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Best in state: Gold award Unique or innovative applications Otak

Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, January 23, 2017

By: staff writer

Project: Willapa Hills Trail bridge replacements 

Client: Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission

In the late 1800s, the Northern Pacific Railway’s South Bend Branch line was built to connect Chehalis and South Bend. The line allowed the delivery of lumber and farm products to the rest of the country.

In 1993 as railroad commerce died out in the area, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission bought the railroad and converted the route into Willapa Hills State Park.

The park includes numerous stream and river crossings, including the two largest over the Chehalis River — at Spooner and at Dryad — about nine miles apart. In 2007, a devastating flood completely destroyed the two trestles, sending the center steel truss spans downriver. Ultimately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved funding to replace both bridges.

Otak was hired as prime consultant for the Willapa Hills Trail bridge replacements. The firm was responsible for project management, bridge engineering, trail design, landscape architecture and construction support.

 

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