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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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Pioneer Mountain Loop Road — Update

b_simpson_ck_brThe new Simpson Creek Bridge on Hwy 20 in Lincoln County, Oregon, was completed over the weekend of May 13, 2011.  Crews from Kerr Contractors, Inc. completed the work ahead of schedule during a weekend closure of the highway.

GRI provided geotechnical and engineering geology design services for the project as part of an on-call contract with Oregon Department of Transportation and observed earthwork and construction of foundations for the new bridge and associated improvements.

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cinco2011Cinco de Mayo has long been one of our favorite holidays at GRI, and this year an overflow crowd joined the celebration.

It’s always good to see new and familiar faces around the office, especially when a party is involved.  Kathryn of Artistic Catering prepared a zesty feast that included chicken and goat cheese enchiladas, tapas-style shrimp, pulled pork sliders, homemade jalapeno poppers, and assorted sweets.

A good time was had by all — even the piñatas made it through the evening in one piece.  How’s that for workplace safety?

Thank you to all who attended, and for those who couldn’t make it, we hope you’ll join us next time!

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Crown Point Viaduct Restoration

b_crown_pointLocated along the Historic Columbia River Highway and high above the Columbia River, Crown Point has long been a favorite destination for viewing the Columbia River Gorge.  Originally constructed in 1914, the structurally supported sidewalk, or viaduct, is located near the top of a sheer basalt cliff and provides unobstructed views of the gorge.  In 1915, a retaining wall was constructed to support the road bed for the highway.  The Vista House was built a year later in 1916.

GRI is part of a multi-discipline design team led by David Evans and Associates, Inc., that is working with the Federal Highway Administration and Oregon Department of Transportation to restore and strengthen the viaduct after nearly a century of use.  The goal of the work is to structurally strengthen the viaduct while preserving the appearance and as much of the original structure as possible.  The challenging site conditions as well as the project requirements have given rise to innovative, yet cost-effective, solutions that will extend the life of this remarkable facility for at least another 50 years.

Courtesy of ODOT Photo and Video Services

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