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January 2013

Adopt A River

Hundreds of native grasses and shrubs were planted along a stretch of the Willamette River.

When the Willamette River in Oregon periodically rises high enough, it will inundate portions of the 100-year flood plain surrounding it, causing parts of Portland’s Sellwood Riverfront Park trail to flood. After such an event, adventurous park visitors wanting to use the trail will often blaze their own path along the temporary edge of the flood water to travel from the park to this popular trail system. Unfortunately, once the water recedes, a new trail—unneeded, undesired, and unsightly—is left behind.

Addressing Reinforced Concrete Slab Punching Failure

Two-way slabs are unique to reinforced concrete (RC) construction. The most common type, due to its ease of forming and speed of construction, is the flat plate, a slab of uniform thickness supported by columns without beams, drop panels, or capitals. Flat plates are common in building construction and can also be found as deck components in waterfront piers and wharves.

The design of RC flat plates is generally governed by serviceability limits on deflection, or by the punching shear capacity of the slab at the slab-to-column interface or at locations of concentrated loads. Punching may occur before (brittle) or after (ductile) a yield line mechanism has formed in the slab around the column. Brittle punching is undesirable because there is little warning of the impending failure.

Training Special Forces – the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fast Rope Sniper Tower

The tower provides urban climbing, rappelling, and fast-rope insertion training for military personnel at JBLM.

“Traditional rappelling requires holding a rope with both hands. Which is inconvenient if you're being shot at. That’s why Special Forces are trained to rappel in unconventional ways.”—Michael Westen, Burn Notice (television show), “Friendly Fire” episode

How do you descend from a helicopter, enter a building, and rescue hostages when there are snipers shooting at you? The same way you get into Carnegie Hall: practice, practice, practice.

Registration Now Open for APWA 2013 Spring Conference Exhibitors

American Public Works Association (APWA), Washington Chapter is pleased to announce that registration for the spring conference is now open.

Built on the theme “Vision. Innovation, Determination.,” the biannual conference will be held at the Vancouver Hilton Hotel and Convention Center in Vancouver, Washington. The conference kicks off on 12 March, and features three days of pre-conference workshops, technical sessions, activities, entertainment, tours, and speakers. Attendees are encouraged to generate innovative ideas on how to address the multitude of challenges faced in Public Works now and into the future.