Vancouver Business Journal

Wed04162014

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Is Food Processing part of Port “Comprehensive Scheme”?

Is Food Processing part of Port “Comprehensive Scheme”?

The leaders of a Clark County food processing company will bring their efforts t...

Developers cautious but developing

Developers cautious but developing

Although the Great Recession is behind us, many businesses and individuals are s...

Exploring Business Case for Tesoro-Savage Oil Terminal

Exploring Business Case for Tesoro-Savage Oil Terminal

In a few weeks, Tesoro-Savage will publish an economic impact study, conducted b...

The Art of the Deal

The Art of the Deal

Local business transaction attorneys agree -- deals are deals. However, they als...

Excursion company bringing riverboat, regional office to Vancouver

Excursion company bringing riverboat, regional office to Vancouver

The American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a Memphis-based excursion/tour comp...

Montague resigns as president of Identity Clark County

Montague resigns as president of Identity Clark County

Identity Clark County (ICC), a nonprofit business advocacy group, announced Thur...

Design & Construction

Commercial development: Building for tomorrow

Commercial development: Building for tomorrow

If commercial developers feel like circus performers walking a tightrope, there is good reason.

Limited financing, escalating regulatory and raw material costs, and still-low property valuations make penciling out a project difficult. And yet, workforce trends and emerging technologies demand designs that look to the future.

Build to the budget

According to Ron Frederiksen, president of RSV Bui...

Real Estate & Development

Developers cautious but developing

Developers cautious but developing

Although the Great Recession is behind us, many businesses and individuals are still feeling the effects. Local developers were some of the hardest-hit, and for a few years now have been consistently saying that they’re still digging their way out. As building season for 2014 gets underway, we checked in with a few local developers to see how business is looking for this year and beyond. Are we fi...

News Briefs

Wood company buys 14-acres in Longview for $1.5 million

Wood company buys 14-acres in Longview for $1.5 million

JJ Wood Energy LLC has purchased 14-acres of industrial land along Tennant Way in Longview for $1.5 million. The land will supplement the expanding business of bark manufacturer Swanson Bark Wood Products Inc.

Spotlight

Blind Onion Pizza poised for future growth

Blind Onion Pizza poised for future growth

Gene Schwendiman brought 30 years of restaurant management and operations experience to Blind Onion Pizza in 2001. Over the years, the number of stores expanded and contracted, slicing into new territory until three separate markets developed – Portland, Vancouver and Reno. The ownership group agreed to divide and conquer, each partner retreating into individual entities, with Schwendiman focusing...

A short timeline for Klineline

One dollar per vehicle crossing.

When you do the math, that’s about what Ostrander Rock and Construction Co. Inc. will pay for every day that construction of Salmon Creek’s Klineline Bridge goes beyond Oct. 31.

One dollar per vehicle crossing.

When you do the math, that’s about what Ostrander Rock and Construction Co. Inc. will pay for every day that construction of Salmon Creek’s Klineline Bridge goes beyond Oct. 31.

It doesn’t sound like much, but about 17,000 vehicles used to cross the bridge on Highway 99 every day before Dec. 2, 2007, when Clark County declared it unsafe for public use.

The Longview-based contractor’s crew has been working double-time since April to avoid those $17,000 daily fines.

The timeline and penalties are “in response to the need to get traffic restored and to get businesses back to normal,” said Linda Small, a Clark County Public Works capital project manager.  

Clark County awarded Ostrander the project because of its $9.2 million bid and a commitment to finish the work in about 160 days, according to Small.

The project’s total cost is $15.6 million, including permits and mitigation, Small said. To pay for the bridge replacement, more than $6 million in federal funds were funneled through the Washington State Department of Transportation. Clark County’s road fund is supplying the rest.

“This is a one-year project that we’re doing in six months,” said Ken Piper, project superintendent at Ostrander.

To meet that goal, Ostrander has had crews working six days a week, 10 to 12 hours a day since April. With subcontractors, about 40 people work on site per day – twice the norm, Piper said.

“We’re shooting for an Oct. 31 physical completion,” Griffith said. “Then we’ll turn traffic loose and plant a few trees.”

