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OTIA III News 2006 (Jul-Dec)
Building bridges and future engineers (Dec 06)
kids with bridges
Students at Ashland Middle School built bridges.
In November, ODOT teamed up with its contractors on an OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program project in Ashland for a unique community involvement and outreach event targeted at a slightly younger audience—more than 100 students at Ashland Middle School. Learn more about how a bridge-building activity—complete with detailed plan sheets, three expert bridge engineers and gumdrops—built a partnership between ODOT and the community  in southern Oregon.

New number connects workers with construction work (Dec 06)
Callers to ODOT's information line can inquire in English or Spanish
The Oregon Department of Transportation’s Office of Civil Rights has opened a toll-free, bilingual phone line so that Oregonians interested in highway construction jobs can find out about employment or apprenticeship opportunities with ODOT’s contractors on highway construction projects.
 
When they dial 1-877-972-5700, callers will hear a greeting and can leave a message in English or Spanish. Within 48 hours, they will hear back from a Civil Rights specialist in their location telling them about employment and apprenticeship opportunities in their area and how to get involved.Read more about this new program.

ODOT's OTIA III bridge program completes first stage (Dec 06)
Agency credits success to partners, collaboration
The Oregon Transportation Commission has recognized the successful completion of Stage 1 of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program and acknowledged the efforts of many public- and private-sector partners. The approximately $70 million of work in Stage 1 work completed in October replaced 19 bridges and repaired two, from Mount Hood in the north to Klamath Falls in the south and east to Burns. There are five stages in the 10-year, $1.3 billion OTIA III bridge program improving nearly 300 Oregon bridges. Read more about the completion of Stage 1.

Bridge design eases flood concerns (Nov 06)
Rain swells the Calapooia River, trapping debris under the bridge.
Rain swells the Calapooia River, trapping debris
When recent high-water levels exceeded the 100-year flood marks on two I-5 bridges on an OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program project south of Albany, ODOT knew the replacement bridges needed to meet the changing conditions. In response to flood concerns and the threat of damage to the highway and bridge structure, the Bridge Delivery Unit collaborated with Region 2 to design replacement bridges with fewer piers and raised elevations. The result is increased flow capacity, easier passage of debris and the opportunity for more efficient modifications in the future. Read more about how BDU and Region 2 are using innovative and forward-thinking designs.

ODOT honored with AASHTO Legacy Award (Nov 06)
AASHTO Legacy Award
ODOT Director Matt Garrett (left) receives AASHTO award
On Friday, Oct. 27, Director Matt Garrett accepted the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials’ Legacy Award on behalf of the OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program. The award was presented by AASHTO President Harold Linnenkohl, who praised Oregon’s largest public works project in a half-century.
 
“Before any dirt was turned, ODOT decided to rebuild its highway bridges in a way that fostered Oregon’s long-term economic prosperity while building a strong, diverse workforce and maintaining mobility and safety—not just for the life of the program, but for generations to come,” Linnenkohl said.
 
Read more about how ODOT was honored  with this year’s AASHTO Legacy Award.

Salem firm harvests opportunity from bridge program (Nov 06)
lochner image
HW Lochner's innovative design work saved $3 million.
The economic seeds planted by ODOT’s OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program are bearing fruit in Salem and other cities across the state. The story of HW Lochner Inc., a project management and design services provider for the bridge program, is a classic example. Within one year of opening an office in Salem to work on the bridge program, HW Lochner’s employment doubled.
 
“At least half of our current employees have jobs because of the bridge work,” said Karen Reynolds, vice president and office manager of the firm’s Salem office.
 
Read more about how the bridge program is stimulating the economy in Salem through work with companies like HW Lochner.

CH2M HILL focuses on innovation for bridge program (Nov 06)
ch2m hill photo
Bundle A02 reused 80 concrete box beams on detour structures
Based on a long-standing history of success and international recognition in the design-build method, CH2M HILL was the logical choice as a prime contractor on ODOT’s OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program. The company’s Salem office, established in 2003 to work on the bridge program, started with just two people and has expanded to 15 full-time employees, thanks to two prominent bridge program design-build contracts totaling nearly $90 million. Learn more about CH2M HILL and how the design-build method is saving time and money.

Oregon firm flourishes through bridge program work (Nov 06)
McKenzie River
OBEC is working on the McKenzie River Bridge near Eugene.
Over the past 40 years, OBEC Consulting Engineers has designed more than 2,500 bridges, experience that makes the firm a perfect fit for work on ODOT’s OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program. To date, OBEC has worked on six bridge program bundles worth more than $7 million. Work on the bridge program has help OBEC expand from its original office in Springfield to a total of four in western Oregon, and grow from 55 employees to 106 in the last three years. Learn more about how ODOT’s partnership with OBEC is stimulating economic growth  and innovative construction practices.

