PACIFIC NORTHWEST EDITION
A Supplement to:
November 27 2016 Vol. I • No. 24
“The Nation’s Best Read Construction Newspaper… Founded in 1957.” Your Pacific Northwest Connection – Patrick Kiel – 1-877-7CEGLTD – firstname.lastname@example.org
King Street Station Upgrades on Track U.S. Wants to Build $1.6B Idaho Facility for Nuclear Waste WSDOT photo
By Keith Ridler ASSOCIATED PRESS
A Komatsu WA320 wheel loader (foreground) and a Kobelco 175 excavator are two of the workhorses involved in replacing hand-operated switches with automatic switches at King Street Station in Seattle.
By Brad Broberg CEG CORRESPONDENT
Nobody is happier about the improvements under way at the King Street Station than the conductors aboard the trains that stop at the historic Seattle terminal. The improvements will automate 21 switches that conductors currently must throw by hand. Scattered along 2,000 ft. (609 m) of seven separate tracks, the new switches are part of a $38.5 million Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) project that includes installing new signals and adding a new platform. Each switch doesn’t need to be thrown every time a train pulls in and out of the station. It all depends on which secondary tracks a train uses to reach a platform or the maintenance
yard when exiting the main line. While some switches are already automated and some trains can pull directly into some platforms, most switches are not automated, adding minutes to each arrival and departure — and sweat to the brow of conductors as they hop on and off the train. “As you can imagine, that isn’t a very efficient process,” said David Smelser, capital program manager for the rail, freight and port division of WSDOT. “The trains can be within sight of the station and it may take up to a half hour to actually get to the platform. When they leave, the same thing [happens] in reverse.” The automated switches will end the long slog. Trains will be able to maintain speed instead of inching their way in and out of the station, Smelser said. The King Street Station project is
one of 20 rail improvements either under construction or already completed as part of the Cascades HighSpeed Rail Program, which aims to improve Amtrak Cascades service between Eugene, Ore., and Vancouver, B.C. The Cascades High-Speed Rail Program is led by WSDOT, which partners with the Oregon Department of Transportation to fund Amtrak Cascades. WSDOT received $800 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to pay for various improvements to rail infrastructure in Washington. The improvements aim to shorten Amtrak Cascades travel times, increase reliability and add two round trips between Seattle and Portland (for a total of six daily). The King Street Station project see WSDOT page 12
BOISE, Idaho (AP) The Navy and U.S. Department of Energy want to build a $1.6 billion facility at a nuclear site in eastern Idaho that would handle fuel waste from the nation’s fleet of nuclear-powered warships through at least 2060. The new facility is needed to keep nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and submarines deployed, according to an environmental impact statement. It would be built at the Energy Department’s 890-sq.-mi. (1,432.3 sq km) site, which includes the Idaho National Laboratory, considered the nation’s primary lab for nuclear research. The government also looked at two other alternatives: continuing to use outdated facilities at the site or overhauling them. The effect to the environment would be small for all three options, the document concluded. The federal government bringing nuclear waste into Idaho has been a touchy subject, but state officials supported the new building. “We would prefer to see a state-of-the-art facility if they’re going to continue to bring in spent fuel,” said Susan Burke, Idaho National Laboratory oversight coordinator for the state Department of Environmental Quality. The Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program, a joint Navy and Energy Department organization, has been sending spent Navy fuel to the Idaho site since 1957, the document said. It's transported by rail from shipyards. Barring protests, a document approving the plan could be issued early next month. Officials say site preparation would likely begin in 2017, with the facility becoming operational in the early 2020s. “The facility would be designed with the flexibility to integrate future identified mission needs,” the environmental impact statement said. It noted that a new building is needed to handle a new type of spent-fuel shipping container, which is not possible at the current facility. The Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, when it see WASTE page 13
Page 2 • November 27, 2016 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Pacific Northwest Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
Port of Portland: Future of Terminal Remains Murky By Elliot Njus and Luke Hammill THE OREGONIAN/OREGONLIVE
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Michael Thorne remembers the Port of Portland’s container terminal as a high-maintenance moneyloser. As the Port’s executive director from 1991 to 2001, Thorne made hurried trips to Asia to maintain relationships with shipping companies. He lunched with Oregon importers to rustle up business for the carriers, giving ships a reason to stop in Portland. The Port built up other lines of business to prop up the container terminal’s losses. All that was OK, Thorne said. Leaders at the Port, a public agency funded in part by taxpayers, saw the container terminal’s export business as a service to farmers and other export-dependent businesses across the Northwest — one important enough to justify the cost. “We have to export,” he said. “The containers were a critical service.” By 2010, that philosophy had changed. The port’s new director, Bill Wyatt, still saw the container terminal as an important part of the port’s mission, but he also saw it as a major financial liability. The port, hoping to dodge the risk while continuing to provide the service, turned to a private operator. That decision laid the groundwork for what’s become a longrunning story in Oregon: the labor standoff that has idled the terminal, leaving the state’s farmers scrambling for other ways to get their goods to the world market. Much has changed in the international shipping world. Cargo ships have gotten bigger, and shipping industry consolidation has reduced the number of players in the market. That’s made it tough for a small port like Portland to succeed in the container business. Meanwhile, global demand has stagnated, sending the shipping industry into upheaval. South Korean carrier Hanjin Shipping, one of the world’s largest carriers and once the Portland container terminal’s biggest customer by volume, filed for bankruptcy last month. The future of the state’s only deepwater container terminal
