The Wattis Brothers

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The Wattis Brothers Empty The Wattis Brothers

Post by kosovohp on Thu Sep 30, 2010 5:01 am

The Wattis Brothers, heads of the Utah Construction Company, were interested in bidding on the project, but lacked the money for the performance bond. They lacked sufficient resources even in combination with their longtime partners, Morrison-Knudsen, which employed the nation's leading dam builder, Frank Crowe. They formed a joint venture to bid for the project with Pacific Bridge Company of Portland, Oregon; Henry J. Kaiser & W. A. Bechtel Company of San Francisco, California; MacDonald & Kahn Ltd. of Los Angeles; and the J.F. Shea Company of Portland, Oregon.[22] The joint venture was called Six Companies, Inc.—Bechtel and Kaiser were considered one company for purposes of the name. The name was descriptive and was an inside joke among the San Franciscans in the bid—"Six Companies" was a Chinese benevolent association in the city.[23] There were three valid bids, and Six Companies' bid of $48,890,955 was the lowest, within $24,000 of the confidential government estimate of what the dam would cost to build, and five million dollars less than the next lowest bid.[24]
The city of Las Vegas had lobbied hard to be the headquarters for the dam construction, closing its many speakeasies when the decision maker, Secretary of the Interior Ray Wilbur came to town. Instead, Wilbur announced in early 1930 that a model city was to be built in the desert near the dam site. This town became known as Boulder City, Nevada. Construction of a rail line joining Las Vegas and the dam site began in September 1930.[25]





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