A contractor smooths out the surface of a new sidewalk, part of North Bend’s downtown plaza project. Work on the project was stopped Friday, Aug. 18, because of an ongoing strike by Cal Portland cement workers that began a week ago. (Photo courtesy of Mary Miller)

North Bend stops work on downtown plaza due to concrete workers strike

  • Friday, August 18, 2017 2:26pm
  • News

UPDATE: At 2:17 p.m., the Teamsters Local 174 issued a press release announcing that the labor dispute had been settled and the strike had ended.

A strike in Seattle is affecting projects throughout King County, including the huge reconstruction of two city blocks in downtown North Bend.

Work on the North Bend downtown plaza has been stopped, city staff announced Friday morning, because the project’s concrete supplier, Cal Portland, has an employee strike going on. The Teamster’s Local 174 strike began at 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 11, after a month of failed contract negotiations with Cal Portland.

The city’s contractor has been attempting to reach the four other main suppliers in King County, according to a city press release, but none are taking orders now.

So rather than proceed with more demolition — only the block between Brickyard Brewing and Twede’s Cafe remains to be torn out — without knowing when the concrete to replace the sidewalks will be available again, city staff chose to stop work on the project.

“It’s out of our control, we’re kind of waiting like everybody else,” said Deputy Public Works Director Tom Mohr.

The project areas are all safe for pedestrians to walk in, although some are covered only with dirt and gravel right now.

Mohr said he hadn’t expected the strike to continue for as long as it had, and, although he remains optimistic that it will end soon, he’s beginning to plan for a long-term shortage.

Cal Portland has not issued any statement on the labor negotiations since Wednesday and a call to a company spokesperson was not immediately returned.

Throughout construction, Downtown North Bend businesses will remain open and accessible.

For the latest information on the plaza project, check the city’s Current Projects web page, http://northbendwa.gov/index.aspx?NID=161.

A newly poured sidewalk in North Bend’s downtown area cures. (Photo courtesy of Mary Miller)

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