By John Phillips, ENV SP
When catastrophes like storms, earthquakes, fires, or terrorist attacks occur, the first response is automatic: addressing casualties. The second response, which is nearly as urgent, should be ensuring that critical infrastructure is still in place, starting with power and water.
When power and water systems malfunction, the immediate effects of a disaster multiply in a myriad of ways. Power and water failure can impact critical medical care, slow down food distribution, and create conditions for crime.
Unfortunately, many communities in the world have infrastructure that is anything but resilient. Mature regions often have aging, under-maintained systems, and systems that are over capacity. Developing economies may have the opposite problem. They struggle to put infrastructure in place and then scale it to support rapid population growth.
So, what does it mean to have resilient i... (more)
By Eleanor Allen, Parametrix Board Member and CEO at Water For People
Although water is abundant in nature, the amount of water available to drink and sustain life on earth is fixed and is becoming increasingly more strained as demand for water increases with population growth and development. Leveraging reliable and robust
technology, financing, and data to innovate every part of the water cycle – from sourcing to treatment to consumption to reclamation – is an absolute necessity to protect and manage our finite supply of water for future generations.
At the Future of the Profession event hosted by Parametrix in Seattle on November 19, 2019 (which also happened to be World Toilet Day!), leaders from across the industry were invited
to discuss how technology is changing the water industry and what this means for the futu... (more)
By Darby Watson
Smart and Connected Communities use the internet of things and data collection to manage assets and resources efficiently to improve people's lives. While cities and communities rise to embrace new technologies, they must also make sure that the results are equitable and provide for a more sustainable and inclusive future.
At the Future of the Profession event, hosted by Parametrix in Seattle on November 19, 2019, we invited leaders from across the industry to discuss what smart and connected communities mean for the future of cities. Panelists included Bryan Nace of GHZ Communications, Nico Larco, AIA of University of Oregon, and Steve Marshall of City of Bellevue.
The session began with each panelist introducing their are... (more)
By Bardia Nezhati, PE, PTOE
Intelligent mobility is a rapidly growing trend in urbanized areas to connect people, services and communities through the power of technology. It involves reimagining infrastructure-heavy approaches across all transportation modes and enabling the power of data and analytics, advanced technologies, and artificial intelligence. It has the potential to transform the way we move people and goods while saving lives, improving mobility, promoting su... (more)
In this series, we follow the employee-owners of Parametrix to see what a day on the job for them entails.
We recently caught up Parametrix employee-owner Alex Johnson at the Shake Mill Revetment Repair project for King County in North Bend, WA. He walked us through what's happening at the project and what his role as a Resident Engineer includes.
By Richard Roché, RG, LHG
Each year, Parametrix selects three projects of the year that exemplify our core values, mission, client service, and innovation. The Airport Solar project was named among the top three 2019 Parametrix Projects of the Year. Read about the project below.
Parametrix recently conducted a natural resources survey on the site of a solar energy electricity generating facility near Lakeview, OR. The team also monitored water resources, including mapping playas and potential wetlands within the 160-acre site.
The project included over 100 miles of mapping
Due to the very complicated site hydrology and soil conditions, challenges regarding defining playa edges, and evolving regulatory guidance, the project technical... (more)
Eastgate P&R Rapid Charger Station
By Steve Olling, PE, PMP, ENV SP
The concept of a zero-emission bus fleet isn’t as far off as you might think. In fact, transit agency King County Metro has been using zero-emission trolley coaches in Seattle for nearly 80 years. The agency has also been recognized as a national leader in early adoption of diesel-electric hybrid buses.
King County Metro is well on their way to meeting their goal to have a zero-emission fleet by 2040. The agency has begun using battery electric coaches, along with continuing to use and modernize their electric trolley fleet. This meets around 11% of their goal already. Starting in 2020, Metro plans to only purchase zero-emission buses as older buses retire and to increase fleet size to meet growing service needs.
The agency will transition to a fleet of all-electric trolley and battery-electric buses ... (more)
Groundbreaking of Boze Elementary School in Tacoma, WA. Photo Courtesy of Tacoma Public Schools.
