Vancouver Business Journal

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Introducing the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2014

Introducing the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2014

The Vancouver Business Journal is pleased to announce the Accomplished and Under...

East county bridge proposal causes contention within freight industry

East county bridge proposal causes contention within freight industry

After $200 million taxpayer dollars were spent on the botched Columbia River Cro...

Angels bringing ideas to light

Angels bringing ideas to light

Most new businesses come to being with a great idea. How to get that great idea ...

Vancouver-based children’s apparel brand sold to Utah investor

Vancouver-based children’s apparel brand sold to Utah investor

Oakiwear, a children’s apparel brand headquartered in Vancouver, has been sold t...

Creatives converging on Washougal

Creatives converging on Washougal

It’s hard to say exactly when it started, but the city of Washougal has quietly ...

Technology changing the work site

Technology changing the work site

From handheld apps to 3-D maps, high-tech innovations are changing how today’s c...

Banking & Money Management

Angels bringing ideas to light

Angels bringing ideas to light

Most new businesses come to being with a great idea. How to get that great idea from concept to marketplace reality is often what separates them.

Entrepreneurs can come into business with substantial investment and savings of their own, enjoy a low overhead-quick return scenario or be completely reliant on financial help.

“When you are in a position where you get to decide if you wish to seek ou...

Education & Workforce Development

WSU Vancouver: Enhancing the business community for 25 years

WSU Vancouver: Enhancing the business community for 25 years

25 years ago, Washington State University opened its Vancouver branch on the Clark College campus. From the very beginning, the university has been closely tied to Clark County’s business community, and those partnerships have grown even stronger over the last quarter-century.

WSU-Vancouver Chancellor Emile “Mel” Netzhammer joined the campus in July 2012, and has glowing praise for the relationsh...

News Briefs

Ed Lynch to be honored with Legacy Builder award

Ed Lynch to be honored with Legacy Builder award

The Vancouver Business Journal is proud to announce that Ed Lynch – philanthropist, businessman and World War II Veteran – has been selected to receive the Kyle W. Corwin Legacy Builder Award. The award recognizes one person annually who has spent their career leading, mentoring, building a business and giving back.

Spotlight

Dynamic Events finds success in service & technology solutions

Dynamic Events finds success in service & technology solutions

When you attend a conference or a large corporate event, you might assume that the registration process will be smooth, dinner will be served on time, and the speakers’ presentations will work flawlessly. But Allison Magyar, president of Dynamic Events, doesn’t take any of these details for granted.

“We provide complete meeting and event management and software, plus registration services and gra...

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

Now is the time for apprenticeships

Now is the time for apprenticeships

There is much talk of the “skills gap” – the widening space between the technical skills that employers need and the ski...

Towne Square project is a win for the local workforce

Towne Square project is a win for the local workforce

Our economy continues in fits and starts to recover. Workers struggle to find employment providing a living wage. Famili...

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