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See the New Port of Toledo Mobile Lift in Action!

5658 Port of Toledo 03-05-15 (7)The Port of Toledo Boatyard is owned and operated by the Port of Toledo, Oregon.  The Boatyard is located just over 7 miles east of Newport, Oregon, on the Yaquina River and is quickly becoming Oregon’s premier service and repair facility with the addition of a new 660-ton mobile lift to the Boatyard.  The new haul-out structure consists of two fixed piers and a concrete approach slab.  As part of a design build team, GRI worked closely with BergerABAM and Bergerson Construction, Inc. to provide geotechnical consultation and construction observation services for the new haul-out pier.   All driven piles for the project were installed to the estimated depths into the underlying variably weathered rock.

Check out this video of the new mobile lift in action, side-by-side with the existing 85-ton lift.

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GRI Promotes George Freitag, CEG, LEG, LHG, to Principal

Freitag_web_2GRI is pleased to announce that George Freitag has been promoted to Principal!  George has been a part of the GRI family for over 22 years, and has contributed greatly to our success. Not only is he an engineering geologist with 30 years of experience, he also leads our environmental services and business development efforts. Based on his experience and devotion to the success of the company, his promotion is most definitely well deserved!

Outside the office, George enjoys playing ice hockey with friends, colleagues, and his son. He also enjoys exploring the geology of Oregon and Washington.

 

 

 

 

 

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ASCE Oregon Recognizes Gene Tupper as Engineer of the Year

The ASCE Oregon Section Annual Meeting and Gala was held this year at Kells Irish Pub on September 20, 2016.  The event started with a dynamic social hour and dinner followed by annual awards, officer installations, and a lively talk by Hayward Baker’s Michael J. Marasa, PE, on the sinkhole remediation at the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The highlight of the evening in-text-photowas the awards ceremony, where GRI’s Gene Tupper, PE, GE, M.ASCE, received the 2016 Engineer of the Year award.  Gene has been an active participant in ASCE for many years and served as the Oregon Section President from 2009 to 2010.  Her contributions to the group have included assistance in preparing the Oregon Section’s first infrastructure report card, and she also coordinated sponsorships for the 2016 annual ASCE National Convention in Portland, Oregon.

Gene follows in the footsteps of GRI engineers Dave Driscoll, PE, GE, and Stan Kelsay, PE, GE, who also received the distinguished award in 1997 and 2003, respectively.  In a touching speech, Gene thanked her mentors at GRI, her OSU professors, specifically Drs. JR Bell and Lee Schroeder, and her family for the technical, business, and general support that they have offered her throughout her career.

Other award recipients of the evening included Jason Magalen, PE, CH, M.ASCE, the Young Engineer of the Year; Ken Archibald, PE, M.ASCE, the
Government Engineer of the Year; and Raychel O’Hare, S.M.ASCE, recipient of this year’s Journalism Award.

Awards were followed by the welcoming of ASCE Oregon’s newest officers, Eric Destival, PE, M.ASCE — President; Allison Pyrch, PE, GE, M.ASCE — President-Elect; and Tyler Pierce, PE, M.ASCE — Secretary.

Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients and officers!  Your involvement in ASCE is crucial to the civil engineering community, and we thank you for all of your efforts.

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Mike Marshall, CEG, to Present at the AEG Annual Meeting

Mike will be giving a presentation on the geologic characterization and landslide hazard assessment of the Oregon Coast Range transmission line. If you are attending the meeting, this presentation will be a part of Technical Session #7 this Thursday at 8:40am. Below is a synopsis of the presentation:

 

Geologic Route Characterization and Landslide Hazard Assessment of
Oregon Coast Range Power Transmission Line

