HAVE YOU HEARD?

At Wood Rodgers, we are always working to stay up to date and ahead of the curve!

While we still use ArcMap (the previous version of ArcGIS Pro), we are phasing it out and transitioning to ArcGIS Pro. Naturally, learning a new software can be intimidating for many, especially some of our casual users who don’t use it on a day to day basis. Not only is ArcGIS Pro the newest and greatest software, it is more streamlined than ArcMap. For new users, ArcGIS Pro is much easier to pick up. One of the great things about the software being more streamlined, is that features such as Base Maps are significantly faster. This not only saves our team time, but also saves time and money for our clients!

Stephen Barrow, GIS Technician, started this training program about a year ago. Although the training has been going on bi-weekly for a year, Stephen says the crowd has just gotten bigger. “It’s been really nice that people are interested enough to keep coming back!”

Sheng Tan, from our GIS Department, really values the training. “Not only is it training, but it’s more like collaboration with the GIS Group of Engineers to find out how our end users are utilizing the tools, and we can help you out with that. We have a lot of users in different departments that use the software differently, and this is an opportunity for us to obtain feedback on their needs.”

Stephan Barrow

GIS Technician

 

 

Sheng Tan

GIS Department

 

 

Wood Rodgers would like to congratulate Lexi Robertson on being named Secretary on the Board Of Directors for the American Council Of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Bay Bridge Chapter!

We asked Lexi a few questions about herself and ACEC and this is what she said!

What made you decide to become an engineer?

“While studying Environmental Engineering in college, I was involved in the Student Association for International Water Issues (SAIWI). Through SAIWI, I was able to participate in a service trip to Peru and assist a Peace Corps volunteer’s project to bring potable water to a small rural village. That experience opened my eyes to the importance of water as a vital resource and showed me how greatly the profession of engineering can improve the lives of others. I am really excited to be in Water Resources department of the Oakland office with the opportunity to advance my skillset and contributions to local communities.”

Can you give me a brief summary of your career history?

“University of Nevada, Reno: BS in Environmental Engineering & Master of Business Administration (MBA). PE – California. UAS Remote Pilot. Member of American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) and Building Industry Association, Professional Women in Building (BIA PWB). 4 years at Wood Rodgers.”

Why did you join Wood Rodgers and what do you like about it?

“I am excited to celebrate my 4-year work anniversary at Wood Rodgers this September. Wood Rodgers is truly a special place that has encouraged me to follow any and all of my interests in engineering industry. I love the employees-first culture here, my awesome coworkers and the opportunity to keep challenging myself on impactful projects.”

What does ACEC do?

“I am a member of the ACEC Bay Bridge Chapter, which is one chapter of the nationwide ACEC network.”

How does ACEC Benefit Wood Rodgers?

“As a member firm, Wood Rodgers receives the following benefits: Legislative Representation & Timely News Insurance Programs Networking Opportunities & Industry Connections Continuing Education & Webinars Online Publications & Forms Promoting the Profession”

What is your favorite part of ACEC?

“I moved to the Bay Area last year without knowing many people here. When I became involved with the ACEC Bay Bridge Chapter, it helped me network and become more involved with local engineering industry. Since the Bay Bridge Chapter covers Alameda, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and San Francisco, it is convenient for me to attend events close to the Wood Rodgers Oakland office. It is a privilege to represent Wood Rodgers this year on the Board as Secretary!”

Labor Day is a day where we all pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of all workers in the US. Here at Wood Rodgers, we highly value our employees. We find that when our employees are taken care of and happy they put out their best work! This not only benefits Wood Rodgers, but also our clients, and the projects that impact the community!

This year, Wood Rodgers is celebrating Labor Day by giving all employees not only Monday (the holiday) as a paid day off, but added the Friday before as a paid day off as well! After all, who doesn’t love a 4 day weekend?!?!? It’s Wood Rodgers’ way to say “Thank You for all of your hard work!” and gives everyone extra time off to enjoy with their families and friends.

We asked a few employees what makes Wood Rodgers a great place to work. Below are a few of the reasons that our team loves working at Wood Rodgers!

