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Straightedge: the BergerABAM blog

Preserving Washington State’s Largest Ferry Terminal

Rendering of the new Colman Dock, courtesy of NBBJ.

Construction is well underway at the largest and busiest ferry terminal within the Washington State Ferries (WSF) system. The Colman Dock terminal in Seattle provides a critical link for commuters, bicyclists, and pedestrians across the Puget Sound. In 2017, more than 10 million people traveled through Colman Dock, including more than 5 million foot passengers.

Community Open House for Connect Washougal Grade Separation Project

On 14 November 2018, BergerABAM senior project manager, Brian Carrico discusses the Connect Washougal preferred option, the 32nd Street underpass, with a Washougal community member. Photo credit: Jacob Granneman/

The city of Washougal is tucked along the Columbia River basin on the Washington and Oregon State border, about 15 miles east of Vancouver, Washington. Because of the growth in the area, the city is encountering increased traffic and added pressure to existing roadways and intersections.

Engineer Volunteers 475 Hours for King County Explorer Search and Rescue

Jennifer Davis leads the rescue team handling the stretcher by telling them where to go and warning them of tripping hazards, such as rocks and tree roots.

Corporate social responsibility is important to BergerABAM and our corporate partners. Employees of BergerABAM and Louis Berger have the opportunity to log their volunteer hours for the chance to win $500 for a charity of their choice. Jennifer Davis, an engineer in our Public Works and Transportation Department, won by clocking 475 hours volunteering with King County Explorer Search and Rescue, where she donated the award money.

Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative - A Professional Fellow Visits Seattle

Abdiel Chiu, fellowship program recipient (front and center), with BergerABAM team members (from left to right), Huy Le, mentor Jilma Jiménez, Jourden Makinen, April Ryckman, Hunter Brown, Duffy McColloch, Ruben Vasquez Guzman, Luqman Munir, and Jose Suazo.

In April of 2015, former President Obama launched the Youth Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) to strengthen the entrepreneurial and management skills of young business and civil society leaders from Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs provides YLAI with 250 fellowships each year to enable professionals to come to the United States and get experience in their field of expertise. Alumni of past YLAI Professional Fellows Programs maintain a cohesive network across Latin America and the Caribbean to support each other’s efforts to improve their own ventures, share best practices, collaborate to reduce the opportunity gap, and contribute to economic prosperity in their communities.

New Vancouver Waterfront Park Officially Opens

The Grant Street Pier is a focal point of the Vancouver Waterfront Park.

The long-awaited opening of the Vancouver Waterfront Park and Grant Street Pier was celebrated on Saturday, 29 September 2018. Formerly an industrial site with a defunct paper mill on it, it became part of the City of Vancouver’s $1 billion revitalization program of its waterfront. This development provides a large economic benefit to the City by developing a mixed-use area that includes residential, commercial, and recreational areas.

Mission-Critical Code Evaluation at U.S. Coast Guard Base Honolulu

A comprehensive report was provided to the USCG with an evaluation of the overall quality of construction, including photographs, written observations, and recommendations.

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) had an immediate need for a technical review of one of its facilities in the final stages of construction. BergerABAM provided a third-party code review and evaluation of the contractor’s design and construction of the National Security Cutters (NSC) Homeport Addition to the Fast Response Cutters (FRC) building at the USCG base in Honolulu, Hawaii. The evaluation was a critical milestone for the USCG to proceed to the next phase of construction, as delays in construction could have negatively impacted its mission.

Anaklia Deep Sea Port

Rendering of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port terminal layout.

Today, the Anaklia Deep Sea Port in the Republic of Georgia is set to become an emerging transport and logistics hub of the region. A new development is underway on the west coast of Georgia that will build 3,000 feet of container and bulk wharves and more than 250 acres of container, intermodal, and bulk storage yards.

At the project launch ceremony, the prime minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, said, “With no exaggeration, today we’re starting the biggest project of the twenty-first century Georgia, the construction of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port. This is the beginning of a huge transformation and change in our country.”

WSDOT Develops First Diverging Diamond Interchange in Lacey

The image shows a graphic overlay of WSDOT’s new diverging diamond interchange on Marvin Road and Interstate 5 in Lacey, Washington.

On 22 August 2018, construction bidding started for Washington State’s first diverging diamond interchange (DDI) for Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for Interstate 5 (I-5) in Lacey. Although it’s the first one built in Washington State, over 70 versions have been built throughout the United States. The interchange will be located between I-5 and State Route 510, where the new crisscrossing lanes will be built—updating ramp terminals, widening the existing bridge, and adding a southbound lane.

Teaching the Next Generation of Bridge Engineers

Jim Guarre, BergerABAM senior vice president, is lead instructor for the CESG 529 Bridge Engineering course.

Experienced bridge engineers from BergerABAM are back in school this summer to teach a bridge engineering class at the University of Washington (UW). The College of Engineering, Structural and Geotechnical Engineering, Course 529 [CESG 529 Bridge Engineering] is a graduate-level course in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department at UW. The nine-week lecture series covers a variety of bridge engineering studies, including types and sizes; design load and resistance factors; seismic design; design of prestressed concrete girders, structural steel girders, decks, expansion joints and bearings, crossbeams, columns, foundations, and abutments; and bridge construction practices.

City of Fife Breaks Ground on Its Largest Public Works Contract

The groundbreaking kicks off the first two-year phase of the construction project to reduce congestion at Port of Tacoma Road and I-5. Photo courtesy of the Port of Tacoma.

On 18 July 2018, the City of Fife broke ground on Phase 1 of a major construction project at the Interstate 5 (I-5)/Port of Tacoma Road interchange. The two-part, $42.5 million construction project aims to speed traffic between the Port of Tacoma and I-5.

City of Fife staff and local government representatives attended the groundbreaking. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee was among those who addressed the crowd at the celebration. “Today I get to say, ‘If you want to improve your life, build a road to Fife,’” Inslee said. “And by improving lives in this regard, if anybody asked you what this road connection is, it’s a road to jobs.”