Blog
January 2016
   January 25, 2016

In the category of Social, Economic, and Sustainable Design Considerations, Otak was given a GOLD Award for our Overlake Village South Detention Vault—Integrated Facilities in Redmond, Washington. This project is a great example of integrated design, involving our WNR, PAD, and TIS groups.

The Overlake Village neighborhood is projected to grow into the next urban center on the eastside of the Central Puget Sound region. Plans call for the neighborhood to provide a mix of commercial, retail, and residential uses in proximity to the employment uses at the Microsoft campus and the planned East Link light rail service, targeted to open in 2023. Otak brought together the interdisciplinary skills of water resource engineers, urban planners, and landscape architects to examine options for multiple purpose infrastructure to serve the projected growth and redevelopment of the neighborhood.

The Otak team worked closely with City of Redmond staff on planning, analysis, and conceptual design for an integrated system of community features to minimize, control, and treat surface water runoff, and to provide neighborhood parks, recreation opportunities, and green spaces for the 323-acre Overlake drainage basin. LID techniques within public rights-of-way (street and trail corridors) as well as LID opportunities on adjacent private parcels will allow for localized rainwater infiltration, treatment, and open space opportunities. For larger rainfall events, regional stormwater facilities collocated with City parks will provide storage and infiltration of runoff and allow for public use over the top of the facilities. 

Otak developed a strategic implementation plan for this proactive approach to balance the interconnected LID elements, regional facilities, and parks and open spaces. This approach allowed the most cost-effective means of providing stormwater management by locating the regional facilities in areas most suitable for stormwater facilities and with dual function as public parks and open spaces to serve the growing neighborhood. An overarching objective of the project was provide the maximum benefit to the environment while also supporting a vibrant urban center. 

This first phase of implementation successfully constructed the largest stormwater detention vault in Washington. The vault was constructed within a highly urbanized neighborhood requiring deep excavation near busy roadways and adjacent businesses. The successful construction of the regional stormwater facility has significantly stimulated economic growth in the Overlake Village area with several redevelopment master plans being submitted before construction was completed. This project shows how careful planning can create a win-win situation for developers who can now maximize their site development potential and be assured that the stormwater from their sites is properly managed and for the City who wanted to the maximum the amount of environmental enhancement, economic growth, and open space in an area that lacked all three.

“It was a pleasure working with Otak, and I appreciated your flexibility as the project took its many starts and stops. 

I would recommend you highly for this kind of work. Thanks to you and your team.” 

 - Steve Hitch, Senior Stormwater Engineer, City of Redmond

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   January 22, 2016

Along Spirit Lake, in Mt St Helens, Washington, The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers bored a 1.6-mile tunnel through bedrock to provide a new outlet after the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens blocked the lake’s natural outlet.  Without the tunnel, the lake could fill and begin overflowing onto nearby highways.  Recently, it was discovered the floor of the tunnel has been rising effectively shrinking the diameter of the tunnel. Otak is part of the team working to fix the tunnel to keep in in operation. Our Professional Land Surveyors are establishing survey control in the Spirit Lake Tunnel and marking the locations for the work to take place using robotic total station survey equipment. This project is 6,000 feet inside the tunnel. Work in a tunnel that is always wet, with running water from 2” to 40” deep, dark, and strongly ventilated is difficult. The crew spent their days a mile and a quarter inside the 11’ diameter tunnel. The remote location is a 2 ½ hour commute from the nearest town. The crew worked Friday-Tuesday, 14 hours each day and our office technical staff worked each evening starting around 8pm when data could be sent in from the remote location. Data was processed each night so new information could be used the next day.  Construction is scheduled to be complete by May 2016. 

 

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