 

Elvis Bikoba – Assistant IT Engineer

“Wood Rodgers is the best. Employees are showered with random paid days off and bonuses. Also, the extra perks that come with working here are amazing!”

 

 

 

Karl Meier – Associate Water Resources

“Besides the random extra paid days off, stocked kitchen, fun company bonding events/trips, anniversary spins, etc. I also like the fact that our culture allows us to be who we are which in turn leads to more productive folks.”

 

 

 

Hanalei Pruter – Assistant Controller

“Wood Rodgers treats its employees so well by always putting us first. The Board Members, Principals, Supervisors and really everyone, are always so considerate and make it a point to keep our employee morale high. From the Pizza Fridays, to the stocked kitchens, to the company outings – it’s all for us. Thank you, Wood Rodgers!”

 

 

Susan Lee – Admin. Asst.

“My favorite perk working at Wood Rodgers is the bonuses, events, and stocked kitchen. I just love it! I was surprised to get my first bonus for us reopening the company. It was awesome!”

 

 

 

Crystal Miller – Marketing/Proposal Coordinator

“I have never worked anywhere that cares about their employees so much. I’ve been through a lot personally in the 7 years I’ve worked here and Wood Rodgers has always accommodated my needs while getting through my difficult situations.”

 

 

 

Jonathan Brose – Corporate Recruiter

“I am yet to see another company treat employees better than Wood Rodgers. All the activities listed above and then some, such as all the gift cards and bonuses we received when we are not able to do things in-person. Most firms focus on the bottom line and employee treatment comes second. At Wood Rodgers it’s very clear the employees come first and they invest the bottom-line heavily back into employees.”

 

 

 

Jessica Cheung – Assistant Engineer

“I think it goes without saying that Wood Rodgers treats their employees well. From their random paid days off and fun bonding activities to their thorough trainings and variety in work, Wood Rodgers is one of those rare companies that actually do care about how their employees feel and how they grow.”

 

 

 

Chris Robards – Survey Tech II

“Wood Rodgers treats their people extremely good and I have always felt like this company is a second family.”

 

 

 

 

John Nicolaus, Principal Landscape Architect

“I’ve worked at, and been a partner at, several firms over the course of my career, and I can definitely say that WR takes really good care of its staff. The perks listed above are a start, but the attitude of ‘yes, you can do that’ is really what sets us apart.”

 

 

 

 

Amber Harmon – NV Region Marketing Lead

“I have never felt like a number at Wood Rodgers, I truly feel like I matter to the company and I know that the Principals of the company know who I am and what I do. I thought it was very cool what Wood Rodgers did for me when I graduated from college, I felt very special and recognized for my accomplishment.”

Wood Rodgers Fixes Flooding And Safety Issues On Highway 20

Wood Rodgers completed both the Project Approval and Environmental Document (PA&ED) and Plans, Specification, and Estimate (PS&E) design phases for the rehabilitation of one mile of State Route 20 in Colusa County through the Town of Colusa (PM 31.8/32.8). This State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) project rehabilitated the existing pavement to improve the ride quality and extend the life of the existing pavement by correcting the roadway profile and cross slopes. Due to multiple overlays over many years, the travelled way was built up and existing shoulder cross slopes varied between 8% and 16%. Additionally, there were no existing underground drainage culverts so all existing drainage was captured in the shoulders and flowed along the curb for substantial distance. This led to localized drainage issues that had to be corrected.

There were a lot of non-standard features on this project that required custom design and out of the box thinking. Knowing the Caltrans design standards and review process were critical to ensure our final design would be approved by Caltrans.” – Steven Robinson

This project removed and replaced all pavement, curb and gutter, installed subsurface drainage, installed detached sidewalk, installed ADA compliant ramps, and relocated an existing traffic signal. Due to the flatness of the area Wood Rodgers developed strategies to retain drainage in an underground vault to minimize flooding and reduce right-of-way impacts. Wood Rodgers worked with Caltrans and City staff to identify right-of-way issues with curb returns and utilities so that these could be resolved early on in the process.

