A History of Excellence in Heavy Construction

When the late Sam DiGeronimo came to the United States in 1928 from Abruzzi, Italy, little did he realize the impact his life's work would have on the City of Cleveland and beyond. Sam and his son Don started Independence Excavating in 1956 with a backhoe, bulldozer, truck and only a few employees. They quickly grew to become a leader in the residential and small commercial excavation field. In 1971, Don lost his battle with cancer and the responsibility for running the business was assumed by Don's brothers, Victor, Richard, Robert and Anthony.

Today Independence Excavating has become a large diversified construction company that employs over 400 people at peak operation. Our company owns and operates over 300 major pieces of construction equipment.

Victor DiGeronimo, Rich DiGeronimo and Bob DiGeronimo on the job in the 1970s

Vic, Rich, Bobby DiGeronimo in the 1970's.

Independence Excavating has performed most of the major building excavations in downtown Cleveland. Our first major Cleveland project was the 1972 excavation of the Justice Center Complex. Since then, we've handled building excavations for Park Center/Reserve Square, Medical Mutual/One Cleveland Center, National City Bank Tower, Tower City Center, The Renaissance Building, Bank One, Cleveland State University Convocation Center, Eaton Center, Society Tower, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Great Lakes Science Center, numerous projects for the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Flats East Bank, ODOT Innerbelt, Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland Medical Mart, and Gateway, the largest excavation in Cleveland to date. Under the leadership of Bob DiGeronimo, Gateway was one of the most aggressively scheduled projects in the history of the company. Mike Orlando, Vice President of Engineering and Construction, and project coordinators assisted the work force to bring the project in on schedule. This landmark sports complex revitalized downtown Cleveland and has been an impressive addition to the Independence Excavating resume.

Independence Excavating also has expertise in highway and airport construction, site work, sewer and water work, sheeting and shoring, dewatering, building and concrete demolition, concrete construction and industrial mill construction.

In 1977, our company began to crush and recycle concrete and asphalt from jobs and materials from other contractors. This business has now grown with 10 portable crushing plants crushing over 3.5 million tons annually at locations throughout the United States.

In 1988, the DiGeronimo family formed Precision Environmental under the leadership and direction of Tony DiGeronimo, President, and Tom Zuchowski, General Manager. Precision employs over 400 employees and is primarily focused on asbestos and lead abatement, but can also remediate several other environmental concerns such as PCBs and mercury. Precision is also adept at normal construction activities including interior demolition.

Our high degree of diversification is made possible by the proactive work and reputation for fairness of our management and staff. Now in our third generation, Independence Excavating strives to pass on the experience of the past to the future management and work force. Internal communication, outside seminars, scheduled meetings of management and supervision, and a commitment to improvement keep our company focused on goals and allow the exploration of future opportunities.

“Independence completed several demolition jobs for American Electric Power in order to make way for new construction as part of an environmental upgrade project. These demolition tasks were not easy, and if safety & health were not controlled, injuries could have occurred. I.E. safety was on site conducting safety inspections, OSHA training, and monitoring the lead abatement process. The safety professionals that I worked with were knowledgeable and very cooperative in conforming to American Electric Power safety & health requirements.”

-Jarrett Quoyle, M.S., OHST
American Electric Power