Murray and Baird Announce Vancouver Site Selection for Bay Bridge Construction Project

Mar 11 2004

WA Senator, Congressman worked to ensure that Vancouver consortium could compete with foreign suppliers for contract; Project could create up to 300 family-wage jobs in Vancouver

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray and U.S. Representative Brian Baird today announced that Bay Bridge Fabricators has selected a site at the Port of Vancouver to produce steel components for the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge East Span project. The Port of Vancouver site was selected over other potential sites in Oregon and Clark County.

Bay Bridge Fabricators is a local consortium of four companies formed to construct steel components for the Bay Bridge. The Bay Bridge Fabricators consortium includes Oregon Iron Works, Thompson Metal Fab, Universal Structural, Inc. and Fought and Company Inc.

Oregon Iron Works, along with Vancouver companies Thompson Metal Fab and Universal Structural, has a close working relationship with the two prime contractors competing for the Bay Bridge East Span project. Following a contract award by Caltrans (California Department of Transportation), it is anticipated that OIW and its Vancouver partners will be awarded a $30 million contract to fabricate steel components for the new bridge’s substructure components.

The Bay Bridge Fabricators consortium is preparing to bid on a potentially $300 million contract to fabricate the steel deck for the new Bay Bridge East Span. The Vancouver based Bay Bridge Fabricators may be the only domestic steel manufacturer to compete for this contract against foreign competitors from Japan, Korea, China or Latin America. If the consortium is successful, the steel deck work could lead to the creation of more than 300 jobs for at least five years. Oregon Iron Works has previously estimated that the project could generate more than $75 million in wages and benefits to the region and require 3.5 million man-hours to complete the 32,000 tons steel deck work project.

Murray, the senior Democrat on the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, and Baird, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, have both worked closely with Bay Bridge Fabricators to address barriers to competing for the Bay Bridge work.

Murray worked with officials at Caltrans to ensure that domestic suppliers can compete for bridge work. Baird has worked to highlight and preserve the Buy America requirements for federal funding of projects like the Bay Bridge.

“This site selection is great news for Vancouver-area families and for the economy of Southwest Washington,” Senator Murray said. “I know the importance of building our economy and I will continue to do everything I can to help Bay Bridge Fabricators win the contract to bring 300 new jobs to Vancouver. I congratulate the Port of Vancouver and Bay Bridge Fabricators for working aggressively to pave the way for future growth.”

"Locating this facility in Vancouver brings jobs to our region and gives our local manufacturers a breath of fresh air," said Rep. Baird. "The Port of Vancouver and the Bay Bridge Fabricators Consortium should be commended for their hard work on behalf of our local workers. Securing this project will provide much needed family-wage jobs and contribute to a vital part of our nation's transportation infrastructure."

The Port of Vancouver site for the Bay Bridge Fabricators assembly work is 25 acres with an additional 10 acres available for expansion. The site is on the waterfront with easy access for barge shipments and barge loading facilities. Additionally, the Port of Vancouver site is close to the existing facilities of the four local companies that make up Bay Bridge Fabricators and their local highly trained workforces.