Wood Rodgers completed both the Project Approval and Environmental Document (PA&ED) and Plans, Specification, and Estimate (PS&E) design phases for the rehabilitation of one mile of State Route 20 in Colusa County through the Town of Colusa (PM 31.8/32.8). This State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) project rehabilitated the existing pavement to improve the ride quality and extend the life of the existing pavement by correcting the roadway profile and cross slopes. Due to multiple overlays over many years, the travelled way was built up and existing shoulder cross slopes varied between 8% and 16%. Additionally, there were no existing underground drainage culverts so all existing drainage was captured in the shoulders and flowed along the curb for substantial distance. This led to localized drainage issues that had to be corrected.

This project removed and replaced all pavement, curb and gutter, installed subsurface drainage, installed detached sidewalk, installed ADA compliant ramps, and relocated an existing traffic signal. Due to the flatness of the area Wood Rodgers developed strategies to retain drainage in an underground vault to minimize flooding and reduce right-of-way impacts. Wood Rodgers worked with Caltrans and City staff to identify right-of-way issues with curb returns and utilities so that these could be resolved early on in the process.

“As we heard from our local partners and elected official, this truly was a complete street, community revitalization project that will benefit all users including businesses and residences for decades to come.” – Nawid Nessar, PE, TE, Caltrans District 3 – Program / Project Manager

Assemblymember James Gallagher, Colusa City Manager Jesse Cain, Colusa Mayor Pro Tem Tom Reiche, Colusa County Supervisor Denise Carter, Caltrans District 3 Director Amarjeet S. Benipal, state Sen. Jim Nielsen, Colusa County Supervisor Daurice Kalfsbeek Smith, Jennifer Diaz of the Colusa Chamber of Commerce, a Colusa Chamber member, CHP Sgt. Blayne Kilkenny and Chamber President Cindy Campbell participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday to recognize the completion of the State Route 20 Roadway Improvement and Complete Streets Project in Colusa.
On the left, we have an image from one of our engineers demonstrating the flooding and safety issues before the project was completed. On the right, you can see a picture of the street after the project was completed.

On Friday, September 10th, 2021, Wood Rodgers’ own Judd Goodman, PE, will be featured in a webinar hosted by Stormwater Online.

Judd will be presenting with colleague Barry Hecht on how land use changes affect erosion and sediment processes and how to thoughtfully manage these impacts. These topics will include wildfire, urbanization, and construction.

Judd Goodman has 16 years of experience planning, designing, and managing surface water systems. His most significant technical contributions are solving water resources problems, which require both an engineering and geomorphic perspective. He has experience in hydromodification planning and impact analysis, stream channel rehabilitation design, geomorphic field assessment and monitoring, erosion and sediment control inspection, flood assessment, and design of stormwater management systems. Judd leads the geomorphology practice at Wood Rodgers, Inc.

The Webinar is expected to have over 100 participants, so be sure to get your RSVP in soon!

RSVP here

Women’s Equality Day celebrates the passage of the 19th amendment guaranteeing U.S. Women the right to vote. Some members from our team share what Women’s Equality Day means to them, as well as some advice for all women!

Karrie Mosca, Vice President, Pleasanton Civil

What does Women’s Equality Day mean to you?

“I do think of the women who fought so bravely for the freedoms women have today. Voting, of course, but so much followed that important event and I would not be the successful women I am today without those brave souls. I think of those that worked so hard thru the suffrage movement but never actually got to live to finally vote. I think about them and honor them on this day.”

What Advice would you give young women starting their careers?

“Learn as much as you can about the industry that you are in. I spent so many years behind the desk and there is so much more to the work we do and so many people involved with it. It really expanded my horizons when I started my Business Development efforts. I enjoyed meeting new people and learning about the great work so many others do to make a community successful or just appreciating how many people are involved In building just one home. Civil Engineers don’t always get the glory or the awards but it is rewarding all the same to know our important part in creating the communities that we do. There is a lot to learn as you embark on an Engineering career but remember to look around and see the big picture.”

Miranda Young, EIT, Assistant Engineer

What does Women’s Equality Day mean to you?

“To me, Women’s Equality Day is a celebration of all the progress women have made throughout history. Having a specific day allows more people to recognize women’s achievements.”

How has your experience at Wood Rodgers helped your career?

