What Is Heavy Civil Construction?

The heavy civil construction industry helps shape the world around us and covers a wide range of structures that aren't privately owned.

A heavy civil project could be anything from bridges for transportation to walkway construction and wastewater treatment centers to dams.

Civil construction projects encompass some of the most important building projects in our world today.

In the article below, we will explore what civil construction is.

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What Is Heavy Civil Construction?

A civil project is classified under the umbrella of civil engineering.

This is due to the need for civil engineering capabilities and extensive planning and coordination between various engineers and design specialists.

Civil contractors describe the industry as a branch of Civil Engineering involved with the maintenance, design, and construction of both physically built and natural environments.

Civil construction companies do much more than build structures.

They are experienced in handling natural and existing environments like water reservoirs, hillsides, and mountain ridges.

They can also handle other areas that interface with human-made infrastructure.

Civil contractors bidding on civil projects need to know grading, erosion control, access rights, public impact, legal regulations, and much more.

They also need to be comfortable with heavy equipment.



What Projects Are Handled by Heavy Civil Engineers?

Basic civil construction handles structures like city halls or public libraries.

The heavy civil sector takes construction and design to another level.

Some of the common projects handled by the heavy civil sector are:

  • Bridges: From basic roadway crossings to the massive bridge replacements
  • Railroads: Tracks for light rail, high-speed, and streetcar systems
  • Roadways:  Simple-level residential streets to complex overpasses and tunnels.
  • Canals and river stabilization: For both shipping and recreational goals.
  • Wastewater treatment plants: Holding tanks, settlement ponds, and other essential processing structures.
  • Dams and corresponding reservoir tanks or lakes:  Systems designed for power generation.
  • Earthwork projects: Capping landfills, reshaping flood-prone areas, and building new levees.


What's The Difference Between Heavy Civil Construction and Commercial Construction Companies?

Commercial construction and commercial buildings should not be confused with heavy civil construction.

Here are two ways they are different.



Heavy civil construction revolves around big government and community projects.

Heavy civil projects can include constructing water structures, waterways, and heavy industries such as a shipyard.

Commercial construction uses specialized equipment to construct buildings for business purposes.

Commercial projects include commercial offices, malls, factories, and stores.

The critical goals of commercial contractors include placing a lot of effort to ensure that a building potentially satisfies every business that may run within the structure.

A heavy construction firm will put more effort into ensuring they can deliver an economical, environmentally friendly structure.

It has to be a structure that the general public can count on for several decades.



The commercial construction sector revolves around providing the client with maximum satisfaction.

Commercial floor plan design helps ensure smooth foot traffic into the building.

The interior and exterior aesthetics of the project have a vital role in commercial design.

Heavy civil construction is a branch of construction dealing with general infrastructure and government-funded projects.

Heavy civil construction focuses on improving coordination and reducing the time and costs it takes to complete a structure.


Work With An Experienced Construction Company

The strong and efficient infrastructure provided by heavy civil construction is the very foundation of our communities and nation.

With tight budgets and quick turnaround times, it's important to choose a heavy construction firm that delivers certainty in four critical areas: schedule, cost, quality, and safety.

If you're looking to start a new construction project, you can turn to STEVENS.

Backed by over 75 years of quality, commitment, and experience, STEVENS is the preferred industrial engineer and constructor of choice.

STEVENS strives to provide its customers with the best services possible.

To learn more about how STEVENS can help with your construction project, click on the button below to see how we can help you.


Check out our other construction articles:

What's The Difference Between Civil Construction And Commercial Construction?


About The Author


I'm Ben Sparhawk, the Content Writer and Marketing Account Manager for the esteemed STEVENS company. As someone passionate about crafting captivating content, I take great pride in creating pieces that highlight STEVENS' capabilities and communicate the depth and breadth of their outstanding work.

In my role, I'm constantly striving to develop messaging that resonates with our clients and effectively showcases the exceptional work that we do here at STEVENS. I believe that communication is the key to success, and I work tirelessly to ensure our marketing efforts are engaging and informative.

When I'm not working, I often spend time with my three wonderful children. Becoming a dad is one of the best things that has happened to me, and I love every moment I get to spend with my wife and kids. You can also find me in the gym, trying to better myself, and I also enjoy spending time outdoors hiking or checking out local parks.