“We looked at the container business as a business line that was mission-critical. In terms of the number of companies that needed market access, the container business creates the most market access for the most number of people.” Robert Hrdlicka Port of Portland
remains murky as legal issues continue to play out in court. And a well-known Republican is trying to convince legislators a state agency should take over the terminal to get container service running again. The standardized container was revolutionizing shipping in the 1970s as the Port of Portland started construction on its container terminal. Containerized shipping allowed more efficient transfer of cargo from truck to train to ship, and it dramatically sped up the rate of global trade. The Port spent $17 million in airport funds to build the 66-acre Terminal 6, which opened in 1974. In part because of the high cost of equipment, the terminal turned a profit only twice under the Port’s management. It nonetheless grew to 192 acres, with three ship berths and nine enormous gantry cranes, one of which was subsidized by $7.5 million in state lottery money. The terminal, 102 mi. (164 km) upriver from the ocean, never seriously competed with major West Coast container ports. In 2008, Portland accounted for just 1.3 percent of container movement along the coast, according to the Pacific Maritime Association. Nonetheless, its idling has cost Oregon exporters about $15 million a year in the cost of trucking goods to other ports, according to a 2016 study. It’s been especially costly for producers of products with small profit margins, such as compressed hay shipped to feed dairy or livestock animals overseas. “Terminal 6, in its heyday, was fantastic,” said Shelly Boshart Davis, vice president of international sales and marketing at Bossco Trading, an exporter of
straw, alfalfa and hay based in Linn County. Oregon’s agrarian economy depends heavily on exporting goods, but its smaller population means it’s not a natural destination for imported goods. That’s a problem for a container terminal, a place where success depends on a tenuous balance of imports and exports. “In container shipping, a perfect balance would be one container coming inbound, one container going outbound,” said Robert Hrdlicka, who served as the Port’s marine director from 1990 to 2003. “Shipping companies do not make money moving air.” So Thorne and Hrdlicka would travel the state meeting with importers large and small, trying to establish more inbound freight to balance out the exports. They also met frequently with exporters, of which there were hundreds. And they made frequent trips to Asia to talk with carriers, trying to maintain the frequency of service and perhaps lure more. In between, they had to keep up labor relations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which was known for bargaining hard and being fiercely protective of its interests. For both Hrdlicka and Thorne, the container terminal easily consumed the majority of their working hours. “We looked at the container business as a business line that was mission-critical,” Hrdlicka said. “In terms of the number of companies that needed market access, the container business creates the most market access for the most number of people.” Port officials pursued a shipping
company that would offer “first port of call” service, meaning a ship from Asia would come directly to Portland, then head directly back, maximizing the amount of space dedicated to moving Oregon goods. The goal always seemed just over the horizon, Thorne said. They also considered offloading the work of running the container terminal to a private operator. “I can be sympathetic with wanting to lease the terminal,” Thorne said, remembering that the hard and long work required by the container business didn’t always yield great results. But they had a condition: The operator would have to bring new business, including “first port of call” service, to Oregon. “We even talked about it,” Thorne added. “We’d never do it unless the operator would bring more business to Portland.” By 2007, though, the Port was again seriously considering privatizing the container terminal. Thorne was gone. Wyatt, who today remains the Port’s executive director, had taken over. The publicly operated terminal was an outlier at a time when most major container terminals on the West Coast were operated by private businesses. The Port’s 2007 strategic plan makes clear that Wyatt and other administrators were tired of the ups and downs of the container business. “The volatility of the container business line is a major strategic issue for the Port,” the report reads. In 2004, two major carriers had stopped service, taking with them more than 50 percent of the Port’s container volume. Business eventually rebounded, but the sudden shock necessitated the layoff of 30 percent of the port's administrative
