Season’s Greetings with a Touch of History & Good Will

Season's Greetings

Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful holiday and very Happy New Year!

You may notice that our 2015 holiday card includes a custom ornament that is, in fact, not actually an ornament. We took a bit of artistic license with a Texas State Highway Department marker dated 1934 that was embedded in a bridge in east Texas for many years.

The marker includes the contractor, J. Lee & E.A. Vilbig, who were brothers, born in Dallas to First generation German-American immigrants. J. Lee Vilbig is my great-grandfather. My father, David, worked for his grandfather’s construction company, Vilbig Construction, during the summer in the mid 1970’s while attending Texas Tech.

The brass marker took a rather circuitous path to be in our possession today. The marker was embedded in a concrete bridge constructed in 1934 in east Texas. Fortunately, when the bridge was replaced, a TxDOT employee was intrigued by the marker and salvaged the hunk of brass to use as a paper weight on his desk. Several years later, an uncle on my mom’s side, who worked for a different TxDOT office in east Texas happened to notice the marker on his colleagues desk. My uncle commented to his colleague that his brother-in-law’s family was probably the contractor. Several months later when my uncle visited the office again, his colleague gave him the marker to bring to us because he thought it would have more meaning for us than to him as a paperweight.

I found another clue to the location of the bridge from which the marker was salvaged on the Portal to Texas History: The Rusk Cherokeean – “Work is Resumed on Highway No. 40” October 20, 1933


Active construction work on the last four miles of Highway No. 40 from Rusk to Alto is now in progress and the contract for this work was let to Vilbig and Co., and engineers have been busy and the work is now being done.
One part of the contract stipulated that local labor be used and several hundred men have been signed up.
The Highway Department is getting right of way from Wells into Lufkin also.
Contract for the iron ore top soil and oil on the part of the highway already constructed from Rusk to Alto – a little more than 8 miles has been let and work will begin immediately.
Highway engineers conferred in Austin Monday with delegations from ten counties on new road projects. A Cherokee county delegation was promised construction of Highway 22 from Rusk ten miles west when fund are available. Construction of this road gap would complete the Palestine-Rusk road.

We are deeply grateful that the TxDOT employee had the initial inspiration to salvage the hunk of brass. Many would have thrown this fascinating artifact away without a second thought and we are grateful that it found its way to us eventually as well.

From all of us at Vilbig & Associates, Season’s Greetings!

Wealth of Knowledge

As a service based business, we aim to provide exceptional client service that goes above and beyond expectations. There is no better feeling than having a client recommend our services, as demonstrated by the following:

“David is a wealth of knowledge and works well with both of our local municipalities. Between David and several of our local surveying crews, I am sure that he can help with your easements.”

We are delighted to have served the North Texas community for over 31 years, and look forward to many more years of providing exceptional surveying and civil engineering services.



Ethics for Surveyors?

As you may (or may not) know, surveyors are required to complete continuing education every year. Vilbig & Associates managing partner, David A. Vilbig, P.E., R.P.L.S., will present the TSPS Dallas Chapter 3rd Annual Free* Act/Rules/Ethics Seminar.

David will present a summary and review of the Professional Land Surveying Practices Act and General Rules of Procedures and Practices, conduct an open forum discussion, and address the importance of the Act and Rules for registered surveyors, technicians and student.

Click the image for a printable pdf flier with RSVP details.

Click the image for a printable pdf flier with RSVP details.

David is directly responsible for our engineering and surveying operations. His career reflects over 30 years of professional land surveying and civil engineering experience in connection with infrastructure design and rehabilitation including a broad rang of civil public works projects, as well as corporate land development activities for residential, commercial and industrial projects, offering a solid understanding in the delicate balance of growth and development with the typical municipality. He is familiar with the unique characteristics of the locale, as well as governing requirements and procedures. David is a former Vice Chairman of the Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying and serves on the Advisory Committee for the Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying & Science, Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi.



TBLS Acts & Rules Seminar
8am-Noon, Saturday, May 17, 2014
North Lake College, West Campus
1401 W Royal Lane, Irving, Texas 75063

*Free for TSPS members. Renew your membership online at You must be a member & RSVP by May 14th to attend the seminar. Seating is limited!

RSVP to Jason Jernigan, see flier above for details.


Vilbig Brother’s Construction – Est. 1886

Vilbig Brother’s Construction was founded in Dallas in 1886 by John and August Vilbig. An article in the January 1920 edition of Earth Mover Magazine (available here as a free e-book) titled “Glimpses of Dallas Contractors” describes Vilbig Brother’s projects and equipment. In addition, the magazine showcases pictures from notable projects in the city. The cover of this edition includes a picture of the Proctor & Gamble Foundation Work that was once located on S. Lamar & Loomis Street.

The magazine mentions:
“Vilbig Bros. have secured a nice contract for excavating the basement of the new Federal Reserve Bank Building at Dallas. There are about 25,000 cubic yards of material to be moved on this contract. They have two small revolving shovels on the job, loading the direct into Western Dump wagons and trucks.”

Our family has a collection of photographs from the early 1900s of a variety of construction projects around the city. We have scanned a few of these photographs to illustrate the history of Dallas construction. Click here to view the gallery of images and descriptions.

What Keeps Dallas’ small business owners up at night?

Last week, David A. Vilbig P.E., R.P.L.S. attended a luncheon with the Dallas Business Journal and Bank of America focusing on small businesses and their struggles in the current economy.

The hot topics discussed include:

“Will clients pay on time? If not, what recourse is there?
What effect will new health care legislation have?
If business grows, expands and invests, will it get hit with new regulations that kill the business?”

David Vilbig, Rick Ortiz, president and CEO of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Lee McKinney, assistant director of the Dallas Economic Development Department and Alicia Fannon, vice president of Accion Texas Inc. are quoted in the article by the Dallas Business Journal. Below is the excerpt quoting David Vilbig.

“David Vilbig, manager at Vilbig & Associates, said many business owners struggle to make a profit.

“I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs and this is the longest one I’ve ever seen,” Vilbig said. “Everybody I talk to is having the same thing: Are you busy? Yes. Are you making any money? No.”

Vilbig and others said one of the biggest challenges is getting clients to pay. Many companies delay paying, which causes a chain reaction down the line for others.

“If you don’t get paid by one of your clients, they know there’s nothing you can do about it,” Vilbig said. “I only deal with people that I know I’m going to get paid.”

For the full article see the Dallas Business Journal website.