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The changing face of SEO

The changing face of SEO

Five years ago, search engine optimization (SEO) centered around using keywords ...

Accomplished & Under 40 class of 2014

Accomplished & Under 40 class of 2014

Each member of the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2014 has their own inspi...

Ghost Runners Brewery to open new production facility

Ghost Runners Brewery to open new production facility

Beer lovers, rejoice! A new place to fill up your growler is coming to Vancouver...

Ed Lynch recipient of Kyle Corwin Legacy Builder Award

Ed Lynch recipient of Kyle Corwin Legacy Builder Award

Ed Lynch, philanthropist, businessman and World War II Veteran, was presented th...

Voting for Best in Business Awards now live

Voting for Best in Business Awards now live

Put your B2B hat on and consider the needs of your business - which companies or...

Northwest Packing Co. will remain at Port of Vancouver USA

Northwest Packing Co. will remain at Port of Vancouver USA

The following press release was issued on Thursday afternoon by the Port of Vanc...

Technology & Electronic Solutions

The changing face of SEO

The changing face of SEO

Five years ago, search engine optimization (SEO) centered around using keywords and back-links to attain that elusive top ranking in Google. While these aspects of SEO are still important, local experts say that SEO has gotten much more sophisticated.

“It is an always-changing algorithm,” said Matthew Malone, senior digital strategist at Gravitate, a digital marketing and design agency located in...

Marketing & Strategic Communication

Seven tips for taming the content marketing beast

Seven tips for taming the content marketing beast

Content marketing is the “art and science of using content or stories to sell something,” according to Kari Olivier, director of marketing and business development for Vancouver-based strategic communication agency AHA!.

“Content” includes print brochures, blog posts, website copy, videos, podcasts and information shared via Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The overall goal, ...

News Briefs

Accomplished & Under 40 luncheon/reception

The 21 members of the Accomplished & Under 40 Class of 2014 were honored during a reception earlier this month at the Heathman Lodge in Vancouver.

Organized by the Vancouver Business Journal, the annual event recognizes the rising stars of the local business community.

Spotlight

Victor Fitness: Exercising service above all else

Victor Fitness: Exercising service above all else

To most of its customers, Victor Fitness is a gym: a collection of weights and machines, group fitness classes and one-on-one personal trainer time. But when Bill Victor looks at the business he founded 10 years ago, he sees a second act to his professional life and a source of personal satisfaction.

This was not how he envisioned his life would turn out.

When Victor entered the workforce, he wa...

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

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7 reasons digital marketing is a team effort

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Turn holiday cheer into a stronger new year

Turn holiday cheer into a stronger new year

As we approach the holiday season and the conclusion of another calendar year, business leaders often take time to expre...

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