Blog
   May 20, 2016

“Otakians Tim Ervin, Trista Kobluskie, and Melanie McCandless braved the rain for the East Portland Sunday Parkways on May 15. The City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services invited Otak along with several other community partners to have booths at the Foster Floodplain Natural Area to provide environmental education opportunities. Otak’s booth featured a stream simulation table which demonstrates how rivers respond to common engineering practices such as large wood structures and boulders. Many participants, especially children, built dams across the river and the flow rate through the table was increased to show the effects of flooding and dam failure. People were able to make the connection to the Foster Floodplain Natural Area and the flood mitigation design, understanding that rivers need room to flood in ways that minimize property damage.” 

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   May 19, 2016

On Saturday, May 14, several Otakians volunteered with Habitat for Humanity to help construct homes at Allen Estates in Beaverton, Oregon.  The group assisted by hanging joists, adding decking, and putting up sheet rock.  

Several team members volunteered at this site before and enjoyed seeing how the project has progressed with recent completion of several of the homes.

Allen Estates is comprised of 2-3 story townhomes which are in various stages of construction.  It will be home to 24 families once completed.

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   May 16, 2016

 

Otak’s Doug Sarkkinen and Greg Mines presented last week at the ODOT 2016 Bridge Design Conference in Salem.

Seismic design of bridges in Oregon currently uses state-of-the art probabilistic ground motion predictions. However, guidelines are based on horizontal ground movements under a seismic event and ignore the effects of vertical ground movement. Doug’s presentation provided a summary of expected vertical seismic ground movements and what types of bridges in Oregon would be vulnerable to these effects.

Greg’s discussion focused on the aging Fifth Plain Creek bridge that was replaced with a modern, precast concrete bridge. The stream channel was restored for improved fish habitat and to mitigate flood concerns.  The bridge construction used touch shoring to control concrete stresses and deflections in the slender structure during construction.

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   May 11, 2016

Last week at the annual Daily Journal of Commerce Top Projects awards banquet, Otak and Hamilton Construction were presented with an award!

In the category of Infrastructure, Otak was awarded Second Place for our Colorado Dam Safe Passage (now called Bend Whitewater Park) in Bend, Oregon. This project is a great example of Otak’s integrated design using our in-house planning, civil engineering and bridge design, environmental and specialty services.

Otak and Hamilton reserved a table at the banquet and were joined by our client’s Michelle Healy and Brian Hudspeth from Bend Parks and Recreation District, and two project subconsultants: John van Staveren from Pacific Habitat Services and Mike Faha from Greenworks. 

“Everyone enjoyed getting to reconnect at the table. There was a lot of laughter, reminiscing, catching up, etc.” said Nichole Hayward, of Hamilton Construction.

Our team’s design process brought together a diverse group of river stewards and stakeholders to successfully create habitat solutions while also creating the West Coast’s first “adjustable standing wave” white water kayak/surfing run. The Park is open and Bend Parks and Recreation has a live camera feed of the whitewater run on their website.

 

For project information click here

 

 

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   May 10, 2016

Over the past few months, two members of Otak’s architecture team have participated in the residency program Architects in Schools, a program organized by the Architecture Foundation of Oregon. Amber Swanson and Nate Erwin volunteered at Rigler Elementary School in the Cully neighborhood of Portland. During their residency, they spent time with three third grade classes teaching students about architecture, urban design and the bridges of Portland. The students’ culminating activity was to construct models of the different bridges of Portland using the knowledge they learned throughout the residency. The model bridges are on display at the DOWA-IBI Group office located at 907 SW Stark St. until May 24th.

 

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   April 29, 2016

On Thursday, a group from Otak’s architecture team visited the multifamily project under construction at 14th and Oak in SE Portland to see how our designs are taking shape. This four-story market-rate apartment project will offer 41 units supported with a lobby, mail room, bike storage, a pet wash room, and on-site below-grade parking. Construction method is wood frame over podium and the project is being built by Essex General Construction Inc. for Buckman, LLC. The project will open to residents August and feature large windows for great city view. Neighborhood amenities at this close-in location are the nearby Revolution Hall and a wide assortment of restaurants and pubs.

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   April 19, 2016

Congratulations to our very own dOnT AsK!  (Otakian and friends) Portland office co-ed volleyball team for winning their division league championship games in the final match of the winter season. Excellent work by Kelly Youngberg, Troy Kent, Kelly Buchanan, Jeremy Tamargo, Chad Maxwell, Scott Zelenka, Scott Sanders, Tammi Connolly and Kristin Lessard. After winning two seasons as a Softcore level team, this team is moving to midcore level! Our team is organized through Underdog Sports Leagues - an adult co-ed, recreational sports league in Portland, Oregon. 

 

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   March 30, 2016

Last Tuesday evening, Lori McFarland, Eva Ho, Marina Howard, Matthew Scarsella, and Curtis LaPierre (past Otakian) attended the WTS Puget Sound Annual Scholarship & Awards Gala at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle. This event recognizes outstanding transportation projects, programs, and people in the Puget Sound area. Dinner was served, Peter Rogoff, Sound Transit’s CEO, spoke on his support of WTS’ mission and opportunities in our region’s transportation system, and then our team, including client, City of Seattle Department of Transportation, accepted an award for the Georgetown Festival Street project. A good time was had by all!

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   March 23, 2016

Otak staff got together with longtime teaming consultant Kittelson & Associates, Inc. to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness basketball. Kittelson planned the event at their Portland office with food, drinks and games. While a basketball game played on the big screen, the two firms socialized. Don Hansen and Mike Peebles from Otak shared stories about working with Kittelson from the beginning (1981.) It was a great chance for our firms to get together, reflecting on all that we’ve done together and looking forward to the future. 

 

“ We really enjoyed spending an afternoon together better getting to know your staff, enjoying some social time, and learning a bit of history between the firms” Diego Arguea, Kittelson & Associates, Inc.

 

Thank you to Kittelson for hosting a fun and engaging get together!

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   March 15, 2016

Volunteering at Johnson Creek Watershed Council's Watershed-Wide Event


Watershed Wide is an epic day of volunteerism coordinated by Johnson Creek Watershed Council and partners: Portland Parks and Recreation, City of Gresham, Friends of Trees, Friends of Tideman Johnson, and the Crystal Springs Partnership. This community event brings together hundreds of Johnson Creek supporters at ten different work sites that span the entire length of the watershed.  

Five Otakians joined nearly three hundred volunteers on March 5th to restore the health of the Johnson Creek Watershed. Riparian conditions were improved by planting over five thousand native plants across the ten sites. Emily Leete, Morgan Haines, and Ami Cobb joined Melanie McCandless at a site near the Foster Floodplain Natural Area (formerly known as the East Lents Floodplain Restoration Project). Michael Rafferty provided needed maintenance on native plantings at the Westmoreland Park in a restored area of the Crystal Springs floodplain.

A big thank you to event sponsor Clackamas Water Environment Services!

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