staff. The port also saw the end of what had been a stabilizing stream of funding — the sale of industrial land at the Rivergate Industrial District — and the looming cost of the Portland Harbor Superfund site cleanup, currently estimated at $746 million. “We were on a one-way road where the costs were going to kill us,” Wyatt said. The Port soon launched an international search for a private container terminal operator. But then the recession hit, interest dried up and the Port suspended the search. In 2009, the container terminal lost $17 million. But one of the companies that expressed interest during the earlier search — Philippine firm International Container Terminal Services Inc., or ICTSI — quietly came back to the negotiating table, and in 2010 the two sides came to a deal: a 25-year lease of Terminal 6 under which the company would pay the Port $4.5 million annually after an initial rent payment of $8 million. The longshore union, which did not respond to numerous interview requests, testified in favor of the deal. ICTSI, which hadn’t previously operated any American ports, did not bring any new shipping business of its own but promised it would double container volume within five years. The task of keeping the terminal financially viable was now the company’s problem, not the Port’s. ICTSI, which took over terminal operations in 2011, declined comment for this story. Things went as planned for about a year, until the longshore union claimed jurisdiction over jobs plugging and unplugging refrigerated containers that had traditionally belonged to union electricians who worked for the Port. The dispute led to court battles, slowdowns at the terminal and the expiration of the longshore union’s West Coast contract with the Pacific Maritime Association. The result was that all three container shipping lines that called at the Port left town. Terminal 6 remains idle, and tension between the union, ICTSI and the Port persists to this day. see PORTLAND page 8
Construction Equipment Guide • Pacific Northwest Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • November 27, 2016 • Page 3
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Page 4 • November 27, 2016 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Pacific Northwest Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
Case, Central Machinery Work With Team Rubicon Case Construction Equipment and Central Machinery provided equipment and product/training support to veteran-led disaster response organization Team Rubicon for use in training 10 new participants in its heavy equipment training program at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge. The training included critical project work removing man-made islands in low-lying wetland areas to improve the habitat for birds and waterfowl. “We’re tearing down these islands and smoothing it out to return these wetlands to the way Mother Nature intended them to be,” said Steve Fox, engineering equipment operator, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. “It opens up the water and creates more of a natural habitat. Team Rubicon has been great. This is something that’s going to take us a few years to complete — they’ve helped us get farther along than we would be — it offers them a training area, and we’re getting good work done on the refuge.” Team Rubicon used the exercise to train its members in the safe use and maintenance of heavy equipment for its disaster response operations. Central Machinery provided Case CX130D and C210C heavy excavators, along with an SV280 skid steer, for the training and project work. The partnership between Case, Team Rubicon and the National Wildlife Refuge Association dates
Team Rubicon used the exercise to train its members in the safe use and maintenance of heavy equipment for its disaster response operations.
back to November 2015, when the three organizations began working together to complete training and project work. Other refuge training projects have been completed in Texas, California and Massachusetts, with additional training taking place at sites throughout the country. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hopes
that about 100 Team Rubicon members will be available to refuges for heavy equipment work and hundreds more available as volunteers for service projects across the country. “The Pacific Northwest takes its sustainability and preservation of natural ecosystems seriously, and the work performed by Team
Central Machinery provided a Case SV290 skid steer for training purposes.
Rubicon here will help improve these natural habitats for years to come,” said Scott Harris, vice president, North America, Case Construction Equipment. “Central Machinery — tied in to both the construction and agricultural industries — has always taken stewardship of the land seriously. We’re all proud to have participat-
ed.” For more information, visit Te a m R u b i c o n U S A . o r g , Case.TeamRubiconusa.org, CaseCE.com and CentralMachinerySales.com. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
Team members learned to safely operate this Case CX210C excavator, provided by Central Machinery.
Construction Equipment Guide • Pacific Northwest Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • November 27, 2016 • Page 5
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Page 6 • November 27, 2016 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Pacific Northwest Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
Idaho State University Plans New Medical School Building Founders of the proposed Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM) unveiled an architectural rendering of the medical school “The meticulously thought-out planning that went into the building and marked the construction site with design will help create a model for the medical school flags on Nov. 8 at the Idaho State Universityof the future and be a symbol of Idaho’s future and an Meridian Health Science Center. Construction of the $32 million, privately funded building is scheduled to begin in 2017 iconic building that we can all be proud of.” near the east entrance of ISU-Meridian. ICOM Dr. Robert Hasty will lease the land from ISU through an affiliIdaho College of Osteopathic Medicine ation agreement signed this summer and approved by the State Board of Education. ICOM’s founding dean and chief academic officer, Dr. Robert Hasty, told an audience of state lawmakers, physicians, educators and civic leaders the project is on track. “The flags being placed are symbolic of what will be home to Idaho’s first medical school that will serve the state and region for generations to come,” Hasty said. “The meticulously thought-out planning that went into the design will help create a model for the medical school of the future and be a symbol of Idaho’s future and an iconic building that we can all be proud of.” Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter joined Hasty and ISU President Arthur C. Vailas in placing 13ft. (4 m) tall flags printed with ICOM and ISU ISU photo logos along the perimeter of the proposed site. This is an architectural rendering of the planned new Idaho College of “We’re thrilled to partner with ICOM in Osteopathic Medicine in Meridian.
