A Century of Growth

Over the past 100 years, Contech has grown into a diversified civil engineering site solutions company. Headquartered in West Chester, Ohio, we are the only company that can provide bridge, drainage, erosion control, retaining wall, sanitary sewer and stormwater treatment solutions on a national scale.

Our product portfolio is based on more than a century of research and practical field experience serving the highway, drainage, sewage and site-improvement industries. A wide range of markets and applications can benefit from our comprehensive family of products including: highway, public transportation, commercial, residential, agriculture, industrial, ports, green building, alternative energy, military, federal, mining and rail.


The American Rolling Mill Company (formerly ARMCO, now known as AK Steel) was founded in Middletown, OH, as the first fully integrated steel mill in the United States. A few years earlier, James Watson and Stanley Simpson had been granted a U.S. Patent for corrugated metal pipe (CMP) as an alternative to masonry or vitrified clay tile.


ARMCO research engineers developed a hot-dipped galvanized steel that provided improved resistance to corrosion and spurred the widespread use of metal pipe. This grade of steel was to become the industry standard for more than 40 years.


ARMCO Drainage & Metal Products was incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of ARMCO Steel, after having consolidated 23 corrugated steel pipe manufacturers, beginning with Dixie Culvert in 1915. The proliferation of the automobile and development of the nationwide highway network spurred demand for new and innovative products. ARMCO Drainage & Metal Products responded with a portfolio of new products and manufacturing processes. The ARMCO sales force also developed the tradition of superior technical support for the marketplace. As consultants to the highway and railway industries, ARMCO published the first “Handbook of Drainage and Construction Products” and it is still published today by the American Iron and Steel Institute.


Realizing the increased dependence on the subsidiary as an outlet for steel, ARMCO formed the Metal Products Division and soon developed the highly automated HEL-COR conversion process to manufacture CMP. This replaced conventional riveting and allowed ARMCO to produce large diameter storm sewer pipe.


The sanitary sewer market was a logical adjacency to storm sewer. ARMCO, recognizing that steel was not the proper material for the market, formed a joint venture with Ashland Oil Company in 1965 to create the Truss Pipe Company.


By the mid-1970s, after ARMCO had purchased Ashland’s interest in the company, Truss Pipe virtually displaced vitrified clay pipe in the small diameter sanitary sewer market. With the success of Truss Pipe, and the awareness that new materials were being introduced into construction markets, ARMCO renamed the business the Construction Products Division in 1980 and continued to develop new PVC sanitary pipe products.


Contech Construction Products Inc. was founded on July 1, 1986, when Robert Gage led a management buy-out of the Construction Products Division. For the next decade, Contech continued to expand its presence in the marketplace for a variety of material types including steel, aluminum and PVC plastic, with an unwavering goal to be the leader in each of its markets. Contech continued to lead the corrugated steel pipe industry with over a dozen CSP acquisitions between 1986 and 1996.


The acquisition of the Drainage Products operations of Kaiser Aluminum and Chemical Corporation made Contech the leading producer of aluminum corrugated pipe products, aluminum box culverts and aluminum structural plate. During this period, Contech also continued to invest in and expand its portfolio of plastic pipe products for storm drainage and sanitary applications in diameters up to 36”. Partner relationships were on the rise as the sales organization identified and developed strong growth opportunities in geotextiles and other Allied Products. Through a combination of investments, acquisitions and divestitures, Contech became “more than just a steel pipe company.”


Contech acquired by Butler Capital.


