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Bleyl Engineering Acquires Garrett-Ihnen Civil Engineers in a Move to Better Serve the Communities of Central Texas

CONROE, Texas — Oct. 1, 2019 — Bleyl Engineering, a civil engineering firm based in Conroe, Texas, has acquired one of Austin’s oldest engineering firms, Garrett-Ihnen Civil Engineers.

Bleyl Engineering, which specializes in the design of municipal and private development projects, including water supply and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, transportation, drainage, and land development, made the acquisition to gain a stronger foothold in central Texas, one of the nation’s fastest- growing regions.

With the addition of Garrett-Ihnen’s 14 employees, Bleyl Engineering has grown to 82 employees, including 26 licensed engineers on staff.

“We’re very excited about the opportunities that come with a larger presence in Austin. We intend to grow even further by taking our extensive public works experience and bringing it here. Part of Garrett-Ihnen’s success has been its impressive technical skills and we look forward to leveraging that expertise too,” said John Bleyl, President/CEO of Bleyl Engineering.

Steven Ihnen, the president of Garrett-Ihnen, now serves as Regional Manager of Bleyl Engineering in Austin.

Bleyl Engineering, which has an office in south Austin, will move its employees to Garrett-Ihnen’s office space, located at 12007 Technology Blvd.

Garrett-Ihnen will operate as a subsidiary of Bleyl Engineering for the remainder of the year. In 2020, Garrett-Ihnen will mark its 35th year in business and formally change its name to Bleyl Engineering.

An Acquisition Built On Faith

Garrett-Ihnen’s origins date back to 1985 when the firm was founded by Jack Garrett as Garrett/Associates.

In 1998, Jack Garrett unexpectedly died at the age of 49 from a heart attack. Upon his passing, Steve Ihnen acquired the firm, then rebranded it as Garrett-Ihnen and led it for more than 21 years.

In early 2019, Steve Ihnen was not looking for a company to acquire his firm. However, upon noticing a remarkable kinship, Paul Leventis, a longtime friend from Texas A&M, urged Ihnen to meet his boss, John Bleyl. Ihnen agreed.

At their first meeting, Steve Ihnen was immediately struck by the similarities between the two men, including shared business and management philosophies, and personal faith.

“We are so like-minded that it's uncanny. I do believe that God's in control of everything and for some reason, God put me in a position to be able to be the owner back when Jack Garrett died. So I think that in that same way, God has put our companies together too,” said Ihnen.

With the acquisition, Ihnen anticipates greater strength in the event of an economic downturn.

“Bleyl didn’t have to make any layoffs in prior downturns, because they have more publicly-funded projects. We only have privately-funded projects, but now we can be much more diverse, and we can weather any storms that we’re going to have,” said Ihnen.

John Bleyl says what sold him on the opportunity to acquire Garrett-Ihnen was the loyalty of the staff. “Stability is a big, big deal in our business. Turnover is not good. If there's a big turnover of personnel because of one bad apple, it costs time and money every time. We have a stable workforce at Bleyl, and now with Steve on board, it's even more stable. His employees love him. They’ve been here forever and they’re not going anywhere. That really spoke volumes to me,” said Bleyl.

Overall, the two seasoned engineers welcome the incredible opportunity to serve the communities in and around Austin better, together as one firm, unified around the principles of quality service and integrity.

About Bleyl Engineering
Bleyl Engineering is a Consulting Civil Engineering firm based in Conroe, Texas and with offices in Bryan- College Station, Austin, and Houston. Bleyl Engineering specializes in the design of municipal and private development projects, including water supply and distribution, wastewater collection and treatment, transportation, drainage, and land development. The firm also conducts feasibility studies, infrastructure evaluations, utility rate analysis, and overall project management services. Bleyl’s clients include cities and other municipal entities, utility districts, and private developers. Bleyl Engineering is a team of local engineers and other professionals dedicated to improving their communities. The core of the Bleyl business philosophy is rooted in strong relationships with clients, employees and staff, and regulatory and public agencies. At Bleyl, engineering is an opportunity to serve the community. For more about Bleyl Engineering, go to

About Garrett-Ihnen
Garrett-Ihnen is an Austin-based full-service engineering firm specializing in site development and design that serves much of Texas. Over the past twenty years, Garrett-Ihnen has developed a wide variety of projects, including municipal facilities and office space, religious, restaurant and retail sites and multi-phased developments from one-acre to 500-acre tracts. Signature projects include the Shops at the Galleria and the Hill Country Galleria. In addition, Garrett-Ihnen has the capability to design and permit civil site projects in the most stringently controlled regions of the state of Texas.