For decades, Mike and Earl Gray have been partners in the concrete business and recently completed renovation of the Rock Spring Waterfall at the entrance of the park in Alton.
Riverbend Concrete Restorations is a family owned business that offers an eco-friendly restoration service for concrete structures to include pools, patios, sidewalks, driveways, steps, basement steps and more.
Recently, after years of hard labor, the Gray brothers have decided to bring their business back home to their roots in Alton, Illinois.
“We grew up in Alton, born and raised,” said Earl Gray, part owner of Riverbend Concrete Restorations. “So we decided that we are not pursuing anymore jobs out of the area and we are starting a new adventure here in Alton.”
Most of the company’s clientele are almost exclusively in West County, so moving their business back to Alton and being close to home is something they have been anticipating for quite a while and are looking forward to the new change.
The knowledge the men have gained over the years in the concrete business make for a flexible project palette of unique tasks, which Gray believes will come in handy when working in the river bend area, considering the historic structural setting of Alton.
“We learned a lot of skills in the last 20 years that will allow us to tackle any project that relates to concrete restoration,” said Mike. “Especially with the older structures in Alton, there are endless circumstances where concrete restoration vs. replacement is an economic solution.”
The first task of their newly regenerated company was to restore the waterfall at Rock Springs Park on College Ave.
“When I was young, the waterfall was a great place to just sit and stop for a visit,” said Earl. “Most people my age will remember when it was in its hay day.”
Rock Spring Park has a beautiful landscape, active wildlife and a 9-hole golf course. Many people visit the Park around Christmas time for the well-known Christmas Wonderland light display, created by The Grandpa Gang.
“Throughout the 70’s, the park was a place to drop off the kids to play all day,” said Earl. “We spent many days in that park, all year round. From crawdad fishing in the summer to sledding in the winter, it was a great place to grow up. I would love to see it like that again.”
Built in 1967, the waterfall has not been in service since approximately 1994. With a big help from Riverbend Concrete Restorations, the waterfall finally has running water once again.
“It took approximately 100 man hours of mine and Mike’s time,” said Earl. “We evaluated the structural integrity of the waterfall and plumbing systems, repaired the structural damage and stabilized the wall. We then applied up to three coats of cementations waterproof acrylic finish to all the areas subject to water flow.”
The city repaired the pump and new electric and waterlines were installed. The city plans to add lights to the display in the future.
“It is awesome to see that not only do they care, but they are taking the necessary steps,” said Earl.
For more information or to set an appointment with Riverbend Concrete Restorations, visit www.rvbcrete.com or call Earl Gray at (618) 823-7191.
Photos and Story By: Brittany J Kohler [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] (618) 465-9850 Ext. 237