By Jim Dugan
Tacoma Public Schools' Boze Elementary School is the first ever public K-12 school approved by the State of Washington to use the design-build method of project delivery. Since the school received approval in July 2017, multiple school districts have submitted for design-build approval to deliver public K-12 schools.
Construction is now underway on the new school to replace the original Boze Elementary, built in 1969. The budget for the new school, which will serve up to 550 preschool through 5th grade students, is $35.3 million. The project is being funded by a school construction bond passed by voters in 2013. When the bond was passed, it was based on a $295 per square foot construction cost. By 2019, construction costs had inflated to more than $450 per square foot. Innovation an... (more)
Log jacks sit along the Wynoochee riverbank with the City of Montesano wastewater treatment plant in background
Montesano, WA is a town of around 4,000 located 40 miles southwest of the state capital. For years, the City’s wastewater treatment plant has been peacefully located along the banks of the Wynoochee River. However, now movement of the river threatens to overtake the treatment plant. The bank continues to erode at an alarming rate of 17 feet per year. If this pattern were allowed to continue, the river could breach the plant, sending millions of gallons of raw sewage spilling down the Wynoochee, into the Chehalis River, affecting many communities along the way and eventually making its way to Puget Sound.
Rendering courtesy of Hewitt Architects, Inc.
By Brad Phillips
Each year, Parametrix selects a Project of the Year that exemplifies our core values, mission, and vision. At the Employee-Ownership Celebration on October 12, the Downtown Redmond Link Extension project was named the 2019 Parametrix Project of the Year. Read about the project below.
Sound Transit is extending light rail 3.4 miles from the future Redmond Technology Center station to Downtown Redmond, WA. The project includes two new stations and a 1,400-stall park-and-ride garage.
Parametrix was selected as the prime consultant for the planning, preliminary engineering, environmental clearance, permitting, public involvement, multi-agency concurrence, and design-build procurement packaging. This includes managing over twenty subconsultants across multiple disciplines, with 15% small or dis... (more)
Photo courtesy of Idaho Transportation Department.
By Shane Brown, PE, SE
The 19-span, 615-foot long precast concrete stringer bridge over the Snake River in Bruneau, Idaho was deteriorating and in need of replacement. Not only did the bridge need to be replaced within one year, but traffic flow needed to be maintained during construction. In addition, work would take place over the environmentally sensitive Snake River.
Photo courtesy of Idaho Transportation Department.
Parametrix was contracted by the Idaho Transportation Department to provide structural engineering services during construction. To meet the challenging project conditions, several innovative methods were used, including accelerated bridge construction (also known as t... (more)
The Wilson Way Multi-Use Trail and Dune Peninsula Park at Point Defiance in Tacoma, WA opened to the public on July 6, 2019. Community members and project stakeholders gathered to celebrate the project’s completion and be some of the first to experience it. From the looks of it now, you may never know that the project sits on an EPA Superfund site where Asarco operated a copper smelter for over 100 years.
History of Tacoma Smelter
The Tacoma Smelter Plume shut down in 1985, but before it did, managed to pollute over 1,000 square miles of the Puget Sound region. 400,000 cubic yards of dirt had to be removed from the... (more)
July 25, 2019 is National Intern Day! Meet the 11 students joining us this summer who will have the opportunity to gain challenging, hands-on project experience. Learn why they chose an internship at Parametrix and what they hope to achieve.
Maya McCants | Seattle, WA
Maya is a Seattle-area native who just wrapped up her sophomore year at Arizona State University. She plans to graduate with a degree in civil engineering.
This will be Maya’s second summer at Parametrix. When asked what made her return she said, “The people at Parametrix are very welcoming. There are many things I haven’t learned about construction - lots of codes, acronyms, and readings unfamiliar to me... (more)
By John Phillips, ENV SP
On April 15, 2019, The United States Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers closed the public comment period on a rulemaking process to redefine “waters of the United States.” This definition has been an on-going discussion in the watershed management community for several decades.
What is the Clean Water Act?
