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May 15, 2015

Highway and transportation

Photo by Will Austin
The Imco team worked in 12-hour shifts seven days a week to clear state Route 530 following the Oso landslide.

State Route 530 slide roadway clearing

Location: Oso, Snohomish County

General contractor: Imco General Construction

Owner/developer: Washington State Department of Transportation

Immediately following the Oso mudslide in March 2014, Imco mobilized people and equipment to the site to help with search and recovery. Once those efforts were underway, Imco was able to step in and help with cleanup and rehabilitation.

Imco and WSDOT worked with a nearby landfill owner to use his property for sorting and debris disposal, which greatly expedited the project. Imco moved 127,000 cubic yards of material in just three weeks instead of four, and was nearly 50 percent under budget.

When work began, there were two victims who had not been recovered, creating an unprecedented construction environment. Imco worked with spotters to ensure that all remains and belongings of those affected were treated with respect. Imco had their top people in the field to make sure the job was done right and as efficiently as possible.

The adrenaline was pumping — the team worked 12-hour shifts, seven days a week. A stream of 15 trucks ran back and forth each day to and from the haul sites. Imco was in constant communication with the owner, attended local outreach meetings and worked with multiple local and national agencies overseeing the work.

The Imco team had never before worked with sorting personal belongings and encountering human remains. Imco employees were assured that they had an outlet in case they needed it. Imco worked with spotters, composed mostly of area residents who had minimal construction experience. Still, the project was completed with zero safety incidents.

The Department of Labor and Industries regularly visited the jobsite and commented on how meticulously clean and organized the site was. The project was ultimately delivered one week ahead of schedule and $2.3 million under budget.

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