Skip to main content

Straightedge: the BergerABAM blog

Newforma at BergerABAM

Rebuilding and Strengthening Whole Communities, One Home at a Time

Over 30 ASCE members volunteered to renovate this home.

There are over 37,000 low-income homeowners in the Seattle, Washington, area that struggle to afford necessary home repairs. The hazards of living in these homes threaten their individual and family health and safety each day. On 30 April 2016, the Seattle Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) partnered with a local nonprofit organization, Rebuilding Together, to renovate an over 100-year-old home on Fremont Avenue, north of Seattle, for disabled Navy veteran, Dale Weston. Dale has been living in the home for over 14 years.

The Longest Floating Bridge in the World is Now Open!

Over 50,000 people visited the floating bridge at the grand opening.

At 7,710 feet long, the new State Route 520 (SR 520) bridge in Seattle, Washington, is the longest floating bridge in the world. In recognition of this incredible project achievement that involved the support of many design and construction firms, the Washington State Department of Transportation hosted a grand opening celebration for the public on 2 and 3 April.

The César E. Chávez Campus—Modern, Innovative, Functional, and Award-Winning

The new Cesar Chavez campus serves twice as many students as the original campus.

The new César Chávez campus is a refreshing addition to the Barrio Logan community, one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Diego, California—that is also rich in history and culture. Although its architecture conveys a modern look that offers a sense of revitalization to the community, aesthetic components were incorporated into the César Chávez building’s design that stay true to all that Barrio Logan represents.

Turning over a New Leaf at Fallen Leaf Lake Park

Upgrades include improved access and a larger dock.

With its shoreline, forest, and wetlands, Fallen Leaf Lake Park is a serene natural area enjoyed by Camas residents and visitors alike. Many wildlife species, including bald eagles, geese, herons, and ducks and other waterfowl, live in the natural habitats provided by the park. Aside from observing wildlife, visitors can hike, kayak, canoe, and mountain bike at the park and take advantage of the Camas Heritage Corridor, which consists of three interconnected lakes, trails, parks, and open spaces.

Nashville Project Awarded the Highest Envision Rating

The project included new walking trails and upgraded ball fields.

On 29 February 2016, the Nashville Government West Park equalization facility project was announced as the tenth awarded project in the Envision system and received the highest level, Platinum, from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). Metro Nashville Water Services Department (Metro Water Services) planned to increase storage for their wastewater collection to help eliminate unpermitted discharging.

Unfortunately, the conditions at the remote site of the new storage facility changed when flood zone updates were required due to increased storms. The changes would require additional tanks and piping, increasing the project cost. A new solution was needed, which prompted Metro Water Services into communications, and later partnership, with Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation Department (Metro Parks).

New, Improved, and Worth the Wait

The residents in the area were patient but greatful to cut down their commute times and use the bridge.

In December 2007, a devastating flood washed out the original Leudinghaus Bridge, which was built in 1922 and crossed the Chehalis River in rural Lewis County, Washington. Since then, residents of the unincorporated neighboring communities of Doty, Dryad, and Meskill, approximately 15 miles west of the city of Chehalis, have been anticipating its replacement. On 11 February 2016, their wish was realized with the grand opening of a new and improved Leudinghaus Bridge.

National Wildlife Refuge to Get a New Outlook

A view of the Hanalei Valley.

Consider adding another must-see to your next Hawaiian vacation itinerary. Surrounded by lush hilltops and waterfalls, the 917-acre Hanalei National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) blankets the Hanalei River Valley and scenic north shore region of Kauai.

Established in 1972 under the Endangered Species Act, Hanalei is the oldest of Kauai’s three national wildlife refuges and furnishes critical nesting and feeding habitat to endangered resident and migratory water birds. Managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the NWR ranges from 20 to 40 feet above sea level. Water from the Hanalei River irrigates approximately 75 acres of the wetland areas, 180 acres of taro patches, and 90 acres of wet pasture before returning to the river.

In with the New and Out with the Old

The bubble curtain is part of the blast attenuation system that creates a barrier of bubbles to lessen the shock of implosion, helping protect marine wildlife.

When the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge began showing wear, tear, and ultimately unsafe conditions, the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) decided it was time for a replacement. Dubbed the Old Bay Bridge by Caltrans, its capacity was also in question, and it was in dire need of seismic updates. While the new bridge was constructed, the Old Bay Bridge awaited its fate. The day of 14 November 2015 marked the beginning of the end as Pier E3, the largest support pier of the bridge’s east span at 80- by 140 feet, was demolished—with a bang.

Higher, Better Wind Turbine Research

A portion of the tower has been built and is being tested. (Image courtesy of Sri Sritharan.)

With the second largest installed capacity, the United States is ranked first in the world in annual wind power production; the U.S. Department of Energy forecasts wind power supplying 35 percent of the nation’s energy by 2050. However, at this time, the United States' East and West coasts lag behind the Midwest in wind energy production, with many Southeast states currently having no wind energy potential.