South State, Inc., led by President Chip Ottinger, Jr., has experienced great success and continuous growth while fulfilling our mission to develop an exceptional team of professionals who consistently work with diligence, perseverance, attention to detail, and a strong work ethic.
Chip Ottinger and his father, Chet, operated a small paving business in Red Bank, New Jersey, for several years in the 1960s. An industrial engineering graduate of Lehigh, Chip examined several business opportunities in 1971 and finally determined that the time was right to purchase an existing asphalt plant that was located in Bridgeton, New Jersey. With the decision to operate in southern New Jersey, the Ottinger’s were positioned to grow the new firm and experience considerable success that was to follow over the past 35 years.
As is the case with many family owned and operated construction businesses, South State’s success story is based on hard work by family members, dedication to producing quality asphalt material, constructing award winning projects and support and commitment by the firm’s employees, many of whom have been with the company for 20 years or more. From a firm that got its start 45 years ago with several employees, South State now employs about 250 people. In 1971 South State’s Bridgeton property included approximately 200 acres with mining rights, an asphalt plant, sand plant, equipment maintenance garage and an office. After fine-tuning the plant operations, the firm began to supply asphalt for the others to install throughout the area. Over the years, South State added another 100 acres at the Bridgeton site. The company also supplied itself for numerous paving projects as well. It wasn’t long before South State was approved for use of its material by the NJDOT and other agencies.
Within two years, South State was able to purchase property in Monroe Township, Gloucester County where it erected a new asphalt plant and began operation. In 1989 South State purchased another asphalt company located in Pittsgrove Township, Salem County. This acquisition included an asphalt plant and approximately 90 acres of land and about one million tons of sand reserve. With these new developments, the firm’s sales territory grew to include all of southern New Jersey from Camden County south.
In addition to South State’s strong presence as an asphalt producer, the firm has been successfully recycling reclaimed asphalt pavement, concrete, concrete blocks, bricks and glass at its Class “B” recycle center for many years. Under its license, the company also cleans and recycles petroleum contaminated soil. All of these materials processed by the firm are returned to useful incorporation in or as road construction materials.
South State is also an accomplished and well known asphalt paving contractor covering all of South Jersey. For more than 45 years, South State has completed countless projects including paving contracts for municipalities, counties, NJDOT, Atlantic City Expressway and the Millville Airport. The company has also completed extensive work and paving contracts for PSE&G’s facility in Salem, New Jersey.
In 1987 Chip Ottinger purchased South State from his father and pursued several improvements to the firm’s asphalt plants in order to keep pace with new material requirements. This was also a time when Chip Ottinger, Jr. began working for the company while still in school. This third generation family member is an engineering graduate of Drexel University. Over the past few years, Chip, Jr. has expanded the firm’s construction efforts to include complete road reconstruction, curb and sidewalk construction and related pipe installations.
In order to keep pace with cutting edge technology, South State updated its asphalt plants four years ago. The plants can now produce up to 600 tons per hour, while meeting the most stringent asphalt specifications. South State has become a major supplier for asphalt construction, in the public and private sectors, throughout southern New Jersey.
South State’s first asphalt paving project for the NJDOT was work on Route 47 in Glassboro. Over the years, the company has completed several asphalt paving projects on Route 55 and Interstate 295. A recently completed $80 million 295 rehabilitation project required the placement of 600,000 tons of asphalt. The firm’s current work includes $32 million for improvements to Routes 70 and 73 that includes bridge construction, circle elimination, safety improvements and drainage work. South State has also commenced work on two of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority’s Widening Program Contracts between interchanges 6 and 9. This work is valued at $83 million and includes 6 structures and 2.5 miles of turnpike widening requiring approximately 150,000 tons of asphalt.
In addition to building his organization over the years, Chip Ottinger has provided considerable support to the construction industry. During 1984-1986, he served as chairman of the New Jersey Asphalt Pavement Association. South State has been a member of the Utility and Transportation Contractors Association for three decades. This endeavor has been recognized as a major environmental improvement. The 35 years of growth and development for South State is another construction family success story. Chip Ottinger, Jr. is positioned to take the company to another level of achievement. His forebear’s vision to move the business to southern New Jersey in 1971 was exceptional.