American Bridge Company
|Headquarters||Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Key people||Michael D. Flowers, President and CEO
Lanny Frisco, EVP Operations
N. Michael (Mike) Cegelis, SVP Marketing and Development
|Revenue||$328 million USD|
The American Bridge Company is a privately held civil engineering firm that specializes in building and renovating bridges and other large civil engineering projects. Founded in 1900, the company is headquartered in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh.
The firm has built many bridges in the U.S. and elsewhere; the Historic American Engineering Record at the Library of Congress notes at least 81. Among its other projects, American Bridge has built or helped build the Willis Tower, the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, launch pads, resorts, and more. During World War II, American Bridge produced landing ships (LSTs) for the United States Navy.
Related companies include American Bridge Holding Company and American Bridge Manufacturing Company, both also headquartered in Coraopolis.
American Bridge Company was founded in April 1900, through the JP Morgan-led consolidation of 28 of the largest U.S. steel fabricators and constructors. The company’s roots extend to the late 1860s, when one of the consolidated firms, Keystone Bridge Company, built the Eads Bridge, the first steel bridge over the Mississippi River, at St. Louis and still in use. In 1902, the company became a subsidiary of United States Steel as part of the Steel Trust consolidation.
The company pioneered the use of steel as a construction material; developing the means and methods for fabrication and construction that allowed it to be widely used in buildings, bridges, vessels, and other plate applications. As a result, and due to its deep financial resources, American Bridge has performed work across the nation and the world since its founding.
Some of American Bridge’s most notable projects are more a testament to construction engineering know how and management abilities than to its historical strength in steel construction.
The company went private in 1987.
The town of Ambridge, Pennsylvania was an American Bridge Company town (thus the name "Ambridge"), and is near their current headquarters of Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Both municipalities are on the Ohio River near Pittsburgh, with access to many steel suppliers, as well as to waterborne and rail transport, to allow shipment of components and subassemblies.
American Bridge drew criticism for its role in the Discovery Land Company's Baker's Bay Golf & Ocean Club in the Bahamas: building in a highly sensitive mangrove and coral reef area of Great Guana Cay, a barrier island of Abaco. The project is opposed by the Sierra Club, Ocean Futures Society and dozens of conservation groups around the world. The local indigenous natives of Great Guana Cay have created a powerful opposition to construction, often bringing it to a halt through the Bahamian Supreme Court and U.K. Privy Council.
This is a representative, not an exhaustive, list.
- Built the longest concrete segmental cable stay bridge in the United States
- Built the longest suspension bridge in South America, and one of the longest in Europe.
- Built the world's longest arch bridge on three occasions.
- Built the world’s longest self-supporting continuous truss bridge.
- Renovations of existing bridges
- Moved an existing Norfolk Southern vertical lift bridge from Florence, Alabama, to Hannibal, Missouri, (1995)
- First aerial spinning for additional main cables on a loaded, fully operational suspension bridge. 25 April Bridge in Lisbon, Portugal (1998)
- First stiffening truss replacement on a loaded, fully operational suspension bridge. Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (2001)
- The ongoing Eastern span replacement of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, in a joint venture with Fluor Corporation, American Bridge-Fluor.
- Built the world’s tallest building on numerous occasions.
- Built many other well-known buildings.
- Built the world’s largest building by volume twice.
- Built two of the most notable domed stadium structures in the world
- Space launch complex jacking for McDonnell Douglas Astronautics (now Boeing) (1994)
- Built bottom framework for the unique, modular room units for Walt Disney Company at the Contemporary Resort in Walt Disney World (1971).
- The firm listed as the builder of a project is usually not the designer. In most cases, the bridge designer or building architect does not get to select the construction company, he designs it but then bids are let by the owners/developers. The designer and the contractor work together closely to get the job done.
Projects and history
- HAER record of at least 81 ABC bridges/projects
- American Bridge Company Chronological history from the company site
- Old Economy Village history page with American Bridge Company history.