01.18.18 Four Parametrix Projects Receive Engineering Excellence Awards

01.18.18 | Leave a Comment

Portland, OR – The Oregon Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) held their 2018 Engineering Excellence Awards yesterday evening at the Multnomah Athletic Club. The awards competition recognizes projects that demonstrate an exceptional degree of innovation, complexity, achievement and value. Four Parametrix projects received awards.

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The US 20 Barclay Roundabout project in Sisters, OR received the Best in Category – Transportation award. The roundabout at the intersection of US 20 and Barclay/McKinney Butte has improved safety for local traffic as well as tourists travelling to Sisters and Central Oregon. Previously, the intersection was only controlled by stop signs at the cross roads. Often, it was dangerous for drivers to cross the highway to access schools and businesses on the west side of the interchange. On busy weekends, traffic on the highway could back up for a few miles.

Through an extensive public involvement process, the City of Sisters determined that a roundabout was the preferred alternative. However, ODOT had a moratorium on building roundabouts on state highways due to concerns of the freight industry. ODOT and the design team worked with the freight industry and held two “truck rodeos” where large trucks could test the actual roundabout conditions. Through these efforts, ODOT was able to address the concerns of the trucking industry and the moratorium was lifted.

This roundabout also incorporates a truck bypass lane for permitted, over-dimensional vehicles to bypass the roundabout. Rarely used, the bypass lane is blocked off by wood bollards and used as a pathway. The project was completed on time and under budget, in just three months. The intersection was fully operational in time for Memorial Day traffic.

This is the first roundabout to be constructed on the state highway system in Sisters, Oregon and the first to be proposed on an Oregon state highway since ODOT’s moratorium in 2011

Parametrix was selected by ODOT in 2015 to complete final design and provide construction services for the roundabout, supported by Kittelson & Associates who consulted on traffic, signing, and illumination. Kittelson & Associates had led the earlier planning and public involvement phases, supported by Parametrix. Knife River Corporation was the general contractor. 


The Deschutes River Trail Boardwalk was given the Small Project Award. The Trail is well used by outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the scenic Deschutes River. Near Tumalo State Park, the north end of the trail travels into a canyon with high bluffs on either side of the River. About a mile and a half into the canyon, the trail abruptly ran into a large boulder field that was nearly impassable. The boulder field forced hikers to dangerously try to maneuver over the boulders or to hike up the steep 200-foot elevation gain to level ground and hike back down again if they wanted to proceed on the trail. A new boardwalk style path was designed and constructed to allow people to safely traverse the boulder field, greatly improving accessibility.

The project was delivered through a unique relationship between the owner and design team. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) was reluctant to use a traditional bid process because the project had so many variables that would have to be decided in the field. Ultimately, OPRD decided to construct the project themselves, using the expertise of their own staff who are skilled in building and maintaining trails and boardwalks.

Field adjustments were necessary to accommodate the uniqueness of each boulder. The OPRD and consultant team had to be creative and flexible, adapting to the needs of the project and its terrain. Since the project site was approximately one-half mile from the nearest vehicle access, all materials and tools had to be carried by hand or transported with carts along the existing trail. OPRD partnered with the Youth Conservation Program to help with construction of the boardwalk. Cadets carried the construction materials to the site and worked with OPRD crews on the approach trails to the boardwalk.

This project delivered a functional structural design for a trail that blends with the natural setting, is low maintenance, and was built in a remote location with no access for heavy equipment or materials. It opens new trail access to a section of the Deschutes River that was previously inaccessible for the majority of people.

Parametrix was the prime consultant responsible for project management, civil and structural engineering, surveying, and construction services. The Wallace Group provided geotechnical engineering. 

bridge 22003 dundee connection

The Newberg-Dundee Bypass project received an Honor Award. The project improves safety, relieves traffic congestion, reduces freight traffic, and improves regional and statewide travel along the OR 99W corridor, which has also served as the “main street” for both Newberg and Dundee. The Bypass provides an alternate route for regional and statewide travel and freight traffic around Dundee and Newberg, reducing congestion in the cities. Phase 1 of the Bypass is a 4-mile, 2-lane expressway from OR 219 in Newberg to OR 99W south of Dundee.

The highway corridor was carefully sited to minimize impacts to environmental resources. The Bypass crosses a number of streams and it was decided that bridges, rather than culverts, will be used throughout the entire project to accommodate fish passage and improve habitat. 112 existing pre-stressed girders that had been fabricated previously for another highway, but ultimately not used, were incorporated into the design of ten new bridges. This saved the project over a $1 million in construction costs.

Parametrix was responsible for permitting, stormwater design, erosion control, and landscape design. Parametrix also led the earlier environmental documentation and alternatives analysis work. 

Crooked River Ranch Water Company

The Crooked River Ranch Water Company Water System received an Honor Award. Parametrix staff first began working with the Crooked River Ranch Water Company (CRRWC) in 2011 to address a variety of critical needs of their water system. The system provides water to 1,580 homes and commercial properties on Crooked River Ranch, a rural residential, recreational, and commercial community in Central Oregon.

CRRWC had a water system that couldn’t keep up with growing demand and wasn’t meeting water pressure requirements. CRRWC is a small, privately owned water company and customers were actively involved in the project. They were presented with two solutions and ultimately chose to replace the standpipe tank with a new 120-foot-tall, 1-million-gallon composite elevated tank. The new tank relies on gravity, eliminating the need for booster pumps. This is the first composite elevated tank to be built in Oregon.

Parametrix was the prime consultant and project manager. Parametrix staff developed the master plan, preliminary engineering report (including water system modeling), and provided final design and construction administration for the improvement project. Parametrix also assisted Crooked River Ranch Water Company (CRRWC) with obtaining funding for the improvements and outreach to the community. Other consultants involved in design were Clearwater Engineering Group, LB Engineering, Newton Consultants, Paradigm Engineering, Powers of Automation, and WHPacific. Jack Robinson & Sons was the general contractor for the well, pump, and site improvements. Landmark Structures was the general contractor for the water tank.