(Bridge Masters proprietary BridgeWalker unit in action | Photos courtesy of Bridge Masters Inc.)
Bridge utilities experts Bridge Masters Inc. has broken ground on its expansion to a new 26,000-square-foot facility in Redmond that will create an estimated 15 additional jobs.
The company is moving its corporate headquarters from the Alfalfa area to a site off Greenwood Avenue and owner Jeremy Herauf said the new jobs will be primarily a combination of manufacturing, construction, management and administrative positions.
Bridge Masters has been in business in Central Oregon since 2008. Starting as a specialty construction company, it has expanded its services to include its own type of under bridge access equipment and nationwide rentals.
Herauf said, “It may not be widely realized but any utilities that you have in your house or for telecommunications often at some point have to cross a bridge. It is typically not feasible to straddle aerially or bury under a river so there needs to be utilities continued along the structure.
“That is where we come in and we have established a niche over many years in installing, repairing, inspecting, maintaining and designing bridge utilities and bridge conduits.”
Celebrating 20 years as a family owned business, Bridge Masters, Inc. was founded by Allan Herauf in 2002, who purchased an existing fleet of three “BridgeWalker” machines, originally designed and built by Ralph Langston of Oregon City.
Allan Herauf moved the company to Bend, near Alfalfa in 2008. In 2015 his son Jeremy and Crystal Herauf purchased the company.
By 2018 they had started Titan Manufacturing and Bridge Masters Rentals to assist in the scaling of the construction company as well as to provide a new product, the modified BridgeWalker, to the industry. The company was issued a U.S. Patent for the BridgeWalker Type II in 2017 and is in Patent Pending stage with the BridgeWalker Type I-Track Unit, both reconfigured to meet current standards.
The new 26,000-square-foot building in Redmond will allow all three companies to expand and take advantage of opportunities that their products and services provide.
The Redmond facility will primarily cater to manufacturing of the BridgeWalker machines and servicing the fleet for Bridge Masters Rentals. Since construction services are provided primarily out of state, the building will house executive and support staff.
The relocation has some strategic advantages, including to be nearer the Crooked River Pedestrian Bridge which BMI uses for training and quality control purposes. As to not rely too heavily on the Crooked River Bridge, they plan to build a bridge on the new site for day to day use.
Jeremy Herauf added, “We started the manufacturing company to produce our own under bridge access machines, which we can sell to our rental company and in turn rent out to contractors like Department of Transport’s that conduct inspections in-house.
“The Bridgewalker is the lightest, most innovative bridge access machine on the market and we identified a need for such a small to mid-size piece of equipment and expanded successfully into areas such as the East Coast.
“It is a specialist niche and there was a lot of business in expanding telecom to rural communities during the Obama administration and now infrastructure nationally is a hot topic and we are gearing up to be a part of the pending allocations to address those needs.
“The new facility will streamline operations in essentially consolidating three buildings into one. Redmond is doing great job and we are happy to be part of its vibrant business community.”
Since 1974, Bridge Masters Inc. has served the utility construction industry by specializing in bridge utility attachment and repair.