New American Landmark: Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge
A modern engineering marvel, the recently-opened Hoover Dam Bypass is a new American landmark that rivals the world-famous dam itself. Soaring 900 feet above the Colorado River and built to withstand a 1,000 year earthquake, the four-lane, 19,000 foot long bridge is the longest single-span concrete arch bridge in the Western Hemisphere.
From the outset, LIUNA Local 872 members were involved in building the iconic landmark, collectively working over 500,000 man hours. LIUNA members did a variety of work on the bridge such as concrete work, drilling and blast work. LIUNA members also did all rock scaling, which entailed securing loose rocks and taking out any dangerous boulders. If and when rocks fell, LIUNA members were responsible for going into the water to pull them out so as not to disturb the water flow.
The bridge was built under a family-supporting project labor agreement (PLA). Project labor agreements, or PLAs, are pre-hire collective bargaining agreements that establish the terms and conditions of employment on one or more construction projects. They are often used by communities, contractors and labor unions to ensure smooth completion of projects. The $240 million project was completed on-time and on-budget. The project also created hundreds of good-paying local jobs and provided a variety of benefits for the workers, the companies and the communities involved.
Dulles Metrorail: Success for Taxpayers, Business and Workers
The Dulles Metrorail project is a 23-mile extension of the Washington, DC Metro rapid transit system that, once finished, will connect downtown DC to Dulles International Airport in Virginia. Long-anticipated, this new, convenient rail line will provide many benefits to the region and will unite area communities like never before.
Operating under a PLA, Phase I of the project has been an amazing success story for area taxpayers, businesses and workers thus far. From the start, Phase I hasn’t been plagued by the problems that have burdened other large non-PLA projects in the region. For example, the nearby Springfield Interchange – originally a $200 million project – wound up costing taxpayers nearly 300 percent more, five workers died during construction, and only legal action against a contractor gave it a chance of finishing on time.
By contrast, the PLA on the Dulles Metrorail has kept the project on time and on budget – and without a single worksite death or lost time due to accidents because workers are skilled and well-trained. The PLA has also ensured that jobs created by the project are family-supporting jobs with fair wages that flow back into local communities and to local businesses.
As Phase I wraps up in 2013, locals can look forward to greatly expanded local transportation options, businesses will enjoy a variety of economic benefits, and taxpayers can be proud of this investment in the future of the region.
The Washington Nationals Stadium: Pride of the Nation's Capital
Construction of the $611 million Washington National’s baseball stadium project was a boon for residents of the District of Columbia seeking good jobs and future opportunities. For a community that has historically struggled with high unemployment and too few economic opportunities for minorities, the stadium construction created hundreds of family-supporting jobs with health-care coverage, opened the doors to future advancement with free construction skills training and cleared the layoff benches of experienced construction craft workers. In all, more than $12 million has been returned to District neighborhoods in the form of workers’ steady paychecks. And for the region as a whole, the stadium is a source of pride, finishing on budget and on time—in fact, faster than any Major League baseball stadium in history. Read more.
The Woodrow Wilson Bridge Project
The construction project to build a new Woodrow Wilson Bridge across the Potomac River in the Washington, DC metro area was divided into three separate contracts. The Maryland and drawbridge sections of the bridge used Project Labor Agreements. The Virginia section did not. The Maryland and drawbridge sections were ready to open six months ahead of schedule. The Project Labor Agreements for the Maryland and drawbridge sections utilized monthly meetings between the project manager, unions and contractors that facilitated coordination and led the way towards under-budget and ahead of schedule completion despite the greater complexity of the Maryland section of the project.