“As an employee at Wood Rodgers, I am very fortunate to be able to call many other female engineers my coworkers and mentors. Seeing all the women in my office has always been a perk that I love to brag about. Representation matters, and I love that Wood Rodgers is able to support women in STEM careers. Working for Wood Rodgers has allowed me to join our STEAM Team, and through STEAM I’ve been able to host workshops for high school girls who are interested in STEM careers. It’s important that we show girls that STEM careers are accessible to them and that they can pursue any career they want to.”

Jazmine Titular, Geologist I

What does Women’s Equality Day mean to you?

“To me, Women’s Equality Day reminds me that I am surrounded by strong women in the world who will not stop fighting and working towards equality. There has been a path foraged by amazing women in the past, and it is important to continue contributing to their mission of advancing women’s rights and to be seen and treated as equals to men.”

Can you give a brief summary of your career path?

“It took me 10 years, 3 colleges, and 4 different majors to find what I wanted to spend my life doing. I enjoyed so many different majors – from hotel & restaurant management, to business, to vocal music – but in the end, science (specifically geology) is what clicked for me. I knew that it would be something I would be passionate about and a field I wanted to contribute to. The choice to pursue geology led me to some of the best experiences in my life, including traveling throughout California, Arizona, Utah, Montana, and Wyoming, and even to Thailand twice! One of the most important experiences I had from choosing geology was interning at the USGS in Menlo Park for one summer. It definitely felt like an achievement to be a female minority working for such a respectable science and government agency. Conducting research there solidified my passion for geology, which helped me land in the career path today.”

Laetitia Galeazzi, Civil Engineer

What does Women’s Equality Day mean to you?

“Women’s Equality Day reminds me of how fortunate we are to be living in a country where women have the opportunity to be included in the corporate and academic world. It also gives me the chance to reflect on how there are still women in other countries who have been robbed of this human right, and think about ways society could work toward fixing that.”

What Advice would you give young women starting their careers?

“Apply to lots of jobs and chose the career path where you can achieve the most growth personally and professionally. Don’t try to compare yourself to your peers.”

Katie Mason, Assistant Engineer

What does Women’s Equality Day mean to you?

“Women’s equality is a celebration of years of past groundwork that other engineers in our field have accomplished to get us all to this point where we can enjoy working together equally.”

Can you give a brief summary of your career path?

“I struggled with math in college and I had a tutor through the majority of my undergraduate classes. I attended extra study sessions and office hours and I made friends with people who were willing to create a study group. Although I did not have a perfect GPA, I never gave up. I handed my resume out to a number of firms and I landed a brief summer internship between semesters. I became the treasurer for the student chapter of Society of Women Engineers and it opened the door to industry networking – I ended up with my first full time engineering job three days after I graduated from college!”

Jessica Cheung, Assistant Engineer

What does Women’s Equality Day mean to you?

“Women’s Equality Day means exactly what you think it means–women’s equality. To me, it reminds us that women have come a long way to earn the rights that men have always had and to enable women such as myself to pursue careers typically in a male dominated field.”

How has your experience at Wood Rodgers helped your career?

“While I just started working here about 2 months ago, I’ve noticed a significant amount of women working alongside me. It makes me happy knowing that Wood Rodgers takes care of their employees and dedicates their energy to turn a young graduate into a well-rounded engineer–regardless of sex, color, age.”

Megan Kurtz, Assistant Engineer – Water Resources

What does Women’s Equality Day mean to you?

“On a personal level, women’s equality means to not limit myself based on my gender. Our society places a lot of standards on women and it is up to us to break those norms. As our company motto puts so well, “Challenge the way things are… Create what should be.””

What are some tips for other Women who are looking to get into your field?

“1. Build a strong foundation with lower division math and physics classes. 2. Actively seek out women to add to your network. 3. Find a mentor that you are comfortable with.”

Alia Meier, Civil Engineer

What does Women’s Equality Day mean to you?

“Women’s Equality Day provides a time to reflect on and celebrate major milestones in our history that have helped women to reach our full potential. It also provides a time to reflect on what actions everyone of us can take in our daily lives to ensure we continue this forward-growth as a culture.”

What Advice would you give young women starting their careers?

“Put yourself out there to learn new things, stay positive, stay confident, ask questions, be curious, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, have pride in your work product no matter how minor the task.”

