Oregon Iron Works, Vigor Announce Merger

May 21st, 2014

POSTED: MAY 21, 2014

PORTLAND, ORE. – (May 21, 2014) – Oregon Iron Works (OIW) and Vigor Industrial (Vigor) today announced the companies are merging to unite their strengths in advanced manufacturing, shipbuilding and ship repair. Under the terms of the merger, OIW will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Vigor Industrial.

The combination creates the critical mass of innovation, infrastructure and financial strength needed to pursue even more complex projects, enter new markets and win more work than either could separately.

“I’ve spent the last 40 years building Oregon Iron Works into a company with some of the country’s most advanced fabrication capabilities, and we’ve been looking for ways to evolve to the next level and compete in a broader market spectrum,” said Terry Aarnio, OIW Chairman of the Board. “Vigor builds and repairs ships. OIW builds boats and other projects with complex fabrication, machining, and integration requirements. Vigor has some of the west coast’s largest shipyard industrial facilities and great marine industrial workers.”

OIW’s unique fabrication abilities combined with Vigor’s shipbuilding, heavy lifting and marine launch capabilities will allow the company to complete large-scale, complex projects that neither company could do alone.

“This combination positions the company to meet upcoming demand from various industrial and marine sectors,” said Vigor CEO and Owner Frank Foti. “Not only will diversification allow us to better weather the ups and downs of the marine industry, incorporating good fabrication genetics from non-marine sectors is great way to achieve world-class shipbuilding standards in the U.S.”
“It’s ‘Industrial Evolution’ and it’s what our economy needs,” Foti said. “We’re doing everything we can to build and sustain family-wage industrial jobs.”

The combined company will employ about 2,300 people in Alaska, Oregon and Washington. OIW and Vigor agreed to terms on May 20th, and expect the merger to be finalized before the end of June.

About Oregon Iron Works
Oregon Iron Works, Inc. (OIW) is a specialty manufacturing firm with commercial, marine, nuclear, aerospace, hydroelectric, defense and transportation manufacturing divisions. Founded in 1944 in Portland, Oregon, the company has been under the same management since 1974. They have been building high performance aluminum, composite and steel hulled marine craft for the United States and other Governments and commercial operators since 1984, with over 300 boats delivered. The small business currently employs more than 480 employees and is headquartered in Clackamas, Oregon, with additional manufacturing facilities in Vancouver, Washington. For more information visit www.oregoniron.com.

About Vigor Industrial
Vigor Industrial is a leading provider of shipbuilding, ship repair and other industrial services in the Pacific Northwest. With 1,800 employees and seven subsidiaries and locations in Alaska, Oregon and Washington , Vigor builds vessels including fishing boats, tugs, barges and ferries. Vigor companies repair a wide range of commercial and government vessels, from ferries and fishing boats, to barges and platform supply vessels. They modernize fishing vessels, workboats and other commercial vessels. Vigor’s industrial service companies apply specialty finishes, install marine decking and offer precision machining. All Vigor companies share common goals: providing world-class maritime and industrial services to build the products customers need, to build the family-wage career opportunities craftspeople deserve, and to build the communities where Vigor employees live and work. For more information, visit www.vigorindustrial.com.



Brian Mannion, Communications, Vigor Industrial

Tom Hickman, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Oregon Iron Works

Installation of New Floodgates To Begin Soon on $1B Folsom Dam Project

February 11th, 2014

Feb. 10–After six years of construction, a momentous event is expected later this month at the new flood-control spillway being built at Folsom Dam: The steel flood-control gates — the mechanical heart of the project — will begin to arrive for installation.

This event will be hard to miss, because the gates are so large that 600 miles of roadway between Folsom and Portland, Ore., will have to be closed — in legs — as they make their way south. The journey will require 18 separate shipments.

The billion-dollar project at Folsom Dam, funded mostly by federal taxpayers, is intended to double the dam’s flood-protection rating to shield the Sacramento region from the biggest storms on the American River. In a drought year as bad as this one, it may be hard to imagine the need for this capacity. But it hasn’t been that long since the current dam’s limits were revealed. In 1986, the reservoir overfilled and flood-control officials were briefly forced to release more water than downstream levees were rated to withstand. Sacramento narrowly avoided disaster.

