Our Story_full bleed_Chimney Hollow


"Our future lies within the culture of our organization and in each and every individual. It is based upon seizing dreams and opportunities and turning them into realities. We are doing things today that we only dreamed of in the not-too-distant past. We still have the intensity, teamwork, work ethic, and passion to grow and improve. So I say...dream on and dream big!" - Tim Barnard

Since 1975, our people have driven the growth and success of the Barnard Companies. From a one-man operation to a top contractor, our story has unfolded through decades of hard work, safe practices, and lasting partnerships. We remain headquartered in Bozeman, Montana, where the business began, and build projects throughout North America.

We offer expertise in all aspects of construction, including dams, reservoirs, hydroelectric power, tunnels and shafts, oil and gas pipelines, utilities, power transmission, and environmental efforts. Barnard delivers innovative solutions for challenging projects, and we seek opportunities for early involvement to facilitate collaboration with owners and engineers and provide a framework for problem solving and value engineering.

History Milestones Header Image

barnard logo MILESTONES


1975 $1,000, two shovels, and a pick

Tim Barnard moved to Montana to start a construction company. He had $1,000, two shovels, a pick, and all of his possessions in the cab of his pickup. His first job was a sewer project for the U.S. Forest Service in Northern Montana. He’d never done a sewer job, and he owned no equipment–but he finished more than two weeks ahead of schedule, making a profit of $10,000 in 10 days.

$1,000, two shovels, and a pick

1988 On the map

Barnard completed the Shoshone Municipal Water Supply Project, the largest public works project in Wyoming at the time. We soon became the nation's No. 2 utilities contractor, according to Engineering News-Record. From here, Barnard's reputation as a large heavy civil contractor grew.

On the map

1998 Making Headlines

Throughout the 1990s, Barnard continued to take on bigger, more challenging work. Engineering News-Record even featured one of our projects–a dam rehabilitation in southeast Montana–on the cover of their November 9, 1998 issue.

Making Headlines

1999 A 15-Year Program Begins

We landed our first design-build job at Owens Lake, the first of eight projects on the dry lakebed spanning 15 years. The site was remote, the environment hostile–and the end result? A toxic dust bowl was reshaped as a thriving habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds.

A 15-Year Program Begins

2001 Growth and Partnering

With the Lake Source Cooling Project at Cornell University, our first project on the East Coast, Barnard became a nationwide contractor. Our teamwork on this innovative project led to our first Marvin M. Black Partnering Excellence Award.

Growth and Partnering

2005 Setting Records

On the Saluda Dam Remediation, Barnard set a new world record by placing 18,608 CY of roller-compacted concrete in a single day. At the time, this was the world’s largest dam rehabilitation project.

Setting Records

2011 It's All Uphill From Here

When we say we build the riskiest, most difficult, most complex jobs we can find, we aren’t exaggerating. Look no further than the Kern River – Apex Expansion Wasatch Loop Pipeline in Utah. We constructed 28 miles of high-pressure natural gas pipeline through the Wasatch Range’s most remote and hostile terrain. Some sections were constructed on grades of 40 percent or steeper, and several miles of the alignment required helicopter delivery of employees, materials, fuel, and pipe.

It's All Uphill From Here

2012 Bringing Down the Dams

Barnard usually builds dams, but in one notable case, we decommissioned them. Described in some circles as North America’s largest dam removal project, the removal of Elwha and Glines Canyon Dams in Washington’s Olympic National Park increased spawning habitat for five native salmon species and restored the Elwha River ecosystem.

Bringing Down the Dams

2014 Aiming Higher

Barnard broke out of the millions with the Keeyask Generation Station, a multi-billion dollar contract. In a limited partnership with Bechtel and EllisDon, we built a new hydroelectric facility on the lower Nelson River in Northern Manitoba, Canada.

Aiming Higher

2015 Breaking Through

Barnard completed our first transportation tunnel on the Central Subway Tunnels Project in downtown San Francisco, building twin subway tunnels under a city that’s been well established since the Gold Rush of the 1800s.

Breaking Through

2016 Grand Award

Barnard’s Blue Lake Expansion Project earned the Associated General Contractors of America’s Grand Award, the highest honor in the construction industry. This project increased the hydropower capacity of the Blue Lake Dam, helping the residents of the City and Borough of Sitka, Alaska, end their dependence on imported diesel fuel.

Grand Award

2021 Powering the Future

Barnard completed the West of Devers Upgrade Project, our largest power delivery project to date. This project earned Barnard our sixth Marvin M. Black Partnering Excellence Award. We also expanded our renewables group to include solar and battery energy storage systems (BESS).

Powering the Future