Nick Salisbury, Scott Tunison, Ken Edmonds and additional investors started Crux Subsurface in April 1998. Experienced geotechnical drillers and fabricators, they sought to differentiate themselves by providing essential specialty drilling services that other contractors could not. This would require solving difficult logistical problems such as core recovery in poor soil conditions or difficult-access locations. To emphasize their mission, the partners chose the name Crux: "an essential point requiring resolution or resolving an outcome (the crux of the problem)."
The first task was to design and build a drill that would allow Crux to complete these logistically challenging projects. The result was a lightweight drill that could be broken into small components and was minimally invasive to the surrounding environment. The Washington State DOT awarded Crux its first project in May 1998, and within two years the company had added three new custom-built, componentized drills to their inventory to keep up with demand.
Landmark difficult-access geotechnical exploration projects soon followed, including the Hoover Dam Bypass in 2002, and the Swan Lake - Lake Tyee Intertie in Southeast Alaska in 2003. Both jobs required Crux’s customized drills, skilled helicopter support, and specially trained drillers.
By 2002, Crux had provided geotechnical exploration services throughout the western United States for tunnel, dam, highway and landslide projects. As a natural extension of this work, Crux began providing related construction services, applying its geotechnical expertise to foundation engineering and design.
Crux first used micropiles in 2002 on a residential foundation project in Big Sky, Montana. Micropiles had been used to underpin existing structures since the 1950s, but Crux saw the potential for other applications. Micropile foundations can be built with minimal impact to the environment and with maximum flexibility and efficiency for the client.
Crux began using micropiles in a variety of situations, including the Grand Canyon Skywalk in 2004 and on every tower foundation along the 57-mile Swan Lake - Lake Tyee Intertie. In 2007, Crux successfully designed and built the first micropile foundations for lattice tower structures on Southern California Edison’s Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project, and in 2012, Crux installed its patented steel micropile cap design for the first time on San Diego Gas & Electric's Sunrise Powerlink Project. The company continues this innovation today, and has expanded into design-build services for a number of specialty foundation options.
Crux became a Quanta Services company in late 2011, and the change has allowed us to provide an even higher level of service to our customers. Job owners and general contractors come to Crux for innovative solutions to mission-critical challenges. Crux is recognized as a leader in specialty foundation design-build, as well as in difficult-access solutions for geotechnical exploration and related construction services.