HAVE YOU HEARD?

We at Wood Rodgers are lucky enough to have some of the best interns in the business! We want to thank all of our interns for the work that they do!

Andrew Tobia – Sacramento

Brigida Rovarino – Reno

Carson Humes – Reno

Cole Chilson – Reno

Dawn Nguyen – Sacramento

Esther Li – Sacramento

Jared Sanchez – Las Vegas

Joshua Kim – Sacramento

Lindsey Mattice – Reno

Megan Rayback – Roseville

Rachel Skots – Roseville

Ryan Carpenter – Sacramento

Timothy Saucerman – San Diego

Wood Rodgers is currently preparing PS&E (Plans, Specifications, and Estimates) for a quarter-mile extension of Riverfront Street, and widening of 5th Street from two lanes to its ultimate four lane width between 15th Street and Mill Street for the City of West Sacramento. Services include supplemental environmental documentation, geotechnical analysis, permitting and right-of-way services, and preparation of Plans, Specifications and Estimates for sewer, water, storm drainage, and roadway improvements. The Riverfront Street extension will serve future development along Riverfront Street, and the proposed Downtown Riverfront Streetcar maintenance facility. Wood Rodgers is working directly with the City and the Streetcar team to incorporate the streetcar track and associated facilities into the Riverfront Street design. Fifth Street will incorporate a 13-foot wide cycletrack that will connect a planned City bikeway project on 15th Street to the existing River Walk Trail at Mill Street, closing an access gap for pedestrians and bicycles under Highway 50. Traffic signals will be upgraded to include bicycle only signal heads and phasing. Lighting analysis was performed and pedestrian lighting was added. Because the project is located partially within Caltrans right of way and intersects two Highway 50 ramp intersections, Wood Rodgers is coordinating the project with Caltrans to insure that proposed improvements meet Caltrans requirements and to streamline the encroachment permit process.

Some of the project highlights include:

  • Sidewalks
  • Cycletrack
  • Buffered Bike Lanes
  • Complete Street Design & Concepts
  • Bicycle Signals and Lighting

Mr. Robinson is the Project Engineer for this $5 million project to extend Riverfront Street in the Bridge District area of West Sacramento, and widen Fifth Street. Both Riverfront Street and Fifth Street extend beneath US 50, requiring new Caltrans easements and coordination. The project also requires reconstructing the eastbound US 50 on-ramp at Fifth Street due to grade changes along Fifth Street, and makes signal and safety improvements at the westbound US 50 off-ramp. To complete a bicycle connection between the existing bike lanes on 15th Street and the River Walk Trail, the project will construct a Class 4 Cycle Track along Fifth Street, and new curb, gutter, and sidewalk for pedestrians. The project also is installing sewer, water, storm drain, gas, and electric infrastructure for future development along Riverfront Street. Because of the close proximity to the Sacramento River, an innovative infiltration drainage system was designed to allow runoff to infiltrate under the roadway prior to entering the storm drain system.

We asked him a few questions and this is what he had to say!

Steven Robinson – Project Engineer

What has been your favorite part of the project?

We needed to develop a unique and innovative on site drainage infiltration system on Riverfront Street to minimize runoff into the existing overcapacity drainage system. The Geotechnical report revealed poor soils for infiltration that were a result of the site’s past use as a rice hulling facility, so we worked with our Water department and the Geotech to develop a design that will over excavate 6 feet of the bad soil and will import good soil for the infiltration.

What are some of the challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?

We had to raise the profile of 5th Street by 3 feet in order to provide minimum clearance over the existing Pioneer Bridge foundation. This created new drainage flow patterns that required a new drainage system. We also had to design a custom concrete barrier to protect the Pioneer Bridge columns due to the road widening coming within 2 feet of the column. We were only allowed a 1 week closure of the on-ramp during all of construction, so we had to develop staging strategies that would allow all of the ramp work to occur in during the closure while keeping 5th Street open.

 

The project also includes new joint trenches along both 5th Street and Riverfront Street. Along both streets, it was difficult to fit the joint trenches due to the other existing and proposed underground utilities, and we had to work with the utility providers for approval to deviate from their standard installation policies to fit the joint trenches within the road footprint.

Can you talk a little bit about how our various departments have come together to work on this project?