Isabella Evans, Assistant Engineer

What does Women’s Equality Day mean to you?

“To me, Woman’s Equality Day is a day to recognize and be inspired by the great strides woman have accomplished for equality in our nation’s history and be reminded that we must continue their hard work.”

What Advice would you give young women starting their careers?

“As you start you career, be confident in who you are and do not let anyone tell you that you are undeserving of your accomplishments.”

Congratulations Grads!

Some of you may know, Wood Rodgers has six interns and employees who have been living a double life. It may not be as exciting as a secret-agent -sort-of-double-life, but one that involves a great deal of dedication and motivation. They have been not only working with us, but also completing their college degrees at the same time. We know that it’s not easy, but Wood Rodgers is so very proud of all of our college graduates this year! Class of 2021 include Zachary Bower, Marisol Contreras, Michael Fitch, Amber Harmon, Lance Nevis, and Sarah Walker.

Zach Bower

Degree | Bachelors of Science, Geological Engineering

University | University of Reno, Nevada

Zach Bower started at Wood Rodgers in February 2021 as a Lab Technician. He chose Geological Engineering because he wanted to pursue a degree that would entail a career that offered a wide range of opportunities. While juggling work and pursuing his college degree, he had to gain some very valuable time management skills. These skills have proven to be just as valuable with all of the projects he currently works on to this day! Crediting his family for their support during his journey, you can find Zach working from our Reno office, applying everything that he learned in school and on the job! Zach plans to continue furthering his career as a professional engineer.

“Zach has proven he can both follow and lead in the lab and is quickly learning some of the team’s terminology that include ‘It’ll buff out’. (Feel free to ask him or David what that means!) “— David Edington, Geotechnical Lab Manager (Reno)

Marisol Contreras

Degree | Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering

University | California State University, Chico

Following in the footsteps of her father, Carlos Contreras, who is currently an Associate Engineer in the Sacramento Water Resource Department, it comes as no surprise that Marisol Contreras chose engineering as her career as well. However, Carlos and Marisol aren’t the only engineers in the family, her stepmother, is also an engineer with the County of Sacramento. One can only imagine the riveting engineering conversations at the dinner table! Marisol has been an intern since May 2019 where she supported the civil engineering side of land development. Then, during her following year of internship with us, she supported the water resources department. Everyone enjoyed working with Marisol during her internships here. Having the experience on various projects in land development and water resources, it was no wonder that Marisol was offered a full-time position in July. She is now working as an Assistant Engineer in Sacramento’s land development department.

“After two internships with Wood Rodgers, Marisol is perfectly positioned to transition to our team full time. It’s great to have another motivated member in our department, especially from the notable Contreras engineering lineage!  We look forward to helping Marisol advance her career as well as her contributions to the department. There’s definitely a burgeoning team of driven engineers in Central 100B!” — Mike Towne, Associate Civil Engineer for Land Development (Sacramento).

Michael Fitch

Degree | Master of Science, Civil and Environmental Engineering, with an emphasis in Water Resources

University | University of California, Davis

Also following in the footsteps of his father, Jerry Fitch, who is currently an Associate Engineer in the Sacramento Transportation Department, Michael Fitch chose to pursue a career in engineering. However, he decided to diverge just slightly in centering his experience in the water resources arena instead. He didn’t start out interning here at Wood Rodgers, however, he did gain very valuable experience while interning at a wastewater special district and another water consulting firm. He did have a number of choices as to where he wanted to start or continue his career, but he ultimately chose Wood Rodgers.

Michael is very eager and willing to learn. He has a great attitude and we are excited that he is beginning his career here at Wood Rodgers.” — David Mueller, Associate Water Resources Engineer (Sacramento).

Amber Harmon

Degree | Bachelor of Science, Urban Planning

University | Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona

Amber Harmon has been working at Wood Rodgers since April 2003. She had helped support various departments in the Reno office and is now functioning as the Nevada Regional Marketing Lead under Corporate Communications as well as managing the STEAM Team for the Nevada offices. As her career progressed at Wood Rodgers, along with her opportunities to work directly with various project managers and department leaders, she eventually chose to pursue her degree in Urban Planning. She is an active member in the Society of Marketing Professionals (SMPS) and continues to support Land Planning in public outreach meetings and processing plans.

