PIERRE, SD – Just one year ago, the communities of Pierre & Ft. Pierre we’re fighting the devastating Missouri River Flooding in Hughes and Stanley Counties in South Dakota. Morris, Inc., based out of Pierre and an AGC member, was the company awarded the contract from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to build the levees to help protect both cities from the rising water. Because of their effort and dedication during that time of dire need, earlier this year Morris Inc. was awarded an AGC Build South Dakota “Above and Beyond Award.”
“If you had to sit and think about it, you’d say it couldn’t be done,” said Morris Inc., founder Milton Morris. “But we didn’t have time to think about it, we just did it.”
Earlier this week, the company chose to share their Build South Dakota Award honor and present Governor Dennis Daugaard a plaque on behalf of the entire State of South Dakota, commemorating and remembering the effort put forth during the project.
“It was important for us to Thank Governor Daugaard and his team for their direct involvement in the minute by minute decisions throughout the project. Governor Daugaard and Jim Seward were monumental in assisting our company during the construction of the levees. Seward worked hand in hand with Milton Morris and all of our dedicated and remarkable employees to get the project done on time before the flood could cause catastrophic damage,” said John Morris, Morris Inc.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard spent time riding along with construction workers in nearly every aspect of the operation, and sent his general consul, Jim Seward, along with Morris every day. Seward described his role in the emergency preparation as the conduit between the government and private sector, and said the cooperation between the two parties and the outcome was the best he’s ever seen.
“Normally, you don’t think of a public private partnership to be quite that close inside the cab of a pickup truck,” Seward said. “But within the first day or two that I was with Mr. Morris, I had never seen a public private partnership work so well.” In a seven-day period, the two spent 130 hours together, and while they didn’t always see eye to eye, he said it was a tremendous honor to serve with Morris and his family.
The Build South Dakota Award recognizes particular South Dakota highway-heavy-utilities construction projects completed in the past year. Projects demonstrate excellent management and client service, innovation in construction techniques or materials, community relations and /or sensitivity to the environment.
The AGC of South Dakota, Highway-Heavy-Utilities Chapter, is a voluntary trade association of more than 250 contractors, suppliers and service firms who build the roads, bridges and water/wastewater infrastructure in South Dakota.