Concrete Specialties began manufacturing precast concrete products in Clarendon Hills, Illinois in 1963. Our first owners, Dick Ekins and Tom Taylor, produced concrete blocks, cinder blocks, septic tanks and other building material composed of “cement, sand, stone or gravel.”
In 1986, EOCN Corporation, a holding company owned by the Nondorf family, purchased the business. At that time, Concrete Specialties exclusively manufactured manhole products with a maximum diameter of 72 inches.
In 1993, we acquired Hill Concrete Products, a successful manhole manufacturer in Hazel Crest, Illinois, and added a number of customers from south and southwestern Chicago.
By 1996, we built a new, more efficient, manufacturing plant in Elgin, Illinois to service our growing customer base. This facility featured state-of-the-art equipment and methodologies, and expanded our products to 120-inch diameter.
The acquisitions of Northwind Concrete Products Romeoville and South Beloit in 1998 and 2000 moved business in a new direction. (Northwind produced concrete pipe in diameters ranging from 12-inch to 120-inch, as well as box culvert.) Now customers who bought manholes from Concrete Specialties and Hill Concrete could purchase pipe from Northwind. Buying new forms and equipment plus upgrading facilities meant we could produce a high-quality product more efficiently.
Continental Concrete Pipe was acquired in 2001 and consolidated into the Northwind pipe operations.
In 2003, we purchased assets of Modern Building Materials in Kenosha, Wisconsin, adding an excellent 25-acre facility and giving us an entrée into the Wisconsin market.
Concrete Specialties uses both a wet cast and dry cast system to produce manholes, catch basins, inlets and valve vaults. Diameters up to 144″ are cast with a tongue and groove system which allows the structures to be built as deep vertically as necessary. Steps, boots, inverts and coatings can be added to fulfill specific job requirements. Manholes are produced to ASTM standards. Manhole facilities are IDOT and WisDOT certified producers.
Reinforced Concrete Pipe is produced by Concrete Specialties to allow storm sewers to carry rain water, surface water, ground water, cooling water or other similar flows to a point of safe discharge. Concrete pipe, with its’ impressive record of strength and durability, is the most economical and reliable choice of materials available today. Diameters of 12” through 144” are built to ASTM C76 standards and elliptical pipe meeting ASTM 507, 18” equivalent through 96” is available. The C76 pipe standard is the most commonly used pipe because of its excellent hydraulic capacity, resistance to abrasion and combustion and capabilities in meeting any variety of load conditions.
Concrete Specialties produces box sections in spans up to 12 feet by 12 feet. These box sections are used where special hydraulic requirements and minimum cover are encountered. They offer the advantage of precast products over cast-in-place construction through low installation costs and minimum inconvenience of weather and traffic delay. Concrete Specialties can produce a gasketed box culvert which also improves installation efficiency and better joint consistency, currently 5×3 through 12×12. Smaller box culvert starting at 3×2, 3×3, 4×2, 4×3, 4×4 are available as standard mastic joint.
Beyond standard box, pipe, and manholes, Concrete Specialties has the ability to manufacture many other precast concrete products. From restaurant grease traps, flared end sections, IDOT end sections, manhole tees, pipe bends, headwalls, dropshafts, and an almost unlimited number of special structures.
In 2009, we consolidated our businesses under the name of Concrete Specialties Company. This creates a unified brand, broadens our marketing impact and enables us to respond to customers from the plant most capable of providing the highest level of service. The combination of all of these organizations, resources and hundreds of years of sales and operating experience make us the leader in our marketplace.
With manhole operations north, south and west and pipe operations southwest and northwest, we now service customers throughout the Chicago area, north into Milwaukee and west into Madison.