Blog
   June 14, 2016

Otak’s overlook rehabilitation design at the Brink of the Upper Falls in Yellowstone National Park is one of 20 national park unit projects competing for a $250,000 grant through a public voting contest. Brink of the Upper Falls is just one of several sites from Phase 1 of our Yellowstone National Parks Overlooks and Trails Project, which will provide much-needed restoration and improvements to the deteriorating north and south rim trails and overlooks that wrap the Canyon Rim—from Inspiration Point to Artist Point. Phase 1 design solutions include re-routing trails away from dangerous areas and installing stone and boulder barriers; connecting historic overlooks with new walkways; creating safe, accessible viewing areas with new informational signage; and using natural materials to integrate the infrastructure into the spires and Canyon cliffs.

 

 

Show your support for Yellowstone and our project by going to www.voteyourpark.org and voting daily until July 5th. Once you’ve signed up and voted, you can also enter the sweepstakes for a chance to win a trip to Yellowstone National Park—each day you vote, you get an additional entry! 

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   June 7, 2016

 

Ben Bortolazzo | Director of Planning & Design, Portland

Ben Bortolazzo has been promoted to Director of Planning & Design in the Portland office. Ben’s unique talents and experience as an urban planner, urban designer in urban planning, design and architecture, provide him with the comprehensive skills to take on this leadership position and strengthen the connection between Planning and Design, Architecture and the TIS civil team. As part of this role, Ben will also be working closely with our landscape architecture team in Vancouver in association with the common clients shared between both teams.

As Ben takes on this role, Don Hanson will continue to provide mentorship and guidance with client relations and team management. Ben will help guide the Planning and Design group as a facilitator and incubator of the type of exciting projects that are often result in integration of all of Otak disciplines. Ben will continue to be active in managing clients and some discreet architecture projects to support continuity and growth within the architecture practice.

Mike Morrow | Survey Party Chief, Gearhart

Mike Morrow has been promoted from Survey Field Technician to Survey Party Chief in our Gearhart office. Mike has been a quick learner and is a great member of our team; this promotion is a reflection of the great work Mike has done and we’re looking forward to a strong future with the current opportunities to expand our work on the Oregon Coast.  

Paul Pellicani | Manager of Architecture, Tempe

Paul Pellicani will take on the role of Manager of Architecture in Arizona.  Paul has largely been filling this role since he joined Otak last August and has done an exemplary job with client service, staff leadership and management of projects to completion while maintaining profitability. Paul will be working closely with Brian Fleener and our architecture team in Portland to continue to build our architecture business in Arizona and deliver great design work for our clients.

Windi Shapley | Project Manager, Redmond

Windi Shapley has transitioned her role from lead Project Engineer to full-time Project Manager over this last year. Windi has played a key role in our work with Community Transit and is leading management of SWIFT II BRT, which involves a 13-mile transit route and 30 new transit stations in south Snohomish County. Windi is highly organized and very client focused and we are confident that she will continue to excel in her new role, moving forward.  

Sylwia Jaszczak-Follehr | Survey Party Chief, Redmond

Sylwia Jaszczak-Follehr has been promoted from Survey Field Technician to Survey Party Chief in our Redmond office. Sylwia has advanced quickly within our survey team and enthusiastically taken on increased field responsibilities this past year. Sylwia’s work ethic, eagerness to learn, and commitment to quality have been a great benefit to our team and projects.

Tyson Hounsel | Project Manager, Redmond

Tyson Hounsel has been promoted from Project Engineer to Project Manager. Tyson continues to be a key technical resource for WNR and for the Redmond/Everett offices and has been expanding his role to include various project management assignments. Tyson provides a broad background that includes both public sector and private development experience. Among his many duties, Tyson is currently managing work for Snohomish County and just beginning a newly won project for the City of Shoreline.


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   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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