Let’s start at the beginning by giving some background on the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the “waters of the United States.” The law was enacted in 1948 and was originally called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act but was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972. "Clean Water Act" became the common name with amendments in 1972. The law has since prevented pollution from industries and created a massive investment in wast... (more)
By Josh Channell, AICP, LEED-AP
Acronyms, permits, and documents… oh my! There’s a lot to navigate when it comes to environmental terms. For those of us who deal with this language daily, these are second nature. However, to someone who doesn’t work in the environmental realm these can be quite confusing! Contrary to the title of this blog post, these terms aren’t intended to confuse you. Check out this short list of some of the most common environmental terms we use on transportation projects.
NEPA: National Environmental Policy Act (of 1969) – Federal agencies must evaluate the environmental impacts of their projects. Applies to many projects receiving Federal money or that require Federal decisions (including some Federal permits)
Most Common Federal Permits:
Section 401: Clean Water Act – Requires water quality permits issued by State (NPDES permits)... (more)
March is Women’s History Month. We asked the women of Parametrix – who inspires you and what advice would you give to other women in the industry? Today we introduce you to Sarah Touey, PE.
Sarah is a Senior Transportation Engineer based out of Parametrix’s Portland office. She has 13 years of industry experience and is currently serving as Deputy Project Manager for TriMet’s MAX Red Line Extension project.
What sparked your interest in the engineering field?
Countries across the world don’t have access to some of the things that we in the U.S. take for granted on a daily basis. Clean water, electricity, solid infrastructure, paved roads, etc. I would like to deliver projects that achieve those luxuries that we all too often take for granted.
Are there any women who have inspired you in your career, and how so?more)
March is Women’s History Month. We asked the women of Parametrix – who inspires you and what advice would you give to other women in the industry? Today we introduce you to Denise Ledingham.
Denise is the Director of Communication and Client Outreach at Parametrix. She has been with Parametrix for 19 years and serves as a member of the Operations Leadership Team. She holds an MBA and BA in Communications. Her role includes traveling to meet with clients and get feedback on the service Parametrix provides.
Which women have inspired you in your career?
One of my first supervisors at Parametrix, Colleen Gants, now a co-president of PRR in Seattle, always encouraged me to try new things. It's rewarding to have someone early in your career to give you the confidence to follow your passion and seek out opportunities that match your personality and interes... (more)
Mallory is a transportation engineer based out of Parametrix’s Bremerton, WA office. While she has just under 10 years of experience in the industry, she has already accomplished so much. In 2018, she was selected to participate in the Leaders Emerging at Parametrix program. She also received the American Public Works Association Washington Chapter’s Young Leader Award which recognizes young Public Works leaders who demonstrate commitment to the profession and potential for growth.
We asked Mallory – which women have inspired you in your career?
There are many women who have inspired me in my career. Some of them are at Parametrix, some of them are from outside Parametrix. One person who has given me a lot of career inspiration is my mom. For a large majority of my childhood, my mom raised my sister and I as a single parent (my parents divorced when I was very young). She worked full time in IT for C... (more)
March is Women’s History Month. We asked the women of Parametrix – who inspires you and what advice would you give to other women in the industry? Today we introduce you to Anne Timmermans, CCM, LEED AP BD+C.
Anne is a Senior Construction Manager based out of Parametrix’s Seattle office, although you can often find her out at a project site. Anne is a recipient of the 2012 Building Design & Construction Magazine “40 under 40” award. She is the former President of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Construction Management Association of America.
Which women have inspired you in your career?
I had the good fortune of working with a cost estimator named Leslie Hirai at the first construction management firm I was employed at out of college. We would always work in parallel efforts on projects, and one day we were on a conference call for a major ... (more)
March is Women's History Month. We asked the women of Parametrix – who inspires you and what advice would you give to other women in the industry? Today we introduce you to Jennifer Dvorak, PE.
Jennifer is a Senior Engineer based out of Parametrix’s Puyallup office. She has a passion for working on trails and pedestrian transportation projects. Her experience includes time in the United States Air Force serving as a Civil Engineer.
Are there any particular women who have inspired you in your career and how so?
There were so few women in engineering when I first started my career, that I had to think much broader in order to answer this question. There was a woman named Lori who, while in ROTC in college, recognized that I was too quiet to command a marching squadron of 20 cadets. She spent significant time with me, teaching... (more)