Pacific Highway Emergency Culvert Replacement Project Wins APWA Project of the Year Award
We are excited to announce another Otak project—the Pacific Highway Emergency Culvert Replacement in Clark County—has been awarded Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association (APWA) Washington Chapter. The Clark County Public Works project was recognized for excellence in the Disaster or Emergency Construction/Repair Category for projects under $5 million.
Following a heavy snow and rain event in February 2019, the existing culvert under Pacific Highway (northwest of La Center, Washington) was obstructed by debris and impounded water on the upstream end. The roadway base was also severely undermined, resulting in a deep scour hole beneath the road, and failure of the reinforced concrete panels of the old highway. The Clark County Council passed a Declaration of Emergency to expedite environmental approvals and contracting for the roadway repairs, and to reopen the highway as soon as possible. As the engineering consultant on-call, Otak was hired to quickly design a new crossing for the unnamed tributary.
In addition to re-opening the roadway, the County had specific goals beyond the typical temporary emergency culvert replacement:
- Design a permanent solution to avoid future disruptions, costs, and road closures.
- Ensure safe fish passage to the area’s Chinook, chum, coho, and steelhead.
- Provide a cost-effective solution.
- Avoid utility shutdowns.
The project design team consisted of Otak as the prime consultant, Zucker Engineering for additional engineering capacity, and Hart Crowser for geotechnical evaluations. Together with contractor Thompson Bros. Excavating, the team worked to design and construct a 13-foot span culvert, embedded with a natural stream bottom to repair the road and provide new fish passage. The road was reopened on March 29, 2019, just 45 days after the failure.
Congratulations to Nathan Dasler, PE, CFM, CWRE, and the rest of the team for successfully guiding this critical emergency project and quickly delivering an effective long-term solution to ensure public safety and restore critical fish passage.
To read more about this project click here.