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Two Tri-Cities companies get $7 million Hanford building contract

Sun., May 9, 2010

A team of two Tri-Cities businesses has won a subcontract worth nearly $7 million to design and build support buildings for Hanford’s huge landfill for low-level radioactive waste.

Fowler General Construction of Richland and ELR Consulting of Kennewick formed a joint venture, ELRFowler, to win the Washington Closure Hanford subcontract.

The project, which includes an operations center and three maintenance facilities, is part of a $100 million expansion and improvement of Hanford’s Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility. Money for the work comes from $1.96 billion in federal economic stimulus funds being spent at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

The new facilities will help ERDF workers handle increased waste volumes as environmental cleanup of the nuclear reservation is accelerated, in part with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act money, according to Washington Closure.

A year ago ERDF was disposing of 200 containers of waste, averaging 22 tons each, every day. Now about 450 containers are disposed of on an average day, because of increased cleanup under the annual budget and cleanup paid for by stimulus funds.

“But we expect to handle up to 650 per day when work really picks up this summer,” Rick Caulfield, Washington Closure Hanford project manager for ERDF expansion and upgrades, said in a statement.

The landfill is expected to be used as long as another two decades.

The new facilities will allow more of the work needed to support landfill operations to be done indoors, Caulfield said.

The landfill has 850 waste containers in service, 48 trucks to haul the containers, eight bulldozers, two landfill compactors, three front-end loaders and four track-hoe excavators, as well as water trucks, road scrapers, vibratory rollers and maintenance vehicles.

ELRFowler is beginning design of the facilities, and construction should start this summer.

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