/ Announcement / IBR Program Hosts Event for the Region’s Construction Industry

IBR Program Hosts Event for the Region’s Construction Industry

Parul Dubey on May 22, 2024 - in Announcement, Events, News

On May 6, more than 300 people representing construction-related firms of all sizes came to the Portland Expo Center for an event hosted by the Interstate Bridge Replacement program. The gathering was intended to provide information to contractors, subcontractors, consultants, suppliers, specialty service providers, minority and women-owned businesses about the proposed packaging and delivery of IBR investments, kindle interest in future opportunities and share how they can get involved. 

Attendees heard a presentation about IBR activities to date and future next steps, resources to encourage participation by women- and minority-owned businesses, and how to work with program partners such as ODOT, WSDOT, C-TRAN and TriMet. The audience also got a first look at the program’s draft plan to deliver program investments through over two dozen separate construction packages, potential delivery methods being considered, estimated contract value ranges and durations. These contract packages and their cost ranges are still subject to change as the program continues to collect feedback, refines its cost estimate and advances design.  

The presentation was followed by a Q&A session with several leaders representing the program’s administration, procurement and equity teams. Questions ranged from curiosity regarding Disadvantaged Business Enterprise participation goals and credit and bonding support for small businesses to federal standards for materials and testing, delivery methods, and when more detailed information will be available to contractors.  

Following the Q&A, attendees had an opportunity to chat one-on-one with representatives of the IBR program regarding details about the proposed construction packages, potential procurement methods and resources for small businesses. ODOT, WSDOT, TriMet and C-TRAN also hosted booths offering more information on how to do business with each agency and get registered as a vendor.  

The open house also provided a unique opportunity for networking between larger construction firms that might bid on bigger contract packages and smaller firms or consultants looking to subcontract on specific elements of those large contracts.  

“It was very informative,” said Mpaleng Khotule, principal agent of Agape Insurance & Bonding based in Aloha, Oregon. “It was a lot to chew on, but at the same time, very specific information about what the project is. For me personally, it will be good information for me to take back to my small contractor clients.” 

Paula Parrott is President and Principal Hydrogeologist of her firm, Parrott Environmental Consulting. As a registered DBE operating in Oregon and Washington, she was interested in attending to learn about what resources the IBR program and its partners will provide to help encourage firms like hers to engage in contracting on this generational opportunity to rebuild the Interstate Bridge.  

“I think it’s really exciting to hear about all the different packages that are going to be let out, that there’s going to be a lot of opportunities, and there seems to be a real commitment to working with DBE firms,” Parrott said. “It will be nice to see the individual agencies hopefully create some more smaller spaces for the DBEs to connect with the larger firms.”  

The IBR program plans to continue hosting events for businesses of varying sizes to connect with each other and the agencies, stay up to date on the latest activities of the program and learn about new information as it becomes available.  

The program has created two new webpages intended to host information for small and disadvantaged businesses, as well as potential contracting opportunities in the near future. Please visit interstatebridge.org/DBEpartners and interstatebridge.org/opportunities to learn more.  

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