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Water partnership calls on local businesses during construction

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Fought and Company operation manager Steve Fugate, updates the Lake Oswego Tigard Water Partnerships Project Director Joel Komarek about progress on the new river intake pump station as they walk amongst its girders.You would think that making 30 tons of steel would be an impressive feat, but for Fought and Company on Southwest 72nd Avenue in Tigard, it’s just another day at the office.

The Tigard steel fabricator has completed work on several large girders, which will be used in the new Lake Oswego Tigard water system, currently under construction.

The steel will become part of a bridge connecting to the a river intake facility in Gladstone, which pumps water from the Clackamas River.

“This is the structure for the bridge,” said Jane Heisler, a spokeswoman for the project. “It’s a big component.”

Since 2008, the two cities have been working to create a joint water system in order to share drinking water and improve Lake Oswego’s current water system to serve both communities.

Construction on the Gladstone facility has been underway since July.

Fabricating 30 tons of steel is small potatoes for Fought, which often works with 1,000 tons of steel or more on large highway and bridge projects.

But Fought Operations Director Steve Fugate said he isn’t going to pass up on a job just because it’s small.

“We have had a nonstop round of these size jobs for months, and it’s really good work,” he said.

Fought regularly takes jobs on bridges, highway overpasses and highways from as far away as Alaska.

“They rarely have clients that are so close to home and they offered us to come out and see the finished product,” Heisler said.

Fought isn’t alone. About 80 percent of the contractors, sub contractors and vendors for the project living in the Portland area, Heisler said.

And of the 84 total subcontractors, all but four are located in Oregon and Washington.

“We’re a local company and we like to hire local companies,” said Scott Austin, senior vice president at Slayden Construction Group, which was contracted to oversee the project. “Investing in local companies keeps local residents employed who have a stake in the project’s outcome, and that’s important to us.”

Other Tigard businesses, including Snyder Roofing, Performance Contracting Inc., and WH Cress are also contributing to the project.

The other major component to the project, improving the cities’ water treatment plant in West Linn,

Together the two projects will cost about $76 million, Heisler estimated.

The entire cost of the Parntership is expected to cost about $250 million.

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