This was truly a group effort. Our Sacramento Transportation department developed the roadway design, our Sacramento Water department designed the innovative storm drain infiltration system, our Sacramento and Roseville Civil group prepared design for new water and sewer facilities, our Survey department performed the field survey and right of way support, our Sacramento Landscape Architects prepared the planting and irrigation plans, and our Structures department designed two retaining walls.

Wood Rodgers was recently awarded a ITE Mountain District Transportation Achievement Award in the Safety Category. The award was won for the Citywide Intersection Crash Mitigation Project done for the City of Las Vegas.

“Wood Rodgers provides consistent and professional engineering services with clear and authentic client focus solutions, and has been an exemplary consulting firm to work with.” -Sean Robinson, City of Las Vegas Project Manager

The Citywide Intersection Crash Mitigation Program (CICMP) was a very successful safety project Wood Rodgers completed for the City Of Las Vegas. It contained a well-balanced scope and format that seamlessly transitioned from an in-person environment to a virtual environment during the Covid-19 pandemic. It applied multiple innovative ideas, including the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Systemic Approach, Vision Zero, and ArcGIS Storymaps. The CICMP has a strong applicability to the safety aspect of the transportation engineering and planning fields as it correlates to the new Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), as well as the Untied States Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) commitment to roadway safety and Vision Zero. Additionally, the CICMP exhibits a commitment to the advancement of the profession as it is the first step toward reducing the high number of crashes on the City’s roadways and ultimately reducing fatal crashes and serious injury crashes to zero.

The CICMP implemented best-practices and emerging methods to set forth a data-driven foundation for proactive safety improvements. The data driven foundation set forth by the CICMP will be utilized for years to come to help improve the safety of the city through future CICMPs and the collaborative Vision Zero Program, eventually reaching the goal of no fatalities or serious injuries involving road traffic. This represents a new culture of safety that is leading the way to the next generation transportation system in this fast-growing desert oasis.

Congratulations to everyone involved!

Wood Rodgers has been participating in the Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance Golf tournament for 20+ years. This year, not only did out foursome place first, but Steve Balbierz was awarded their Community Hero Award! He was awarded for being a strong ambassador for their mission and inspiring others to do the same.

We asked Steve (center in the photo above) a about the award and this is what he had to say!

“First of all, I was humbled and overwhelmed when they gave me the award at the golf tournament. Keaton’s Child Cancer Alliance  (originally named the Keaton Raphael Memorial) grabbed my heart at the first golf tournament I attended in 2000. They are an incredible organization with special people that have huge hearts and are committed to keep working until a cure is found.

I have played in and supported every tournament since 2000. (23 straight I think). Obviously, the kids who battle cancer inspire me the most. They’re the toughest kids I have ever known! All of the employees and volunteers of the organization are inspiring as well! They have a close relationships with every child and their families and it can really take its toll on a person. It’s absolutely gut wrenching and heart breaking when one of the kids lose their battle.

Personally, I am most proud of Wood Rodgers continued support for 23 years!

Really, the Community Hero Award should be given to Wood Rodgers.

I will keep playing mediocre golf and supporting the cause!”

We’d like to give a big congratulations to all of our Wood Rodgers graduates!

Austin Fullmer – Assistant Engineer – Transportation

Geological Engineering – University of Nevada Reno

Blake Coziar – Survey

Land Surveying/Geomatics – Great Basin College

Dylan Yoro – Assistant Engineer – Civil

Civil Engineering – University of Nevada Reno

Grace Ericson – Assistant Engineer – Civil

Civil Engineering – University of Nevada Reno

Greyson Hoelzel – Lab Technician – Geotechnical

Geological Engineering – University of Nevada Reno

Hunter Beadell – Lab Technician – Geotechnical

Geological Engineering – University of Nevada Reno

Kaitlin Constantine – Assistant Surveyor – Survey

Land Surveying/Geomatics – Great Basin College

We’d like to wish Elvis, Hanalei and Jesus a happy 5 year anniversary here at Wood Rodgers!

Elvis Bikoba – Assistant IT Engineer

What have you liked best about your time at Wood Rodgers and why?

“What I have like the best so far here at Wood Rodgers is that I am continuing to learn and improve my skills with drafting and coding as well while working on projects.”

What is your favorite Memory at Wood Rodgers?

