Serving as the mechanical-electrical engineer for Baltimore City after World War I, P.G. Ligon was invited to resign when a new Mayor of the opposite party was elected. The new Mayor asked P.G. if there was anything the City could do for him to show their appreciation for his service as well as compensate him for resigning. P.G. asked to dig the ditches the city needed to install new water mains. He proposed to do the work at $500 per section, which at the time was allowed by the City without competitive bid. The City agreed, and P.G. bought picks and shovels and hired laborers to dig the ditches. The laborers were paid based on the cubic foot of excavation and backfilling. The project was successful, thus founding the P.G. Ligon Company.
As operations grew, G.C. Ligon, a brother of P.G.’s, left Westinghouse to join the company. In 1920, the company was renamed Ligon & Ligon. The company survived the difficult economic times of the 1920’s and 1930’s by working as a subcontractor for AT&T in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut. Ligon & Ligon also dug tunnels and built bridges and dams in Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland. The company survived the Great Depression by laying 4” terracotta conduit in Connecticut followed by numerous cross-country projects, one of which was a 90 mile gas main in the mountains of West Virginia.
It was during this time that utility trenches were dug primarily by hand. Production actually fared favorably when compared to the machine work of today, but required the employment of hundreds of men – all paid in cash.
During World War II, Ligon & Ligon performed water and sewer jobs at Camp Ritchie, Fort Detrick, and Aberdeen Proving Grounds.
In 1950, Ligon & Ligon was one of the Founding Members of The Associated Utility Contractors of Maryland, Inc. with a group of concerned contractors interested in the welfare and advancement of the utility contracting industry.
During the 1980’s and 1990’s, Ligon maintained its leadership in the Baltimore area by performing many jobs with complex specifications. Ligon installed the first polyethylene chilled water system in the area as well as installed a solid 24” PVC liner in a live 36” force main that had been damaged by hydrogen sulfide gas. In the 1990’s Ligon was the first BGE trained contractor to install live gas services on low pressure mains and plastic gas main fusing.
In 1985, Ligon installed over 600 feet of rock-jacketed welded steel pipe over the Jones Falls Expressway and under President Street. It was on this job that Ligon was required to field bend and install 3,400 feet of 8” Somastic coated pipe in city streets. This job was particularly complicated as the bends had to correctly fit in the ditch around all obstructions, maintain exact spacing between the pipes and ensure cathodic protection while maintaining a nitrogen atmosphere in the pipes. The job was a success and Ligon & Ligon, Inc. installed a comparable pipeline system shortly thereafter.
Through the 2000’s, Ligon & Ligon, Inc. continued to be a leader in the industry by working among urban, higher education, highly congested settings with complex utility involvement, all of which require shoring systems to OSHA specifications. Design/build projects and cost effective field changes to owners’ specifications continue to highlight one of our principal goals – to exceed customer expectations as we strive to complete each project on time and under budget. It was during this time period that Ligon continued its leadership in chilled and hot water, steam and gas main welded steel pipe installation and grew our annual sales volume by multiples.
Ligon & Ligon Inc. is rich in history and character, with over 100 years of combined civil engineering and utility construction experience. Looking forward, the Company is clearly focused on the future, striving for continued success, innovation and quality service to Baltimore and Maryland.