“Amber is a spitfire of ‘awesomeness’! She takes on any project/challenge with a determination that is awe-inspiring! She is great at immediately jumping into any project, at any given time and stage, and doing whatever is necessary to get it completed. Her dependability and dedication is so greatly valued by everyone who has worked with her.” — Tina Cooper, Corporate Communications Director

Lance Nevis

Degree | Bachelors of Science, Computer Engineering

University | California State University, Sacramento

 Lance Nevis has been working at Wood Rodgers for 7.5 years and started out in the Facilities Management (FM) Department helping to ensuring that every employee had a functional, comfortable, and safe environment in which to work. While interfacing with the Information Technology (IT) Department coordinating office moves, new employee station setups, and existing employee moves, his interest in IT grew. Lance expressed his interest in IT and Wood Rodgers was able to transition him from the FM Department to the IT Department. During his transition from one department to the next, he decided to go back to school and complete his degree in Computer Engineering. Through the culmination of his efforts and dedication to his studies as a full-time student, Lance remained as a critical team member of our IT Department.

“Lance’s evolution in the IT Department has been exceptional and his dedication to his craft is evident in his daily interactions with staff and the projects he is managing.  His ability to balance his school studies and his responsibilities within the department are commendable and serve as an example for peers and leaders alike.  There is no limit to what Lance can achieve in his career as an IT professional and we’re very lucky to have him on Team Wood Rodgers!” — Michael Albrecht, Principal IT Director.

Sarah Walker

Degree | Bachelor of Science, Land Surveying/Geomatics

University | Great Basin College, Nevada

 Sarah Walker has been an Assistant Surveyor at Wood Rodgers since March 2021 and has been in the field since 2010. Sarah was committed to completing her degree while working, and as such, had to adhere to a very strict work, school, and social life schedule. She credits her success from the great support of her current and former bosses for being flexible with her schedule; her network of professional land surveyor mentors to get her thru through the tests and labs; the Nevada Association of Land Surveyors and the National Society of Professional Surveyors for their financial support through scholarships; and her family and friends for helping her keep her eye on the prize. While working, she was able to further expand her understanding of the Land Development process and gain more insight/experience with how subdivisions were created and approved. She plans to utilize her degree and her working knowledge towards obtaining licensure as a Professional Land Surveyor.

Sarah’s passion for surveying is refreshing and the energy she’s brought to the Survey Department has been greatly appreciated. I’m excited to see where her drive and dedication takes her. Sky’s the limit! — Dennis Barber, Principal Surveyor (Sacramento)

Congratulations to all of our graduating class who are now Wood Rodgers full-time employees! You did it and made it through and we can’t be prouder of each and every one of you!

We can’t wait to see how your career continues to grow and take off from this point forward!

Rebar and concrete pour for the approach slabs for new undercrossing. (Photo Credit: Caltrans District 3)

One of the most satisfying things in an engineer’s career is seeing projects that you have worked on through the planning and design phases go to construction and get built.

In case you have not noticed, there have been a lot of construction on the highways in the Sacramento and surrounding regions. One in particular, includes the US 50 Camino Safety Project (Camino/US 50 Project) for Caltrans District 3.

The Camino/US 50 Project addresses safety conditions on US 50 through the community of Camino and will eliminate left turn conflicts in an area that is notorious for its history of accidents. Before, drivers were forced to turn left across the four-lane highway to enter or exit Camino and the surrounding areas. These left turn movements had one of the highest broadside collision rates in California. The problem with these specific left turn movements is that traffic on US 50 is traveling at 65 mph. While vehicles wait for the opportunity to make a left turn between the gaps of US 50 traffic drivers sometimes feel pressured to make the left turn before the gap in traffic is adequate. As a result, cars have often had severe broadside accidents while trying to make a turn. There have also been several instances of a driver crossing the painted median on US 50 resulting in head on collisions, which at times were fatal. Mark Rayback and our Wood Rodgers Transportation Team designed a median barrier and new access points for drivers to safely enter and exit Camino safely. The median barrier will also eliminate the possibility of a head on collision.

