On May 14, 2019, Acrow Bridge company announced that it had purchased Mabey Bridge of England.  The announcement concludes decades of the storied rivalry between the two firms.  Acrow also announced that Mabey Bridge will still conduct business under its own separate brand name. 


I-5 Emergency Repair

I-5 Over Skagit River, Washington, Emergency Repair

Photo courtesy of Acrow Bridge (Randy Needham)


As these plans were developed, we were not a part of corporate discussions.  But if we were, the meeting probably went something like this:


[Somewhere in a conference room at Acrow Corporation of America Headquarters, Parsippany, New Jersey, sometime in 2018]:


Acrow Executive #1, addressing a group of her senior colleagues:

“Senior colleagues, we are gathered here this morning to discuss an important development.”


Acrow  Executive #2:

“Thank you, Executive #1.  We are eager to learn about this development.”


Acrow Executive #1:

“This is the important development.  For the last few months, we have been in confidential consultations for purchase of a modular bridge company.”


Acrow Executive #2: 

“This is truly exciting news.  Can you announce the name of the company?


Acrow Executive #1:

“I believe I can.  Mabey”


Acrow Executive #2:

“I see.  You can’t really tell us which company we are in consultation with.  Let us guess.  It is Contech!”


Acrow Executive #1:

“No.  Mabey.”


Acrow Executive #2: 

“I see.  You can’t really announce that it is Contech.  Therefore you don’t have to actually tell us the name of the company, but now we know that it is Contech.”


Acrow Executive #1:

“No.  It is definitely Mabey.”


Acrow Executive #2, perhaps expressing some disdain towards the conversation so far:

“I see.  That certainly clarifies things.”


As a side note, consolidation in the modular bridge business has apparently led to opportunities for new firms.  Last week, senior officials announced the formation of a new corporation, the “Not Sure” Modular Bridge Company.  When the Chief Operating Officer was questioned that maybe there was an opportunity for collaboration with existing established firms, he responded:  “Maybe?  We are Not Sure”.


Lake Champlain

North Hero Grand Isle Drawbridge replacement project - temporary Acrow drawbridge

Image courtesy of Cianbro Corporation 

Project website (Vermont DOT): http://nhgi.vtransprojects.vermont.gov/