Turning traffic loose is the key. The 17,000 vehicles that used to cross the bridge are being rerouted on two detours, and the area’s business owners and community members have spoken loudly about it.

For many surrounding businesses, drive-by traffic just isn’t what it used to be.

“We have a good detour and a short detour, but it’s still disruptive,” Small said. “It could definitely take 10 minutes with traffic.”

Shaky ground to stability

The Klineline Bridge’s shaky history dates back to when it was built in 1927.

The dynamics of Salmon Creek and building methods of old led to the bridge’s first crack in 1949. It collapsed in 1956, when about half of it was replaced, Small said.

Since then, creek flooding caused erosion that was labeled critical in 1996.

“The likelihood of the bridge falling apart again like it did in the 1950s wasn’t high because of all the retrofitting we did,” Small said. But, she added, if the ground washed out a foot or two and the bridge re-settled, it likely would have given way on top.

Before Klineline permanently closed in 2007, one of its piers shifted by inches that year. And in early June, the county learned that sheet pile protecting the bridge footings was only four feet below ground.

“We thought it was 10 to 12 feet under, so it was a very tenuous situation,” Small said. “It was at risk of being taken out in a big flow.”

To avoid repeating history, new supports for the new bridge will go into shafts drilled into the ground. The old bridge rested on footing at the creek bed, according to Small.

Major steam channel enhancement is happening during construction to help abate erosion and protect the bridge. The effort also will improve the fish habitat and remove barriers affecting steelhead and salmon migration, according to Clark County.

Improved storm water collection, conveyance and treatment will come with the new bridge. As will improved water quality as polluted storm water is kept from running directly into the stream.

Aesthetics also played into the design, in line with recent efforts to revitalize Highway 99. The new bridge will arch over Salmon Creek, featuring pedestrian overlooks, lighting and landscaping at its median and surrounding area. Its four-lane road will include sidewalks, bicycle lanes, curbs, gutters and left-turn lanes at both ends.

“It’s a much safer passage than it was before,” said Greg Dreeszen, a project engineer at Vancouver-based Kramer-Gehlen and Assoc. Inc., who has worked extensively on engineering the new bridge. “It will be a more open roadway and encourage more pedestrian traffic and biking. Hopefully it sets the tone for the rest of the improvements along Highway 99.”

Keeping lines open

A handful of utility agencies are partnering with Clark County Public Works on the project, including Clark Public Utilities District Water and Electric, Clark Regional Waste Water District and Clark County Sanitary Sewer.

“They want to thread their infrastructure through the new bridge structure,” Small said. “In order to do that, they needed to be part of the whole project.”

Sewer utilities and water lines were removed from the bridge this spring and have been installed on support structures apart from the bridge during construction. Crews have had to work by hand in areas surrounding Qwest phone lines, slowing the process.

“It isn’t unusual to work around existing utilities, but not phone lines as close as they are,” Small said.

Subcontractors working on the Klineline project include Hazel Dell-based Larry O. Collins Inc., Vancouver-based Hopper Dennis Jellison, Cascade Bridge and Mill Plain Electric, and Washougal-based McDonald Excavating.

“This is definitely a unique project because we don’t replace a bridge on a road like this very often,” Small said.

Klineline’s timeline

1927: Initial construction complete

1956: Salmon Creek floods, bridge collapses and is rebuilt

1996: Salmon Creek floods, erosion around piers deemed critical

2005: New bridge design begins

December 2, 2007: Bridge permanently closes, declared unsafe for public use

May 16, 2008: Demolition begins

October 31, 2008: Projected construction completion

November 2008: Projected bridge opening

Early 2009: Projected completion of landscaping

Source: Clark County Public Works and Ostrander Rock and Construction Co. Inc.

Charity Thompson can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Opinion

Focus Column

Building “failures” and how to avoid them

Building “failures” and how to avoid them

The recent collapses of the I-5 Bridge over the Skagit River and the floor of the Vancouver Warehouse and Distribution C...

“THINK”ing about construction

“THINK”ing about construction

A surprising resource in Clark County is the “THINK!” program, which is a collaboration between the Building Industry As...

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