bpa-photo-lidar-msmThe Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) elected to replace an aging 115-kV power transmission line in the Oregon Coast Range, which is a belt of uplifted sedimentary and volcanic rocks near the Pacific Ocean. A geologic route characterization and landslide hazard assessment was conducted to characterize and map landslides and identify areas of potential slope instability that could damage transmission structures. The type and occurrence of landslides was evaluated using information gathered through review of geologic maps and literature, aerial photography, Statewide Landslide Database for Oregon (SLIDO), and lidar data. Landslides identified from literature and remotely sensed data were cataloged in GIS and a surface reconnaissance was conducted by GRI. A total of 76 structures were located in areas identified as landslide topography. Ground cracks indicative of slope movement were observed at nine structures and four locations were identified with loose guy wires during the surface reconnaissance. Each of the 331 structures assessed were assigned a hazard rating based on documented or observed landslide features, indications of recent mass movement, and/or observed ground cracks. Structures were rated from high to low risk for the prioritization of mitigation efforts. Of the 331 structures assessed, 12 structures were identified as having a high risk for future slope instability. All but three of the high-risk structures appeared to be associated with sidecast fill placed as part of access road and structure work pad construction. In general, the slope instability associated with the roads and bench areas appeared to be the result of oversteepened, loose sidecast fill placed on steep natural slopes or steep cut slopes.

 

For more information regarding the Annual Meeting, please visit: http://www.aegweb.org/

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George Freitag, CEG, to Present at the 2016 AEG Annual Meeting

George will be giving a presentation on the engineering geology of the Meyers Cone along Interstate 84. If you are attending the meeting, this presentation will be a part of Technical Session #17 this Friday at 9:40 am. Below is a synopsis of the presentation:

 

Engineering Geology of the Meyers Cone,
Interstate 84, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Lidar and new geologic data have revealed a previously unmapped Quaternary volcanic vent system near MP 49 along Interstate-84 (I-84) in Hood River County, Oregon.  We refer to the feature as the Meyers Cone, which is a 650-ft-high olivine basalt edifice with two prominent flow lobes, the Anderson Point and Trotter Point lobes that extend under I-84 into the Bonneville Pool.  Features including a 25-ft-high, 1,200-ft-long volcanic flow are preserved on the inside of the cone.  A northeast-southwest trending rampart system is present on the west side of the cone and goes toward other newly identified vents to the southwest.  Eruptions on the east side of the cone deposited on a pre-existing, north-sloping, alluvial fan complex. A band of east-west oriented tension features (scarps) on the upper portion of the fan are interpreted to be the result of destabilization of the fan by deposition of material near the fan toe.  The historic Fountain Landslide along I-84, east of the Meyers Cone, is located near the toe of the fan.  Previous workers interpreted the subject area solely as a distal portion of the Trout Creek Hill basalt (385 Ka) that flowed down the Wind River drainage from Washington and temporarily blocked the Columbia River. Beginning with railroad construction in the 1880s, the Historic Columbia River Highway in 1914-15, US-30 in the 1950s, and I-80N/I-84 in the 1960s, the geology of these transportation routes has been influenced by the Meyers Cone.  We propose that the cone should be officially named after Joseph Meyers, the Oregon geologist who first identified some of the flow features in the 1950s.

 

For more information regarding the Annual Meeting, please visit: http://www.aegweb.org/

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8th Annual Kickball Without Borders Fundraiser

img_20160820_103456A few GRI kickball enthusiasts took part in the 8th annual Engineers Without Borders (EWB) fundraiser.  It was a blistering hot day, and each team brought their top competitors.  GRI took the field first and was able to hold back the opponent the first few innings, but after several scoring runs we lost the first game.  After a small break, GRI was back on the field facing off against a new team.  Every inning we seemed to be evenly matched, and after a few controversial plays the other team eventually pulled ahead.  Now 0-2 we had one more game to restore our honor.  There was no way we could walk away without a win and it was time to take the field for the last time.  Third time is a charm, because we dominated our third game.  Unfortunately, we did not qualify to make it to the next round…but there is always next year.

GRI is a big advocate of the EWB organization and was one of the sponsors for the event.  The GRI team captain, Kyle Wolfe, also regularly volunteers for the organization.  Currently he is the Responsible Engineer-in-Charge for the Honduras Program.  Thanks to the contributions of all the sponsors EWB was able to raise $20,500, which will be distributed between the active EWB projects. For more information on the active projects or how to get involved, visit the Portland Chapter website: http://www.ewbportland.org/projects

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Groundbreaking at the Vancouver Waterfront Park !

test-2The ground breaking ceremony of the Vancouver Waterfront Park – Grant Street Pier took place on July 18, 2016, and commenced Phase I of park construction for this project, which has been in the making for more than 10 years. The renovations will reconnect downtown Vancouver to the Columbia River and inspire a new vivacity in the Vancouver Community.