Butler Capital hired Pat Harlow as Contech’s new President to build a more diversified construction products business. Contech continued its acquisition-led strategy with 15 successful transactions: one-third strengthened the core drainage business and two-thirds diversified the company into higher growth markets sold through the national direct sales team.  Contech continues to gain mindshare and market share with its diverse customer base by delivering new site solutions to the same civil engineers and contractors that value other Contech products. Key acquisitions included:

  • 1999 - Keystone Retaining Wall Systems: A leader in developing, marketing, and licensing segmental retaining walls to highway, commercial and residential markets
  • 2000 - Continental and Steadfast Bridge Companies: The two largest pedestrian bridge manufacturers in the U.S.
  • 2004 - Vortechnics: A technology and industry leader in the fast-growth environmental stormwater quality market
  • 2005 - Stormwater Management, Inc: The only major stormwater filter products company in the fast-growth environmental stormwater quality market
  • 2005 - BridgeTek and CON/SPAN: The largest and fastest-growing precast three-sided concrete arch bridge sales organization and design firm in the U.S.
  • 2005 - Armortec: Industry leader in hard armor solutions for demanding erosion control and marine applications


Apax Partners Worldwide completed their acquisition of a majority ownership interest in Contech. In addition, Contech announced a market-focused realignment of its business. The organizational realignment enables Contech to more effectively accommodate future growth.


Ronald C. Keating joined Contech as President and Chief Operating Officer as well as a member of the company’s Board of Directors.


Contech announced the integration of the field marketing and sales teams and the streamlining of the operating divisions. Ron Keating was elected the company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Patrick M. Harlow continues as the Chairman of Contech’s Board of Directors.


Key alliances and acquisitions in 2009 include:

  • Jennmar: Signed a strategic sourcing and distribution agreement with the nation's leading ground support manufacturer
  • Plateau Pipe Company: Acquisition of certain assets of the company, a manufacturer of corrugated metal pipe
  • Thompson Culvert Company: Acquisition of this manufacturer of corrugated steel pipe and distributor of related construction products
  • Hanson Pipe & Precast, LLC: Purchased all corrugated metal pipe assets, including machinery, equipment and inventory


Contech opens its first Mexican facility in Silao, Mexico, in the State of Guanajuato on April 15, 2010. This world class manufacturing facility provides Contech with the footprint and infrastructure to support its expansion into Mexico, Central America and South America.

Contech acquires Plastream Pipe Technologies Pty Ltd, an Australian company based in Adelaide, Australia. Plastream is the exclusive, worldwide licensee of Plastream® technology for the production of proprietary steel reinforced high density polyethylene pipe, which is currently used and marketed by Contech in the U.S. and Canada under the DuroMaxx brand.


Contech announces its new name, Contech Engineered Solutions LLC and new ownership equity investors: Anchorage Capital Group, LLC, Littlejohn & Co., LLC, Tennenbaum Capital Partners, LLC and Farallon Capital Management, L.L.C.

Contech Engineered Solutions and Terre Hill Concrete Products announce exclusvie sales agreement for the Terre Arch and Terre Box underground water quality management products.

Contech Engineered Solutions announces three new bridge innovations, CON/SPAN® O-Series, EXPRESS Foundations and BridgeCor.

Contech Engineered Solutions and SEKISUI SPR Group sign strategic agreement giving Contech exclusive license to manufacture, promote and sell to authorized installers SPR PE product for 20 years.

Contech Engineered Solutions acquires corrugated metal pipe assets of Titan Construction Products LLC.

Contech Engineered Solutions acquires assets of Kahn Culvert Inc.


Contech Engineered Solutions acquires Imbrium Systems Group from Monteco Ltd.

Contech Engineered Solutions changes its business segments to more closely support the company’s strategic direction and growth objectives. The new segments are Pipe Solutions, Treatment Solutions, and Structure Solutions.

Contech Engineered Solutions acquired certain assets of Midwestern Culvert Ltd., operating in Ankeny, Iowa.


Contech Engineered Solutions acquired the assets of Filterra Bioretention Systems from Americast, Inc. The purchase includes the Filterra product line and all related intellectual property. The Filterra system is an advanced stormwater treatment technology that utilizes enhanced bioretention for the removal of pollutants from stormwater.


Contech Engineered Solutions is acquired by QUIKRETE.