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County, wine industry approaching smoother waters

County, wine industry approaching smoother waters

A learning experience. That is how both vineyard/winery owners and county offici...

Banner Bank to open Salmon Creek branch

Banner Bank to open Salmon Creek branch

Banner Bank, a Walla Walla-based financial institution with a branch in East Van...

Study: $7 billion investment in state transportation would yield $42 billion in benefits

Study: $7 billion investment in state transportation would yield $42 billion in benefits

A healthy ROI awaits the state of Washington if its leaders are willing to make ...

Downtown Vancouver cocktail bar readies for opening

Downtown Vancouver cocktail bar readies for opening

The owners of Grocery Cocktail and Social, a new cocktail bar/restaurant located...

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 Cla...

Maruichi Northwest to invest $30 million in port steel mill

Maruichi Northwest to invest $30 million in port steel mill

A new steel mill is coming to the Port of Vancouver USA’s Centennial Industrial ...

Health Care & Hospitals

Healthiest Companies of Southwest Washington 2014

Healthiest Companies of Southwest Washington 2014

Recognizing the employers who go above and beyond to create a healthy workforce

Studies continue to show that good health practices at work create a more productive and efficient environment with less absenteeism, proving that the “daily grind” doesn’t have to be a grind. From a Vancouver-based manufacturer to a regional law firm, these four workplaces are making the 9-to-5 a happier and healthie...

Food & Agriculture

County, wine industry approaching smoother waters

County, wine industry approaching smoother waters

A learning experience. That is how both vineyard/winery owners and county officials seem to view the past few years, as they sought solutions that would encourage the development of wineries in the county while mitigating impacts to neighboring parcels. And, like many learning experiences, it was sometimes fraught with mistakes, misunderstandings and frustration. But Marty Snell, Clark County comm...

News Briefs

Riverview Community Bank posts $1.1 million in second quarter earnings

Riverview Bancorp Inc. reported this week that it earned $1.1 million, or $0.05 per diluted share, in the second fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2014. The second quarter results also included a $3.5 million reduction in nonperforming assets, an 18.6 percent decline.

Spotlight

ExecuTech Lease Group: Putting the personal touch into equipment leasing

ExecuTech Lease Group: Putting the personal touch into equipment leasing

Many restaurants and small businesses use a cash register and a separate terminal to handle sales, while another PC handles timecards and inventory management. But as the business grows, so does the need for a full-scale point of sale (POS) system. Such a system in a restaurant, for example, integrates everything from placing an order to a credit card swipe into one piece of equipment. But this ty...

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

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