Although construction has been underway since 2008, most of the work has gone unnoticed except to residents near the project site and regular visitors to the lake. The delivery of the gates will change that, because it will require extended road closures throughout the region.

There are six main gates in the new spillway, designed to release water earlier and faster during a flood. Each assembled steel gate is about 40 feet long, 45 feet tall and 30 feet wide.

Imagine 12 school buses strapped together in a cube, three wide and four high, and you begin to get an idea of the challenges involved in transporting each gate.

“It’ll be pretty interesting, pretty spectacular, for them to be moving something this large down from Oregon,” said Rick Johnson, executive director of the Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency, which is funding the local share of the project through property taxes. “I anticipate it’ll be similar logistics to moving the space shuttle.”

The primary contractor on this phase of the spillway project is Granite Construction Co. of Watsonville, which holds a $125 million contract from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build the gate-control structure. This massive structure is equivalent to building a whole new dam. It is as tall as the Statue of Liberty and requires enough steel to build two-and-a-half Eiffel Towers.

The steel gates were fabricated at Oregon Iron Works in Clackamas under a separate $45 million contract. The first road shipment will be made this month. The exact timing of the deliveries isn’t known yet, but the contractors are working with Caltrans, the California Highway Patrol and local governments on the details. They plan to alert residents through the news media when the shipments occur.

There are actually two gates for each of the six openings in the new spillway. The primary gate, called a tainter gate, rotates in an arc to control water releases into the new spillway. These gates are exposed to water pressure from the reservoir at all times. The secondary structure, called a bulkhead gate, is installed just upstream of the tainter gates. It is a flat panel that is lowered into a slot only when it is necessary to access the tainter gates for maintenance.

Each bulkhead gate is about as wide as two highway lanes and will be shipped in one piece, one at a time. The tainter gates are bigger — about three lanes wide. These will be shipped in two pieces: one trip for each gate’s girder framework, and another for each gate’s curved steel face. That makes a total of 18 truck trips.

Because Interstate 5 is only two lanes wide over most of its length, it will be necessary to close the highway entirely when the gates are delivered. The closures will occur only at night, said Army Corps project manager Katie Huff, and the trucks will lay over during the day. There are a number of well-known choke points along the way that could cause traffic delays, even at night, such as bridges over the Yolo Bypass and Shasta Reservoir.

A drive that normally takes a car about nine hours will instead take a couple of weeks for each shipment, Huff said. As a result, it will take months to deliver all the gates. By May, all the parts are expected to be on-site at the spillway construction area, where they will be assembled and lowered into place with a giant crane.

“This is a huge milestone,” said Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento, who has worked to secure federal funding for the project, including another $70 million in the new appropriations bill passed by the House in January. “It’s quite remarkable, and those gates are huge. I think it’s something people are really going to stop and look at.”

Once off Interstate 5, the gates will be trucked east on Interstate 80. Then they will travel along Madison Avenue to Greenback Lane, Folsom-Auburn Road and Folsom Lake Crossing to reach the construction site. Closures will be required on all these roads, as well.

When the gates are installed — which may not happen until 2015 — the project will finally begin to look like the flood-control solution that Sacramentans have been promised for decades.

“Starting to see these gates arriving is pretty significant for us,” Huff said. “This means the project is getting closer to completion.”

Once all the construction is done in 2017, the spillway will be able to release huge quantities of water from Folsom Reservoir, and much earlier during a storm.

The existing gates at Folsom Dam, completed in 1956, have limitations. The large spillway gates at the top of the dam are unable to let water out until the reservoir is nearly full. The river outlet gates in the face of the dam can let water out sooner, but they are relatively small and can’t release water fast enough during a storm. As a result, the reservoir can fill too fast when big storms hit the American River watershed.

This raises the threat that the dam could be overtopped, creating a situation in which flood-control officials have to release more water from the spillway gates than normal operations allow, potentially endangering downstream levees.

