Doing business Here: Customized Quality

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Pioneer Bridges builds specialized pedestrian and light-vehicular spans to fit any setting.

by OLIVIA GRIDER

At Pioneer Bridges, no project is standard.
 
The Fort Payne, Ala. company prefabricates bridges ranging from small backyard and driveway crossings to passages spanning broad wetlands in parks.
 
“We appreciate a challenge,” says Skip Wilson, vice president of sales for Pioneer Bridges. “Every project is special.”

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Pioneer Bridges has custom created thousands of steel-truss bridges for municipalities, parks and private residences in all 50 states and several foreign countries. Fifty people, including licensed engineers and certified welders and welding inspectors, design and build bridges at the company’s 100,000-square-foot facility. They then ship the structures to locations where they’re installed.

While its parent company, Bailey Bridges, was founded in 1959, Pioneer Bridges was launched in 2008. The new trade name makes it easier for customers to distinguish between the modular vehicular bridges the company produces and its line of pedestrian and light-vehicular bridges (which it also has manufactured since the 1950s).

We asked Wilson to tell us more about Pioneer Bridges.

LA: What types of bridges does Pioneer Bridges make and where are they usually installed?
Wilson: We make prefabricated, steel-truss bridges for pedestrian and light vehicle use. They are installed primarily in parks, on golf courses and on hiking and biking trails, but we furnish structures for almost any type of bridge-crossing need.

LA: What are the advantages of prefabricated bridges compared to those built on site?
Wilson: Our prefabricated steel-truss designs allow for easy installation of even the largest bridge projects. We can ship a bridge up to 14 feet by 80 feet in one piece. Larger bridges are spliced for easier shipment.
Virtually all of our bridges can be installed in one day. Larger bridges that have to be spliced for shipment can be easily bolted together and erected in hours instead of days like stick-built bridges. This gets people walking or driving across our customers’ bridges as quickly as possible.

LA: Who are your primary customers?
Wilson: Our customers are predominately municipalities that need a bridge for their park or trail.

LA: What is the company’s guiding philosophy?
Wilson: It is our goal to provide safe, affordable and beautiful bridges to our customers.

LA: How do you ensure your bridges fit the settings where they are installed?
Wilson: We work closely with our customers to ensure that our bridges will fit their needs both aesthetically and structurally. We know our customers
want their bridge to add ambiance to the setting, not deter from it.

LA: How has Pioneer Bridges evolved since its founding?

Wilson: We have doubled our fabrication facility to allow us to meet a higher demand and build larger bridges.

LA: What are the advantages of operating in this area from a business standpoint?

Wilson: The fact that we have a good supply of skilled welders is advantageous and contributes to our success.

LA: How do the area’s people contribute to the company’s success?

Wilson: The people in this area have a strong work ethic and take a lot of pride in their work.

LA: What role does Pioneer Bridges play in the community?

Wilson: We play an active part in the community by participating in various civic organizations and contributing to local charities.

LA: What are the company’s plans for the future?

Wilson: We plan to continue to grow and expand as necessary by continuing to develop our other product lines like bridge deck grid and grating.

Learn more about Pioneer Bridges at pioneerbridges.com or by calling
866-708-5778.

A great place for business

Looking for a place to locate a company or business division? Consider Alabama’s Lookout Mountain region. Less than a two-and-a-half-hour drive from six major Southeastern markets (including Atlanta, Birmingham and Nashville), the area is bisected by Interstate 59 and close to I-20, I-24, I-65, and I-75.
This location makes the region an ideal choice for distribution companies and manufacturers. Employees benefit from the area’s close proximity to large cities and low cost of living. Learn more at dekalbeda.com, gadsdenida.org and cherokeecountyida.org.

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