GRI’s Washington office, located in downtown Vancouver, has taken an active role in the development stages of the project and is excited to provide geotechnical support to an innovative transformation of the Vancouver Waterfront.  GRI conducted the geotechnical investigation for the Grant Street Pier and core park improvements, which include a large plaza, viewing platforms, and riverfront access.  This investigation included review of available geotechnical information for the site; subsurface explorations; laboratory testing; and engineering analysis for the planned pier, walls, and other improvements.  GRI is currently providing construction engineering services to support construction of the Grant Street Pier foundations.

The planned location of the 7.3-acre Vancouver Waterfront Park is on the north bank of the Columbia River in downtown Vancouver at the site of a previous Boise-Cascade paper finishing plant.  The park will be approximately 2,300 ft long, will extend about 250 ft north of the river, and is scheduled to open to the public in 2017.

For more information regarding the project, please visit: http://www.cityofvancouver.us/waterfrontpark/page/waterfront-park-big-picture

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GRI Promotes Jack Gordon, PE!

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Jack Gordon, PE
Senior Engineer 

John (Jack) K. Gordon, PE, has been promoted to Senior Engineer after nine years with GRI.  As a senior engineer, he is responsible for managing complex subsurface investigation and laboratory testing programs and providing geotechnical engineering recommendations on a wide variety of projects.  Jack specializes in projects involving deep excavations and shoring, seismic design, instrumentation and monitoring, and deep foundation support.

When not at work, Jack can be found spending time with his growing family, and enjoys hiking, riding dirt bikes, and gardening.

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Congratulations Dr. Seth Reddy, PE!

GRI is very excited to announce that Dr. Seth Reddy, a staff engineer for GRI, passed the Washington licensing exam in Spring 2016 and can now add the initials, PE after his name!

Dr. Seth Reddy joined GRI in 2014 with a Doctor of Philosophy in Civil Engineering.  He is now a registered professional engineer with the state of Washington.  Dr. Reddy has expertise in deep foundations and his dissertation involved reliability-based design of deep foundations.  He is well-versed in dynamic load testing and pile driving monitoring via the pile driving analyzer (PDA) and signal matching software.  Dr. Reddy has performed PDA testing since 2008 and received a PDA certificate from Foundation QA.

 

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GRI Welcomes Kyle Wolfe, PE, PG!

Wolfe-preferredKyle Wolfe joined our Beaverton office in April 2016. Since coming on board, Kyle has successfully applied his versatile skillset in multiple industries and has been providing support to several of our most challenging and innovative projects. Kyle is a great asset to our team.

Kyle brings with him nine years of project management, geotechnical engineering, and engineering geologic experience in a wide range of projects within the following industries: water and natural resources, transportation, power transmission, renewable energy, oil and gas, aviation, and commercial development.

His diverse background ranges from lead engineer for civil and geotechnical design projects to founder of technology startup, Fieldbook Mobile Applications. To date, Kyle has successfully completed over $10 million in projects.

He also serves as the Responsible Engineer in Charge for the Engineers without Borders, Honduras Program. His responsibilities over the next four years include program strategy, planning, and oversight. The program seeks to address the lack of proper stormwater drainage that causes unreliable and dangerous roads during much of the monsoon season, and engineering and construction of a reliable water conveyance system.

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Congratulations Mike Marshall, CEG!

GRI is very excited to announce that Mike Marshall, project geologist, passed his Oregon Certified Engineering Geologist exam and can now add the initials CEG after his name!

Mike joined GRI in 2012 and is registered in the states of Oregon and Washington as a geologist. He has his Master of Science Degree in Geology from Portland State University. Mike’s project background involves geologic mapping and evaluation of geologic hazards, including faults, landslides, steep slopes, volcanic hazards, and rockfall hazards. He has completed several environmental assessments and remediation projects and provides GIS analysis and interpretation as needed.

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GRI CELEBRATES EARTH DAY AT TRYON CREEK STATE PARK

This past weekend GRI employees and family members participated in the SOLVE IT for Earth Day Event at Tryon Creek State Park.  GRI worked with several other community volunteers and pulled out non-native English Ivy from surrounding native vegetation. Together with 7,000 volunteers across the state of Oregon we cleared 12 acres of non-native invasive plants from 170 parks, waterways, neighborhoods, and natural areas!

