The long-rumored closure of American Bridge in Reedsport was confirmed Monday.
Laura Roberts, a member of the Dislocated Worker Team of the Oregon Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development left a message that the closure of the plant was confirmed.
“We found out this morning that, indeed, it is happening today,” Roberts confirmed in the message.
The plant has 51 employees and those employees will get some help in looking for new work.
“Our folks from Umpqua Training and Employment are on their way out there to talk to them,” Roberts said.
The closure of the plant had been rumored for more than a week.
Nobody from the American Bridge corporate office or the New York office would return phone calls or emails, nor would anyone from the Reedsport plant.
It’s not known if the closure affects the entire American Bridge Manufacturing or just the Reedsport plant.
Reedsport Mayor Keith Tymchuk had also heard the rumors.
“It is a loss to the Lower Umpqua Area … the great Reedsport area,” he said. “It’s a significant loss at that. From my perspective, what we’ve heard is rumor that a shutdown is impending, but I’m not sure what that date looks like, whether it’s 60 days from now or whether it’s six days from now. I think some clarity from American Bridge would certainly be appreciated by all of us in the local area.”
The company’s website had no mention of the closure.
American Bridge described itself on its website as “a leading participant in the worldwide markets for the improvement and expansion of civil infrastructure. The company excels at the construction and rehabilitation of cable supported bridges, movable bridges, steel truss bridges, steel and concrete arch bridges, heavy marine works, military, government and security infrastructure, and any other type of structural or marine project that benefits from advanced construction engineering skills. The company owns and designs equipment for a wide variety of specialized erection tasks.”
The company’s fabrication plant broke ground in 2002, creating 120 high paying jobs. The state kicked in $250,000 from the Strategic Reserve Fund to help pay for dock modifications to accommodate barge traffic.