and tunnels that make up key parts of the transportation system in Western Australia. Dick Boyle and John Colley started the company and it has been hard at work ever since. The speciality of the company is creating innovative solutions – from high arch suspension foot bridges to every day road bridges – that are more cost effective and durable than the competition’s creations.

The company began simply, with two gentlemen who wanted to make a difference. “My father started the company with another civil engineer, John Colley and they certainly laid the foundation for the company,” explains Dermot Boyle, company Director since 2003. “They were both well educated civil engineers that had both worked for numerous international companies, both overseas and in Perth. Dick Boyle was responsible for the delivery of some fairly significant structures in Perth – the Garden Island Causeway Bridge, the Mitchell Freeway Causeway, and Fremantle Success Harbor. So the foundation of the company started from Dick and John, with the vast experience that they had gained here and overseas while working for large civil engineering companies.” Today the company turns over around 5 to 10 million dollars each year, but, Dermot says, “We’ve kept it at a level that’s manageable.”

The company excels at constructing bridges and complex civil engineering features. Bocol has completed over 50 bridges for various government departments since incorporation. According to Dermot, “Our projects vary in scope and complexity from incrementally launched road bridges to high steel arch suspension bridges to other types of structures – cut and cover tunnels and associated road works.”

Being very careful during the project selection phase of business has been the key to the company’s success. The majority of the clients who work with Bocol are government departments, manned by individuals with whom the company has built strong relationships based on trust and consistency. The company’s Directors deal direct with clients, ensuring a quality result and repeat business. That the company’s projects will become long-lived government assets upon completion is a nice feather in Bocol’s cap, enabling employees to see the fruits of their labour every day.

These employees comprise, Dermot says, a fine group of civil engineers, all with a good number of years’ experience in the industry, as well as a skilled group of contractors with whom Bocol has worked since its inception. “We’re very experienced in the nuts and bolts side of the construction that we do, and we are also absolutely passionate about what we do,” says Dermot. “We’re committed and very dedicated to every project that we get. We ensure that we use every asset that we have to deliver that quality end product to the client, to make sure that the client receives everything that he’s asked for, and if we can do better than that it’s a bonus for sure.”

The majority of Bocol’s contractors have been working with the company for the past 30 years; some who were around to see the incorporation of the company in 1979 are still working on road and bridge jobs. “Subcontractor selection is very important,” explains Dermot. “Our relationships are formed over time and if people perform well for us we look after them in the right way. We pay them on time, we get the results that we need from them and likewise to them, so it’s a two way street.” Truly, the company has been built on the basis of hard work, trust, and reciprocity.

According to Dermot, “We have relationships formed with major subcontractors from Perth that are dedicated to particular disciplines associated with bridge construction and structures. So we call on the people who specialise in the particular field that we’re working on,” ensuring a focussed, quality result every time.

The company is proud to say that it isn’t actually looking to expand into other markets; it prefers to maintain its focus on what it does best. The Canning Bridge Interchange Bus Bridge in WA is a prime example. This bridge was built via incremental launching, and comprised single cell, prestressed, voided box girders. The bridge has a highly curved 55.7 metre long end span that crosses the northbound carriageway of the Kwinana Freeway; the bridge then turns on an angle of more than 40 degrees on a centreline radius of 77.5 metres. The remaining 70 metres of the bridge include a straight span and a downward ramp.

“We just stick to what we are good at, focus on the skills that we have and use that to our advantage,” says Dermot. “In this very competitive market that we’re in, it’s so easy to try and diversify but with that comes risk and it needs to be extremely well managed. We just make sure that we have the right people in the right places so that we can do what we do, and do it better.” It’s proving to be a winning strategy; the company boasts a long list of repeat clients who are all happy with their structures.

Although Dick Boyle is still involved with the business at a senior level, he has largely handed the company over to his son Dermot. Since 1979, the company has been working on structures that are worth around 10 million dollars in today’s economy, and Bocol believes that it can provide several advantages to the client as far as the quality of the end product and getting the work done on time. Another strong feature of the company is the level of innovation that its experienced engineers and designers can bring to any given project.

“We provide innovation with the hands-on, technical experience that we’ve gained over the years,” says Dermot. “We have very innovative strategies when delivering particular projects; we can come up with solutions that benefit the clients and are practical. There’s more than one way to skin a cat, so to speak.”

Several projects that the company has completed, whether through a hard tendering process or design and construct, have involved bringing Bocol in at all stages of the project to look at things in a different light. The unique perspective the company offers can not only result in a better finished project, but oftentimes can enable the client to save time and resources over the entire construction phase. Each project the company tackles is unique, and in every case the team is able to offer its extensive experience to the process, refining and tweaking the design until it meets and exceeds the client’s needs.

Bocol Constructions has won several awards for its innovative take on the work it does. Its most recent accolade was for the pedestrian bridge in Exmouth, which is the longest single span footbridge in Western Australia. This bridge is 90 metres long and comprises a steel arch that suspends a post-tensioned modular deck with stainless steel cables.

The future has a lot of growth in store for Bocol. With its strong family history and focus on innovation, Dermot says that, “We’re going to expand as far as complex civil engineering, bridges and road works. Within the next five years, we will use our expertise and experience to further increase our revenue.”

Home Automation

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July 10, 2020, 10:43 AM AEST