WRECO 2012 News



Blue Oaks Boulevard Bridge Awarded "Outstanding Project of the Year"
December 2012

Constructed Bridge.

The Blue Oaks Boulevard Bridge over Kaseberg Creek Project was named as one of the "Outstanding Projects of the Year" in the "Large Agency/Transportation" category by the American Public Works Association's Sacramento chapter. Signature Properties, in coordination with the City of Roseville, constructed a new bridge to close the gap in Blue Oaks Boulevard over Kaseberg Creek. The project consisted of constructing a six-lane facility with a median, two sidewalks, and two bike lanes.

WRECO was responsible for investigating the previous hydrologic and hydraulic studies for Kaseberg Creek, analyzing the hydraulics of the interim and ultimate bridge configurations, and estimating potential scour depths. WRECO worked with Dokken Engineering, Inc., which performed the structural and civil engineering for the project.

WRECO and Golangco Global Host Meet the Mayor Event
December 2012

Event attendees WRECO President Dr. Han-Bin Liang (left) and Eric Golangco (right) stand with Walnut Creek City Councilmember Bob Simmons (second from left).

A Meet the Mayor event was held on October 21, 2012 in WRECO's Walnut Creek office building. Mayor Bob Simmons presented his goals for the City of Walnut Creek if re-elected to the City Council, and his past accomplishments for the city, including the establishment of city development projects and funding for environmental conservation programs. Various members of the community attended with questions in regard to the mayor's environmental initiatives for the next term. At the end of the event, the mayor posed for photographs with the attendees. Bob Simmons has been re-elected to the City Council.

WRECO Works on Page Mill Road/Matadero Creek Erosion Control Project
November 2012

Page Mill Road at Matadero Creek

Two side slope failures in Matadero Creek, caused by high flows during the winter of 2009/2010, threatened to engulf the westbound lane of Page Mill Road in the Town of Los Altos Hills (Town). The failures occurred near the Interstate 280/Page Mill Road interchange and came as close as 2.5 feet from the edge of the traveled way. WRECO developed a strategy to protect Page Mill Road from the enlargement of the bank failures that could be installed before the winter of 2012/2013, and would not need to be permitted by the California Department of Fish and Game, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board.

WRECO managed and designed the emergency repair strategy for this project. We performed a subsurface investigation and designed a buried cast-in-drilled-hole pile wall to protect Page Mill Road. WRECO provided geotechnical construction support; construction is complete. Additionally, WRECO is assisting the Town in the development of a permanent, bioengineered repair strategy, which could potentially enhance fish habitat, and we will assist the Town with permitting negotiations for the future work.

WRECO Uses Unique Boulder Step-pool Design for Sabercat Creek Mitigation
August 2012

Sabercat Creek

WRECO prepared a design to create a wetland and a riparian woodland mitigation area near where Sabercat Creek crosses beneath Interstate 680 in the City of Fremont. The mitigation site compensates for impacts to wetlands, water bodies and riparian habitat incurred by the Interstate 680 HOV Lanes Project. WRECO developed plans for a boulder step-pool design, which was the first of its kind for a Caltrans District 4 project, approved by the Regional Water Quality Control Board and California Department of Fish and Game. The step pool design allowed for daylighting of approximately 140 feet of creek channel in buried concrete culverts.

WRECO is currently coordinating post-construction monitoring and reporting.

Watch WRECO's video of this project here.

WRECO Welcomes Grant Wilcox, P.E., C.E.G.
June 2012

Grant Wilcox

Mr. Wilcox brings more than 29 years of experience in transportation projects to WRECO, 22 years of which he has specialized in geotechnical engineering and geology. Having previously worked for Caltrans, he offers comprehensive experience in managing, planning, and preparing geotechnical information for inclusion in major Caltrans projects from the Project Initiation Document through the construction phase. He worked on the design and construction of a number of high profile landslide repair projects and highway improvement projects (including tunnel projects). Mr. Wilcox has a thorough understanding of the important role that geology and geotechnical hazards play in California transportation projects.

Mr. Wilcox was awarded two Superior Accomplishment awards for his contribution to the 2006 Devil's Slide Landslide Repair and Santa Clara Route 880/80 Emergency Settlement Repair. In 2005, he was on the team that received the Excellence in Transportation Award for the Shotgun Landslide repair project on Highway 1 in Sonoma County. In 2009, Mr. Wilcox accepted on the behalf of Caltrans the Association of Engineering and Environmental Geologists (AEG) project of the year award for Devil's Slide Tunnel.

WRECO's Biologist Team
June 2012

From left: Jared Elia, Robert (BJ) Atanasio, and Christine Javier

WRECO has a team of biologists who assist our clients with preparing permit applications and performing biological assessments for Endangered Species Act requirements, biological resources studies, wetland delineations, GIS mapping, habitat surveys, etc.

Robert (BJ) Atanasio is experienced in performing impact analysis, delineation reports and environmental permitting for Caltrans and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is familiar with GIS mapping and analysis. He also has experience with research and development of interdisciplinary tools for impact analysis for the National Marine Protected Areas Center. For various projects, he has developed alternatives for habitat conservation and impact mitigation for numerous listed species including the California Red-legged Frog and California Tiger Salamander. Prior to joining WRECO, he was a Lead Biologist for Caltrans District 4.

