Cianbro receives bridge contracts worth $150M

Posted Jan. 15, 2010, at 11:03 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Maine — Cianbro Corp. announced this week it has landed $150 million worth of contracts to build bridges in Connecticut and Massachusetts, the planning for which Cianbro Cos. CEO Peter Vigue said will begin immediately.

In one project, Cianbro Corp. will replace a more than 100-year-old railroad bridge that crosses the Niantic River in East Lyme, Conn. Vigue said the job, which is for Amtrak, will be complicated because construction cannot interrupt trains on the bridge or marine traffic in the river blow.

“Essentially, [the rail line] is the main line for the Northeast corridor for Amtrak,” said Vigue. “In no way can we interfere with the activity on the existing bridge.”

Vigue said Cianbro crews would begin planning for the job immediately, including commencing the flow of materials to the work site. The $105 million contract, which has not yet been signed, includes a series of deadlines that have to be met.

“We have to move very quickly,” said Vigue. “[This type of project] is something we’ve done before.”

Cianbro also learned recently that it has been selected by the Massachusetts Highway Department to replace the Bates Bridge, which spans the Merrimack River in Haverhill, Mass. That contract, which also has not yet been signed, will be worth approximately $45 million, said Vigue. The Bates Bridge project isn’t as complicated as the one in Connecticut, but Vigue said that doesn’t mean it will be attacked any less vigorously.

“We’re pulling the trigger on that project as we speak,” said Vigue. “This is a more typical project that is well within our capabilities.”

Vigue could not say exactly how the two contracts would affect staffing, though he said they would provide a healthy workload for an extended period. With these and other projects ongoing, Vigue said he is focused on other jobs that could begin months or years from now.

“We’re in the construction business and everything we do has a beginning and an end,” said Vigue. “It’s incumbent on us to recognize that economies have ups and downs, and it’s up to us to keep the pipeline of opportunity full. That’s our primary focus.”

Vigue said Friday that the announcement of another large contract might happen in the coming days or weeks.

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