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Company History

Rock RoadTM Companies Historical Timeline

1912 - Matthew Kennedy and William J. Kennedy start a Hay Bailing and Teaming venture in Footville Wisconsin.

1913 - William J. Kennedy and Matthew Kennedy start a Railroad Grading Company.

1920 - Max Kennedy and William J. Kennedy formed a partnership for excavation and grading.

1925 - Herman Bush, William J. Kennedy’s brother-in-law, became a partner of the company and they started replacing horses with motor vehicles.

1926 - William J. Kennedy and Herman Bush bought the first piece of construction equipment, a rock crusher.

1929 - The Great Depression forced to sell some of the equipment and work under the WPA Act that was set up by President Roosevelt.

1933 - Herman Bush Went to work as Highway Supervisor for the Rock County Highway Dept., leaving William J. Kennedy as the owner of the company.

1939-1940 - William J. Kennedy Ran for Rock County Highway commissioner and lost to Assistant Commissioner. Max Kennedy joined Rock County sheriffs department so William J. Kennedy became the sole operator.

1943 - The business consisted of four dump trucks, a pull-type grader, a Wisconsin Foundry crusher and Northwest shovel. All of which were owned on the farm by Drew & Garry of Evansville, who leased the equipment to the Kennedy’s.

1946 - Robert J. Kennedy Sr. came home from WWII and started college at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater.

1951 - Robert J. Kennedy Sr. goes to work with his father to create what eventually became William J. Kennedy & Son’s.

1951 - William J. Kennedy and Robert J. Kennedy Sr. Attended a Wisconsin Road Builders Convention.

1952 - William J. Kennedy and Robert J. Kennedy Sr. attend an Construction Equipment Show to help expand the business.

1955 - Robert J. Kennedy, Sr. becomes owner of William J. Kennedy & Sons, Inc. after his father, William J. Kennedy passes away.

Late 1950s - The company expanded into Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Iowa, Kentucky, and Tennessee following the interstate program.

1955 - The company moved from the farm and bought the original 100 acres on US 51 and Townline Road. William J. Kennedy and Sons built a workshop and office to assist them in mining the best gravel in southern Wisconsin.

1960s - A subsidiary was formed called Bituminous Materials, Inc., which immediately sprung the company into the asphalt business.

Early 1970s - William J. Kennedy and Son’s becomes one of the first construction crews in the country to erect their own asphalt silo at their plant.

1977 - the company bought Rock Road Companies Wisconsin Operations and joined with Bituminous Materials to create Rock Road Inc. of Wisconsin.

1986 - The company bought Rein, Schultz & Dahl Asphalt Company at Rockford, Illinois. Folding that into Rock RoadTM and creating Rock Road of WisconsinTM and Rock Road of IllinoisTM.

1988 - Robert J. Kennedy, Sr. receives the National Asphalt Pavement Association Distinguished Service Award.

1994 - Robert J. Kennedy Sr. sold William J. Kennedy and Sons, Rock Road of WisconsinTM, and Rock Road of IllinoisTM to his three sons, William E. Kennedy, Stephen M. Kennedy and Robert J. Kennedy Jr. They then put all of the operations in one company called Rock Road Companies Inc.TM.

1995 - Rock RoadTM is the first in the United States to warranty its roadwork.

2000 - Rock RoadTM fused technology into the industry through advanced quality control methods.

2001 - Rock RoadTM receives The Secretary’s Award from The Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

2002 - Rock RoadTM works with the Department of Transportation for a Kid’s Quarry learning outreach program.

2003 - Illinois State Toll Highway Authority Contractor of the Year.

2003 - WI Dept. of Transportation Annual Award for Outstanding Airport Construction.

2004 - Rock RoadTM receives the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Outstanding Construction Project Award for the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport Project.

2004 - Rock RoadTM receives the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Hot Mix Leadership Award.

2005 - Rock RoadTM receives a nationally recognized award from the National Asphalt Pavement Association, by winning the Community Involvement Award.

2008 - Rock RoadTM starts the reconstruction of Highway 140 to Interstate 43.

2008 - Illinois State Toll Highway Authority Asphalt Contractor of the Year Award for Various Tollway Construction Projects.

2008 - The company progresses with the 1-90 widening project.

2008 - Forward Janesville Employer of the Year (Over 50 employees).

2010 - Rock RoadTM successfully completed the Gateway Boulevard extension project.

2010 - The National Safety Council honors Rock RoadTM and their Director of Risk Management, Ryan Spies, for the NSC Rising Star of Safety.

2011 - Rock RoadTM finishes Madison’s, State Street Project, nearly three weeks ahead of schedule.

2011 - William E. Kennedy and Sean W. Kennedy break ground on the interstate reconstruction projects.

2013 - The Kennedy Family Foundation is established.

2016 - Rock RoadTM is awarded The Daily Reporter Top Projects of 2016 for I-39/90 and Wis 11 (Avalon Road) Interchange.

2017 - Rock RoadTM receives the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Hot Mix Leadership Award.

2018 - William J. Kennedy and Sons Holdings Company was created.

2018 - William J. Kennedy and Son Holdings Company purchased Wolf Paving. Wolf Paving is a sister company to Rock RoadTM Companies Inc.

Paving the Way into the Future: The fifth generation of Kennedy’s continue working hard for Rock Road Companies, Inc.TM.