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Local cemetery faces unexpected challenge as trends change

Local cemetery faces unexpected challenge as trends change

“The industry-wide challenge that we face is the majority preference for cremati...

Philanthropy coverage: Business spotlights

Philanthropy coverage: Business spotlights

There’s a tradition of philanthropy within Southwest Washington’s business commu...

Philanthropy coverage: Nonprofit spotlights

Philanthropy coverage: Nonprofit spotlights

Southwest Washington enjoys a healthy nonprofit sector. Simply put, these organi...

Talks over propane/butane export terminal at Port of Longview progressing

Talks over propane/butane export terminal at Port of Longview progressing

The Port of Longview and Haven Energy are “finding common commercial ground” in ...

Dancing with the Local Stars raises $154,000

Dancing with the Local Stars raises $154,000

Saturday's Dancing with the Local Stars raised $154,000, according to a report f...

Developer hopes to construct Uptown Apartments in early 2015

Developer hopes to construct Uptown Apartments in early 2015

Pending approval from the city of Vancouver, construction of the Uptown Apartmen...

Technology & Electronic Solutions

Cloud computing becoming the new norm, despite concerns

Cloud computing becoming the new norm, despite concerns

After hundreds of naked celebrity photos were allegedly hacked from Apple’s iCloud this Labor Day weekend, many are questioning the security of “the cloud.” But that hasn’t stopped the steady influx of businesses switching from in-house data storage to cloud-based solutions.

Integra, a communications and networking company headquartered in Vancouver, released data estimating that 70 percent of bu...

Innovation & Manufacturing

Manufacturers investing in the future

Manufacturers investing in the future

Invest in what you do. That is the mantra of many Southwest Washington manufacturers this year, as they pour significant investments into new facilities, equipment and infrastructure.

Take ProTech Composites, for example. This carbon fiber manufacturer grew sales 57 percent last year and projects 30 percent growth this year. Jeff Olsen, ProTech Composites president, said that the company is on tr...

News Briefs

County seeks to fill Animal Control Advisory Board vacancy

The Board of County Commissioners is seeking applicants for a position on the volunteer Animal Protection & Control Advisory Board. The vacancy is for an at-large position, beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

Spotlight

Current Home Technologies: Market growth fueling elaborate installations

Current Home Technologies: Market growth fueling elaborate installations

Tony Curtis, owner of Current Home Technologies, has been a professional integrator since 1997. Back then, dedicated theater rooms sparked the imagination of homeowners everywhere, but the technology of Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1-channel audio only whispered at the capabilities of the completely integrated home experience that Current Home Technologies provides residents with today.

Despite unwitt...

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

New industry: Can Vancouver be at the forefront of carbon fiber recycling?

New industry: Can Vancouver be at the forefront of carbon fiber recycling?

Once associated only with skunk works aircraft and exotic automobiles exclusively available to the world’s elite, carbon...

Returning innovation to the manufacturing sector

Returning innovation to the manufacturing sector

Double entry bookkeeping is a concept that is over 500 years old. You might ask, “What can we learn about innovation fro...

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