October 2012

Building Bridges in Big Sky Country

Ironworkers Local 14 (Spokane, Wash.) and Pacific Coast Steel built the Two Medicine Bridge in Glacier Park near East Glacier, Montana. Pacific Coast Steel obtained the work through a very long, distinguished relationship with a general contractor.

The bridge consisted of 3,000,000 pounds of rebar and 500,000 pounds of cable. Over 20,000 man-hours were logged over the 16-month project, employing 45 union ironworkers. The project faced several difficult obstacles with extreme weather conditions being the worst. Building a bridge in Glacier National Park tested the workers on the job daily. The ironworkers, the only union craft on the job, with their valuable skills obtained through many years of training and experience, were able to overcome the weather difficulties and showcase their work.

Two Medicine Bridge is located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, giving the local reservation population an opportunity to join Local 14. Local 14 developed a relationship of mutual respect and admiration with the tribe.

The union ironworkers on the job represented their trade, local, and union extremely well. And as usual with the work of union ironworkers, the bridge was built on time and on budget.