establishing Idaho’s first medical school. Our collaboration will not only enhance our existing health-science programs, but provide new research opportunities for our faculty, staff and students in Meridian and Pocatello,” Vailas said. Otter, who announced the ICOM and ISU partnership last February, applauded the project’s progress. “While ICOM is located in Meridian, make no mistake about the reach or impact of this college on Idaho’s statewide health care needs,” Otter said. “Not only population centers but also patients in smaller communities throughout Idaho will benefit from ICOM’s contribution to easing the shortage of physicians in our rural areas. This is a statewide college for statewide needs.” ICOM is currently seeking accreditation through the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation and expects to admit its first 150 students in August 2018. The school will operate independently of ISU, but ISU will have representation on the school’s board of trustees. For more information, visit www.idahocom.org. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
University of Idaho Unveils Plans for New Arena in Moscow The University of Idaho unveiled plans to construct the Idaho Arena, a 4,700-seat, 70,000-sq.-ft. (6,503 sq m) athletics facility that will be home for the Vandal men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball teams and a university community gathering place for academic events, concerts and meetings. Slated for construction on the north side of the ASUIKibbie Activity Center, the Idaho Arena has the potential to take the Vandal basketball and volleyball teams to a new level of national attention and interest. The arena will strengthen recruiting, rally fan excitement and improve the residential campus environment for students, faculty, staff and the larger university community. “This much-needed project is an investment in our student-athletes, in a great student experience and in an exciting campus environment for alumni, fans and the entire community,” said Chuck Staben, UI president. “It is an investment in Vandal excellence. “A modern, stand-alone arena puts our athletics program on a better footing in Division I athletics. It will allow us to recruit student-athletes that help us consistently contend for championships in basketball and volleyball. An adaptable facility also provides the flexibility for a wide range of other functions, including concerts, conferences and other programming for students and the community.” The arena project has been on the drawing board for nearly 50 years. When Staben joined UI nearly three years ago, Rob Spear, UI athletic director introduced him to the project and it quickly became a presidential priority. “After 47 years of discussion, it is so refreshing to hear
With plans for the arena to be constructed, in part, from Idaho’s natural, renewable timber resources, forest industry partners and architects have been quick to show their support to use engineered wood in the construction.
Staben announce the university’s commitment to construct an arena on campus,” Spear said. “The Idaho Arena will be one of the most impactful projects in the history of our athletic department.” The Idaho Arena not only will be a home for Vandal court sports, but also a gathering space for a variety of events — including concerts, academic conferences and other student activities, to enhance student life on UI’s Moscow campus. The arena also is a priority for students, with the UI student body agreeing to assess a student fee to help financially support the project. “We have a longstanding tradition as the Associate Students of the University of Idaho in supporting new buildings and areas for students to congregate,” said Cruz Botello, ASUI president. “It’s really exciting that the Idaho Arena
will be for our athletics teams, as well as several programs for students.” Plans call for the arena to be constructed using Idaho’s natural, renewable wood resources. Forest industry partners and architects have shown support for the plan to use engineered wood in the construction. So far, donors have committed about $13 million of the $30 million needed to construct the arena. For decades, home play for Vandal court sports has been in the Cowan Spectrum, a temporary venue inside the ASUIKibbie Activity Center. Scheduling conflicts with home football games and the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival often force basketball to relocate to the much smaller Memorial Gym facility. The new stand-alone arena will alleviate practice and competition congestion, as well as showcase a home court for recruitment efforts. “We have established ourselves as a premiere conference program, and the construction of the new arena is exactly what we must have to attract the student-athletes we need to springboard us to the next level of national recognition and deep runs in the NCAA Tournament,” said Jon Newlee, Vandal women’s head basketball coach. “I know this type of project would not happen without the commitment, dedication and vision of all who have laid the groundwork for this to be a reality. Many thanks to all of you who have already given generously to the Arena project and for those who will join in the future.” For more information, visit uidaho.edu/idahoarena. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
Construction Equipment Guide • Pacific Northwest Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • November 27, 2016 • Page 7
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Page 8 • November 27, 2016 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Pacific Northwest Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
SeaTac — Connecting Roads to Complete Corridor SeaTac’s latest project broke ground on June 6 with general contractor Ceccanti Inc. The project will extend 26th Avenue South from South 200th Street to the intersection of 24th Avenue South and South 208th Street. The new roadway segment will provide four general purpose lanes, left turn pockets, a shared use path on both sides, curb, gutter, stormwater infrastructure, retaining walls, street lighting, signalization, landscaping and undergrounding of power and communication utilities. This project completes a vital north/south corridor that provides a direct connection with the SeaTac Regional Growth Center, city of Des Moines, SeattleTacoma International Airport; the future Angle Lake Light Rail Station at South 200th Street; and multiple adjacent developable properties. The project is forward-compatible with the future state Route 509 Gateway project and is due to complete in the fall of 2017. For more information, visit CityofSeaTac.com. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
The project will extend 26th Avenue South from South 200th Street to the intersection of 24th Avenue South and South 208th Street.
