May 31, 2012

The Seattle Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers selected Otak’s Valley Estates Bank Stabilization and Culvert Replacement project for an Honor Award! Otak will receive the award on June 13 at an event at McCormick & Schmick’s Harborside in Seattle. This project provided an opportunity to enhance one of the few spawning locations within the Sammamish River, provide fish passage with improved habitat features and enhance the aesthetics and improve stewardship among the public reaches of the stream. Otak provided survey and base mapping, background studies including analysis of the watershed for design using HSPF and SWMM models, alternatives development, preliminary design, public involvement assistance, permitting, final design and construction documents, construction assistance and post-construction monitoring.


Sustainability | Water | Make a Comment | View Comments (0)
   May 25, 2012


Otak’s Windi Shapley and Vanessa Lee helped dedicate the Centennial Trail on a beautiful Saturday morning in Snohomish, Washington.  This project completes a missing portion of Snohomish County’s 30-mile-long trail within a former rail corridor.  The trail serves as part of a growing regional multi-purpose path network.  It is anticipated that the new trail will provide a convenient alternative to driving and promote community health through walking and cycling to destinations such as the Boys & Girls Club, Senior Center, library, skate park and play area.

The Phase 1 improvements include a 12-foot-wide asphalt trail, parking facilities, frontage improvements at street crossings, park signage, timber trellis and kiosk, and approximately four acres of meadow mix, drought-tolerant shrubs, and larger park trees.  These improvements are guided by an overall Master Plan that Otak’s Curtis LaPierre developed in conjunction with Snohomish city staff and community. The master planning, design, and construction services efforts were led by Project Manager Nico Vanderhorst, and included Windi Shapley, Tyler Christofferson, Curtis LaPierre, Tyson Housel, Vanessa Lee, Jack Seeds, Marissa Chargualaf, and Steve Wilson.



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   May 16, 2012

With a proposed federal transportation bill sparking intense debate in congress, one Otak professional decided to lend his expert opinion to Capitol Hill. Curtis LaPierre flew from Washington State to Washington, D.C. and advocated for active transportation programs such as transportation enhancements, complete streets, safe routes to school and scenic byways in the transportation bill. He spoke to legislators from his home state about how these programs would expand travel choice, strengthen local economies, manage stormwater runoff and improve the quality of life for communities across the country. 

To learn more about the benefits of active transportation programs, please click here.


Landscape Architecture | Sustainability | Transportation | Make a Comment | View Comments (0)
   May 16, 2012


The Federal Highway Administration presented ODOT as the project owner, Wildish Standard Paving Co. as the construction contractor, and Otak as the engineering firm with an Exemplary Human Environment Initiative Award in the category of Enhancing the Environment for Human Activities for the Upper Perry Arch Bridge project! Otak’s Ron Jee attended an award ceremony at the Upper Perry Arch Bridge near La Grande, Oregon. We provided a bridge rehabilitation and roadway design that prepared this historically significant structure to accommodate modern traffic loads while preserving its historic qualities. The rehabilitated bridge’s service life has been extended another 30+ years.  In addition, Otak designed the adjacent bridge viewing area that is being well utilized by visitors. We are honored to receive this national award and thankful to everyone who worked on this project to preserve the Upper Perry Arch Bridge!




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   May 1, 2012

Otak received the American Planning Association’s (APA) National Excellence Award for Best Practice at the APA’s National Conference in Los Angeles. Otak planners received the award for their work on Cool Planning: A Handbook on Local Strategies to Slow Climate Change. This handbook embodies Otak’s commitment to building sustainable communities, and winning such a prestigious national award for this project is a proud moment for all of us at Otak. We thank the APA for this honor and congratulate everyone who worked on this project.


To learn more about Cool Planning, please click here.

To view the Cool Planning handbook, please click here.






Planning | Sustainability | Make a Comment | View Comments (0)
   May 1, 2012

Volunteers from Otak’s Lake Oswego and Vancouver offices planted trees as part of an Earth Day celebration with other volunteers from throughout the Portland area. It began on Saturday morning near the I-205 Multi-Use Path in the Gateway area of Portland where volunteers were taught tree-planting basics. Then the volunteers set to work lugging trees and tools up the steep incline, digging holes in the rocky soil, setting trees in the holes, covering the soil around the trees with burlap sacks, securing the sacks to the ground with stakes, and driving wooden poles into the ground on the sides of the trees. After four hours of work, the volunteers had planted 180 native species, making it the largest-ever planting in over three years of planting along the I-205 Multi-Use Path.

The event was organized by Friends of Trees, a group which aims to bring people in the Portland-Vancouver and Eugene-Springfield metro areas together to plant and care for city trees and green spaces. The Otak volunteer group worked with Friends of Trees through EarthShare.

To learn more about Friends of Trees and find out how you can get involved, click here.




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