The new spillway gates are 50 feet deeper in the reservoir’s water column than the current spillway gates, and they can safely release about four times more water than the current outlet gates. As a result, officials will be able to hold more empty space in the reservoir during a storm to accommodate more flood runoff from upstream.

The new spillway offers benefits even in drought years, Johnson said. For example, current rules require dam operators to maintain a fixed amount of empty space in the reservoir all winter to accommodate floods. So even in drought years, they must release precious water supply to satisfy that rule.

Because the release capacity of the new spillway is so much larger and faster, dam operators will be able to hold more water in the reservoir until they are sure a storm is likely to produce flood conditions.

“This will make it possible so we really don’t have to draw the reservoir down as much until we see (storm) conditions developing,” Johnson said. “It just makes it more flexible, with less risk to water supply.”

– See more at: http://enr.construction.com/yb/enr/article.aspx?story_id=195294053

Those are heavy dam gates

February 11th, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — After traveling 2,500 miles by train and truck, six 77,000-pound prefabricated galvanized steel bulkhead gates are on the final leg of a journey that began in Clackamas, Ore., and will end at the Winfield Locks and Dam in Putnam County.

Last week, workers at AmherstMadison used a crane to lift the bulkheads off railcars at their Port Amherst facility near the mouth of Campbells Creek. The interlocking steel units were then loaded onto trucks for a quarter-mile trip to AmherstMadison’s loading dock on the Kanawha River. There, another crane lowered the bulkheads onto a barge, placing them in two stacks of three units each.

It took three days to get the bulkheads off the railcars and onto a barge, according to Charles Jones, AmherstMadison’s president.

“After we got the process organized, we were able to move right along,” Jones said. “This is the second time we’ve moved bulkheads, but it’s the only time we’ve moved anything this long. We’ve moved heavier stuff, like draglines from here that ended up in Australia.”

The steel gates — 105 feet long, 12 feet high and 4 feet wide — arrived at Port Amherst on three railcars, according to Keith Blount, AmherstMadison’s vice president of construction.

“They’ll be used at Winfield to hold back the water so people can work at the base of the dam,” he said.

“This new bulkhead system will provide safe and efficient access for personnel to perform maintenance and repairs, if needed, on the dam’s roller gates,” said Jasmine Chopra-Delgadillo, public affairs specialist for the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The bulkheads are typically installed just upstream from a dam’s roller gate, to provide dry access for repairs and inspections of the roller gate, Chopra-Delgadillo said. When stacked atop each other, the bulkheads provide 27 feet of damming height.

The existing bulkheads at Winfield were installed just before the Putnam County navigation structure opened to river traffic in 1935.

Recent inspections done in accordance with new Corps engineering regulations indicated that the 78-year-old bulkheads were worn and in need of replacement for safety reasons.

Dana Hassel of Oregon Iron Works, the company that fabricated the bulkheads, was on hand to see them loaded onto the barge for the final stage of their cross-country trip.

While there are steel fabricators in the East capable of handling the Winfield job, the Oregon firm came out on top in a competitive bidding process, Hassel said. Oregon Iron Works also is supplying components for the Willow Island hydro project on the Ohio River in Pleasants County.

– See more at: http://www.wvgazette.com/News/201402010076

Four Fireboats

December 6th, 2013

In broad terms, there are two kinds of modern fireboats. You’ve got your major platform vessels with massive pumping power and full capacity for other emergency operations, from diving to incident command. But these boats are big, heavy, relatively slow and very expensive.

The other kind of modern fireboat is fast-response. There’s less pumping power and space, but they’re faster and more budget-friendly.

As it happens, perfect examples of both types are currently under construction at two Pacific Northwest shipyards.

In Seattle, Foss Maritime is well along with the first of two big fireboats for the Port of Long Beach, Calif. Designed by Robert Allan Ltd. (RAL) in Vancouver, British Columbia, the new boats measure 108’×35′ and will have 40,000-gpm pumping capacity. The overall look, hull shape and cycloidal propulsion of these boats are very similar to a RAL-designed fireboat built for the Port of Los Angeles about 10 years ago by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders, Freeland, Wash.

