Granite Construction’s roots are traceable to California construction license No. 89—one of the first 100 licenses issued on October 1, 1929.

Granite crews built nearly a quarter of the 444-mile long California Aqueduct otherwise known as the "Grand Canal."

In the 1920s and 30s, Granite crews worked on the legendary Route 66 through the Mojave Desert and built some of the first roads into Yosemite National Park.

Following World War II, Granite was the beneficiary of the country’s love affair with automobiles, including paving the first streets in its hometown of Watsonville, California.

Our History

Embedded in our culture of hard work, honesty, and getting the job done right, our history speaks as much about our past as it does our present. Granite’s record of succeeding, surviving, and striving to be the best is central to our reputation today.


Granite's Foundation

Granite Construction’s history has been repeating itself for more than 100 years. Granite’s record of succeeding, surviving, and striving to best itself is central to its reputation.


The company’s early work was mastered by founder and Southern Pacific Railroad engineer Walter “Pop” Wilkinson. Pop was a champion of ethics, a visionary, and a stickler for detail, whose estimates included the cost of hay for the firm’s workhorses.

Code of Conduct

On a single sheet of paper, Pop Wilkinson penned the Founder’s Guide to Future Generations. His 11-step Code of Conduct is omnipresent inside of today’s Granite Construction offices. The company’s commitment to the Code of Conduct is one of the reasons why Granite has been listed among the world’s most ethical companies.

Yosemite's Road

In the hardest of times during the Great Depression, Granite Construction found salvation in building a road to the top of Yosemite National Park. Sculpting the road that’s become chiseled into American lore was a matter of pride—and a near-death experience.

Boot Camp

During World War II, Granite rose to its place in the nation’s call to arms by building barracks, leveling parade grounds, and paving airstrips into what became Fort Ord in Monterey Bay, California. Tens of thousands of men were trained there before hitting the front lines in the Pacific Theatre.

Big Iron

More than 100 years of buying the best gear has given Granite a historic competitive advantage. At Granite the adage Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you are words to live by, explains George Wagner, who joined Granite in 1929. Wagner drove the firm’s “cats” while building roads into Yosemite National Park during the 1930s.

Into the Mountains

Emblematic of a confident postwar America, Granite bid on Highway 99 work that took it into the Sierra Nevada, far from home. When unjust business practices were used to prevent Granite from fulfilling its contract with the State of California, Granite instituted a successful policy that’s at the heart of its growth today.

Coast to Coast

As the nation prospered in the boom years of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, so too did Granite. Bigger projects meant greater risks, heavier equipment, and larger crews. It was a heady time that forged legendary leaders at Granite, who built on the western firm’s reputation while expanding eastward onto the national stage.

Building Community

Granite’s early community projects remain central to the company’s mission: leave the community better off today than it was yesterday.

World Trade Center

Granite Construction Company is making American history. The World Trade Center in New York City was destroyed on September 11, 2001. Today Granite is working to rebuild on the hallowed ground. The challenge is Granite's greatest in our nearly 100 years of doing business.


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