Rocla Concrete frees Lehigh Hanson, Koppers partnership from railroad ties

The North American leader in prestressed concrete railroad ties has extended its market footprint and product range with the acquisition of KSA Limited Partnership, a Lehigh Hanson Inc. and Koppers Inc. joint venture serving primarily eastern U.S. markets from a Portsmouth, Ohio, plant.


“This business complements [our] strategic initiative of expanding product solutions to the railroad industry,” notes Rocla Concrete Inc. CEO Peter Urquhart. “We also anticipate KSA will provide a platform for further opportunities to grow.”

KSA was founded in 1992 as a joint venture between Koppers, Lehigh Portland Cement-backed Sherman International, and Sweden’s Abetong AB, a sister business of Lehigh under Heidelberg Cement, Germany. It is strongest in turnout and grade crossing ties, but also offers conventional cross ties and companion concrete products for the railroad industry. KSA’s customer base extends to Class 1 railroads, plus commuter and transit system operators.

Lakewood, Colo.-based Rocla Concrete entered the U.S. in 1987 with Australian investors, and has solidified market leadership through plants in Pueblo, Colo.; Amarillo, Texas; Bear, Del.; and, San Jose Iturbi, Mexico. Major customers include Amtrak, Burlington Northern and Union Pacific, plus operators of Class 1 railroads, light rail/transit systems, high-speed corridors and intermodal ports. Rocla is now a portfolio company of Connecticut-based Altus Capital Partners.