In Portland, Ore., Oregon Iron Works (OIW) is well along with the design and construction of two 40-knot fast-response boats for its home city. Here, the need for speed is paramount because the 54’×16′ boats will have to respond all along the lower Columbia River from Astoria to the Bonneville Dam, a range of about 150 miles. OIW has been building high-end specialty craft for military customers for many years, and it’s looking to expand into municipal and commercial markets, especially with fast-response boats.


The city of Portland is also upgrading its fireboat fleet, but with a mandate to provide emergency response on long stretches of both the Columbia and Willamette rivers, its new boats must be both fast and durable.

“The city wanted a 20-year service life,” said Josh Pruzek, vice president, marine division, at Oregon Iron Works, Clackamas, Ore. “They wanted a craft that would grow with them for more than five to seven years, which is the typical service life you might find on some of the lower cost vessels.”

Founded in 1944, OIW has been a pioneer in fabrication and manufacturing. The company now works in a wide variety of sectors, including marine, aerospace, nuclear, transit and renewable energy industries. Its products range from complex bridges to sophisticated military patrol craft built with steel, stainless steel, aluminum and titanium.

On the marine side, OIW has been building boats since 1984 and has delivered more than 300 vessels, many of them for the Army Special Forces and other military buyers. With this background, OIW sees an opening in fast-response boats. “We looked at the fireboat market as it existed, and we saw an opportunity for a high quality, higher end, technologically rich, fast-response, fire, dive-support, port-security vessel,” said Pruzek. “There are certainly a number of low-end product offerings out there.”

The technologically rich elements of the new Portland fireboats include automatic compensation for the recoil from the water cannons and fully integrated controls for fast and agile maneuvering.

“This control includes bucket position for the waterjets, nozzle position, interceptor position and engine rpm,” said Pruzek. “Everything is in a single control to make the craft easy to operate and very maneuverable.

“The beauty of an integrated system is that the operator doesn’t have to have five hands. All you have to do is move the stick over, and it will allow you to maneuver tightly without having to figure out how much tab or how much engine rpm and so forth.”

The new boats will also have an integrated hydraulics system with a hydraulic bowthruster.

The systems will have the ability to pump from a 0.4 percent foam concentrate to an 8 percent concentrate through a wide gallon-per-minute range, a feature that Portland fire department project manager Tim Von Seggern said is unique. “There’s nothing out there like that,” he said. “It’s a custom system that Oregon Iron has designed and built for these boats.”

The two 54’×16′ fireboats will be powered by twin MTU 8V2000 M84 engines, each rated at 1,085 hp at 2,450 rpm. The MTUs will turn ZF 665TS reduction gears and Rolls-Royce FF450S waterjets. Top speed will be about 40 knots.

For firefighting, each MTU will also drive a 3,500-gpm fire pump on the front end.

“But these are going to be flooded pumps,” said Von Seggern, “so we’re probably looking at 8,000 gallons per minute out of both pumps.”

The boats will have three monitors, two on the bow and one on top of the cabin, as well as numerous hose connections both forward and aft.

The concept design and performance specs were put together by Jensen Maritime Consultants, Seattle, but the final hull form was produced by Donald L. Blount and Associates Inc., Chesapeake, Va.

The contract delivery for the two boats is next August, but OIW expects to deliver the first one next spring.

OIW is also working on a third hull of the same size and shape on spec. “We’re hoping to find a customer that can specify the engines and waterjets, too,” said Pruzek. “The idea is to shorten the acquisition time for a new customer by having a hull largely ready to outfit. The custom boat fabrication cycle can take some time when you’re starting from scratch.”

The total cost of the two new Portland fast-responders is just over $5 million, according to Pruzek.

