Moretrench was officially incorporated in 1931. However, founder Thomas Moore first set up in business in Buffalo, NY as a sewer contractor in the mid-1880s, going on to invent and patent his first trench excavator in 1891 and later relocating to Syracuse, NY where he incorporated his business as the Moore Trench Machine Company to manufacture and lease his proprietary machines. Moore relocated his business once again, moving to Rockaway, NJ, where he opened his doors for business in 1918. In 1925, Moore leased a machine to a sewer contractor in Hackensack, NJ. When the contractor became bogged down in quicksand, and was in danger of defaulting on the contract, Moore, ever the inventor, took the initiative. He assumed the contract and designed, built and installed the first practical wellpoint dewatering system in the U.S. to stabilize the quicksand. This marked the beginning of what was to rapidly become a thriving addition to his core business.
Building on his initial success, Moore continued to develop and improve his wellpoint system, finding a growing local market. By 1931, demand for his dewatering service was so great that he decided to make this his sole focus, incorporating as Moretrench Corporation. As industry acceptance grew, so did Moretrench. Some ten years later, Moore established a separate company, American Dewatering Corporation, to subcontract the entire turnkey operation. By 1944, Moretrench wellpoint systems had been used on 18 major subway projects in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. After three decades of successful operation, Moretrench Corporation and American Dewatering merged in 1972 into Moretrench American Corporation.
During the mid-1970s, new mass transit systems were under construction across the country. Moretrench worked coast to coast, dewatering station excavations as well as running tunnels in Washington D.C., Boston, Buffalo, Baltimore, Atlanta, New York and San Francisco. At the same time, alert to current industry needs the company began to pursue ground freezing opportunities, and subsequently also added groundwater treatment and a wide range of geotechnical services to its growing list of services.
The late 1990s saw the beginning of a natural progression into another related area of work when Moretrench began to pursue contracting opportunities in the underpinning, excavation support and soil stabilization markets. Along the way, the company added micropiles, soil nailing, tieback and tiedown anchorage systems, and deep foundations as well as a full range of grouting systems to its repertoire. These additions have established Moretrench as a respected full-service geotechnical contractor, with arguably the widest range of technologies in its toolbox and the capability of undertaking design/build turnkey solutions to complex problems.
Following in Thomas Moore’s tradition of innovation, Moretrench’s path since 1931 has been punctuated by a number of significant company milestones. Construction of Lock & Dam 26, just above the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers near St. Louis, involved what was by any measure the most ambitious dewatering project ever to be accomplished in the United States. More recently, mass ground freezing aided jacking of three box tunnels for Boston’s Big Dig. And responding to a request for emergency assistance, Moretrench returned to the World Trade Center in 2001 (after dewatering the site for foundation excavation in 1968) and lowered the water level outside the damaged foundation to help stabilize the slurry walls as debris removal progressed. Since that time, Moretrench has completed numerous projects related to the ongoing redevelopment and revitalization of Lower Manhattan.
Elsewhere in the country, the company has continued to grow, opening regional offices to cater to the increasing demand for its services.
Moretrench has certainly changed over the years, but the cornerstone of the company’s success -commitment to quality and service – remains the same.