Oregon’s Deepwater Container Terminal Needs Lifeline PORTLAND from page 2
But even now, Wyatt describes ICTSI’s arrival as a timely lifeline for the Port's container business. “Not only would we have gone out of business, but it would have been ugly,” Wyatt said. As it stands, he said, “we still have a container terminal that could operate under the right conditions.” David Doeringsfeld, who has managed the Port of Lewiston in Idaho for 23 years, said his port and the Port of Portland are “connected at the hip.” Transportation costs have doubled for some farmers, who now have to get their product to Tacoma or Seattle, he said. “Absolutely there’s a need for container service again at the Port of Portland,” Doeringsfeld said. The Port of Portland did help set up a barge-to-rail system whereby containers can unload at the Port of Morrow in Boardman and be shipped by rail to Puget Sound. Doeringsfeld's counterpart in Boardman, Gary Neal, praised the Port's efforts in that regard.
But the lack of container service in Portland has made things harder in Eastern Oregon, too. “We have quite a bit of trucking that had gone to Portland to get on the steamship line,” Neal said. “And that’s the most reliable and cost-effective place to ship for export, if we can use the services at the Port of Portland. And we have many industries in this region that export overseas, all over the world.” Neal suggested the blame for the loss of service lies with the union: “I think it’ll come back when we have productive workers who want to work,” he said. Thorne said he believes it comes down to working with the union. The longshore union has always been difficult to work with, he said, but it’s ultimately the only option for a workforce at the terminal. “Picking a fight with them isn’t going to do you any good,” he said. “That plays almost to their benefit.” He added: “It’s not the first time there’s been these kind of disputes.”
Kevin Mannix, the longtime political activist and onetime Republican candidate for governor, calls the Port’s handling of Terminal 6 an “absolute failure.” The Port has accomplished wonderful things in other areas, Mannix said, but as far as the container business, “the solution was not to walk away.” “The solution was to become more engaged and to make that terminal work,” he said. Backed by a coalition of exporters, importers and transportation companies, Mannix is pushing state legislation that would create a public corporation called the Oregon Shipping Authority to assume control of the container terminal. He has piqued the interest of Republicans at the statehouse, including Sen. Brian Boquist of Dallas, who said in an email such an idea “may be good” in the shortterm. Over the long term, he prefers developing the Port of Coos Bay, a goal shared by Mannix and his would-be shipping
authority. Mannix also said state Sen. Bill Hansell of Athena would sponsor the legislation, but Hansell backed away from it in a phone interview. “The likelihood of success is pretty small, and you’d likely do more damage than good,” Hansell said. The Oregon Shipping Authority, Mannix has said, could consider renegotiating the Port’s contract with ICTSI. Mannix also has floated the idea of using public workers at the docks rather than the longshore union, and the idea that the state could even create its own shipping line. Wyatt insists such an idea would never work. Any shipping company that called at a terminal staffed with non-union dock workers would surely be boycotted along the rest of the coast. Unwinding the ICTSI deal would likely cost millions, between buying out the company’s lease and replacing equipment the company owns and uses to operate the port. And the state would be stuck
with the costs of maintaining and operating the port, the situation Wyatt tried to avoid through privatizing its operations. Regardless, Mannix said, somebody needs to try something. “The present situation is unacceptable,” he said. “You can’t do any worse than zero.” Duane Olson, sales and warehouse manager at Northwest Onion Co. northeast of Salem, agrees. He’s not sure who to blame, but he just wants container service back in Portland. He thinks perhaps Port officials “didn’t look at the long-term of how important” Terminal 6 is to Oregon exporters. “You’d try to write a congressman, or a senator, and everybody kind of said they couldn’t get involved. Hopefully they can get somebody back in there soon,” Olson said. “We’d love to see it.” For more information, visit http://www.oregonlive.com. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
Construction Equipment Guide • Pacific Northwest Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • November 27, 2016 • Page 9
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Page 10 • November 27, 2016 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Pacific Northwest Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