– See more at: http://www.workboat.com/newsdetail.aspx?id=22725

OIW honored as Sustainable Business at NWEC Conference

December 5th, 2012

On the Scene
Wednesday, December 05, 2012


Five Oregon companies were honored by the Oregon Governor’s office as leaders in the sustainability field at the Northwest Environmental Conference and Tradeshow on Dec. 4. The awards were established in 2006 by an Executive Order from Ted Kulongoski. Secretary of State Kate Brown presented the awards, applauding industry leaders for helping Oregon prove it is possible to grow the economy while still protecting the environment. “Oregon is known around the world as a pioneer in sustainability,” she said.

Manufacturing Award: Oregon Iron Works

Clackamas Metal fabricator Oregon Iron Works’ entire mission revolves around sustainable transportation. The company prides itself on creating local jobs and supporting local industries in procurement.

Oregon Iron Works Vice President Chandra Brown said manufacturers have a bad reputation when it comes to the environment. “Manufacturing is coming forward in the green market, and we’re going to continue that,” Brown said.

Full Story:


Portland Fire & Rescue Selects Oregon Iron Works to Build Two New Fireboats

May 21st, 2012

On February 1, 2012, the City of Portland announced that Oregon Iron Works, headquartered in Clackamas, Oregon, had won a competitive contract to built two new fireboats for Portland Fire & Rescue. Funds for the $5 million dollar project will come from the $72 million General Obligation Bond passed by Portland voters in 2010. $20 million dollar of the bond is earmarked to replace aging fire apparatus.

“’Made in Oregon’- a phrase that is music to my ears. I’m excited that Portland’s new fireboats will be built right here by Oregon Iron Works,” said U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. “This is a needed investment for Portland Fire & Rescue and a great way to help create jobs in Oregon.”

“Portland Fire has an aging fleet of fireboats that must be taken out of service on an increasing basis for repair and maintenance, impacting our marine response capabilities,” notes Commissioner Randy Leonard, “These two new boats will insure dependable emergency response on Portland’s waterways for the next 40 years.”

The aluminum boats will be built at the Clackamas, Oregon plant back to back with the latest navigational equipment, pumps, and controls. They will be powered by twin 1080 horse-powered engines that will drive two jet pumps, enabling the fireboats to achieve 40 knots, or just over 46 miles per hour.

Each boat will be 50 feet long and 15 feet across the beam. The boats will be capable of pumping over 7,000 gallons of water per minute to fight land and marine-based fires, as well as pump water to fire engines, if needed, during a catastrophic emergency. The boats will be ready to place in service in approximately one year.

“As a local small business manufacturer that employs hundreds of skilled Oregonians, we are delighted to build these reliable, safe, high-performance fireboats for the City of Portland,” stated Robert Beal, Chief Executive Officer of Oregon Iron Works “It’s good for our economy, it’s good for the safety and protection of our local citizens, and it supports real family-wage jobs with benefits.”

About Oregon Iron Works

Oregon Iron Works (OIW) is a specialty manufacturing firm with commercial, marine, nuclear, aerospace, hydroelectric, defense and transportation manufacturing divisions. Founded in 1944 in Portland, Oregon, the company has been under the same management since 1974. They have been building high performance aluminum, composite and steel hulled marine craft for the United States and other Governments and commercial operators since 1984, with over 300 boats delivered. The small business currently employs over 400 employees and is headquartered in Clackamas, Oregon, with additional manufacturing facilities in Vancouver, Washington. For more information visit www.oregoniron.com.

DDOT Selects American Manufacturer to Build New Streetcars

April 5th, 2012

April 05, 2012

(Washington, DC) Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced today that the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has selected Oregon Iron Works to manufacture two modern streetcars for the DC Streetcar system. The new vehicles will be built in the United States and will run – along with the three vehicles the District already owns — on the H Street/Benning Road line beginning in 2013. The proposed Cooperative Purchase Agreement sent to the Council utilizes an existing contract for streetcar vehicles between Oregon Iron Works and the city of Portland, Oregon.

“This contract, which we have sent to the Council for consideration, reaffirms our commitment to begin streetcar service in the District next year,” said Mayor Gray. “Investing in streetcars makes sense both economically and environmentally, and we must continue to move forward with the program.”

