Omega Demolition

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Omega Demolition Corp.:

Managing risk, bringing control to implosive operations Omega Demolition Corp of Elgin, IL is one of the Midwest’s most highly regarded full-service demolition contractors Written by: Kevin Doyle Produced by: Stephen Marino


ncorporated in 1997, Omega Demolition Corp of Elgin, IL has developed into one of the Midwest’s most highly regarded and sought after full-service demolition contractors. The company’s areas of expertise include selective and total structural demolition; asset recovery; recycling; and environmental remediation serving the industrial, heavy civil/infrastructure, bridge and elevated highway, and institutional markets. Under the direction of co-owners and brothers, company President

| Omega Demolition Corp. | 1 Chuck Gerage and Secretary Jim Gerage, Omega Demolition works throughout the Midwest and along the East Coast, employing approximately 350 individuals – a quantum leap from its modest beginning. “I would say 1992 would be when [my brother and I] started. It was us selling our life insurance policies that our grandma bought us to buy one pickup truck and work out of a rented garage,” Chuck Gerage recalls Since then, Omega has crafted a reputation for unwavering

| Omega Demolition Corp. | 2 attention to detail, on-time execution and flawless risk management, resulting in long-term relationships with premier firms such as The Walsh Group (Walsh Construction, Archer Western) of Chicago. “When you’re dealing with companies such as Walsh and that magnitude, you’re dealing with companies that are very protective of themselves so their subs have to be very qualified to work with them,” says Gerage. Elizabeth Freund, Omega’s Director of Business Development, says the

company’s level of expertise is invaluable. “Omega has been around for a long time and its ownership has great depth of expertise in the demolition industry. That translates into knowledge and experience that allows Omega to participate as a full partner,” she notes. Gerage adds: “We manage the demolition risk as it pertains to imploding bridges, working in navigable water, and working with Coast Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers and ATF. When we’re doing demolition work, protecting homes and

A weekly project meeting attended by multiple company functions

| Omega Demolition Corp. | 3 people, that risk is really managed very tightly. The larger firms bring us in because we can manage that risk.”

High Profile Projects

U.S. Route 170 / Blanchette Bridge Working with Walsh Construction, Omega utilized conventional wrecking and blasting methods to take down the superstructure and substructure of the 4,350-foot span over the Missouri River in St. Charles, MO.

“We had to open the river within 24 hours because it’s a navigable channel with a lot of traffic through it – and we were working with a brand new 300-meter bridge 25 feet from it,” Gerage explains. U.S. Route 421 / MiltonMadison Bridge Another collaboration with Walsh involved the implosion of the half-mile long 80-year-old structure over the Ohio River connecting Indiana and Kentucky. “It was another very tough job

| Omega Demolition Corp. | 4 through the Ohio River, which was very navigable,” Gerage recalls. “It was one of the first bridges built on shoring towers and off the existing concrete piers from the old bridge. That (new) bridge won all kinds of awards for Walsh because it was the first that was rolled over on bearings into place.”

“When we’re doing

FedEx Cargo Building / O’Hare International Airport

because we can manage

Working inside and adjacent to the airport’s flight security zone, Omega took down the three-story building totaling 292,395sf.

demolition work, protecting homes and people, that risk is really managed very tightly. The larger firms bring us in that risk.” - Chuck Gerage, President

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Concrete slabs and foundations from the building were recycled for use in the O’Hare Modernization project. “We had to demolish the facility without impacting air traffic control and airplanes with flying dust and debris,” Gerage says. Safety Measures Given the nature of the business, there is no wiggle room when it comes to implementing best practices. “We follow OSHA Demolition guidelines, so then there is nothing to talk about,” Gerage asserts. “We follow the rules over and above due to our

line of work. “First, it’s all about each individual going home each night. And, we expose ourselves by taking a risk for some of the coverage, so senior management has an incentive to make sure those guidelines are followed,” he adds. The company has in place programs that drive those best practices through to every individual in the field. “Our documentation is airtight. There is improved linkage between

| Omega Demolition Corp. | 6 compliance, safety, business, and field operations. It all works together very well and enhances the risk mitigation Omega offers large contractors,” Freund explains. “The message is the same from top management to laborers – safety is first.”

shutdown, we need to be done and out of there in 59 minutes,” Gerage points out. “We do a lot of planning and that’s part of the reason our success has been what it is, because of the planning that goes in ahead of time.”

