Photo courtesy of Acrow Bridge.

By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

ARTBA member Acrow Bridge received the “Deal of the Year” Award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM Bank) for the delivery of 55 bridges to the African nation of Cameroon. The award was given at the agency’s annual conference earlier this month in Washington, D.C.

With an EXIM-guaranteed $50 million loan extended by Société Générale Bank to Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Works, Acrow is shipping the American-made modular steel bridge sets to Cameroon, supporting an estimated 200 U.S. jobs in Parsippany, New Jersey; Milton, Pennsylvania; and New Castle, Delaware, EXIM says on its website. The bridges will be erected by the end of the year.

The deal includes extensive training of local engineers and technicians in the assembly and installation of these critical infrastructure assets, plus financing for the purchase of the bridges and the execution of the associated local works. State-backed European and Chinese companies also competed for the project, according to EXIM.

“Acrow is proud to have been engaged on the African continent for more than two decades,” Bill Killeen, the company’s president and CEO, according to a company release. “We have constructed more than 1,000 bridges in various countries there, and these structures are improving the competitiveness of African products by eliminating supply-side transportation constraints.”

Founded in 1951, Parsippany-based Acrow produces modular steel bridges for vehicle, rail, vessel, military and pedestrian use. The company has installed more than 1,500 bridges in over 80 countries.

The EXIM Bank provides a variety of financing mechanisms – including loan guarantees, working capital guarantees and export credit insurance—to promote the sale of U.S. goods and services abroad.