Imagine being cut off from the town you have lived in for 27 years when suddenly, access to your community was severed by Hurricane Irene. The otherwise gentle river near your house became a flash flood, washing away the only bridge between your community and the outside world. This is what the Costello’s and the Ulbrich’s of Mill Road in Mt. Olive Township, NJ faced on September 28th, 2011. In only two hours, the water had completely overtaken the road and destroyed the old wooden bridge that connected Mill Road to Mt. Olive.
In the aftermath of this natural disaster, the community began the process of trying to rebuild their lives. Beyond the obvious logistical problems of no longer having a bridge into town, one of the families on Mill Road has special needs child that required regular medical care. To this family, the lack of a bridge represented much more than inconvenience. To further complicate matters, the community bridge and road are not owned by the township, so the community residents bear the responsibility of replacing the bridge.
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David Scapicchio, the Mayor of Mt. Olive Township, was struggling with the resident’s problem when he received a call from Mabey Inc’s. Product Specialist, Jim Porreca. Porreca had heard about Mt. Olive’s situation and wanted to let the mayor know that our company was ready to help. Mayor Scapicchio explained that the Mill Road community did not have the resources to replace the bridge and asked if there was anything we could do to help.
Porreca wasted no time working out a plan to get the citizens reconnected with their community, families, and emergency essentials. When Mabey saw the need for the residents and realized that financing was not going to be available, the company did not hesitate to provide a bridge under a program that required no capital outlay by the community. Bob Aylward, CEO of Mabey Inc., felt that the company needed to step-up in a significant way to help the residents of Mill Road. Mr. Aylward said, “Mabey has built a successful operation in the state of New Jersey. We see New Jersey as a very important region as our company expands. When Hurricane Irene hit, we saw an opportunity for Mabey to give something back to a region that has been very good to us. You don’t have to go half-way around the world to help people in need. Our neighbors in Mt. Olive had a problem that we knew how to solve. I am proud to lead a company like Mabey that cares about our customers, our employees, and the communities in which we reside. My hope is that the bridge we provided will serve as a daily reminder to the community that there are companies and people who care and who are willing to help.”
When asked how he would describe the service Mabey Inc. provided his constituents, Mayor Scapicchio said, “In one word, I’d have to say ‘excellent’. Within hours they had someone out there after the hurricane and worked with us throughout the whole process.”
Now that the Mabey Bridge has been installed, life has begun to return to normal for the Mill Road community, even though the effects of Hurricane Irene will linger for some time. The residents are pleased with their new bridge and have a growing confidence that this bridge will be there to serve them for many years, regardless of what may come.