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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


King County seeks concrete supplier contract to deliver on critical infrastructure projects

Summary

Ongoing labor disputes have frozen numerous private and public construction projects around the region, and King County is soliciting one or more concrete suppliers to ensure its construction projects can continue without disruptions and delays.

Story

With ongoing labor disputes jeopardizing construction projects around the region, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced the county is seeking one or more suppliers of concrete building materials to ensure projects can resume without further delays and disruptions. County projects like the RapidRide H expansion and the Georgetown stormwater facility have been delayed, along with numerous other public and private construction projects.

King County published a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) this week, seeking to guarantee a supply of concrete to meet the needs of County construction projects over the next three to six years. This RFQ is the first time the County is requesting proposals directly from construction material suppliers, and winning bidders will have the opportunity to lock in a contract with the County that’s worth $28M to $35M for the first three to four years. One of the qualifications to obtain the contract is to have an agreement in place that prevents work stoppages and employer lockouts to prevent future impacts to construction. Other public entities will be able to mirror the King County proposal and use similar qualifications.

“With transit improvements stalled and construction sites gone quiet, the impact of the labor dispute is leaving people out of work and taxpayers suffering delays in the critical infrastructure that the region needs built now,” said Executive Constantine. “Our proposal today seeks to protect the public’s interest by providing economic certainty to suppliers who treat workers fairly and keep our infrastructure projects moving forward.”

Other government entities, public agencies, and private companies have also been adversely impacted by the recent concrete strike. Construction delays or stoppages have happened on Sound Transit’s light rail expansion, WSDOT’s 520 Bridge Montlake interchange and 405 expansion, the City of Seattle’s West Seattle Bridge project, and the Washington State Convention Center expansion project. Private projects such as Microsoft’s campus modernization project, affordable housing, and market rate housing projects have also seen delays.

"Repair of the West Seattle Bridge remains one of the city's highest priorities. While the Seattle Department of Transportation, contractors, and community partners have worked tirelessly to keep the West Seattle Bridge reopening on track for mid-2022, this continued strike threatens to delay that schedule, as well as impact many other major City of Seattle projects. For an on-time opening, concrete companies and workers must return to mediation and reach a fair agreement – further delay and uncertainty is untenable for hundreds of thousands of neighbors across West Seattle, our city, and the entire region," said Mayor of Seattle Bruce Harrell.

“The inability to get concrete to Sound Transit job sites is causing serious delays to needed transit expansions and pushing construction workers into unemployment” said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. “On Sound Transit’s projects alone, we’ve missed more than 2,200 deliveries, equivalent to a line of concrete trucks more than 14.5 miles long. Our contractors have laid off more than 200 workers, and another 165 jobs are threatened. It’s critical that the parties to this dispute work together to negotiate a resolution. If that doesn’t happen quickly enough, this procurement that King County is leading will provide us with a potential tool to help us get our projects back on track and our workers back on the job.”

"On the Washington State Convention Center, the lack of concrete has already delayed the opening more than a month," said Matt Griffin of the Pine Street Group who is the developer of the project's addition. "This has caused the contractor to reduce the workforce by about 150 jobs. It's sad to see these people out of work, as the community is trying to rebound from the pandemic."

In addition to those mentioned earlier, there are two King County projects that are also currently impacted by the ongoing labor dispute including segments of the East Lake Sammamish Trail and the Loop Vehicle Maintenance Facility. There are a handful of other projects that, while they have not been directly affected yet, could be impacted soon, such as the Lower Russell Levee, improvements and repairs at West Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, and Cedar Hills Landfill. All nine King County projects total roughly 850 yards of concrete needs presently or in the near future.

“Concrete is quite literally the foundation of our region’s infrastructure, and it’s clear the impacts of this labor dispute are far reaching. Without these construction projects, our region will fall behind at a time when we need to push further and faster,” added Executive Constantine. “All parties need to get back to the negotiating table quickly and resolve the dispute so everyone in King County can get back to work building our future.”


Relevant links


Quotes

With transit improvements stalled and construction sites gone quiet, the impact of the labor dispute is leaving people out of work and taxpayers suffering delays in the critical infrastructure that the region needs built now. Our proposal today seeks to protect the public’s interest by providing economic certainty to suppliers who treat workers fairly and keep our infrastructure projects moving forward. Concrete is quite literally the foundation of our region’s infrastructure, and it’s clear the impacts of this labor dispute are far reaching. Without these construction projects, our region will fall behind at a time when we need to push further and faster. All parties need to get back to the negotiating table quickly and resolve the dispute so everyone in King County can get back to work building our future.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

Repair of the West Seattle Bridge remains one of the city's highest priorities. While the Seattle Department of Transportation, contractors, and community partners have worked tirelessly to keep the West Seattle Bridge reopening on track for mid-2022, this continued strike threatens to delay that schedule, as well as impact many other major City of Seattle projects. For an on-time opening, concrete companies and workers must return to mediation and reach a fair agreement – further delay and uncertainty is untenable for hundreds of thousands of neighbors across West Seattle, our city, and the entire region.

Bruce Harrell, Mayor of Seattle

The inability to get concrete to Sound Transit job sites is causing serious delays to needed transit expansions and pushing construction workers into unemployment. On Sound Transit’s projects alone, we’ve missed more than 2,200 deliveries, equivalent to a line of concrete trucks more than 14.5 miles long. Our contractors have laid off more than 200 workers, and another 165 jobs are threatened. It’s critical that the parties to this dispute work together to negotiate a resolution. If that doesn’t happen quickly enough, this procurement that King County is leading will provide us with a potential tool to help us get our projects back on track and our workers back on the job.

Peter Rogoff, CEO, Sound Transit

On the Washington State Convention Center, the lack of concrete has already delayed the opening more than a month. This has caused the contractor to reduce the workforce by about 150 jobs. It’s sad to these people out of work, as the community is trying to rebound from the pandemic.

Matt Griffin, Pine Street Group, Washington State Convention Center Addition Developer

The Port of Seattle is concerned that regional transportation projects will be at risk of further schedule delays. When commuters cannot access public transportation, more vehicles wind up on roads—including our freight corridors—slowing the movement of goods to and from our facilities. We stand with our regional partners today to urge the swift resolution of negotiations between the two parties.

Steve Metruck, Executive Director, Port of Seattle

For more information, contact:

Chase Gallagher, Executive Office, 206-263-8537


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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