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Blog

NOAA Marine Operations Center Wins Again!

b_noaa_stepped_pileNOAA’s new Marine Operation Center – Pacific in Newport, Oregon, received Honorable Mention in the American Society of Civil Engineers Region 8 Major Project of the Year competition for 2011. ASCE Region 8 includes OR, WA, ID, MT, AK, UT, NV, AZ, and HI.

GRI and KPFF Consulting Engineers completed the geotechnical and civil engineering design efforts for the new homeport facility, which opened in August 2011 and includes a 1,300-ft-long pier that serves six research and survey vessels, over 40,000 sq ft of office and warehouse space, and a small boat dock. KPFF and GRI worked collaboratively to deliver this complex project on a tight timeline while providing careful consideration of the delicate coastal ecosystem.  Project innovations included an all-precast superstructure, an innovative stepped pile foundation, and daylight-enhancing reflective paint beneath the pier.

The client was truly impressed with the engineers’ expertise and creative strategies employed to meet the project schedule. Port of Newport General Manager, Don Mann, stated, “KPFF and GRI demonstrated incredible responsiveness throughout the project. They collaborated closely with more than a dozen different partners including NOAA, the Port [of Newport], City of Newport, the architect, contractor, environmental consultant, and multiple regulatory agencies. They carefully addressed each party’s concerns, responded at a moment’s notice to questions, and examined various solutions to any given problem.”

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Old Town Recovery Center

b_old_town_recovery_ctrCentral City Concern’s Old Town Recovery Center opened in December 2011. The new facility is located on the corner of NW Broadway and W Burnside in downtown Portland, on the site of a vacant fast-food restaurant.

In collaboration with Gerding Edlen and SERA Architects, we assisted with the environmental cleanup of the site, which was necessitated by its use as a gasoline station in the 1950s.  Our environmental services included soil, groundwater, and soil vapor sampling and supervising removal of contaminated fill and an underground storage tank. Working with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, we kept the project on track, which allowed the developer to obtain building permits 4 months after demolition of the building.

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Engineering Excellence Trifecta

b_simpson_creekGRI received three awards at the ACEC-Oregon Engineering Excellence 2012 awards banquet on January 11.  The entry for the NOAA Marine Operation Center – Pacific project in Newport, Oregon, won both a Grand Award in the Special Project category and the People’s Choice Award. GRI and KPFF Consulting Engineers completed the geotechnical and civil engineering effort for this 1,500-ft-long dock and on-shore office and warehouse buildings while meeting a challenging schedule including in-water work window restrictions.  NOAA moved its Pacific research fleet to the successfully completed facility in August 2011.

Our second entry, US 20: Simpson Creek Curves Realignment project won an Honor Award in the Transportation category.  This 2-mile section of highway in Lincoln County, Oregon, included eight new retaining walls, new soil and rock cut slopes up to 160 ft high, and a new fish-friendly bridge over Simpson Creek.

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ODOT Opens Fifteen Mile Creek Bridge

b_fifteenmile_ckFifteen Mile Creek Bridge on I-84 near The Dalles is now open to traffic again.  GRI worked withDavid Evans and Associates, Inc. to replace the aging bridge as part of ODOT’s Oregon Transportation Investment Act (OTIA).  The new bridge crosses a relatively deep canyon of Fifteen Mile Creek, about 75 ft above the canyon floor. The sidewalls of the canyon consist of nearly vertical outcrops of flow basalt. The bridge is supported on spread footings, most on hard basalt. The interior bent footings are tied down with rock anchors.

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Congratulations to Walker Macy

b_cottonwood_canyonCongratulations to Walker Macy for winning the American Society of Landscape Architect’s Oregon Chapter 2011 merit award for Analysis and Planning for Cottonwood Canyon State Park on the John Day River in eastern Oregon.  In July 2011, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission approved the Comprehensive Plan for the new park, which will become Oregon’s second largest state park and is scheduled to open in September 2013.

Working as a consultant to Walker Macy, GRI provided geotechnical design services for soil and rock cuts and associated retaining walls for the entry road to the park.

Photograph by Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department showing John Day River flowing into Cottonwood Canyon 

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GRI Associate Named ASCE Young Engineer of the Year

b_sms_awardGRI associate Scott Schlechter (right) received the Young Engineer of the Year award at the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Oregon Section banquet on September 30.  Scott has 11 years of experience with GRI and leads the firm’s earthquake engineering group. He has completed seismic design studies for many infrastructure projects, including the new NOAA Marine Operations Center in Newport, Oregon, and the planned Jordan Cove LNG Terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon.  He has co-authored several papers on the seismic performance of waterfront structures.

Scott has been actively involved with ASCE throughout his career.  He served 2 years as program chair for the Oregon Section and led fundraising and organizational efforts for the ASCE Younger Member Forum golf tournament for the last 7 years. In 2009, he helped start theAmerican Council of Engineering Companies-Oregon’s  Future Leaders Forum committee.  He also recently joined the national committee for ASCE’s Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute (COPRI).

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GRI Vancouver Office Hosts Open House

b_vanc_openGRI’s Vancouver, Washington, office is hosting an open house on Thursday October 13th from 4 to 7 pm.  The office is located in downtown Vancouver at 1101 Broadway Street, Suite 130. Hearty snacks and refreshing beverages will be served. If you’d like to join us, please RSVP by October 10 via e-mail to Matt Shanahan or by phone at 360-213-1690.

GRI opened our Vancouver office in 2008 to better serve our Washington clients.  Examples of projects the Vancouver office has worked on include Washington State University’s Vancouver campus; the Port of Vancouver’s West Vancouver Freight Access project, and Fisher Creek Corporate Campus in Camas. We also provided geotechnical design services to the Washington State Department of Transportation for the SR 16 Interchange in Tacoma.

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GRI Presents ODOT ‘Brown Bag’ Session

b_rock_cutGRI Principal Dwight Hardin, PE, GE, and Associate Scott Schlechter, PE, GE, were guest speakers at the Oregon Department of Transportation Region 4 Brown Bag session on September 1, 2011.  Their presentation entitled, “Addressing Variable Rock Conditions to Minimize Construction Problems,” addressed common types of construction that are impacted by variable rock conditions and how to identify and characterize the variability.  Dwight and Scott presented several case histories that successfully implemented risk mitigation approaches and outlined a cost-effective foundation solution for challenging rock sites.

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Congratulations, Jack!

b_jkg_peCongratulations go out to GRI staff engineer Jack Gordon, who can now add the initials PE after his name!   He passed the state exam and became an Oregon-registered professional engineer in July.

Jack began working part time at GRI in 2005 while finishing his master’s degree at Oregon State University and joined the staff full time in 2007.  Since then he has focused on design of deep excavations, seismic design considerations, and instrumentation monitoring.  He can often be found at construction sites evaluating foundation subgrades or observing micropile load tests.

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