• Beaverton: 503-641-3478
  • Vancouver: 360-213-1690
  • Brookings: 503-641-3478


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.

Read more

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

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.


Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more