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Big Fish

Big Fish
Yes, there's the viaduct deconstruct and Brooks's new world HQ going up in Wallingford, but if you ask Skanska EVP Chris Toher about recent projects he's most proud of, he talks about community impact. And not just for humans, but for fish. (They're looking for some ocean floor-level retail or maybe some coral in-fill.)
Chris Toher and Jay Weisberger at Espresso Vivace in Seattle.
Skanska lowered its second fish transporter—built for Puget Sound Energy—into Baker Lake earlier this summer, Chris told us recently over coffee at trendy Espresso Vivace at Alley 24. The fish transporter, which helps newborn fish get around the Baker Lake Dam, is "basically a three-story floating building, with two stories submerged," he says. So far, PSE and the Department of Fish and Wildlife have been encouraged by the increasing fish stock (and Skanska has scored its merit badge).
The deconstruction of the Viaduct is beginning, and Skanska USA is all over it.
WSU business and construction management grad Chris cut his teeth working for Baugh Construction under the tutelage of Bob Baugh and many others. He confesses that he hadn't heard of Skanska before the Swedish-based firm acquired Baugh in 2000, and that he "never in a million years" planned to work for a large company. (He tells us he likes to think of Skanska as "glocal""global but local.") "Everybody thinks we're a megacontractor," Chris tells us. "But that's not all we do. That's not how we were raised."
A rendering of Stone34 in Wallingford.
With Stone34, above, and other projects (notably as contractor on the team that built the Bertschi School's new science classroom), Skanska has gotten a rep for being serious about sustainability. For Chris, a father of three daughters, environmental consciousness doesn't end with the workday, either: "I put a piece of plastic in the wrong container in my house and all hell breaks loose," he notes.