Blog
   February 23, 2017

“We are excited to see that the project is functioning as designed and reducing the frequency and severity of flooding on Foster Road. It is also gratifying to see the vegetation becoming established and providing additional wildlife habitat and refuge.” - Melanie Klym, PE

To view KOIN's article and video click here

For project details click here.

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   February 22, 2017

On Saturday, February 18, Doug Beyerlein, senior hydrologist in Otak’s Everett office, ran the USA Track & Field (USATF) 50K Trail Championships on the trails in the Sierra foothills near Auburn, California. Doug won his age group with a time of 7 hours, 19 minutes. This is his second national championship, having previously won his age group at the USATF Trail Half Marathon Championships in October, 2016.

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   February 16, 2017

Otak Portland found an extra-sweet way to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and for a good cause. As part of the Office-Wide Bake-Off, over a dozen Otakians shared their delicious homemade creations. In addition to sampling the tasty treats, the Portland office raised over $400 in donations to the Oregon Food Bank. To quote a representative from the Food Bank, “$400 is about 1,200 meals that we can provide to the community! And with every meal going to help 1 person, it’s pretty impressive to think that you just helped out 1,200 of our neighbors in need!”

The samplers also voted for their favorite dessert. Nick Morozov took First Prize for his delectable Double Chocolate Macaroons. Second Prize went to Amy Scheckla-Cox for her Salted Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies, while Third went to Kelly Buchanan and her Pink Heart Sugar Cookies. Yum!

Between the sweet treats and helping out those in need, it’s safe to say the Valentine’s Day Bake-Off was a great success.

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   February 14, 2017

 

Otak was proud to sponsor the 16th Annual Stream Restoration Symposium in Stevenson, WA last week. 

The annual symposium is a gathering of all the various river restoration practitioners in the Northwest to share knowledge and explore project opportunities. Gary Wolff, a Senior Hydraulic Engineer from the Portland office, facilitated a session on Stream Restoration in the Built Environment. Morgan Haines, an Engineering Designer from the Vancouver office, led the discussion during the Young Professionals luncheon. 

Other Otak attendees included Ashley Cantlon, Melanie Klym, Kathy Mai, and Michael Rafferty from Portland, Ryan Makie from Vancouver, and Dave Stewart from Redmond.

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   February 2, 2017

After a couple of really busy weeks, some of the Otak crew went to cheer on the Winterhawks as they battled the Kamloops Blazers. The game was scoreless in the first period, but the Hawks pulled off a 4-2 win in the end. There was another reason to celebrate, though: The Otakians were sitting in the winning row, and they all got some great hockey swag, including hats. Plus, we were featured on the big screen during a special announcement. One of the highlights of the night was Kyle’s 2 year old son Killian cheering “Go Hockey!!” And he was right; it was definitely a good night for hockey.

 

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   January 21, 2017

ACEC Washington presented Otak with three Engineering Excellence awards on January 20.

In the category of Unique or Innovative Applications, Otak was given a Gold Award for our Willapa Hills Trail Bridge Replacement project in Willapa Hills State Park. 

Along the trail within Willapa Hills State Park are numerous stream and river crossings. In 2007, a devastating flood destroyed two trestles, sending the center steel truss spans downriver. 

The alternatives analysis started after the survey, geotechnical investigation, hydraulic analysis, and environmental reconnaissance were completed. Ten bridge options were studied for each site, and after review, it was determined that a clear span bridge was the preferred option. The solution was a bridge with side steel trusses with post-tensioning tendons inside a grouted duct, which was installed inside a HSS bottom chord.

Both bridges were a success!

Otak was also awarded two Bronze Awards. 

Dungeness River Railroad Trestle Replacement project in Sequim—This is a 750-foot long pedestrian bridge—designed, permitted, and constructed all within eight months. The river and resulting habitat enhancement are a success for the native salmon. The Tribe, the local community, and trail users were extremely pleased.

Bucklin Hill Bridge & Estuary Enhancement project for Kitsap County—This project included replacing roadway embankment and two 72-inch culverts with a 240-foot three-span bridge, widening the road to five lanes, traffic signals, roadway and pedestrian lighting, storm drainage improvements, and amenities for pedestrians and bicyclists. 

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   January 20, 2017

 

Otak was well represented at the annual ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards banquet on Wednesday evening (January 18th) at the Multnomah Athletic Club in downtown Portland. In attendance were members of Otak’s staff, the City of Lake Oswego, and Clark Regional Wastewater District, all of whom were there to support two projects that had been submitted for awards.

 

The Rockinghorse Lane Drainage Improvements and Landslide Stabilization project was submitted by Otak’s Portland office as the prime consultant selected to work with the City of Lake Oswego to repair a highly degraded drainage outfall and adjacent landslide. ACEC honored us with the Small Project Award for our efforts. The project required a careful balance of environmental permitting, thoughtful civil and water resource engineering design, and geotechnical consultation. Ultimately, the project installed approximately 300 feet of fused HDPE pipe to convey stormwater through the steepest topography, created 250 feet of open channel, repaired the State Park’s trail crossing, and constructed a large shear key to buttress the slide that included 1,500 tons of stone embankment.

 

The Tenny Creek Slide Emergency Repair project was submitted by Otak’s Vancouver office, and included stabilizing and repairing the broken sewer line, moving the creek laterally and reconstructing the slide area, providing a streambed design that met fish passage requirements, and restoring the area with upland plantings as it is in a habitat buffer area.  We were given an Honor Award for our this project.

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   December 20, 2016

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   December 14, 2016

This holiday season, Otak’s Redmond office is supporting the employees of Community Transit in their effort to help homeless teens in Snohomish County. 

Their goal is to surprise students in local high schools with backpacks filled with special gifts, hygiene kits, and gift cards. These students continue to attend school and seek their education despite not having homes or the support of legal guardians.  

On December 8th, Community Transit employees exceeded their goal and delivered 70 filled backpacks for these students. Otak was honored to help out by providing backpacks to such a great cause and would like to thank everybody involved.

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   December 1, 2016

Congratulations to Josh Guerra, RA for earning his Construction Documents Technology certification from the Construction Specifications Institute. He took the exam on November 21 after taking a preparation course in the spring.

This certification cements his knowledge of project delivery best practices and provides the foundation for collaboration within construction and design teams. Josh put it best: "This CSI approach to project delivery allows all practitioners to understand the full life-cycle of a project, from project conception, through design, construction, and eventually facility management. It also emphasizes the collaborative nature of our business and the essential functions of Owners, A/E, Contractors, and Suppliers."

Josh also would like to emphasize that the Portland CSI offers scholarships to emerging professionals every year—he was one of the winners. You can learn more about it here.

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