English ivy has become a major issue for Pacific Northwest Forests and Parks.  This past Saturday GRI got a first-hand look at the invasive plant species.  Thick mats of vines covered the ground surface and climbed any adjacent object including old stumps and trees.  This becomes a problem for the native vegetation because the mat of ivy prevents significant amounts of light from reaching the forest floor and the climbing ivy roots can potentially damage mature trees.

GRI is proud to take an active role in the local environment by restoring the native plant community to its previous state before the introduction of non-native invasive plants.  For more information on how to volunteer for the next clean-up day, visit: http://www.solveoregon.org/

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OEMA Innovation Award for Seismic Risk Assessment

The principals of GRI have provided the Port of Portland (Port) with geotechnical, environmental, and seismic-related consulting services for over 30 years.  The geotechnical services have primarily involved floodplain and waterfront developments along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers.  Notable projects include concourses, parking structures, and roadway expansion projects at Portland International Airport; multiple water-transportation terminals, wharves, bulkheads, and docks; various industrial developments and office parks (structures, foundations, piers and piling, parking lots, roadways, embankments, infrastructure design); and numerous projects involving rivers, including bank stabilization and dredging projects.

In 2015 the Port was awarded the Oregon Emergency Management Association (OEMA) Partner Award for Innovation for the recently completed port-wide seismic risk assessment.  In response to the 2013 Oregon Resiliency Plan created by the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission, the Port’s management team selected their top 20 marine and aviation assets for evaluation based primarily on a combination of revenue stream and their potential role in supporting resiliency following a significant regional earthquake.  The objective of the project was to understand the general seismic vulnerability of selected critical Port facilities and to provide benefit/cost analyses of selected mitigation strategies that could be considered for inclusion in the Port’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP).

It was an honor to be a part of this innovative project and helping to increase the seismic resiliency of the Port and the Pacific Northwest. For more information about OEMA visit their website: http://www.oregonemergency.com/.

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GRI Promotes Two Team Members!

GRI is pleased to announce that two of our team members have been promoted.

Shanahan_web_2Matt Shanahan, PE, GE
Principal

Matthew S. Shanahan, PE, GE, has been promoted to a GRI Principal after 22 years with the company.  Matt opened and manages the GRI Vancouver, Washington, office, which was founded in 2008.  He likes to work on a wide variety of infrastructure projects including parks, water resources facilities, and transportation, waterfront, and industrial developments.  Design of waterfront structures, deep foundations, slope stabilization, and retaining structures are just a few of his areas of interest and expertise.  Activities that Matt enjoys are cross country skiing at Old Man Pass, hiking and rafting the Deschutes River canyons, razor clam digging in Long Beach, and spending time with his family by traveling and camping.

 

 

 

Bayne_web_2Brian Bayne, PE
Senior Engineer 

Brian J. Bayne, PE, has been promoted to Senior Engineer and has 11 years of experience with GRI.  As a senior engineer, he is responsible for providing oversight for subsurface investigations, analyzing laboratory results for soil and rock testing, and providing engineering recommendations on a wide variety of projects involving geotechnical, foundation, and seismic design.  Brian has completed more than 200 projects with GRI at both the staff and project level.  In his spare time, Brian enjoys attending the Portland Timbers’ soccer games, which he has been a long-time season ticket holder.

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Advantages the DMT Can Bring to Your Next Project

The Flat Plate Dilatometer test (DMT) can be used to investigate soil properties and has many applications in geotechnical engineering.  Dilatometer testing has several benefits compared to other standard-of-practice in situ methods, such as the Standard Penetration Test (SPT) and Cone Penetration Test (CPT). Benefits of the DMT include the direct measurement of the small strain elastic modulus of the soil.  Additional geotechnical engineering parameters can be evaluated with the dilatometer data including lateral stress, shear strength and overconsolidation ratio.  The Dilatometer testing method is considered to be less intrusive to the soil than the SPT and CPT, allowing GRI to more accurately characterize the in situ soil strength and stiffness.