Wider, Safer Oregon U.S. 20 Reopens After Realignment When the overnight closure at the U.S. 20 Pioneer Mountain-Eddyville project ended on Oct. 11, travelers were directed onto the long-awaited 5.5 mi. (9 km) new alignment. The trip through the Eddyville area now has passing lanes, wide shoulders and center-line and shoulder rumble strips to help provide a safer journey. The 10-mi. (16 km) section of roadway that is now bypassed becomes Crystal Creek Loop and will be a Lincoln County road soon. The Pioneer Mountain–Eddyville project broke ground in 2005 as a design build contract with a budget of $140 million. The original design included a series of bridges to provide passage for water and wildlife, span creeks, valleys and the railroad tracks. Much of the original design had been completed when construction of the 3 mi. (4.8 km) in the center of the project proved unfeasible due to ancient landslide activity in the area. The design-build contract was terminated and the project was taken over by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). ODOT redesigned the central portion as a series of cuts and fills. Rock was cut out of the hills and used to fill valleys, culverts were installed instead of bridges, and a
28-ft. (8.5 m) diameter wildlife culvert was constructed under the new highway. Since beginning the project again in 2012, construction remained on time and under the approved final budget of $365 million. The final cost remains to be totaled, as the west end curve tie-in and environmental remediation work will not be completed until 2017. Overnight closures continued through the end of October at the west end curve tie-in. The closures allowed construction activities and blasting to continue directly adjacent to (and above) the existing highway. Overnight closures are not planned for construction at the west end curve next year. The current length restrictions for trucktractor/semitrailer combinations between the U.S. 20 junction with OR 223 and Toledo will be lifted within a few days, and trailers over 48 ft. (14.6 m), up to 53 ft. (16 m), will be able to travel the entire U.S. 20 CorvallisNewport Highway corridor. For more information, visit www.us20pme.com. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
Construction for the new casino in Fort Hall is under way and Shoshone Bannock officials said the new venue is expected to open in March of 2018.
Idaho Casino Breaks Ground FORT HALL (AP)— Construction for the new casino in Fort Hall is under way and Shoshone Bannock officials said the new venue is expected to open in March of 2018. The $35 million project was celebrated with a special groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 19. The project, dubbed Casino Expansion Phase II, includes a one-story 72,984-sq.-ft. (6,780 sq m) casino, an 8,084-sq.-ft. (751 sq m) bingo hall, and a corridor and storage area. And it will all connect to the ShoshoneBannock Hotel and Event Center. A press release from the Fort Hall Business Council earlier this month stated: “The new bingo hall will provide patrons immediate access to the games located on the casino floor as well as the food and beverage venues included in the casino project.” The old casino will be used as office space and as a storage facility. Ormond Builders Inc. is the contractor for the project. The Idaho Falls-based builder
Giant Sequoia Prepares for Spring Move By Chereen Langrill ST. LUKE’S NEWS & COMMUNITY
Moving day is still months down the road, but work began the week of Oct. 17 to prepare a 100-year-old giant sequoia for its new home. St. Luke’s is expanding its downtown Boise campus, and one block of Jefferson Street will be closed in order to expand the horizontal floorplate of the existing hospital. Some of the trees in that area, including the sequoia, will be relocated. In order to ensure the tree’s health during this process, St. Luke’s is working with a nationally-known tree moving company, Environmental Design Inc. Crews are preparing the tree by pruning its roots and installing a barrier to temporarily prevent further growth. This will allow the tree to heal during the more dormant winter months. St. Luke’s is working with the Boise City arborist to determine a location in Fort Boise Park that is best-suited for the tree. When the time comes to move the tree in the spring, it will slowly be lifted up out of its current spot, and then transported to its new location. The cost for St. Luke’s to move the tree is approximately
$300,000. “This tree has been a part of our community for 100 years, and we want it to continue to be enjoyed by future generations,” said Dave McFadyen, St. Luke’s Boise administrator. “We are honored to be part of this tree’s legacy, and by donating it to the city of Boise we can be sure it will continue to be a treasured part of our community.” The giant sequoia is 98 ft. (30 m) tall, with a base circumference of 20 ft. 6 in. (6 m). It grew from a tiny cutting of a sequoia presented as a gift to Dr. Fred Pittenger by the conservationist Emil Grandjean, one of Idaho’s first foresters. Around 1912, the cutting was planted next to Dr. Pittenger’s home. St. Luke’s will be periodically posting updates from and about the sequoia. Follow along and use the hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, #BoiseSequoia. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.) St. Luke’s and a Boise City arborist will determine a location in Fort Boise Park that is best-suited for the tree.
