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Straightedge: the BergerABAM blog

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.”

Washington State Initiates School Seismic Safety Program

Washington State has a high risk of experiencing strong and damaging earthquakes because of its geological setting, particularly on the western side near the Cascadia subduction zone. This risk makes it critical to address the seismic safety of schools in the state.

The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is taking measures to assess seismic safety in many of Washington’s K-12 schools. The Washington Geological Survey (WGS), a division of DNR, recently received funding to work with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and a team of structural engineers to conduct seismic assessments at approximately 220 school buildings in the state. Conceptual seismic retrofit plans will be produced for 20 of the school buildings deemed most at risk.

Working Kennel for the Military Working Dog

The new Military Working Dog Kennel includes space for outdoor training.

The current kennel facility on the 1st Special Forces Compound at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington, is used to maintain and train military working dogs. Military working dog teams are highly specialized groups that support commanders in various operations and in warfighting. Today's military working dog program employs expertly trained canine handlers coupled with highly intelligent breeds of dogs.

Alternative Commute - A Challenge

Alex Francis and Ben Fisher, BergerABAM engineers, chose to commute to work via bike for the challenge.

How do you get to work? Do you take the same route every day? The month of May was National Alternative Commute/Bike Month, a time to celebrate alternative commuting methods. Depending on the agency, the intention of the month may vary. For some, it may be to promote bike safety, multimodal transportation planning, health and wellness improvements, or the negative environmental impact of single car use.

A New Bridge on Old Olympic Highway

The new McDonald Bridge is safer, wider, and more earthquake resistant.

On 1 May 2018, the McDonald Creek Bridge on Old Olympic Highway between Sequim and Port Angeles, Washington, opened to much community celebration, homemade pies, and the approval of old pioneer families still living in the area. Despite delays in construction caused by snow and bad weather, the project nevertheless stayed within budget and offers a bridge that is safer, wider, and more earthquake resistant than the old bridge that was built in 1957.