No Big Easy
On August 1, 2007, the Interstate 35 Bridge collapsed
in downtown Minneapolis, killing 13 motorists and injuring 145 more while
generating headlines across the country about the declining state of US
But, if our infrastructure is shaky,
our specialty trade construction industry isn't.
Less than one year
after the collapse, the replacement bridge across the Mississippi River is
nearly finished and there is a good chance the $234 million project will
be wrapped up by September 14, 2008 -- 100 days ahead of schedule.
The success of the project has showered rare publicity on
Seattle-based marine contractor, Manson Construction, and its partner on
the bridge project, Flatiron Constructors, based in Colorado.
old bridge carried more than 140,000 motorists each work day through the
heart of Minneapolis. Its sudden loss resulted in major traffic
disruptions estimated to cost about $400,000 per day.
Flatiron crews worked literally around the clock to build the new bridge,
earning the companies high praise. U.S. Transportation Secretary Thomas
Barett calls their work "heroic" and a grateful Minnesota may well dole
out more than thank you notes.
If Manson and Flatiron meet the
September 14 target date, they will divvy up a cash performance bonus
that's so big they don't want to talk about it.
The folks at Manson
would keep their fingers crossed if they weren't so busy wrapping up the
Manson is handling the barges, cranes and other
water-borne aspects of the job.
Building in the midst of the Mississippi wasn't quite the
challenge you might think it would be. Minneapolis is on the upper reach
of the river, in one of the last stretches that is still navigable and the
current isn't anything special. But, while the mighty river wasn't so big,
it was unfortunately small enough to freeze over and cold weather was one
of the challenges in seeing the project through.
The bridge was by
far the most visible project in Manson's 103-year history, complete with
public tours and observation posts, nearly daily news media coverage, and
extraordinary public scrutiny due to the tragic circumstances of the
earlier bridge collapse.
"It's been just crazy," said Manson
project manager Bob Edwards. "It's the only project I've been involved
with that required this much interaction with the public."
Manitowoc on the mend
The I-35 replacement
bridge is being built with the aid of two 600-ton cranes built in
Manitowoc, Wisconsin, an old Midwestern manufacturing hub that's
undergoing a business revival thanks to the cheaper dollar, growing
exports, growing costs for imports, and the depth of the town's homegrown
The Wall Street Journal documented the
trends in a July 18th story that's now available in the Seattle
Industry News Service. WSJ quotes the manager of a new company
making pots and pans: "America got tired of manufacturing, but it remains
a great way to make money."
Annual Berry Sale 2008 by the Rotary
Club of SODO
FRESH blueberries from beautiful Mount Vernon, WA —
picked the day before, cleaned & packed whole then transported by
local Rotarians to our community.
Ready for pies, canning, jam or
freezing — enjoy year-round, still tastes like summer, flavor. You can't
beat their freshness! And you'll be supporting the good works done by this
service club year round.
Order your 10 LB boxes for $42. Place your
order by August 5, 2008. Only pre-orders are guaranteed. Contact us
at SODORotary@Q.com. Berries will be available on Friday, August 8, 2008
in front of Western Neon at 1st S & S Lander.
Business after Hours - Change the
The Port of Seattle
Business After Hours, hosted for the Manufacturing Industrial Council,
SODO Business Association and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, date has
Please join your Port for an evening of fun in the park
featuring appetizers and hosted beverages.
Date: Thursday, August 21,
Time: 5:30-7:30 PM
Place: Jack Block Park - 2130 Harbor Ave SW
(Just south of Salty's on Alki)
Parking: Plenty of parking in the
RSVP: By Monday, August 18th to 206-728-3449
Duwamish River Festival
This free, fun, family-friendly environmental festival's feature
attraction is updates on the Duwamish River Superfund cleanup. This year's
event will have even more booths and activities including kayak tours on
the river, live entertainment, water taxi rides, food, children's
activities, health information, tiny tots nail salon, an eco-friendly car
wash demonstration, and more!
Saturday, August 23rd, from 11 a.m.
to 3 p.m. at the Duwamish Waterway Park in Seattle's South Park
neighborhood. The address is 7900 10th Avenue S., Seattle. Click here for
sponsors include: the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the Washington
State Department of Ecology; the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition; King
County; Port of Seattle; The Boeing Company; Seattle Public Utilities;
Public Health - Seattle and King County; Puget Sound Clean Air Agency;
Field Roast Grain Meat Co.; Alki Kayak Tours; Bluefield Holdings, Inc.;
Cascade Land Conservancy; Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Replacement
Program; Windward Environmental; City of Tukwila; and Global Diving and
Join Duwamish River
Cleanup Coalition for a Boat Tour of the Duwamish River! Several dates are
Saturday, September 13, 10 a.m.– 12 noon:
Duwamish River History Tour, with the Museum of History and Industry.
Guides BJ Cummings (DRCC) and James Rasmussen (Duwamish Tribe) narrate
this two hour tour of the Duwamish River, focusing on the natural and
cultural history of the river and current cleanup and restoration efforts.
MOHAI members $25; general public $30. Tickets available through
Saturday, September 27, 10 a.m.–
12 noon: Duwamish River "Toxic Tour" with the Community Coalition for
Environmental Justice. Guide BJ Cummings (DRCC) and Secret Charles (CCEJ)
lead this two hour tour of the Duwamish River Superfund Site, focusing on
pollution issues, environmental justice, and community involvement in the
river cleanup. By donation; contact DRCC for reservations:
Or just send us an email letting us
know you'd love to go, but can't make the dates above, and we'll put you
on our list for our free community boat tour of the river this fall – date
The Wilburton Tunnel is a Goner &
I-405 Closed Down to Boot
Bulletin from WSDOT: All
southbound lanes of I-405, from SE 8th Street to I-90 in Bellevue, will be
closed on three consecutive weekends in August. The closures will take
place from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday on the weekends of August 8-11,
August 15-18, and August 22-25. These lane closures will allow
construction crews to efficiently remove the Wilburton Tunnel to make room
for two additional freeway lanes and improvements to the I-405/I-90
interchange. This work is part of WSDOT's I-405 South Bellevue Widening
Project which is designed to ease congestion on one of the region's most
congested roadways. For more information, including detour maps, visit the
project web site at: