J&W Asphalt Construction was started by Dennis Johnson and Jerry Wagner in 1976. Denny and Jerry worked for McNamara Construction out of Rosemount, Minnesota. Denny was a grading foreman and Jerry was a paving foreman.
Quality Since 1976
They started their company with five employees, a tractor, two dump trucks, and a tail paver. They did mostly driveway replacements their first two years. In 1978, Orrin Thompson homes, the Twin Cities largest local builder at the time, approached them about building driveways for them. Orrin Thompson was their first homebuilder. In 1979, they built a shop in Belle Plaine, Minnesota. Most of their employees were and are from Belle Plaine. In 1982, they began working for Centex Homes, and driveways was their focus. By 1987, they had five dump trucks and two crews, a prep crew and a paving crew.
In 1991, Denny Johnson bought out Jerry Wagner and became sole owner of J&W Asphalt Construction. The meaning of J&W changed from “Johnson & Wagner” to “Johnson & Workers”. From 1987 until 2003, J&W Asphalt stayed around 14 to 16 employees. In 2004, J&W Asphalt Construction had expanded to two paving crews, two prep crews, eight dump trucks and 26 employees. Almost 99 percent of J&W’s work involved new construction homes, paving around 2,500 driveways per year in 2005 and 2006. In 2008, the housing market crashed and J&W was reduced to 14 employees and 2 crews.
In 2010, Denny Johnson retired and his son, Shaun Johnson, bought the company from Denny and shortened the company’s name to J&W Asphalt. Shaun had worked summers for the company since he was 13 years old. Shaun had been a laborer, rollerman, and truck driver on both the prep and paving crews; paver operator; paving foreman; and had worked in the office as the vice president of the company from 2007 through 2009.
Since 2010, Shaun has expanded the company from 14 employees to 41, and transformed the company into a full-service asphalt contractor adding both infrared repair and sealcoating. J&W currently has seven crews – two prep, two paving, two repair, and a sealcoating crew. The company has diversified from 99 percent new home construction paving to a more balanced mix of revenue streams from private property owners, homeowner associations, and homebuilders. J&W Asphalt has grown into the largest residential paving contractor in the Twin Cities.