The Voice for Industry
July 23, 2008
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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 transportation infrastructure.

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.

The 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.

Manson and 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 project.

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 manufacturing talent.

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 Date!
The Port of Seattle Business After Hours, hosted for the Manufacturing Industrial Council, SODO Business Association and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, date has changed.

Please join your Port for an evening of fun in the park featuring appetizers and hosted beverages.
Date: Thursday, August 21, 2008
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 park
RSVP: By Monday, August 18th to 206-728-3449

Duwamish River Festival 2008
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 directions: http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/TCP/sites/lower_duwamish/meetings_and_events/m_and_e.html
More information: http://www.duwamishcleanup.org/events.shtml#duwamishriverfestival

Program 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 Salvage, Inc.

Public Boat Tours
Join Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition for a Boat Tour of the Duwamish River! Several dates are available:

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 www.brownpapertickets.com.


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: info@duwamishcleanup.org.


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 TBA....



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:

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/i405/112thAvetoSE8th

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Next MIC Meeting
August 26, 2008
3:30-5:30 PM
5509 1st Ave S
Seattle, WA 98108

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