Efficient Operations

Freund says the company brings together representatives from the various work groups to contribute to the problem-solving process during pre-project planning.

Rigorous planning – sometimes six months or more in advance – is crucial to successful job execution. “We’re a schedule-driven company. The work we do is move and go, so there is no time for down time. Look, we shut down highway systems. If there is an hour

“When you get people with diverse skill sets and put them in the same place in the same

Mandatory daily safety & task hazard analysis meetings attended by all jobsite personnel

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“We’re a schedule-driven company. The work we do is move and go, so there is no time for down time. We shut down highway systems. If there is an hour shutdown, we need to be done and out of there in 59 minutes.” - Chuck Gerage, President

environment at the same time, they identify problems from various perspectives. We can then approach the project from a proactive perspective rather than a reactive perspective,” she says. This approach was borne out during Omega’s work on the Dan Ryan Expressway Flyover project. “We were the first company in the state of Illinois that was allowed to shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway for full closure because the state felt so confident that we would open it up when we said we would. Not only did we open it up, we

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accelerated so well that we put them two weeks ahead of schedule,” Gerage says with noticeable pride. “Jim oversees the field operation and I oversee the office. We’re very close brothers and we grew up in this industry so that’s a pretty dynamic team to begin with. You have ownership involved with everything in this business and decisions can be made on the spot,” he adds. The company encourages internal advancement and provides mentoring and training programs

Collabrative project planning

| Omega Demolition Corp. | 9 for employees seeking to move into a management role. The company has developed a deep network of trusted subcontractors through the years. “We pay them quickly – it’s the only way to do business,” says Gerage.

Technology and Equipment

Combining an array of technology platforms with high-speed internet allows Omega to centralize and share information seamlessly with those in the field, providing in essence a

real-time dashboard. “Everybody has the same access. For example, are employees on a job certified to work on roadways? Our guy in Boston can tap in and find out what the credentials are of his guys on the job,” Gerage says. When working underwater, the technology is used to detect sounds of fish and to scan riverbeds for potential risk factors. The company owns and maintains a fleet of more than Specializing in Crane Rental & Sales for Over 45 Years


Daily Rentals & Long-Term Projects 50 Million in Insurance


(more than 10 times the industry standard)

250+ Pieces of Equipment Available

Call Today to Reserve a Crane for your Next Project! 1.888.HOIST IT |

| Omega Demolition Corp. | 10 100 pieces of large equipment. “I buy everything, run it for X amount of hours, then buy again. Owning allows me to modify the equipment and do what I want with it. We customize 85 percent of our equipment. We have mechanics on every job so when we break down, they are on site to fix it,” Gerage says. While Omega has historically been a conservative growth company, Gerage says it is looking at some different market areas and is examining the feasibility for doubling capacity from 2016-20. In the end, success is all about developing sustainable relationships. “One thing we are very well known for is that we’re honest. If we’re wrong, we’re wrong. We don’t lie to our customers or our employees. We tell the truth,” Gerage concludes. Which is, after all, the very best asset of them all.


Company Name: Omega Demolition Corp. Country: United States Industry: Construction Est: 1997 Premiere Service: Omega Demolition Corporation is a turnkey demolition contractor

Owners: President Chuck Gerage, Secretary Jim Gerage Website:

31W566 Spaulding Rd. Elgin, IL 60120 P: 630.837.3000 F:630.837.2300 E:

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