top of page
Minimalist Staircase


Family Grown, Employee Owned

Carl “Kelly” Jensen founded the Company in the late 1940s under the name United Contracting Co.  At that time, the Company consisted of three crews and had annual revenues of less than

$1 million, focusing primarily on building small bridges, culverts, and other miscellaneous structures in rural, central Iowa.  In 1959, management incorporated the Company under its current name.


In 1988, Gary Sandquist succeeded Kelly Jensen as the Company’s president.  Under Gary’s leadership and emphasis on employee and family well-being, the Company converted to an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP, in 1989, whereby all employees have an ownership stake in the Company and a vested interest in our continued success.  Through the years, the Company has remained committed to its core business of building bridges but has expanded its lines of work and geographic footprint.  The Company is now in its third generation of family leadership, with Steve Sandquist serving as president.


The Company’s growth accelerated, starting in 2004, when we became involved in the reconstruction of downtown Des Moines’ major transportation thoroughfare.  As part of this $500 million reconstruction effort, the Company built many of the bridges, MSE walls, and soil-nail walls along Interstate 235.  The Company’s largest self-performed project was in Lawrence, Kansas, where crews built two 3,300 foot steel-girder bridges on Interstate 70 over the Kansas River, with a contract value of $62 million.  The Company has also been a prime contractor / joint venture partner in four of the five largest projects ever let through the Iowa Department of Transportation, including the I-80/380 Interchange in Iowa City, with a contract value of over $200 million.

United Contractors, Inc. is a proud member of the following AGC organizations

Successful Collaborations


Associated General Contractors of America Logos. We have partnered with these organizations.
bottom of page