Because the test directly measures the elastic modulus of the soil, estimated foundation settlements are less conservative than traditional analysis methods.  The settlement evaluation can be completed using a linear elastic modulus based settlement evaluation with the foundation load and footprint.  Case studies have shown settlements estimated using the DMT elastic modulus are in good agreement with field measurements, generally out-performing estimates from SPT, CPT, or consolidation tests(Monaco et al., 2007).  DMT results also allow us to quickly estimate shear strength profiles, soil types, preconsolidation stress, overconsolidation ratio, and effective stress friction angle.

Engineering Applications of DMT Data

DMT4-reduced – Settlement Analysis of Shallow Foundations
– Liquefaction Analysis
– Slope Stability Analysis
– Deep Foundation Design
– Soil Characterization

The DMT was acquired by GRI in 2013 when Wes Spang joined GRI as a Principal.  Wes has over 30 years of experience and has been using the DMT for geotechnical design for the past 20 years.  Our other in-house DMT specialist is Jason Bock, a project engineer who has 10 years of experience and about 5 years of experience using the DMT for soil characterization and foundation design.

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GRI and KPFF Win the 2015 COPRI Project Excellence Award for Port Of Newport International Terminal Renovation

COPRI Blog Photo2The Coasts, Oceans, Ports, and Rivers Institute (COPRI) announced in June that the 2015 Project Excellence Award in the Large Project Category was awarded to GRI and KPFF Consulting Engineers for the Port of Newport International Terminal Renovation.  GRI Principal, Scott Schlechter accepted the award at the ASCE ceremony held in Boston, Massachusetts earlier this month.  This project also received the ACEC-Oregon 2014 Grand Award for Engineering Excellence in the Transportation-Marine/Ports Category.

The Port of Newport International Terminal is located in Yaquina Bay on the Pacific Coast in Newport, Oregon, and serves the fishing and timber industries of the Northwest.  Due to major deterioration of the WWII concrete hull ships that were sunk to create the berths, significant portions of the Ports facility were shut down.  Goals for this project were to develop a design to renovate the facility that could be implemented in phases as funding was available and to create a terminal that would once again serve the large fishing and timber industry in the area.  It was also necessary to remediate ongoing contamination issues that developed as the most unstable ship continued to break apart and leak fuel-based contaminants into the bay.

Success of the project has allowed the Port of Newport to fulfill its mission to build and maintain waterfront facilities and promote/support projects and programs in cooperation with other community organizations and businesses that will retain and create new jobs and increase community economic development.

GRI has been involved with this project since 2000.  We worked closely with the owner, design team, and CM/GC contractor to select the design and construction alternative that best met the challenging geotechnical, structural, environmental, and financial constraints of the project.  The project was successfully completed in November 2013.

GRI is honored to have been a part of such a challenging but rewarding project, and we strive to continue to deliver the same degree of excellence to every project.

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GRI Welcomes Three New Team Members!

Mike, Lindsi, and Christina joined our Beaverton office in August 2015.  Mike and Lindsi have been extremely busy in expanding our pavement engineering group and are currently developing new strategies to enhance GRI’s services.  Christina was sent to the field during her first week and is currently shadowing our project engineers for several of our projects.

MaloneyMike Maloney, PE
Principal Pavement Engineer

Mike brings with him 27 years of pavement engineering experience, including pavement management, forensic investigations, and pavement designs for virtually every type of pavement.  He has completed numerous projects for ODOT, the Port of Portland, TriMet, and every major city and county throughout Oregon and southwest Washington.  He has provided rehabilitation recommendations for over 1,000 miles of roadway and 750 acres of airfield and industrial yard pavement.

 

 

 

 

 

HammondLindsi Hammond, PE
Project Engineer

Lindsi has more than seven years of pavement engineering experience.  Her project work includes pavement management, pavement evaluation, and pavement design.  As a project engineer, she is responsible for completing the implementation and update of pavement management systems for airport and roadway systems, backcalculating falling weight deflectometer (FWD) data, and designing pavements using AASHTO, Asphalt Institute, FAARFIELD, PerRoads, PCASE, and Portland Cement Association methods.

