February 27, 2018

Congratulations to Morgan Clay from our Vancouver office on being voted into the Board of Directors for River Restoration Northwest! Morgan was also recently promoted to Vice Chair on the Salmon Creek Watershed Council.

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   February 15, 2018

Otak Portland has revived a beloved office tradition – Wine Down Wednesdays! At the end of a long mid-week work day, Otakians gather and enjoy wine, drinks, and hors d’oeuvres while hearing from some of Otak’s project managers and specialists on recent work they’ve done on a significant project.

This year’s inaugural session showcased Otak’s work with Newland Communities on the Reed’s Crossing Project in Hillsboro. Presenters and topics included Steve Dixon and Ben Bortolazzo, who presented on master planning; Adrian Esteban, infrastructure improvements; Kevin Timmins, stormwater/greenway; and Scott Banker, erosion control. Eric Peterson from Newland Communities also presented on Newland’s work on the subdivision.

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   February 14, 2018

Once again, Otak’s Portland office held a Valentine’s Day Bake-Off, and the results were exceptionally sweet. Otakians provided and sampled homemade sweet treats and in the process contributed to a good cause! Over $200 in donations were raised for the Morrison Park House.

As part of the festivities, samplers voted for their favorite dessert. The three winners this year were Michael Rafferty with his double chocolate caramel cookies, Kelsey Skaug with a cinnamon roll Bundt cake, and David Breneman with an Oreo and Nutter Butter cheesecake. Yum!

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   February 2, 2018

Congratulations to the City of Golden, Colorado, which received the Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS) 2017 Innovative Transportation Solution of the Year award for the “Linking Lookout” project.

As the structural engineer-of-record and a subconsultant to IMEG (formerly TTG Corp.), Loris and Associates (LORIS), a division of Otak, designed this bridge to serve as an urban park as well as a major multi-modal transportation conduit. The overall project was to provide a grade separated interchange at this high volume and dangerous intersection, while improving connectivity from the residential areas on the west side of US 6 to the Colorado School of Mines and the City located east of US 6.

The bridge is a two-span, 125-foot-long by 280-foot-wide, prestressed concrete box girder superstructure, with a cast-in-place concrete deck. The cap & column pier is supported by caissons while the integral abutments are supported by driven piles. To create an urban park setting, up to 10 feet of fill with a variety of plants and trees were added on top of the bridge deck, along with picnic tables, park space, and a small amphitheater. Innovative garden roof technologies were developed that included an engineered soil mix with a saturated unit weight of just 90 pounds per cubic foot in addition to expanded polystyrene geofoam to limit the weight of the fill. Special deck protection methods were also developed to combat the potential for deterioration caused by the fully irrigated park structure.

To facilitate the 25 feet of required excavation, LORIS also designed nearly 70,000 square feet of retaining walls. Soil nail walls with precast concrete panels were the predominant wall type, but MSE and gravity boulder walls are also present. Massive stone cairns and an arch-beam at the south abutments were also included to provide a signature landmark statement.

The design team worked with Edward Kraemer and Sons, the CMGC, to develop the design, construction phasing, and construction cost estimates for this $30 million project. One result of the project is increased safety for what used to be Golden’s most accident-prone intersection: 19th Street and US 6. Now US 6 is an underpass and vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians cross safely over the busy highway on their way between downtown Golden and other local destinations, including the Colorado School of Mines and Lookout Mountain.

Peter J. Loris served as the project manager for the LORIS and Associates team. Senior LORIS project manager Dan Beltzer, PE, and former LORIS bridge engineer Sarah Navarro, PE, provided the structural design.

For more information on the Linking Lookout project, visit

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