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Blog posts of '2009' 'March'

Celebrating 70 Years in the Steel Industry
Seventy years have passed since three co-workers had a dream and started a pipe bending company. They had very little, but a strong desire when they started that business in an old blacksmith shop at 225 N. Russell. Their dream grew through hard work and a determination to grow. Albina’s original owners hired two employees, one being John Smith. As a first order of business, John Smith along with the original owners, built Albina’s first bending machine utilizing the transmission and parts from a Model-T Ford. This machine still works to this day, and is in storage at Albina’s current location. At a later date, John Smith was able to purchase the business from its last living entrepreneur. In January of 1967, John’s son, Bill Smith, purchased the company located then at 7805 NE Halsey. Under Bill’s leadership, Albina proved to be capable of supplying unique, quality products to a wide range of industries including structural steel fabricators, public works contractors, pulp and paper mills, truck manufacturers, architectural designers, sculptors, shipbuilders and many others. Albina’s product line grew to include heat exchangers, coils, boiler tubes, chip lines, formed structural supports and framing, institutional barriers and fencing, art work and sculpture, playground equipment, medical and dental equipment. Over the years, Albina has proved they could produce virtually any other metal component that needs to bend or curve without the use of pre-formed fittings. Bill’s son, Brian Smith, came on board in 1998 and was instrumental in the decision to move to the current 50,000 sq. ft. building in Tualatin, Oregon that was custom built in 2001. Brian currently controls all day-to-day operations and holds the title of CFO and General Manager. Albina’s growth is the result of the American dream, solid ideas and hard work. We thank all that have been involved with this growth and we look forward to providing our customers with many more years of the quality customer service and products associated with the Albina name.
2010 Winter Olympics Speed Skating Facility
Albina Pipe Bending Co., Inc. played an instrumental roll in creating the unique roof structure of the 400-meter speedskating oval located in Richmond, B.C. The oval is the home of the speedskating events for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Albina rolled 36 lengths of tube steel (12" x 12" x .375" wall thickness and 54 feet long) to a 101 foot inside radius. In total, 113,000 pounds of material was rolled to create the structural steel supports for teh concrete-roofed dome.

The concept of putting 400-metre speed-skating tracks indoors is relatively new. Until the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, Olympic competitions were held outdoors. Calgary's organizers convinced the International Skating Union to put its track inside a concrete-roofed room. In doing so, they created a facility that moderated ice conditions.

To read more about the unique architecture of the Richmond Speed Skating Oval, please read the following article titled "Richmond's iconic oval breaks all moulds" - Jan 2009
Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington
Albina Pipe Bending rolled 128,894 pounds of 5" Sch120 and 5" Sch40 pipe (tilted at 45 degrees)to help create a striking 340-ft steel pedestrian bridge linking the current Museum of Flight (Seattle, WA.) to a remote exhibit space and future development site across a busy traffic arterial. The radiused bend of the hoops varied from 22 ft at the center of the span to 19 ft at the tapered ends. All of the material is Architecturally Exposed and this bridge is a perfect example of why steel is the sustainable, available, fast and econmical choice. Precast structural shapes and cast-in-place concrete solutions were studied, but the narrow apeture through which the structure needs to pass, above the roadway clearance and below the power lines, limited the amount of structural depth that could be accomdated below the bridge deck. Using a steetl truss allowed the structural depth to surround the partially enclosed interior space and also maintained consistancy with the existing museum's architecture. The bridge deck was also originally specified as cast concrete over metal deck, but the weight of the material remained a problem, so once an extruded aluminum deck plank was identified, the steel could be reduced in weight, resulting in a savings to the project and a more appealing and eye catching design. For more information on the Museum of Flight, please see the December Issue of Modern Steel Construction and Steel Bridge News"Taking Flight" by Tim Richey AIA "Taking Flight"- December 2008 MSC
Project Labor Agreements for Federal Construction Projects
On February 6, 2009, President Obama made a significant change in federal policy concerning project labor agreements, or PLAs, on federal projects and government contracts. PLAs require all contractors and subcontractors on a construction project to have a labor contract with unions. Until, February 6, federal agencies could not require the use of PLAs on any government projects. The new Executive Order reverses that policy. While not requiring the use of PLAs, it encourages federal agencies to consider requiring PLAs on all federally-funded construction projects greater than $25 million. It makes PLAs permissible if their use advances the policies of the government's labor-management stability and compliance with safety and employment laws. The Office of Management and Budget has 180 days to make recommendations as to whether the new Order should be broadened. The Executive Order should result in an increase in the use of unionized labor on federal construction projects. PLAs will likely result in higher wages and require negotiation with construction unions in order to obtain federal work. While unions are pleased with the Executive Order, which reverses a non-union trend of several decades, non-unionized Contractors are not, as it impacts their ability, or desire, to bid on federal projects. Albina Pipe Bending Co., Inc. has been a union shop since its inception in 1939. We proudly employ union workers from the Local 290 Plumbers and Steamfitters Union (Local 290 Website) and the Local 516 Iron Workers Union (Local 516 Website). The specific language of the executive order can be found at: