Cottage Grove Dedicates the Newly Reconstructed Chambers Covered Bridge
December 5, 2011
Braving the cold weather, dozens of Cottage Grove residents, lawmakers, engineers, and other stakeholders gathered recently to officially dedicate the newly reconstructed Chambers Covered Bridge and to celebrate the completion of a years-long effort to save a landmark bridge in a town already known for its many covered bridges.
Originally a railroad bridge that served the Chambers Lumber Company, the bridge has been repurposed as a bicycle and pedestrian facility, as well as a showcase to the Cottage Grove area's rich history as a timber town. The new bridge reused as much of the original timber and hardware as possible, and is accented by interpretive displays and railroad-themed art that elevate this iconic structure beyond a simple bridge.
The 92-foot-long timber structure, originally built in 1925, has several differentiating factors that made it critical to preserve. It is the only remaining covered railroad bridge in Oregon and one of only eight in the nation. The structure also holds the record for the tallest covered bridge and is the only one in the state with a four-leaf truss.
The effort to salvage the Chambers Covered Bridge began when an inspection revealed the structure's fragile condition. Then a windstorm caused the bridge to tilt precariously to one side, causing concern that the bridge would fall into the river below. The City declared an emergency, and OBEC worked with a contractor to expedite engineering for the temporary support and dismantling of the bridge.
Speakers at the event included Cottage Grove Mayor Gary Williams, Oregon State Senator Floyd Prozanski, and OBEC's own Greg Ausland.
Math textbook features Delta Ponds Pedestrian Bridge
November 22, 2011
Next academic year, calculus students at Lane Community College in Eugene will be getting a custom edition of the textbook "Calculus: Early Transcendentals" that features the Delta Ponds Pedestrian Bridge on the cover.
This OBEC-designed signature pedestrian bridge serves as a dramatic and central link in Eugene's popular bike and pedestrian trail system, and recently won the Federal Highway Administration 2011 Environmental Excellence Award.
At first, the structure looks like a simple cable-stayed bridge, but its unique triangular form references the Greek "delta" character, a mathematical symbol for change, so it's only fitting that the bridge was selected to grace the cover of "Calculus: Early Transcendentals."
Eugene/Springfield Community Celebrates Completion of the Southbound I-5 Willamette River Bridge August 18, 2011
Marking the halfway-point in this important $201 million replacement of the Interstate 5 bridge over the Willamette River, members of the public gathered alongside engineers, lawmakers, and other stakeholders to celebrate the grand opening of the southbound portion of the new twin bridges.
Speakers at the event included Oregon Representative Peter DeFazio, local politicians, and representatives of the Kalapuya tribe, all recognizing the project for its economic impact, elegant design, and faithful dedication to tribal history in the area.
After the ceremony, representatives from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) led attendees on a tour of the project site, noting interesting design elements and construction methods along the way.
Later this month, ODOT will open the bridge to southbound traffic, and then eventually move northbound traffic onto the bridge as well, so that they can begin demolition of the temporary bridge that currently holds all four lanes of Interstate 5 traffic. The new northbound bridge is scheduled for completion in October 2013.
Statewide Trails Coalition Holds Second Meeting in Eugene
August 18, 2011
A group of planners, engineers, advocates, and coordinators gathered in Eugene earlier this summer to hold the second meeting of what they hope will become a full-fledged Statewide Trails Coalition in Oregon.
The 20 attendees represented counties, cities, parks departments, and trail planning and design consultants from the Eugene/Springfield area, as well as Washington and Jackson Counties, Wilsonville, Bend, and other communities.
The City of Eugene and the Metropolitan Service District (Metro) hosted the morning meeting in Lamb Cottage on the south bank of the Willamette River. In the afternoon, OBEC Consulting Engineers sponsored a lunch and trail ride, showcasing several miles of riverfront trail and two cable-supported pedestrian bridges designed by the firm.
Lisa Goorjian from Vancouver Parks and Recreation was on hand to offer insights on how the formative coalition may take their shared energies, visions, and resources to realize a coalition that is uniquely suited to provide networking and influence statewide policies on funding, connectivity, and cross-jurisdictional coordination.
A major step for coalition coordination is the formation of a listserv that will streamline networking and meeting planning efforts. To be added to the list and receive updates on the next meeting, contact Mel Huie at Metro (Mel.Huie@oregonmetro.gov), or call Josh Grenzsund at 541.683.6090.
Lawrence H. Fox transitions into new role as president of OBEC Consulting Engineers July 18, 2011
Lawrence H. Fox, PE, has moved into the role as President of OBEC Consulting Engineers, in line with the firm's long-developed leadership transition plan. To ensure effective continuity, outgoing President Gayle Harley, PE, will fill the role of Executive Vice President through the end of the year before officially retiring from the firm.
Larry and Gayle have been colleagues at OBEC since 1990, and together they have been increasingly involved in the firm's growth and development. In 2001 they took over as Vice President and President, respectively. Since then, they have continued the corporate tradition of leveraging executives' experience and expertise to deliver quality by serving in both firm leadership and project management roles.
Larry earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in civil engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and has been instrumental in the delivery of more than 120 public agency and ODOT projects throughout Oregon in the past 10 years. His background encompasses managing multi-disciplinary teams on award-winning projects including the Springwater Trail Three Bridges and the St. John's Bridge Rehabilitation in the City of Portland. Larry recently completed his duties as the Design Project Manager on the I-5 Willamette River Bridge in Eugene/Springfield and is currently serving as the Design Project Manager on the Sunrise Corridor project in Clackamas County in addition to his firm leadership duties.
Along with newly named Vice President of Technical Services, Guy Hakanson, PE, the executive team will deliver a smooth transition that supports ongoing reliable and responsive service. Guy, who previously served as Principal Construction Engineer, brings more than 24 years of design and construction engineering experience at OBEC and will also serve as OBEC's Chief Engineer.
Society of American Military Engineers Post Tours Oregon City Arch Bridge June 22, 2011
OBEC's engineers hosted a tour of the historically-significant Oregon City Arch Bridge spanning the Willamette River last Friday for members of the corps of engineers, Bonneville Power Administration, and a number of other consultants. Staff members from ODOT and Wildish Standard Paving were also on hand to answer questions.
The tour-goers saw first-hand the ongoing work on the inside of the arch chambers which cannot be seen from the outside. They also heard about the many technical challenges that were overcome to ensure the economy and constructability of the project, including the removal of existing concrete coatings without damaging the steel structure underneath.
The bridge provides a vital connection between West Linn to Oregon City and has been closed for construction since January. Historic replica bridge features are currently in the works and will be a key element of the final construction.
For more information on the Oregon City Arch Bridge Rehabilitation project, visit OBEC's detailed project page.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Young, PE, of MacKay & Sposito, Inc.
Highway 213 Jughandle Project Groundbreaking in Oregon City May 6, 2011
Local stakeholders this week held an official ceremony to kick-off construction of the OR213: I-205 to Redland Road Overcrossing project, also known as the Jughandle Project.
The ceremony took place at the project site, near the location of the new "jughandle" connection that will help traffic flow more smoothly through the area. Attendees included Oregon City Mayor Doug Neely, state representatives, and Governor Kulongoski's Sustainable Communities and Transportation Policy Advisor, Lynn Peterson.
The Jughandle Project will bring significant traffic and safety improvements to this highly congested area. "The main goal is to relieve the congestion for the public going back and forth to work," Public Works Project Engineer Aleta Froman-Goodrich said.
"Right now, commuters are stopped frequently on that particular transportation segment; there are really only two major arteries in and out of the city, and a majority of the city's citizens have to use Highway 213. The biggest thing is to relieve the congestion for citizens in their daily lives."
Photos courtesy of Jason Kelly
Springfield Celebrates Opening of New Middle Fork Willamette River Loop Path April 27, 2011
The Springfield area's newest multi-use trail is now open to the public, and local stakeholders met at the trailhead this week to celebrate this exciting event.
Attendees at the grand opening celebration included representatives from Willamalane Parks and Recreation, Representative Peter DeFazio, and former Springfield Mayor Sid Leiken, who all played important roles in bringing this project to life.
OBEC designed the path, which starts at Clearwater Park in southeast Springfield and follows the Middle Fork Willamette River to the west, where it will eventually connect to Dorris Ranch Living History Farm.
Photos courtesy of Guy Hakanson
Douglas County Bridge put to the test! April 21, 2011
The typical maximum load for the 18-wheel trucks that haul freight along Oregon Highways is about 105,000 pounds. This April, the Pruner Road Bridge over the South Umpqua River carried a load that topped out over 847,000 pounds.
The freight, a massive electrical transformer, was being offloaded from the railroad in Riddle, Oregon, and trucked to its destination in northern California via I-5.
Before it reached the Interstate, the extreme load had to pass across the bridge, which was designed by OBEC and completed in 2009, prompting special considerations.
Douglas County Bridge and Construction Engineer, Cody Smith, PE, coordinated with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to prepare for the move. "The truck configuration has 28 axles, 2 pusher tractors, and an overall length of over 300 feet," Smith said.
According to Smith, ODOT ran calculations on the bridge and determined that the structure would be able to handle the massive load with no issues.
After the preparation and calculations, the move across the bridge was observed by officials and was completed without incident. Smith commented "Notice the rail and overhang in the bridge photo. No cracks, no problems."
Photos courtesy of Cody Smith
Come Meet OBEC at the 2011 Oregon Active Transportation Summit! March 22, 2011
Want to show your support for alternative transportation and get to know OBEC a little better? Then hop on your bike and ride over to the 2011 Oregon Active Transportation Summit on Tuesday, March 29, in Salem, Oregon.
Formerly known as the Oregon Bike Summit, the sixth-annual event focuses on encouraging "active" transportation such as biking, walking, and public transit. Speakers include Governor Kitzhaber's Sustainable Communities and Transportation Policy Advisor Lynn Peterson and Senator Floyd Prozanski, as well as sessions on bike sharing programs, social marketing programs, and legislative priorities.
OBEC is fully supportive of the summit's mission, and we will have a booth at the event to get to know attendees who wish to learn more about the design of multi-use paths and bridges, and bike-friendly roadways.
For more information about the 2011 Oregon Active Transportation Summit, check out their website at www.oregonbikesummit.com.
ODOT Seeks Input on Artistic Enhancements at Willamette River Bridge Site March 22, 2011
The Interstate 5: Willamette River Bridge (WRB) project is moving along, and now it is time to think about artistic touches to enhance the structure once it is complete.
The Oregon Department of Transportation is planning to hold an open house on April 7, 2011, for the public to review proposed design enhancements for the areas around Interstate 5 near the new bridges.
The open house will be held in the Bascom/Tykeson Meeting Rooms, Eugene Public Library, 100 W. 10th Ave., Eugene, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. If you can't make it to the open house in-person, ODOT will also conduct a virtual open house to collect comments from the public.
After the public house, a committee will recommend the proposed art designs to ODOT's WRB project team, who will then select artists to complete the design(s) and engineering. Construction of the design enhancements is scheduled for late 2013 or early 2014, after construction of the replacement bridges is complete.
OBEC's Tom Metcalf Demonstrates New 3D Design for Machine-Control Grading January 7, 2011
OBEC's Portland-area Roadway Manager Tom Metcalf, PE, recently gave a presentation to 250 Oregon Department Transportation personnel, contractors, government officials, and consultants, at ODOT's two-day "Design to Dozer" event.
Now, Professional Surveyor Magazine has published an article on the event in its December issue and dedicated a section of the piece to Tom's presentation on "3D Design for Machine Control Grading."
Tom's presentation focused on how OBEC used this technique to adhere to a new industry standard of accuracy on the I-5: Willamette River Bridge project in Eugene.
Click here to read the whole article at the Professional Surveyor Magazine's website.
Local Art Gallery Highlights Artistic Nature of OBEC Bridges January 3, 2011
OBEC is pleased to announce that we will be featured in a transportation-themed art exhibition at Eugene's Opus VII gallery this month.
The exhibition, titled, "Go, Design, Go!" opens Friday, January 7, at Opus VII in downtown Eugene and will run through the end of February.
According to Opus VII, "this immersive, dynamic, and multi-media focused installation showcases nine local and regional experts dedicated to innovation in transportation technology."
As one of only nine regional experts invited to present at the exhibition, OBEC's portion of the exhibit will focus on our designs of signature pedestrian bridges, with an emphasis on the newly-construction Delta Ponds Pedestrian Bridge in Eugene.
For more information on the exhibition, feel free to check out Opus VII's website.
We hope to see you there!