“It’s such a dangerous, unsafe area, with a bad history,” said Rayback. “The fact that we get to work on a project that positively impacts our community and literally saves lives is very meaningful to our team. People don’t know it, but we’re actually saving their lives with this project. We want to do the right thing, work hard and deliver something meaningful. It’s special to be a part of that.”

One of the major challenges the team faced was the very compressed schedule to meet a 95% Submittal on this high-profile safety project. Wood Rodgers essentially completed designing the project alternatives in less than 5 months. The Wood Rodgers Team provided over 30+ cost estimates and attended numerous coordination meetings with Caltrans. The Team really pulled together and oftentimes, it was all hands on-deck, but in the end, the final design was on time.

On July 2nd, concrete approach slabs for the new undercrossing were poured. This portion of the project will provide drainage improvements, access to the undercrossing from local roads, as well as providing a wildlife crossing under the highway.

Construction of the new undercrossing. (Photo Credit: Caltrans District 3)
Construction of the new undercrossing. (Photo Credit: Caltrans District 3)
Concrete pour for the approach slabs for new undercrossing. (Photo Credit: Caltrans District 3)
Concrete pour for the approach slabs for new undercrossing. (Photo Credit: Caltrans District 3)
Rebar and concrete pour for the approach slabs for new undercrossing. (Photo Credit: Caltrans District 3)
Rebar and concrete pour for the approach slabs for new undercrossing. (Photo Credit: Caltrans District 3)

“After logging 14,000+ hours on this specific project, it is great to see it go to construction knowing that this project will directly impact safety for the community and save lives.”, as stated, Brian Krcelic, Project Engineer at Wood Rodgers.

In addition, Wood Rodgers also provided design calculations, construction drawings and technical specifications that relocated approximately 800 LF of 30” CCP and 800 LF of 36” CCP the El Dorado Irrigation District (EID). The two EID transmission mains are critical infrastructure and supply drinking water to a majority of the EID customers.  These transmission mains could not be taken out service at the same time, and the window to take them out service was limited to low demand periods of the year.  This included the installation of new transmission main isolation valves, temporary line stops for construction, reconnection of existing services and distribution pipelines and pipeline appurtenances.

There were two project challenges that were specific to the transmission mains and pipeline.

Challenge #1 | The two primary transmission mains for the entire EID service system could not be taken out of service at the same time, or during specific months of the year.

Our Solution | Wood Rodgers proposed installing line stops on each transmission main both upstream and downstream of the project limits. We then developed a construction phasing schedule that required only one transmission main to be constructed at a time so that there was uninterrupted service.

Challenge #2 | The existing pipe material was a bar-wrapped concrete cylinder pipe that is in limited use today.  EID required the same pipe material to be utilized.

Our Solution | We worked directly with pipe manufacturers to develop custom pipe connection details and pipe specifications to utilize the bar-wrapped concrete cylinder pipe.

AWWA C303 bar-wrapped concrete cylinder pipelines.
AWWA C303 bar-wrapped concrete cylinder pipelines.

“It was great to be a part of the collaborative team between Caltrans, El Dorado County, El Dorado County Transportation Commission, and the El Dorado Irrigation District to deliver this project.”, as stated Kevin Gustorf, Principal and Project Manager for pipeline design.

For additional information and updates on construction please visit www.fix50Camino.com.

We are Headed for a Drought this Summer…

It’s looking like we are staring down the barrel of a potentially significant drought this summer. Wood Rodgers, Inc. has been providing local efforts and assisting the Regional Water Authority (RWA) and Sacramento Groundwater Authority (SGA) over the past couple of decades to in their efforts to help position Sacramento area water agencies to handle drought conditions.

As some of you are aware, Folsom Lake provides the Sacramento area with the majority of its drinking water supply.  However, lake levels at Folsom Lake are not looking so good this year.  Snow pack levels that provide surface water and groundwater recharge to support a steady supply of water throughout our region has also been very low this year as well.

Luckily, surface water is not the only supply we have: groundwater plays an integral part in our overall water supply.

The efforts of RWA and SGA have created a network of agencies that have access to groundwater, surface water, or both, resulting in the construction of water supply connections between participating agencies to allow the ability to share water when needed.