“My favorite memory is when we went to play Footgolf. It was my first time and I had a lot of fun.”

Do you have a Favorite Project you’ve worked on? If so, what is it and why?

“I enjoy building custom tools to help speed the productivity of our engineers so I am ecstatic anytime I am given a new coding project. With that in mind, I enjoy going through the trial and error process of testing out the custom tools to make sure that they work the way they were intended to.”

 

Hanalei Pruter – Assistant Controller

What have you liked best about your time at Wood Rodgers and why?

“What I like best about working at Wood Rodgers is how much the company cares for its employees. It makes a huge difference in morale when you know employees are appreciated and thought of in every decision the company makes.”

What is your favorite Memory at Wood Rodgers?

“I have many great memories of social events at Wood Rodgers but my favorite memory was when my coworkers threw me a surprise baby shower! It was so sweet and thoughtful of them and made me really appreciate, even more, how lucky I am to work with such amazing people.”

Do you have a Favorite Project you’ve worked on? If so, what is it and why?

“I work in the Accounting Department so my favorite “project” is working on our annual overhead audit. It’s challenging but fun at the same time, and I always learn of something to improve on each year.”

Jesus Dorado Ureño – Survey Technician

What have you liked best about your time at Wood Rodgers and why?

“My office has a positive atmosphere, Everyone is so helpful and nice even when the workload is heavy.”

What is your favorite Memory at Wood Rodgers?

“Aside from the client appreciation parties, one of my favorite memories here is of the time we had a company wide Survivor event where we were all put into different teams and competed in several competitive games.”

Do you have a Favorite Project you’ve worked on? If so, what is it and why?

“Villages at Fairfield is a large ongoing project that I’ve been doing work on ever since I started here at WR, so It holds a lot of sentimental value for me. Watching that community get built up has been a great experience.”

 

We’d like to wish Julie a happy 10 year anniversary here at Wood Rodgers!

Julie Garofalo, PG, CHG – Project Hydrogeologist

What have you liked best about your time at Wood Rodgers and why?

“I love our company culture that promotes innovation and thinking outside of the box. We approach projects with a vision that there is always a better way to do things, and we will take that extra step to figure out what that better way is. The company culture organically and effortlessly promotes personal and professional development and growth for all of our employees.”

What is your favorite Memory at Wood Rodgers?

“Several years back, we enjoyed some friendly competition with themed luncheons hosted by each department at Wood Rodgers. These luncheons brought everybody to the table and allowed us to put faces to the names of people we rarely crossed paths with on our day-to-day work flow. It required great collaboration with peers, but it also brought out our friendly competitive side to see which department could one-up the other!”

Do you have a Favorite Project you’ve worked on? If so, what is it and why?

“I have a Master’s Degree in Geology with an emphasis in Volcanology. Since my projects typically cover alluvial aquifers in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys of California, I was excited when one of our farming clients asked us to assess an agricultural property on the big island of Hawai’i to determine its suitability for developing groundwater to provide irrigation water for the planned coffee plantation. I was so excited to assess not only the geology and hydrogeology of the underlying volcanic aquifers, but to also assess the risk for lava flows on the property by evaluating historical eruptions from Moana Loa and nearby volcanic vents. This was certainly a unique project that I will never forget.”

We’d like to wish Kyle, Evan, Steve and Beau a happy 5 year anniversary here at Wood Rodgers!

Kyle Castle – Engineer

What have you liked best about your time at Wood Rodgers and why?

“I have enjoyed the opportunity to go to work every day and be surrounded by people that I genuinely enjoy being around. There are some really incredible people at Wood Rodgers and that’s a huge reason that it is the company that it is today.”

What is your favorite Memory at Wood Rodgers?

“My favorite memory of Wood Rodgers is of the last survivor event that we did back when I had pretty much just started. It was insane to me, the amount of effort that the company was willing to go through to celebrate their employees and form connections with people from across the various offices. I specifically remember the event where we did a “food relay” and everyone had to pick a difficult to eat item and eat as quickly as possible and run back. I ended up with the sour skittles, which are pretty tough to chew when you have about 20 in your mouth. The amount of excitement that everyone had while we all raced was awesome! I’m super excited to hear that they are planning something similar to celebrate the 25th year and I’m looking forward to seeing all of the people from the various office get together again for a day of fun!”

