By Carol Kinsley

In the 1940s, as the nation prepared its coastal defenses in the midst of World War II, a Delaware construction company played its role in the war effort by building the iconic watchtowers at Fort Miles on the First State’s coast. 

They were expected to last 10 years, maybe 20. Eight decades later, the towers are still standing – a solid testament to the enduring work of the construction firm, Dover-based George & Lynch. 

Today, George & Lynch is marking its 100th anniversary. It’s a rare achievement for any business to celebrate, but not surprising for anyone who’s followed the company’s history and trajectory of success. 

Extensive range of services 

Widely known as a leading highway builder for state government, George & Lynch is a heavy civil contractor. But its services also include site work for subdivisions, commercial projects and industrial sites – including installing underground utilities for water, sewer and drainage, said Chris Baker, president and CEO. 

The company builds bridges in Delaware and Maryland, hot asphalt paving and milling for highways and private roads and process piping for water and sewer transmission and treatment. 

George & Lynch’s expertise makes it a trusted partner for its clients, offering feedback when needed. “We work closely with owners and engineers to change or improve those plans when it would be beneficial,” Baker said. “We were the first heavy civil contractors in Delaware to do ‘design-build’ work.” 

The company takes time to understand its clients’ projects and challenges, and provides regular updates and communication until the work is finished. Perhaps most importantly, George & Lynch handles 90 percent of its projects in-house – not farming the main work out to subcontractors. It stands behind its projects. 

Decades of infrastructure experience 

Mr. George and Mr. Lynch founded the firm in 1923. They sold it in the 1950s to Mr. Appleby and Mr. Pennington, whose families were involved until 1994, when the company was sold to a group of employees. 

In addition to its work at Fort Miles, the firm was also an early contractor helping transform Dover Airdrome into what now is Dover Air Force Base. The company still provides services to DAFB. 

George & Lynch is also known for longevity among its employees. Many of the company’s current leaders worked for Richard and Robert Appleby. 

The firm’s headquarters and maintenance shop are in Dover, at 150 Lafferty Lane. The company has a second shop in Gumboro and is a partner in three hot-mix asphalt plants, in Dover, Dagsboro and Delmar. 

Employees come first – as owners 

Leonard J. Brooks, vice president of business development and administrative services, noted he and Baker each have about 35 years of experience in the business. 

“We are a diverse company with several long-term employees,” Brooks said. “That’s a sign that we know what we are doing and that this is a great place to work.”