This network was designed for a couple reasons, including for drought protection, or drought resiliency, but also overall groundwater management. This approach allows agencies to utilize surface water as much as possible when it is available, saving groundwater for times when it is really needed.  This is a fairly generalized description, as some agencies do pump groundwater under normal times, but the overarching management goal and objectives have largely paid off.

This approach, known as conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water, has allowed the groundwater basins under our feet locally to remain relatively full and stable exactly for times like this.

WHAT Does that “Exactly” Mean?

In summary, it’s basically an approach of maximizing the total water available in a specific region for the long-term. During wet seasons, agencies may implement and undertake an aggressive water recharge program to recharge the groundwater storage for dry years. In the Sacramento area, this occurs through a process known as in-lieu groundwater recharge (where the groundwater basin is allowed to recover while minimizing extraction).  This helps during years of drought to manage groundwater level decline. What you get is improved local water supply, reduced groundwater overdraft, improved groundwater quality, all while helping to sustain the environmental cycle.

Water Cycle Diagram
Water Cycle Diagram

Even with this “reserve”, we will still likely be going to see conservation measures enacted over the next couple months and the ask that we all take our part to conserve water.

Stay cool everyone!  Cooler than you already are!

For additional information on our regional efforts on our regional groundwater efforts, contact Sean Spaeth (sspaeth@woodrodgers.com).

Sean Spaeth, HydrogeologistSean is a Hydrogeologist with 17 years of hydrogeologic experience. His experience includes regional hydrogeologic evaluations which included geologic cross section preparation, contouring of groundwater levels to determine local and basin groundwater conditions and recharge areas, and groundwater quality assessments. Site specific water resources development projects that Sean has conducted include: test hole logging and geophysical log interpretation for over 100 test holes (up to 1,700 feet) test holes and monitoring well projects, well and aquifer testing and analysis, water quality sampling and analysis. He has also provided construction inspection/design for over 100 production wells up to 1,450 feet in depth, over 50 monitoring wells, and over 50 well rehabilitation projects.

Wood Rodgers is proud to be a part of this progressive construction approach in supporting Caltrans District 3 on the bridge replacement project over 21st Street in Sacramento, CA.

Wood Rodgers provided professional and technical engineering services consisting of Plans, Specifications, and Estimate (PS&E), which included traffic, landscape architecture, utilities, and drainage components at the undercrossing for this project.

Aerial Image of 21st St - SR99 Bridge Project
The 21st St – SR99 Bridge Project

The project replaces the 21st Avenue undercrossing where the bridge decks are in need of major rehabilitation due to the severity of the transverse and longitudinal deck cracks, concrete spalling and high corrosion from drainage runoff entering the voids inside the concrete deck structures and surface.

“Some of the challenges we faced were developing various traffic handling alternatives that would keep the freeway open. These alternatives included reconstructing the bridge in two or three stages over a longer period of time rather than one weekend. These challenges ultimately led to the decision to completely close the freeway for one long weekend. The decision to close the freeway required coordination with Caltrans and the City of Sacramento. The length of the full freeway closure required meetings with Caltrans DES structural engineers where an hour-by-hour construction schedule was prepared to determine the duration of the closure. We prepared a traffic study for the City of Sacramento to show the redistribution of traffic and impacts to the local transportation system. Planning the timing of the closure took into account local community events, the State Fair, holiday weekends, and school hours. The project included preparing traffic handling plans, motorist information plans, construction area sign plans, and detour plans for motorists, transit, and pedestrians on the local roads,”, as summarized by Luke Fuson, who was the Project Engineer for this project.

On June 11th to June 16th, northbound and southbound lanes on State Route 99 from 47th Avenue to US 50 connector will be closed as construction crews work around the clock to replace the bridge.  Wood Rodgers was also involved with designing the stage construction, detours, and performed all of the traffic modelling and local coordination involved in the full closure strategy.

“This is the first full freeway closure that Caltrans District 3 has managed. It is exciting to be a part of this advanced approach with Caltrans.”, stated Mark Rayback, President at Wood Rodgers.

Please plan, accordingly, for closure of State Route 99 from June 11th to June 16th.

For more information | https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-3/d3-news/d3-news-release-21-151