Joe Burchett, Sr. grew up on a farm in Sugar Loaf, Kentucky, where, at an early age, he developed a love of horses.
While enrolled in the University of Kentucky, College of Engineering, Mr. Burchett worked part-time for J.S. Watkins Consulting Engineering Firm. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1960 and became a professional engineer in 1966.
Following graduation, Mr. Burchett went to work in the Bridge Design Office at the Kentucky Department of Highways in Frankfort. In 1965, he began working on the University of Kentucky campus as the Bridge Design Section Leader.
Mr. Burchett left the highway department in 1968 and began working in the private sector. In the early 1970’s, he created Bush & Burchett, Inc. Mr. Burchett has served as President and General Manager since the company was founded. Bush & Burchett, Inc. has built more than 200 bridges in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. The first bridge the company built was recognized for its significance and innovation by receiving a national award from the National Steel Bridge Alliance, which is a division of the American Institute of Steel Construction. In addition, Bush & Burchett, Inc. received an Award of Excellence for the Shelby Creek Bridge from the Portland Cement Association. Although the day-to-day activities of Bush & Burchett, Inc. have been turned over to his son, Joe A. Burchett II, the company continues as one of the major bridge builders in the Appalachian region of the country.
Mr. Burchett has been active in many state and national organizations including the Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors, the Highway Contractor’s Negotiating Committee, the United Steel Workers Pension Fund, and the American Society of Civil Engineers. Locally, he is active with the Advisory Board for Stone Crest Golf Course in Prestonsburg, and on the Board of Directors of the First Guaranty Bank in Floyd County.
Mr. Burchett presently resides in Prestonsburg with his wife Barbara. They have three children and two grandchildren. In his spare time, Mr. Burchett enjoys playing golf at Stone Crest Golf Course and working with his horses on his farm in Sugar Loaf.