AMERICAN ALLOY PROJECT PROVIDES ECONOMIC BOOST
Local contractors and the river system are crucial
in completing five units for U.S. Navy
(March 2016) – On any given day 15-20 workers are toiling away at the Port of Lewiston to create five units the U.S. Navy will use in the decommissioning of Los Angeles-class submarines.
American Alloy, a Spokane manufacturing company of 85 employees, is contracting with the U.S. Navy to complete the project and utilizing subcontractors from the Lewiston area.
“These are more complicated than your average construction project,” said American Alloy owner Garret Guinn. “It’s the biggest single project we’ve done for one customer in one year.”
Workers construct mobile units for the U.S. Navy at the Port of Lewiston Container Yard. The project began in October and should finish up around June.
Local companies such as Well Connected Electric, Mike’s Plumbing, Heating & Air and K&G Construction are working on the units.
Local equipment suppliers like United Rentals are also being utilized. And, American Alloy crews are staying at local hotels.
“In the 27 years we’ve been in this business, this has been one of our biggest jobs,” said Brett Holley, co-owner of Well Connected.
Holley said they’ve hired two more people to keep up with their work, largely as a result of the American Alloy project.
“American Alloy has really put a complete team together of local contractors,” said Holley. “Their attitude and their willingness to work with everyone has been fantastic.”
Guinn said it’s a goal to support the local community.
“Even when the Navy comes, they want to eat at the barbecue place down the street (Lunchbox Deli).”
Guinn, a Coast Guard Academy graduate and veteran, was familiar with how government contracting worked when he founded American Alloy in 2007. The company has high ratings with the government and is regularly chosen for projects. However, this particular project would have been out of reach for American Alloy without access to the river system because the units are far too big to ship by roads or rail.
The units are bound for Bremerton, Wash. In the past, the Navy has been limited to companies near Puget Sound.
“Having access to the river and a high quality commercial dock allowed us to bid on the project,” said Guinn. “And, by having competitive contractors in the Inland Northwest, it may actually save the government money in the long term by creating competition for this type of work.”
Benefits of completing the project at the Port of Lewiston include the mild climate, which allowed crews to work through the winter, and having the Port as a helpful landlord, Guinn said. The Port made adjustments to the lease to expedite the construction process and provides additional assistance as needed.
“This is exciting for many reasons,” said Port Commission President Mike Thomason. “A number of local companies are benefiting from this project and that translates to an overall benefit in the local economy. Plus, this project showcases the capabilities of the Port’s dock and the importance of the river as a transportation option for local manufacturers.”