Collaboration on I-5 (Oct 06)
When ODOT began planning to repair and replace eight bridges and expand Interstate 5 from four to six lanes in south Salem, the Bridge Delivery Unit knew this OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program project was going to be huge. Bundle 212, North Santiam to Kuebler Boulevard, presented immediate challenges: in-water work periods threatened to significantly delay the project, and environmental and cultural issues had to be addressed, all in a work zone that accommodates 80,000 vehicles per day. Learn more about how BDU and Region 2 resolved these challenges and kept Bundle 212 on schedule.

Cottage Grove residents turn out for open house (Oct 06)
The 16th Street Bridge in Cottage Grove
The 16th Street Bridge in Cottage Grove
In planning the repair and replacement of five bridges in Cottage Grove, public input was necessary to best address sensitive aesthetic and mobility issues on an OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program project. Region 2 and the Bridge Delivery Unit worked with public and private-sector partners to draw more than 70 residents to discuss project benefits, such as the easier flow of freight and smoother local roadways, as well as aesthetic and mobility-related concerns. Learn more about this bridge program project, and about how collaboration increased community participation.

Teamwork, planning key to solving challenge (Sep 06)
One of the 19-axle vehicles used to tranport the turbines
One of the 19-axle vehicles used to tranport the turbines
When Vestas Wind Systems, needed to transport more than 100 wind turbines from the Port of Vancouver, Wash., nearly 300 miles to the Wild Horse Wind Power Project near Ellensburg, Wash., it faced a mobility challenge. The safest and most efficient route for the project involved traveling a combination of roads in Washington and Oregon, including 150 miles on Interstate 84 through Oregon. Read more about how ODOT was ready and willing to assist with the project. 

ODOT teaches safer construction methods (Sep 06)
Highway construction work is potentially dangerous. Workers operate heavy equipment, work with electricity and, in the case of bridge construction, work high above the ground. That’s why ODOT added Occupational Health and Safety Administration 10-hour training to its apprenticeship orientation program. In Region 5 in August, 20 apprenticeship candidates were prepared to work more safely and effectively on bridge program projects. Learn more about ODOT’s OSHA 10-hour worker safety training.

Consultant keeps bridge designs environmentally friendly (Sep 06)
To repair or replace hundreds of bridges on the OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program, ODOT devised a new approach to the time-consuming and complicated permitting process by streamlining various requirements into a single set of environmental performance standards. To maximize the likelihood of success using this new process, ODOT turned to the natural resources consulting firm Mason, Bruce & Girard. Portland-based MB&G has expanded 30 percent in the past three years, largely due to work in transportation, and in particular the bridge program. Read more about MB&G’s work on the bridge program.

Small business flourishes through bridge program work (Aug 06)
With growing complexity and technological advances in the construction industry, producing accurate design schematics is increasingly vital. It is critical to solve potential problems and supply issues before work begins. Accurate designs make bridge construction more efficient, and more efficiency up front means less expense over the course of the project. Producing accurate bridge design schematics and CADD support is what Athalye Consulting Engineering Services Inc. does on ODOT’s OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program. Read more about how Athalye is working with the OTIA III  State Bridge Delivery Program.

Apprenticeship Orientation kicks off (Aug 06)
Skilled highway construction workers are in demand in the Portland metro area and across the state as ODOT repairs and replaces hundreds of bridges through the $1.3 billion bridge program.
Apprenticeship orientations are part of the agency’s implementation of its Workforce Development Plan, designed to expand the number of qualified people—especially women and minorities—available to work on highway projects.  Click here to learn more.

Reused concrete box beams saves $500,000 (Aug 06)
A key goal of the OTIA III State Bridge Delivery Program is to employ efficient and cost-effective delivery practices. On one bridge program project, Clarks Branch to Tunnel Mill Race, ODOT and the contractor reused 80 concrete box beams on detour structures for other bridge program projects. Because each beam was worth approximately $6,300, reusing them reduced the cost of the contractor’s bid by half a million dollars. For more information on this efficient and cost-effective delivery practice, click here.

Tracking system helps ODOT monitor diversity (Jul 06)
ODOT’s Civil Rights Compliance Tracking system will allow the agency to monitor contractor performance toward aspirational targets for diversifying its small business subcontractors and workforce. Developed by ODOT’s Office of Civil Rights, the new database makes labor compliance tracking available on the Internet. Several ODOT departments contributed staff time and financing to help OCR create the CRCT system, including Information Systems, the Office of Project Delivery and the Highway Finance Office. Learn more about CRCT.