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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


With local concrete market failing regional infrastructure projects, King County to pursue facilitating concrete manufacturing along with public partners

Summary

Executive Constantine provided legislation to the King County Council calling for a study of the County’s ability to facilitate the manufacture of concrete, ensuring that critical infrastructure construction is not inhibited in the future.

Story

With a labor dispute stretching into its fourth month, Executive Constantine testified before the King County Council today to introduce legislation that would study the feasibility of King County and other local entities developing their own concrete manufacturing facilities to ensure the future of critical infrastructure construction in our region.

Sound Transit, the Port of Seattle, the University of Washington, the City of Seattle and other local jurisdictions will join in the feasibility study. Each have projects delayed by the lack of available concrete, ranging from Link Light Rail, to a new University of Washington Behavioral Health Teaching Facility, to the West Seattle Bridge.

"Clearly, the local concrete industry is failing the people of King County, and I won’t let our region’s infrastructure hang in the balance. For the future of our infrastructure and our economy, the public sector must act to secure a reliable supply of concrete, even if that means manufacturing our own," said Executive Constantine. "While this won’t solve the stalemate today, we will begin the work to ensure taxpayers aren’t put in this position again, and to keep our region moving forward."

"The many critical infrastructure projects on hold today, along with even more on the way, have cemented the need for reliable concrete production. New projects and major infrastructure investments are an opportunity to reshape our City and our region for the better -- further uncertainty driven by concrete manufacturing concerns cannot be allowed to derail this potential. Creative, effective, lasting solutions are in order, and I look forward to next steps as we consider this path forward," said Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell.

"From the build out of Sound Transit to upgrading our sewer system, concrete is an essential component of the many public projects that make our growing region work," said King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci. "I applaud the Executive for thinking creatively about how we can keep public projects moving while preserving the rights of workers and look forward to seeing the feasibility assessment."

"The motion introduced today is a positive step to provide public agencies with more tools to manufacture the concrete that our projects need," said Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff. "We are a willing partner in this effort. The feasibility study in this motion will not solve our problems overnight, but we owe it to the region and the taxpayers to look at how to reduce the risk to our projects now and in the future."

"I applaud Executive Constantine’s leadership in seeking a regional solution to moving critical infrastructure forward," said Redmond Mayor Angela Birney. "Creating solutions that support projects in our individual communities like light rail, housing, and business expansion will have a long-term positive impact for our entire region."

"Delays in construction projects have big consequences for our supply chain and our communities," said Toshiko Hasegawa, Port of Seattle Commissioner and Northwest Seaport Alliance Managing Member. "This motion is a meaningful step to ensuring timely completion of projects in the future. Meanwhile, I thank the Teamsters for continuing to go to work as a good faith effort in negotiations."

The study will analyze the feasibility of the County facilitating the manufacture of concrete, including studying possible partners, locations, and a cost-benefit analysis. It will also identify any opportunities for private entities to be involved with the public project. The report will be due to the King County Council on Dec. 1.

 


Relevant links


Quotes

Clearly, the local concrete industry is failing the people of King County, and I won’t let our region’s infrastructure hang in the balance. For the future of our infrastructure and our economy, the public sector must act to secure a reliable supply of concrete, even if that means manufacturing our own. While this won’t solve the stalemate today, we will begin the work to ensure taxpayers aren’t put in this position again, and to keep our region moving forward.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

The many critical infrastructure projects on hold today, along with even more on the way, have cemented the need for reliable concrete production. New projects and major infrastructure investments are an opportunity to reshape our City and our region for the better -- further uncertainty driven by concrete manufacturing concerns cannot be allowed to derail this potential. Creative, effective, lasting solutions are in order, and I look forward to next steps as we consider this path forward.

Bruce Harrell, Mayor of Seattle

From the build out of Sound Transit to upgrading our sewer system, concrete is an essential component of the many public projects that make our growing region work. I applaud the Executive for thinking creatively about how we can keep public projects moving while preserving the rights of workers and look forward to seeing the feasibility assessment.

Claudia Balducci, King County Council Chair

The motion introduced today is a positive step to provide public agencies with more tools to manufacture the concrete that our projects need. We are a willing partner in this effort. The feasibility study in this motion will not solve our problems overnight, but we owe it to the region and the taxpayers to look at how to reduce the risk to our projects now and in the future.

Peter Rogoff, Sound Transit CEO

I applaud Executive Constantine’s leadership in seeking a regional solution to moving critical infrastructure forward. Creating solutions that support projects in our individual communities like light rail, housing, and business expansion will have a long-term positive impact for our entire region.

Angela Birney, Mayor of Redmond

Delays in construction projects have big consequences for our supply chain and our communities. This motion is a meaningful step to ensuring timely completion of projects in the future. Meanwhile, I thank the Teamsters for continuing to go to work as a good faith effort in negotiations.

Toshiko Hasegawa, Port of Seattle Commissioner and Northwest Seaport Alliance Managing Member

The strike is having a detrimental impact on our affordable housing sector’s ability to effectively respond to the homelessness and housing state of emergency in our region. We want workers to have fair wages and benefits, but we also want individuals and families without housing to have access to safe, healthy and affordable homes. Approximately 5,000 people who need housing security and safety now have to wait longer for housing as over 1,800 units of housing are delayed. We need a fast and fair resolution and we are glad to see the King County Executive lead with this motion.

Patience Malaba, Executive Director Housing Development Consortium of Seattle-King County

For more information, contact:

Chase Gallagher, Executive Office, 206-263-8537


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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