D&C BRIEFS – August 12, 2005

Otak opens new office in Yakima

Planning, design and engineering firm Otak Inc. will open an office in Yakima in August.

John Knutson, PE, who has been with Yakima County for the past five years, will establish Otak’s new office and be responsible for expanding the firm’s regional presence. He has witnessed the region’s growth first-hand as Yakima County Surface Water and Flood Control Manager.

Since 2003, Otak has added 52 professionals, a 19-percent increase. Otak’s founder and CEO Nawzad Othman developed the Vancouvercenter.

Under Knutson’s leadership, Otak’s Yakima office will provide specialized client services including stormwater planning and utility formation, flooding and drainage programs and development review.
Clark County transportation agencies seek input on improvement plans

Clark County Public Works and the city of Vancouver are developing their 2006-2011 Transportation Improvement Programs, which identify and prioritize transportation improvements for the next six years. The Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council (RTC) is also developing the Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program (MTIP), a three-year regional transportation program. The MTIP includes all regionally significant projects within Clark County including projects by C-TRAN, the Washington State Department of Transportation, Clark County and cities within Clark County. In addition, Vancouver/Clark Parks and Recreation is developing a Trail and Bikeway Systems Plan that includes parks throughout Clark County.

For more information on the Clark County Public Works Transportation Improvement Program, contact Susan Wilson, Transportation Improvement Programming Specialist, at 360-397-6118 ext. 4330, or Robin Washington, Transportation Improvement Program Engineer, at 360-397-6118 ext. 4572.

New building expected to break ground in Port of Kalama

Kalama River Industrial Park will begin construction of its third building in September. The $2 million facility includes 36,000 square feet of warehouse space and 1,500 square feet of office space. The design of the building is to accommodate manufacturing, warehousing or distribution tenants. The facility is expected to be completed in early 2006. Port of Kalama tenants Nascom Inc. and Mile Marker West filled out the recently constructed 31,500-square-foot building in the industrial park, and Steelscape has completed a 35,400-square-foot facility it will lease from the port.

USGBC launches LEED for Homes

The U.S. Green Building Council has launched a one year pilot demonstration of its LEED for Homes rating system. It is a voluntary program that will recognize and reward the top 25 percent of green home builders in terms of environmentally sound construction. The USGBC has selected regional LEED for Homes Providers to offer technical, marketing and verification support services to builders. Homebuilders interested in taking part in the LEED for Homes pilot can submit an application online at www.usgbc.org/leed/homes or directly to the Oregon and Southwest Washington provider Randy Hansell, a Green Building Specialist with Earth Advantage, who can be contacted by calling 503-603-1649 or by e-mail at randy.hansell@pgn.com.

Tristar Transload PNW expands operations at Port of Vancouver

Tristar Transload PNW Inc. has completed the move of its headquarters operation to an expanded location at the Port of Vancouver. The newly-constructed, 13-acre site, located at Lower River Road and N.W. Gateway Avenue in the northwest corner of Terminal 4, is more than four times larger than the site the company occupied when it located to the Port in 2002. Tristar serves the construction industry by transloading locally produced building materials for shipment by rail to destinations throughout the United States, including dimensional green and kiln-dried lumber, studs, plywood, gypsum, roofing materials and oriented strand board. Its new site includes 2,200 feet of new rail track and a 100-foot concrete boxcar ramp. Additional improvements included relocation of the company’s modular offices, paving, landscaping, lighting and installation of a storm water collection system. Future plans include construction of a 15,000 square-foot storage building. Founded in 1997, Tristar currently employs 10 workers at the port.

Ridgefield receives federal funds to improve interchange

Ridgefield had been allocated $9 million in federal funding for the Pioneer Street/SR 501 Interchange Replacement Project. The total project is estimated at $32 million and consists of replacing the current interchange with a single-point urban interchange, widening SR 501 through the interchange area to four lanes with turn lanes and improving North 65th Avenue at its new intersection with SR 501. Preliminary design of the interchange began through a Washington state $2 million economic development grant. Additionally, the state allocated $10 million for the project through the 2005-2007 transportation budget. The remaining funding is expected to come though a number of public and private sources. Ridgefield has 350,000 square feet of new industrial space under construction, and Ridgefield’s 20-year growth projections call for increasing the city’s population from 2,900 to 25,000 and creating 16,000 new jobs.

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