A Brighter Future for Florida Roadways
While the sunshine state may bask in the light of our nearest star, there is a growing company with plans to make it that much brighter. Arc Electric’s origins are that of a humble small business started in 1995 with one employee and a focus on residential electrical work…
This was the norm until 2012 when the addition of Omar McFarlane and an ambitious rework of the company’s goals shook up the status quo. This initial expansion saw the employee count rise, with a new focus on road work through the Department of Transportation.
“After I met the founder of Arc Electric, we realized infrastructure and transportation was about to boom getting out of the recession era. So we started to collaborate and launch the roadway division,” said Omar.
From early beginnings, Arc Electric has become a now wildly ambitious company that prides itself on the amount of work that is self-performed. While many companies find their niche and do about fifty percent of the work on a given project, reaching out to other specialists to fill in the gaps, Arc Electric operates at ninety percent self-performance. This gives it significant advantages over the competition as it is primarily setting its own schedule and standards for any project it may undertake.
While the original focus of residential work had carried the name of Arc Electric out of the nineties and well into the new millennium, it was these standards and practices applied to underground and aboveground electrical infrastructure work that truly allowed the company to flourish.
While there may be an abundance of work needed for major highways, there is also fierce competition for the contracts of this work. If another company gets the contract, employees may leave to follow the work, and this exodus can make or break infrastructure-based companies. However, Arc Electric engaged its new work model with great success, and in the last six years, the employee count has jumped to ninety-two. It oversaw the installation of all the toll gates in the south of Florida and took on massive jobs which have spanned several years.
One such project is the almost completed work that Arc Electric is currently working on for the I-75 expressway. Since having been established in 1955, the massive expressway stretched the full length of Florida for a total of 757 kilometers (or 470 miles) and was the perfect job for the newly re-launched Arc Electric.
“The I-75 project, for the company, was huge because it was the first time in a segment of road work, that we had such a large volume of revenue. The highway is broken up in segments AB, C, D, and E, so we’re doing $13 million worth of revenue in one segment,” said Omar.
Arc Electric was able to provide lighting for dedicated express lanes that will take traffic from I-75 & 595 Expressway through the Palmetto Expressway to the Miami International Airport to significantly improve the flow of traffic for commuters in Broward County to the west side of Dade County. Ultimately, the project enhanced the value and safety standards of the expressway for Dade County drivers. While the project kept Arc Electric busy for several years and increased the value of the company, it was also increasing exposure.
“People were now seeing us as they travelled the roadways. ‘Arc Electric. Who are those guys?’ while providing work for a good three years,” said Omar.
So with this new and steady stream of revenue, Arc Electric was off to the races and soon established itself in the areas of high mast lighting, conventional lighting, and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) poles which are primarily used for traffic cameras and traffic counts. It was also the first company to install reversible gates on both the I-75 and the I-595 to be able to alter the direction of traffic. While the bulk of the I-75 project has been completed, next up for Arc Electric is its new project in Collier County’s District 1.
“The District 1 project is a major lighting project on Alligator Alley, I-75 northbound and State Road 29. It’s a major route into central Florida and to the Big Cypress native reservation,” said Omar.
Improving safety standards of Florida roadways has become an integral part of Arc Electric’s image for obvious reasons. Continuous lighting for increased visibility significantly reduces the risk of vehicle collisions, which can be especially fatal on large highways.
“If you travel that road, it is completely dark and that whole interchange, under our new District 1 project, will be completely lit,” said Omar. This will be the first time that this section of roadway will be illuminated, and for those who have traversed this particular stretch, it is sure to be a welcome addition.
Since Omar McFarlane took over, there has been a strong focus on work ethic in regards to how employees handle themselves on the job or how they approach their customers. Starting each day at 4am the company puts the proverbial early bird to shame as its employees hit the Florida highways to improve safety and infrastructure. To Arc Electric all customers are equal, each deserving of the same attention and skill.
With no job too big or too small, the customer base is vast, and going into 2019, Arc Electric hopes to expand its footprint across the state it calls home. Potentially, it will even make the leap across the country to the so-far untapped West Coast.
“Going into the future, we want to continue growing; we want to expand. Currently, we are in District 4 and District 6 along with our first job in District 1. So, we want to continue with more work in District 1, expand to District 5 and really go statewide,” said Omar.
Arc Electric’s work clearly speaks for itself as new contracts continue to flow in the company’s direction. It was also very recently the recipient of the Florida Transportation Builder’s Association’s award for best in construction. This goes right alongside the company’s visible contributions to the state of Florida as its work is not hidden within the walls of the everyday home but proudly displayed in public view and positively affecting the way people traverse the state. Omar’s foresight into a post-recession America and the necessity of a company like this has served Arc well.
So whether it is to improve visibility or the much-needed additions to smooth an expressway that the population had outgrown, Arc Electric will be there as a company of proud professionals who put their expertise to good use for the betterment of the community.