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Straightedge: the BergerABAM blog

Practical Design Initiative

Nancy Boyd, director of WSDOT, gives the audience specific examples of cost-savings techniques offered in WSDOT’s practical design initiative.

How will Washington State provide innovative solutions to emerging infrastructure challenges? How will safer, attractive, and context-sensitive solutions be delivered with less financing? How will cost-sensitive solutions to an entire system, instead of high-cost solutions to isolated problems, be ensured? How will practical design transform the way projects are delivered in Washington State?

These are some of the questions that state agencies continue to face. The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) designed an initiative to help answer some of these questions.

Portland, Oregon, Office Goes Green and Gold

The City of Portland's Sustainability at Work program offers three levels of certification to recognize a business’s positive impact on the environment and community.

As a company that actively uses its knowledge of sustainability in building design, it’s only fitting that BergerABAM pursue the “green” in every day work life. BergerABAM’s Portland, Oregon, office was recently awarded the Gold rating by the City of Portland’s Sustainability at Work program.

The Sustainability at Work program was created to assist businesses, from small start-ups to large corporations, in gaining access to resources aimed at improving their environmental practices. The program offers three levels of certification to recognize positive impact on the environment and community. To qualify for certification, a company must apply for the program and meet a minimum of 12 sustainability actions in five main categories.

City of Longview Makes Improvements to Downtown Corridor

Officials from Washington State, City of Longview, and Cowlitz County celebrated at the groundbreaking ceremony.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held on 14 August 2014 to formally kick-off construction of improvements to the City of Longview's downtown area along historic Commerce Avenue. Among those who participated in the festivities were U.S. Senator Patty Murray, who was instrumental in finding funding for the project; Longview’s Planning Manager Steve Langdon; City Manager Bob Gregory; Mayor Don Jensen; Longview Project Engineer Amy Blain; and other state- and county-elected officials. Also in attendance was BergerABAM’s Project Manager David Sacamano, who managed this streetscape project, as well as Juanita Rogers, landscape architect and urban designer.

Engineers Win T.Y. Lin Award for Precast Bridge Bent System for Use in High-Seismic Regions

The T. Y. Lin Award recognizes papers that contribute to the field of prestressed concrete.

Though a good bridge can decrease congestion and speed traffic in the long run, the construction of bridges can cause traffic delays—leading to long waits, wasted fuel, unhappy commuters, and possible safety risks to the travelling public. As a result, finding ways to accelerate bridge construction is eagerly sought after by transportation agencies. Prefabricated bridge bents are widely used in non-earthquake-prone areas to reduce construction time and increase both worker and traveler safety; but in high-seismic areas, such as Washington and California, such construction is not robust enough to justify its deployment.

APWA Washington Chapter Fall 2014 Conference

What happens when you get to go the American Public Works Association (APWA), Washington Chapter Fall 2014 conference? The chance to share ideas, connect with others to learn and grow, and create new methods to manage old issues.

Senior Project Manager Carlos Ospina to Deliver 2014 Herbert J. Roussel, Jr. Lecture

Carlos E. Ospina will deliver the Herbert J. Roussel, Jr. lecture at the Louisiana Civil Engineering Conference & Show.

American Concrete Institute (ACI) Fellow Carlos E. Ospina, PhD, PE, will deliver the 2014 Herbert J. Roussel, Jr. lecture at the 24th Annual Louisiana Civil Engineering Conference & Show on 24 September. The lecture is presented in honor of the late Herbert J. Roussel, Jr., who was one of the founding members of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Structural Committee of New Orleans Branch and served on the ASCE Executive Committee from 1991 to 2005. Since 2006, a distinguished presenter is selected annually by the Structure Engineering Institute Chapter of New Orleans to deliver this lecture.

Winning for the Environment and the Economy: TEMCO Berth Maintenance Dredging Project

The 2014 WEDA Environmental Excellence Award for Navigation Dredging was presented to the Port of Kalama for the TEMCO Berth Maintenance Dredging project.

The 7-mile-long Port of Kalama handles more bulk exports than any other port in Washington State, exporting grain and other goods from various states, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota. To allow the Port to remain open to commerce, yearly maintenance dredging to remove sand and other debris accumulating in the shipping berth of the TEMCO grain facility is needed.

BergerABAM Executive Vice President to be Honored with 2014 Titan Award

BergerABAM Executive Vice President Mike LaNier will be honored with the PCI Titans of the Industry award for his outstanding service to the precast/prestressed concrete industry.

For his decades of work in the industry and the Precast Concrete Institute (PCI), Mike LaNier, executive vice president of BergerABAM, will be honored with the 2014 PCI Titans of the Industry award at the 60th Anniversary PCI Convention and National Bridge Conference in September. With this achievement, Mike will join previous BergerABAM PCI Titans Arthur (Art) Anderson and Robert (Bob) Mast.

Over the course of his more than 49 years as a professional engineer, Mike LaNier has travelled the world, worked on five continents, participated on projects that have opened doors to new advances in engineering, and helped to define an entirely new field of engineering in the United States.

Turning over a New Leaf: Improving a Cloverleaf Interchange

The reconstruction replaced two cloverleaf ramps with flyover ramps, upgraded ramps, and improved connections to and from Interstate 5, State Route 18, and State Route 161.

When the Interstate 5 (I-5)/State Route 18 (SR 18) interchange in Federal Way, Washington, opened to traffic in the early 1960s, its innovative cloverleaf design was unveiled as “state of the art” in freeway design. As years passed, the area’s commercial and residential growth resulted in heavy traffic volumes. Increased traffic density, coupled with short weaving segments, forced drivers to often perform abrupt weaving and merging maneuvers on and off the freeway, causing severe congestion and potential for highway collisions. In addition, the existing loop ramps were considered to be substandard based on current design standards and two of the four ramps were categorized as high-accident locations.

Launching a Much-Needed Transit Line in King County

RapidRide travels several of the busiest transit corridors in King County.

Within the last 20 years, Washington State’s greatest population growth was in King County and this progression is expected to continue in the next 30 years. As a result, there is an increasing need for reliable and affordable transportation during all hours of the day and long into the night. To meet this demand, the RapidRide program was launched to provide residents with a frequent and convenient transit system. King County Metro Transit recently hosted a public celebration at The Landing in Renton to commemorate the opening of the new RapidRide F Line for riders traveling between Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila, and Renton. The sixth line in the program officially began service on Saturday, 7 June.