“We are excited to partner with Oregon Iron Works,” said DDOT Director Terry Bellamy. “These streetcars, combined with the three cars previously purchased, will give us a fleet size that will allow us to successfully deliver a safe and reliable transit system for the District of Columbia.”

Oregon Iron Works (OIW) was founded in 1944 and now has more than $100 million in annual sales and 400 skilled craftsmen and support employees. It is the only domestic manufacturer of streetcar vehicles and has the only streetcar test track in the US for testing vehicles before they are delivered.

“We are extremely proud to be supplying American-made, modern streetcars to our nation’s capital,” said Chandra Brown, Vice President of Oregon Iron Works. “This means more manufacturing jobs throughout the United States for us and our great subcontractors.”

Large Machining

March 29th, 2011

More Information

Contact Oregon Iron Works to learn more about the industries we serve and our state-of-the-art CNC and steel fabrication capabilities.

Call Us: 1.503.653.6300

Unsurpassed Quality

OIW fabricates to the highest quality standards. Our customers receive reliability, predictability, performance and quality through their entire project’s fabrication schedule.

The result is outstanding finished product, from the material sourced, to the complete documentation.

Learn more about our


Oregon Iron Works’ (OIW) large capacity machining and manufacturing delivers quality and performance, in every finished piece, for every customer.

Large Capacity Makes All the Difference.

  • 110’ multi-axis traveling floor mill
  • 40’ open-sided planer mill
  • 30’ open-sided planer mill
  • Welding positioners with capacities up to 120 tons
  • Overhead, straddle lift and gantry cranes for largest components
  • State-of-the art, climate controlled paint booth
  • On site, direct rail and ocean going barge access for delivery

We fabricate steel, stainless, aluminum, titanium, plastics, tooling board, and other ferrous and non-ferrous alloys.

Custom quality control and quality assurance programs ensure adherence to the most demanding codes and specifications for the nuclear, aerospace, hydro, marine, transportation and heavy construction industries, including ISO, NQA-1, ASME, AISC, ABS and AWS.

Questions about OIW’s CNC Machining capabilities?

Contact Oregon Iron Works to learn more about how our state-of-the-art CNC machining and steel fabrication capabilities can work for you.

Call Us at 1.503.653.6300 or click the contact button below.

CNC Machining



We Proudly Fabricate and Machine for the Following Industries

OIW Feature On Cover of Crane Hotline

March 29th, 2011

Crane Hotline, March 29, 2011

OIW Feature On Cover of Crane Hotline

OIW Working on the Installation of John Day Dam


February 23rd, 2011

More Information

Contact Oregon Iron Works to learn more about the industries we serve and our state-of-the-art CNC and steel fabrication capabilities.

Call Us: 1.503.653.6300

Unsurpassed Quality

OIW fabricates to the highest quality standards. Our customers receive reliability, predictability, performance and quality through their entire project’s fabrication schedule.

The result is outstanding finished product, from the material sourced, to the complete documentation.

Learn more about our


It’s better here.

We love to build. And we love a challenge. We are passionate about understanding the way things work, specifically your fabrication project, from start to finish.

Our customers say OIW is unique because we:

  • Proactively solve manufacturing challenges
  • Initiate cost savings for our customers
  • Innovate – in the way we build and the equipment we use
  • Integrate complex systems, efficiently
  • Understand schedule
  • Listen

We are always seeking the best way to build and install your fabrication project so it exceeds performance goals. We deliver unparalleled quality.

Our progressive approach, exceptional machining equipment, and critical measuring devices provide outstanding value for our customers, delivering the finest end product possible. Combine that with our on site direct rail and ocean going barge access, means we truly deliver.
Oregon Iron Works. Fabrication done right.

Questions about OIW’s Fabrication and CNC Machining capabilities?

Contact Oregon Iron Works to learn more about how our state-of-the art equipment, including our superior climate controlled paint booth, can work for you.

Call Us at 1.503.653.6300 or click the contact button below.

CNC 6-axis maching

We Proudly Fabricate and Machine for the Following Industries