The United States Pacific Northwest is a region characterized by high tech, aeronautics, agriculture, fishing, conservation, and increasing population, among many other dynamic attributes. A combination of these elements is helping fuel the prospects for two new Jensen Precast plants in Washington State.
In Puyallup, Washington, an 86,600 square foot manufacturing facility is pouring 60 to 70 yards of concrete a day to replace decaying infrastructure in the region. Many of the existing structures need modernizing, including much of the rusting corrugated pipe impacting fish populations. Public works departments want to protect threatened fish species by providing more means for them to move freely through the thousands of streams that run under roadways.
“Fish are a very important part of our world, so there is a huge market for replacing a small diameter pipe with a rectangular structure,” says Gary Venn, Jensen Precast Pacific Northwest General Manager. “There is also a huge demand for replacing existing culverts that are an impediment to fish swimming upstream.”
The plant currently has more than a dozen such environmentally focused projects in process. Other jobs the Puyallup team is working to deliver include detention vaults ranging from standard size to massive panelized structures, soldier pile retaining walls, and precast concrete slabs for pedestrian bridges.
Venn is a 40 year precast concrete industry veteran. His Puyallup team includes Human Resources/Environmental, Health, and Safety Manager Elizabetch Scott with 13 years in the industry, Lead Estimator Patrick Sibborn with 32 years, Quality Control Manager Chance Wold with 13 years, and a core of production managers each with 5 to 10 years experience.
Some 150 miles south of Puyallup along the Columbia River Gorge, a 15,000 square foot Jensen Precast facility in Camas, Washington, is focused on supplying the Washington State Department of Transportation, Oregon Department of Transportation, and local municipalities with traffic barriers that meet new criteria outlined in the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH). The Camas team has been instrumental in helping WasDOT meet the new MASH criteria by providing perspective on precast concrete for the WasDOT design.
“We helped the agency work out the constructability kinks with the design,” says Troy Gustafson, Jensen Precast Camas Project Manager. “With the new MASH requirements, the DOTs have to update their barrier designs, and we’ve helped them move toward meeting the new requirements.”
Gustafon has worked in the industry for more than a decade. He’s joined by Plant Manager Richard Blake with 31 years experience, Lead Foreman James Wade with 24 years in the industry, Quality Control Manager Anthony Brice with 19 years, and several other team members with 14 to 16 years of experience.
Jensen Precast acquired the Washington State plants from EnCon United Facilities in early 2021. The emploees are looking forward to building momentum in the Pacific Northwest market with support from new colleagues and access to a robust product portfolio.
“We are all really excited,” says Elizabeth Scott. “There’s a lot of support from leadership, management, everybody. They seem like a very positive team, and I think the Jensen Precast organization definitely reflects how we feel about our team. We’ve created a really tight-knit group here, and everything we’ve learned about Jensen Precast is exactly where we’ve hoped to be heading.”