submitted one of several bids reviewed by the Business Council and the Tribes’ project team. The team includes tribal finance and planning departments and TERO/TOSHA, and gaming staff. “The council’s unanimous decision to engage Ormond Builders of Idaho Falls is another example of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ efforts to promote business opportunities for Eastern Idaho employers,” tribal officials stated earlier this month. “The new casino and hotel and event center will be the premier entertainment destination in the heart of the Pacific Northwest.” The project will create about 90 jobs for a 16-month construction period in Fort Hall and Southeast Idaho, according to a press release in Nov. 2015. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
Construction Equipment Guide • Pacific Northwest Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • November 27, 2016 • Page 11
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Page 12 • November 27, 2016 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Pacific Northwest Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
$38.5M WSDOT Upgrades Include New Signals, Platform WSDOT from page 1
began in March and is scheduled for completion in fall 2017. Amtrak is managing the work with support from the Seattle office of Kennedy/Jenks Consultants under a contract with WSDOT. RailWorks (New York, N.Y.) is performing the switch work. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), which owns the main line and most other tracks, is installing the new signals with support from Herzog Contracting (St. Joseph, Mo.). Other key players include Service Electrical (Snohomish, Wash.); Heritage Mechanical
Work progresses on Seattle’s King Street Station. A Jackson 6700 tamper lines and tamps new track at King Street Station, where a $38.5 million rail improvement project is under way.
Rails are set at King Street Station in Seattle.
(Poulsbo, Wash.); and Rebar International (Puyallup, Wash.). More than 100 workers are involved in the overall project, Smelser said. Built in 1906 by railroad magnate James J. Hill, the King Street Station is on the National Register of Historic Places, but the handsome brick structure with its iconic clock tower is more than a landmark. It’s a living, breathing railway hub. Amtrak Cascades, Amtrak Coastal Starlight (to Los Angeles) and Amtrak Empire Builder (to Chicago) all use King Street Station as do Sound Transit commuter trains. BNSF freight trains also rumble through. Keeping all those the trains rolling means that the switches must be replaced during weekends when closing a track or two won’t disrupt service. While the RailWorks crew of 15 can replace some switches overnight, replacing others can take up to three weekends depending on their size, said Marty Lenhart, general superintendent. Three of the switches are double crossovers that form an “X” pattern, which allows trains to cross from one track to another in any direction. The double crossovers are essentially four switches in one. “There’s not very many of those in the world,” Lenhart said. BNSF dispatchers will control the automated switches from a command center in
Granite Construction photo
An APE 150 vibratory hammer drives a steel pile into the ground — one of 51 piles needed to support the columns for the cantilevered roof of a new train platform under construction at King Street Station.
WSDOT photo Granite Construction photo
A Delmag 30-32 diesel hammer pounds away at a piling previously driven by an APE 150 vibratory hammer to determine if the piling has sufficient bearing strength.
Granite Construction photo
A pile nears the end of its journey as workers keep a close eye on the APE 150 vibratory hammer.
Ft. Worth, Texas, that oversees train movements all over the country. RailWorks is using a stable of companyowned equipment to remove old track, rebuild the grade, lay new track for the automated switches and finish the grade. The workhorses include a Kobelco 175 excavator; a Jackson 6700 tamper; and a Kershaw 46-2-4 ballast regulator — all able to travel directly on the rail — plus a Komatsu WA320 wheel loader. The King Street Station sits on reclaimed tideland, which required Granite Construction to take an extra step to construct the new 1,000-ft.-long (604 m) concrete platform. The soupy soil and the weight of the platform’s cantilevered canopy — a whopping 400,000-lbs. (181,436 kg) — required driving 51 piles 65 to 75 ft. (20 to 23 m) deep to support each of the canopy's columns. Granite Construction rented a Link-Belt see WSDOT page 14
Construction Equipment Guide • Pacific Northwest Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • November 27, 2016 • Page 13
Idaho National Laboratory May House Warships’ Waste WASTE from page 1
becomes operational, will use the new container, as will nuclear-powered submarines under construction, officials said. The container requires a larger pool with a different configuration to submerge the fuel waste so it cools before going into dry storage. The existing pools have not been upgraded to seismic standards, should there be an earthquake, but the new facility would meet them, the document said. Nuclear waste coming into Idaho spawned lawsuits when state leaders in the late 1980s and early 1990s thought the site was becoming a nuclear waste repository. The lawsuits culminated in a 1995 agreement, then a 2008 addendum, limiting such shipments and requiring most nuclear waste be removed from the federal site by 2035. The deal applies to the Navy’s spent nuclear fuel. That means the fuel waste will come to the new facility after 2035 but it will only remain for the six years it takes to cool in pools, Burke said. After that, it’s required to be put in dry storage and taken out of Idaho.
Nuclear waste coming into Idaho spawned lawsuits when state leaders in the late 1980s and early 1990s thought the site was becoming a nuclear waste repository. The document said the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program is committed to complying with the agreement. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
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Page 14 • November 27, 2016 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Pacific Northwest Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
Housing the Homeless...