 

 

 

 

 

Jones-2Christina Jones, EIT
Staff Engineer

Christina just finished her master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Colorado.  For her master’s research, she worked with a research group  and conducted centrifuge experiments studying the seismic response of deep, braced excavations near high-rise buildings at the Center for Geotechnical Modeling at the University of California, Davis.

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GRI Adds Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA) Testing Services

20150210_124246GRI specializes in engineering services for deep foundations and dynamic pile load testing with the Pile Driving Analyzer (PDA).

The advantages of using our PDA
services include the following:

 – Reduces Project Costs
 – Confirms Pile Capacity Estimates
– Evaluates Pile Damage or Integrity
– Provides Pile Hammer Efficiency
– Provides Pile Stresses During Driving
– Less Expensive than a Static Load Test
– Quicker Results than a Static Load Test

The PDA provides cost savings on projects with the use of higher resistance factors allowed by building codes and reduces unnecessary pile lengths/cost.  GRI owns and operates the PDA Model 8G 4 Channel System.  GRI engineersChris Ell and Seth Reddy, PhD have extensive experience providing PDA testing services and both hold PDA certificates.  Chris and Seth continue their education and experience with PDA testing services and recently completed the rigorous PDA training course and PDA Proficiency examination by GRL Engineers/Pile Dynamics, Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Southridge High School Community Plaza

Southridge_blog_picA dedication ceremony was held on September 19, 2014, for the new Southridge High School Community Plaza, which honors active military and deceased members of the Southridge and greater Beaverton communities.  The plaza is located on the east side of the Southridge High School football stadium and includes open walkways and low walls etched with the names of recognized members.  The plaza also includes new restrooms, concession facilities, and ticket booths for stadium events.  GRI volunteered design- and construction-phase services for the project.

You can read more about the plaza and the dedication here.  We are pleased to have had the opportunity to provide our services in support of our community and those who serve our country in the military.

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Celebrating 30 Years in Business

30yr_blog_picOn June 19, we gathered with friends and family to show off our modern new Beaverton office and celebrate our 30th anniversary.  We’ve come a long way since 1984 — our original staff of seven has grown to 33 talented and hardworking individuals, and we’ve opened offices in Vancouver, Washington, and Brookings, Oregon.

As we look back on the past 30 years, we gratefully acknowledge our devoted staff and valued clients and look forward to many more years of continued success and partnerships.

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New Digs for GRI Beaverton

b_move2After months of planning and construction, the move is over and we’re finally enjoying our spacious, modern new offices and laboratory on Nimbus Avenue!

Thanks to the tireless guidance of GRI office manager Patty Norgaard, the transition went off without a hitch, and we are up and running just in time to celebrate our 30th anniversary in June.

Our new address is:

9750 SW Nimbus Avenue
Beaverton, OR  97008

Our phone and fax numbers remain the same:

p: 503-641-3478  f: 503-644-8034

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GRI Rocks the 2014 Shamrock Run

Shamrock_blog_picOn March 16th, GRI hit the streets of Portland along with 35,000 participants in the 35th annual Shamrock Run, benefitting the OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.  Nearly a third of our staff along with friends and family participated in the various events ranging from a 5k walk to 15k run up Terwilliger Boulevard.  The morning started out with a little drizzle, but the clouds soon parted and made for an absolutely perfect day for a run.  After the race, a portion of our team met up for lunch to share our race stories and show off our kilts!

Each of our team members did an awesome job, and we’re happy to help out such a great organization while kicking off the start of the running season.

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GRI’s Newest Principal

Schlechter_web_2We are excited to announce that Scott Schlechter has been promoted to Principal at GRI.

Scott joined GRI in 2000 after completing his Master’s degree in Civil/Geotechnical Engineering at Oregon State University.  Throughout his career, Scott has excelled, quickly becoming recognized as a leader in the field.  In 2011, Scott’s efforts were recognized by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Oregon Section when he received the Young Engineer of the Year award.  Scott has been active in leadership roles with ASCE and ACEC throughout his professional career and is currently serving on the ASCE Coast Oceans Ports and Rivers Institute national committee.  Scott leads GRI’s earthquake engineering group and has co-authored several papers on seismic design of pile-supported structures in sloping embankments with soft or liquefiable soils.