Jared Elia is experienced with watershed systems restoration and California ecosystems. His experience includes environmental compliance monitoring for large infrastructure projects; compliance monitoring for state and federally listed species and nesting bird/raptor surveys; implementing restoration to pre-construction conditions; vegetation monitoring for mitigation sites; and implementing state and federal permit regulations. He is familiar with wetland delineation protocols, rare pond species, and sensitive species relocation techniques.

Christine Javier has experience identifying California native and invasive flora and understands the main plant groups and the plant communities of California in relation to climate, soils, vegetation, geological and recent history, evolutionary biology, conservation and taxonomy. For various projects, she has used her plant taxonomy knowledge to identify California flora onsite and develop a planting plan that is best suited for the community.

WRECO President Moderates at Three Gorges Dam Symposium
May 2012

Source: USGS

WRECO president, Han-Bin Liang, was a moderator at the Three Gorges Dam Symposium at U.C. Berkeley in April. The symposium focused on the lessons learned after Three Gorges Dam, a hydroelectric project on the Yangtze River in China that was completed in 2009. The dam was one of the world's largest infrastructure projects, and multiple landslides and bank collapses have occurred in the past several years. The project also displaced more than 1 million people who used to live in the Gorges.

Speakers included experts from within China, and outside, who were knowledgeable about the planning and environmental assessments of large dams, particularly the Three Gorges Project. Speakers shared their evaluations of anticipated project impacts, long-term impacts, and actions taken to minimize adverse impacts, as well as how this experience could inform project planning and management for other large hydropower dam projects. Dr. Liang visited the Three Gorges Dam twice, in 1994 and in 1997, during its construction.

Professor Robert Wiegel Celebrated for Coastal Engineering Book
April 2012

Professor Wiegel speaks during his book release

In celebration of Robert L. Wiegel's most recent publication, WRECO organized and hosted an event at U.C. Berkeley's Faculty Club. The book, titled "Selected Coastal Engineering Papers of Robert L.Wiegel, Civil Engineering Classics," was published by the American Society of Civil Engineers and contains 54 papers and articles highlighting Professor Wiegel's contributions to coastal and offshore engineering. Professor Wiegel gave a short speech and was available to sign books after the event.

More importantly though, the event celebrated Professor Wiegel's 57-year career of teaching and research. Many of Professor Wiegel's students attended the event and were allowed to speak about his dedication to his students, his intense scientific passion, and his enthusiasm for academia. Professor Wiegel's impacts on his students were profound, as seen through his students' and colleagues' speeches, and WRECO was honored to be able to host this event celebrating his long-lasting accomplishments.

Ford Elementary School Opens
March 2012

Ford Elementary School is completed. Source: Sally Swanson Architects

What was once an aged school in need of an update is now a bright and colorful school that demonstrates exemplary sustainability features such as energy efficiency, stormwater treatment features and regionally-sourced construction materials. WRECO collaborated with Sally Swanson Architects, Inc. and other specialty design firms to work on the Ford Elementary School Renovation Project. The school opened its doors to students for the first time on February 27, 2012.

WRECO led the civil engineering design portion of the project and was responsible for site demolition, site improvement, site grading, Best Management Practices design, erosion control, drainage design and utility engineering. Ford Elementary School was built in 1949 and had outdated electrical and mechanical systems, aged buildings, and minimal ground cover. The school buildings were relocated from the street to expose the space adjacent to the streets; this design makes the school a safer environment. The soccer field and playgrounds are now in the open space in front of the school. The Design Team designed areas for an eco-garden; two biofiltration swales; a new soccer field; planter boxes located in front of the new school building that were designed to treat stormwater runoff from the roof; infiltration planters to treat stormwater runoff from the playgrounds and parking lots; and another bioretention area.

Wanlass Park Opens
March 2012

Wanlass Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, March 3, 2012. WRECO President Han-Bin Liang Meets Mrs. Wanlass, March 3, 2012.

Wanlass Park opened to the public on March 3, 2012. The park, in the City of San Pablo, incorporates environmental education into its design and includes an education center that uses green technology and is solar-powered, a picnic area, play equipment, walking paths, a rain garden and community fruit and vegetable gardens.

WRECO performed the Rheem Creek restoration design as well as the conceptual drainage design for the entire park, minimizing runoff into Rheem Creek. The park is located at the corner of San Pablo Avenue and Rivers Street on the former Wanlass property. The restored creek channel has larger cross sections with a floodplain terrace for a segment of the park and a new bridge provide park access. WRECO performed the hydraulics, designed the erosion protection for the new bridge, and estimated scour potential. The creek was restored for better ecological function and community safety.

WRECO Helping to Keep the Bay Clean During Bridge Dismantling
February 2012

The graphic shows sections of the SFOBB that will be removed.

WRECO is part of the design team working on the dismantling of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (SFOBB). WRECO is helping Caltrans District 4 to comply with regulatory permits for water quality issues and has prepared a Water Quality Study and contract specifications. The purpose of the study was to identify potential sources of pollution and ways to keep pollutants from entering San Francisco Bay during construction. The project is rushed because the dismantling project needs to begin before the new Bay Bridge is slated to open on Labor Day of 2013.

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