Portland Health Providers Give $21.5M for Construction By Gillian Flaccus ASSOCIATED PRESS
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Five major hospitals in Portland, Ore., and a nonprofit health care plan said they will donate a combined $21.5 million toward the construction of nearly 400 housing units for the city’s burgeoning homeless and low-income population — a move hailed by national housing advocates as the largest private investment of its kind in the nation. The money from the private health care providers will be part of a larger $69 million capital construction plan that comes as the booming Pacific Northwest city struggles with a seemingly intractable homeless problem that has become more visible in the past few years and poses a political quagmire for local leaders. Recently, hundreds of people were evicted from an informal tent camp on a nature trail on the city’s east side, and the city has fielded thousands of complaints on a hotline for residents as leaders debate repurposing an abandoned warehouse and a vacant jail as temporary shelters. “I’m incredibly excited about the impact
that this project will have, but what I’m even more excited about is the example that we are setting,” said Joe Robertson, president of Oregon Health & Science University. “Most of the story is already written by the time these people show up in our health system, so we have to do something and do it in a manner that is different than what we’ve done before.” In addition to the money from the health care providers, the city housing bureau will chip in about $9 million and Central City Concern — a nonprofit provider of lowincome housing that will own and manage the three new buildings — will finance the remainder of the $69 million through tax credits, loans and private fundraising. Portland is booming but skyrocketing rents, cripplingly low vacancy rates and a severe shortage of affordable housing created such an urgent situation earlier this year that the city made it legal for six months to sleep on city streets. Nearly 1,900 people sleep outside each night; 88 homeless people died on the streets in 2015, up sharply from 56 the year before. The housing will feature a total of 382 housing units in three apartment complexes
in strategically targeted areas of the city, including a North Portland neighborhood where many residents have been displaced by rapid gentrification. One site will include a medical clinic for people with mental illness and drug addiction along with additional hospital-style housing for homeless people who are dying, recovering from serious illness or surgery, or transitioning from a mental health crisis. Construction is expected to begin in 2017 and the housing should be completed by 2018. Hospitals and hospital systems elsewhere in the country have opened low-income housing, but the donation announced in Portland would be the largest and most expensive nationwide, said Robert Friant, spokesman for the New York City-based Corporation for Supportive Housing. The nonprofit group champions low-income housing and works in 40 states and 300 cities nationwide. Studies have shown that 70 percent of a person’s health outcome is determined by social factors, such as their housing status, income, level of education and support network, he said. The hospitals in Portland should benefit in the long-run by driving
down the number of expensive emergency room visits and other reactive care needed by those placed in the housing, he added. “That stability that comes with a home allows them to make regular doctor’s appointments,” Friant said. “We’ve had people who’ve had to spend months in a hospital because they’ve been homeless and their health has deteriorated.” It’s a story that Isabel Hartshorn knows well. The 36-year-old mother was homeless in Portland for eight years before getting an apartment and starting training recently as a carpenter. When she was on the street, she once got such a bad cough she broke a rib. “I had walking pneumonia for days. There was nothing that they could do about it,” she said. “I had to walk around like that. There wasn’t shelters available.” In addition to Oregon Health & Science University, donors include Adventist Health, CareOregon, Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health and Providence Health & ServicesOregon. (This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.)
Automated Switches Part of WSDOT’s Station Retrofit WSDOT from page 12
218 HSL lattice boom crawler crane and two pile hammers — a Delmag 30-32 diesel hammer and an APE 150 vibratory hammer — to hoist and drive the piles, said Aaron Wilson, project manager. The biggest challenge of the King Street Station project may have come before construction began as WSDOT had to make sure a gaggle of stakeholders — Amtrak, BNSF, Sound Transit and the station’s owner, the city of Seattle — were on the same page. “There’s a lot of fingers in the pie,” said Smelser. “Delivering this project is a lot about relationships.” The city of Seattle bought the station building (but not the tracks) from BNSF in 2008 for the nominal fee of $10, then led a $56 million makeover that upgraded mechanical systems, protected the building from earthquakes and restored vintage features — including terrazzo flooring and brass chandeliers — that disappeared during previous modernization work. The building’s transformation continues. The city is developing a plan to
A Link-Belt 218 HSL lattice boom crawler crane positions the APE 150 vibratory hammer over a pile at the start of the pile’s journey into the earth. Granite Construction photo
The King Street Station tracks run directly behind Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field. Workers labor on a double crossover switch in the shadow of the Safeco Field retractable roof.
turn the station’s empty third floor into a cultural center. (This story also can be found on
Construction Equipment Guide’s website at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.) CEG
Construction Equipment Guide • Pacific Northwest Supplement • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • November 27, 2016 • Page 15
Page 16 • November 27, 2016 • www.constructionequipmentguide.com • Pacific Northwest Supplement • Construction Equipment Guide
18060 Des Moines Memorial Dr. Seattle, WA 98148 3909 NW Fruit Valley Rd Vancouver, WA 98660