BMT-Northwest tackles huge project for new Husky Stadium
All the steps and seating structure of the new Husky stadium at the University of Washington in Seattle are coming via BMT-Northwest. While known primarily as a metal fabricator, BMT-Northwest also can tackle huge blasting and painting projects because of its enormous blast room and paint booth.
Soon, if you watch a game at the new Husky Stadium in Seattle or cross over the upcoming new 520 floating bridge spanning Lake Washington, you’ll experience the handiwork of the workers of BMT-Northwest.
They built the structural steel framework to hold the cement forms to create the pontoons for the replacement bridge that connects Seattle and Bellevue and are currently blasting and priming all the steps and seating structure for the University of Washington’s new stadium, said Rollie Irwin, BMT-Northwest’s vice president of manufacturing, who says the shop at Satsop Business Park on Fuller Hill now employs 55 workers.
Irwin said these kind of big jobs are a natural for BMT-Northwest, which is one of the largest steel fabrication plants in the nation, operating inside a building once meant to house twin steam turbine generators for the never-finished WPPSS nuclear plants. Its crane capacity – it can move a million pounds in a single lift – and easy access to its own barge slip mean the company is capable of shipping oversized components anywhere in the world, he said.
“For the structural steel framework for the pontoons, the contractor, Kiewit, needed a huge number of tons of iron and they needed to have it quickly,” Irwin said. “We were able to get 800 tons of new steel processed in a short time for the first phase of the project. Then we re-modified another 400 pieces of existing heavy steel frames for future phases of the project,” he said.
For the Husky stadium seating job for Canron Western Constructors, BMT-Northwest is using its huge blast room and paint booth – each of them 25 feet wide, 29 feet high and 60 feet long – to blast and prime all the steps and seating structure for the stadium. They will continue working on this project through August or September, Irwin said.
“We got the job because of the huge size of our paint booth,” Irwin said. “From the beginning, because of our size here, the idea was to build an additional business unit within a business unit. Now more people are becoming aware of what we can offer in blasting and painting in addition to our metal fabrication.”
Also, BMT-Northwest’s shop has opened up more work possibilities by being certified in January by the Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB), which opens it up to bid on Canadian projects.
“We are presently working on five projects for the Canadian market and this past week sent our first loads of steel to Canada. One of the projects requires a very special and sophisticated stainless steel called AL6XN. We are presently bidding several large projects that we couldn’t have even qualified for without this certification,” Irwin said.
“This certification will continue to have a lot of effect on our workload in the future,” he added.
BMT’s work will help water Las Vegas
Another recent unusual project built by BMT-Northwest was this large intake pipe built in the spring of 2011. Earlier this summer it was lowered into the water at Lake Mead and will become part of the water system that feeds Las Vegas. In this picture about 25 feet of the supporting cement structure is already below the surface of the water. Once installed, the “funnel” which is a water intake, will rest on the bottom of the lake in 300 feet of water. A 7-mile tunnel that is currently being drilled will connect into the cement portion.