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Summers-Taylor to acquire bridge-building company

Robert Houk • Mar 11, 2018 at 12:41 AM

Summers-Taylor Inc. of Elizabethton has announced it will merge with a regional bridge construction company with a 70-year history in Tennessee. Grant Summers, president of Summers-Taylor, said the acquisition of the Cleveland, Tennessee- based Simpson Construction Co. will add 100 employees to the 350 who already work for his company.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for Summers-Taylor and we welcome the Simpson team to the Summers-Taylor family,” said Summers, who represents the fourth generation of his family to head the 86-year-old road construction company.

He said the merger will result in a “stronger, more diverse company.” Summers said Simpson’s offices and operations in Cleveland will become a specialized bridge-building division of Summers-Taylor. Simpson’s employees and management executives will be retained in their current roles.

Summers said the deal involves “the purchase of a substantial amount of equipment and talent.” He said Simpson has built a sizable number of deep-water bridges across Tennessee in recent years, including one over the Holston River on Tenn. Highway 75.

“This merger affords us a much wider geographic reach and broader scope of expertise in deep-water bridge construction,” Summers said.

He said both companies are family-owned businesses “with long reputations of community involvement and commitment to their employees.”

Summers-Taylor began talks to acquire Simpson following the death of of its founder, Claude Simpson, in 2016. Summers said anticipation of that purchase was one of the reasons his company decided to buy the Model Mill in Johnson City.

The multi-million dollar project will bring Summers-Taylor’s corporate headquarters to West Walnut Street, along with retail and office spaces and new outparcel buildings along West State of Franklin Road.

“We wanted to spread our wings and make more room for growth,” he said. “We are building for the future.”

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