Scott is a professional engineer in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, and Wyoming, and a professional geotechnical engineer in Oregon.  He has completed seismic and geotechnical design studies for many infrastructure projects, including two large campus expansion projects at Oregon Health & Science University, the planned Jordan Cove LNG Terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon, and the Port of Newport International Terminal project in Newport, Oregon, which recently received the American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon’s 2014 Grand Award for Engineering Excellence.

We are thrilled to have Scott as a part of the GRI family, and proud to offer him this well-earned promotion.

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GRI and KPFF Share Engineering Excellence Grand Award

b_ponitThe American Council of Engineering Companies’ (ACEC) Engineering Excellence Awards is an annual design competition that recognizes engineering achievements that demonstrate the highest degree of merit and ingenuity. Recognition is given at three levels: Honor Award, Grand Award, and Project of the Year.

In January 2014, ACEC-Oregon recognized GRI and KPFF Consulting Engineerswith a 2014 Grand Award for Engineering Excellence in the Transportation – Marine/Ports category for the Port of Newport International Terminal project.  KPFF and GRI provided engineering services for the new 400-ft-long cargo dock, 410-ft-long fishing dock, and 124- by 80-ft Roll On-Roll Off dock.

The Port’s original terminal was built on two scuttled WWII concrete hull liberty ships, the Pasley and the Hennebique.  After decades of use, the facility deteriorated to an unusable cargo dock founded on the Pasley, which was moving toward the bay due to tidal influences; a damaged timber dock; an office and decaying warehouse founded on the Hennebique; and an elevated concrete dock supported by corrosion-damaged steel piles.

GRI has been involved with this project since 2000, when we first investigated subsurface conditions at the site and installed and monitored instrumentation to identify the conditions causing movement of the Pasley and assist in evaluating alternatives for remediation.  During later investigation and design stages of the project, GRI worked closely with the owner, design team, and CM/GC contractor to select the design and construction alternative that best met the challenging geotechnical, structural, environmental, and financial constraints of the project.  The project was successfully completed in November 2013.

We are honored to have won this award, and enjoyed being part of an amazing design and construction team.

 

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Vancouver Office Celebrates 5th Anniversary

mosaicThe 5th anniversary of our Vancouver office was celebrated last month with a Cinco de Mayo-themed open house.  Nearly 50 of our favorite clients and friends joined the festivities.  Mayahuel Catering prepared a delicious assortment of savory brochetas, mini tamales, carnitas, esquites, nopal salad, and sweet potato empanadas and arroz con leche for dessert.

Our Vancouver office is located downtown at 1101 Broadway Street, Suite 130, and is managed by associate Matt Shanahan, PE, GE.  The Vancouver staff have been keeping busy with port and transportation projects, including the Port of Vancouver berth deepening and Terminal 2 expansion, and other interesting projects around the state.

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Brookings Office Keeping Busy

b_brookings_officeThis past winter, just as our new Brookings office was getting started, Oregon’s south coast was hit by a large storm that cost the City of Brookings up to $1.7 million in repair of storm-related damage. One of the most expensive repairs is associated with the loss of the Beach Avenue sewer lift station, which was swept down the oceanside cliff during the storm.  Preliminary estimates put the price of repairing the lift station at $770,000.

During a feasibility study to evaluate repair alternatives, GRI determined that the most economical option was to repair the lift station in its existing location by stabilizing the slope with a rock buttress and reusing the existing wet well.  According to project manager Chris Ell, the slope repair proposed by GRI will cost the City half of their original estimate for rebuilding the lift station.  GRI is currently completing the final design and plans and specifications for the repairs and will provide support during construction of the rock buttress.

GRI is also designing repairs for storm-related landslides at two locations along the Chetco River and a site near Gold Beach for Curry County and Oregon Department of Transportation.

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Chris Ell Joins GRI

b_cke_joins_griWe are pleased to announce that Chris Ell has joined GRI as a senior geotechnical engineer. He heads our new branch office in Brookings, Oregon.

Chris is a registered professional engineer in Oregon and California and professional geotechnical engineer in Oregon. He has 12 years of geotechnical experience on a variety of notable public and private sector projects throughout Oregon, Washington, and California. Design of deep foundations for bridges and other large structures, retaining structures for roadway embankments, excavation support, seismic design, and landslide stabilization are just a few areas of his interest and expertise.

