County’s engineering firm bought by Canadian company Local office will keep workers

Published 2:08 am Sunday, April 29, 2012

ABMB Engineers has been bought by a Canadian engineering and design firm, though it won’t affect the company’s work force in Vicksburg.

Stantec, among the largest full-service design firms in North America, signed a letter of intent Thursday to buy the Baton Rouge-based transportation engineering firm, a jointly-issued release said.

“ABMB has a reputation for innovation and leadership in transportation design which makes them a great fit with Stantec,” said Bob Gomes, Stantec president and CEO, in a statement. “With ABMB as part of our team, we’ll continue to strengthen our U.S. transportation practice and create a strong foundation for growth across the Gulf Coast region.”

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ABMB has nine of its 130-person staff in its Jackson Street office, next to the Warren County Board of Supervisors building, and has offices in New Orleans, Jackson and Madison. The firm has been the engineering firm of record for Warren County since 1998. Stantec, based in Edmonton, Alberta, employs about 11,000 in more than 170 offices in North America.

The signs outside its offices may change, but the acquisition will keep all nine local employees in their current jobs and will allow the combined company to tackle a more diverse array of projects, said John McKee, managing principal for ABMB’s Mississippi offices.

“We will be able to do additional work, like water and sewer we haven’t done before,” McKee said. “And a full array of engineering work.”

More architectural projects could cross the new firm’s radar, as Stantec currently provides those services, in addition to surveying environmental sciences and managing road and bridge projects.

Founded in 1985, ABMB, as county engineering firm, has helped guide every road and bridge improvement on Warren County’s maintenance list and those subsidized by state dollars. Its recent projects in Mississippi and Louisiana include a gateway to the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, widening Interstate 12 east of Baton Rouge, design for new exits on Mississippi 6 and Mississippi 16, site design and other services for L’Auberge Hotel and Casino, also in Baton Rouge.