Chris brings strong analytical skills and a team-oriented management approach to projects together with the firmwide resources of GRI.

You can contact Chris at cell@gri.com or 503-641-3478.

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Historic Highway and Vista House Closed during Repairs

b_crownpointBetween October 1 and December 31, 2012, the Historic Columbia River Highway will be closed to all traffic between Larch Mountain Road and Latourell Road during restoration of portions of the highway and viaduct at Crown Point.  The popular Vista House at Crown Point will also be closed during this time.  The almost 100-year-old viaduct and its 29 support columns and related retaining walls are in need of significant repairs and strengthening.  In addition to restoring the viaduct, the work will include rehabilitation of the curb and gutter, repair of several areas of slope instability, and removal of old pavement overlays and installation of new pavement between East Larch Mountain Road and Latourell Falls Bridge.  The historic highway is one of only two roads in the United States designated as a National Historic Landmark, National Scenic Byway, and National Historic District.

As a subcontractor to David Evans and Associates, Inc., GRI provided geotechnical services to develop design alternatives for restoring the viaduct, which will include new foundations; repair, replacement, or improvement of retaining walls; and new roadway pavement.  Our work included review of available information for the structure, a site reconnaissance, preparation of an exploration work plan, and subsurface explorations in a sensitive environmental and scenic area.  The challenging site conditions and project requirements have given rise to innovative and cost-effective solutions that will extend the life of this remarkable facility for at least another 50 years.

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Portland Fire Station 21 Seismic Upgrade

b_fire_stn_21The City of Portland’s Fire Station 21 is located on the east bank of the Willamette River at the foot of the Hawthorne Bridge. The facility’s location on the waterfront allows Portland Fire & Rescue personnel to respond quickly to emergencies on the river and along the Eastbank Esplanade. As part of a seismic upgrade, the City is planning to replace the existing station, which was built in 1961, with a two-story, LEED Gold-certified building. Improvements will also include a new boathouse and dock extension.

GRI evaluated subsurface conditions at the site and provided the design team with geotechnical recommendations for design and construction of the improvements. Soil borings were drilled in the river and on the upland portion of the site and disclosed that the existing station is underlain by soils that are at risk of liquefaction and lateral spreading during a strong earthquake. To stabilize the soil, we recommended ground improvement using compaction grouting, which is performed by advancing a hollow pipe into the soil and pumping concrete under pressure into the soil as the pipe is withdrawn. This technique creates a column of overlapping grout bulbs that densify the surrounding soil and decrease its liquefaction potential.

According to the Daily Journal of Commerce, construction of the project is scheduled to begin this fall.

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Welcome Mike Marshall

b_msm_hireWe are pleased to announce the addition of Mike Marshall to the GRI team as a Project Geologist. Mike has 9 years of experience in environmental investigations, geologic and natural hazard evaluations, hydrogeologic studies, and GIS analysis and modeling. He earned a BS degree in geology from Portland State University and is conducting landslide research and characterizing a local landslide as part of a MS degree under the guidance of Dr. Scott Burns. Through his research, Mike is examining the relationship of slow landslide movement by differencing sequential LiDAR data with comparison of total station survey data and accelerometer sensor data. Mike is a registered geologist in Oregon and licensed geologist in Washington. His primary focus at GRI is to support geotechnical engineering design through the integration of field data acquisition, geologic mapping, and natural hazard evaluation using GIS analysis and interpretation. Mike’s passion for geology and his unique skill set are welcome additions to GRI’s technical capabilities.

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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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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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Celebración!

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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Congratulations, Brian!

b_staff_bjbWe are pleased to announce the promotion of Brian Bayne to the position of Project Geotechnical Engineer.  Brian has been with GRI for 6 years and works from our Vancouver, Washington, office.  He is  a registered professional engineer in Washington, Oregon, and California  and much of his recent work has focused on transportation projects with the Washington Department of Transportation and the Port of Vancouver, USA; waterfront and marine projects; and industrial facilities.  Brian holds BS and MS degrees from Washington State University, is an avid sports fan, and hopes the Cougs’ football fortunes will someday improve.  He is also an accomplished golfer, so think twice before agreeing to any hasty wagers on the course.  We congratulate Brian for his hard work and dedication to our profession!

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