Do you have a Favorite Project you’ve worked on? If so, what is it and why?

“I think my favorite project that I have worked on has been Eagle Canyon Ranch Unit 9B. It was a pretty small phase of the overall subdivision, but this allowed it to be the first one that I worked mostly independently on from start to finish. It had some really challenging utility constraints, boundary constraints, and drainage issues that made it unique from anything else that I had worked on up to this point. There were all kinds of things that went wrong and things that, in retrospect, I would have changed about how I approached the overall design. But, it was one of the best learning experiences that I have had so far. They just recently finished paving everything and seeing it go from start to finish, there are lots of lessons that I can take away from the whole experience to help myself become a better engineer on projects that I work for moving forward.”

Evan Nikirk – Senior Engineer

What have you liked best about your time at Wood Rodgers and why?

“So many things. Primarily, the way WRI treats its employees – “bonus” holidays, the flexible schedule in general and work-at-home option in particular, quarterly spin, a well-stocked kitchen, random BBQs and meals, and the semi-annual and annual bonuses. Also, the work environment WRI provides – the top-notch technology, the ACAD custom tools and the Sac CAD expertise, the responsive IT support, the standing desk, etc. And of course, the high quality employees, work product, and range of services offered by WRI, which results in a strong local reputation and repeat business on interesting projects.”

What is your favorite Memory at Wood Rodgers?

“Nothing specific but general instead: working out design and mapping issues with fellow engineers and surveyors, doing design work in ACAD, landing contracts, and getting permits issued for construction are the four most satisfying experiences. Oh, and listening to Steve Balbierz’ stories, unless it’s about the Dodgers.”

Do you have a Favorite Project you’ve worked on? If so, what is it and why?

“No favorites – all have been complex at some level, interesting, challenging, fun, and satisfying.”

Steve Colombe – Senior Field Inspector

What have you liked best about your time at Wood Rodgers and why?

“First day on the job when Jim Smith said the snacks are free.”

What is your favorite Memory at Wood Rodgers?

“I got hired off of a Facebook ad and had a phone interview while working in Denver. That has never happened to me before. It was priceless.”

Do you have a Favorite Project you’ve worked on? If so, what is it and why?

“Somersett A1 Phase 2 mass grading. Soil conditions remind me of Nevada weather, changed every minute.”

 

Beau LaBarr – Senior Lab Technician

What have you liked best about your time at Wood Rodgers and why?

“The quality time with friends and co-workers at all the events.”

What is your favorite Memory at Wood Rodgers?

“Christmas party 2018.”

Do you have a Favorite Project you’ve worked on? If so, what is it and why?

“Working on the new Wild Creek High school project was great. Just knowing the addition to the community for a brand new high school is exciting.”

 

 

We’d like to wish Michael and Jonathan a happy 20 year anniversary here at Wood Rodgers!

Michael Nowlan – Senior Engineer II

What have you liked best about your time at Wood Rodgers and why?

“I’ve greatly enjoyed working closely and getting to know a lot of great people and I especially appreciate all the effort the company puts into supporting its employees, from company culture events to providing all the tools necessary to thrive and succeed.”

What is your favorite Memory at Wood Rodgers?

“One year we planned a number of Department themed lunches for the Sacramento Office that involved fun activities and great food and camaraderie.”

Do you have a Favorite Project you’ve worked on? If so, what is it and why?

“The Central Valley Floodplain Evaluation and Delineation project for the California Department of Water Resources. The project involved many technical and administrative challenges that provided opportunities to think big and shine while working on important regional flooding issues directly affecting the community my family lives in.”

Jonathan Kors – Vice President

What have you liked best about your time at Wood Rodgers and why?

“It has remained a consistently great place to work and grow professionally for over a 20-year period (my time here…can’t speak to the first five years).”

What is your favorite Memory at Wood Rodgers?

“Thinking back to our first year that Owner and Associate retreats were held – and how there was a genuine effort from these groups to sow the seeds of what would be an even greater company than we had at the time. Nearly ten years later, that strategic planning has paid big dividends.”

Do you have a Favorite Project you’ve worked on? If so, what is it and why?

“Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency Feather River Project – it engaged so many people and services at Wood Rodgers – and WR was a major player in the project – design, surveying, utilities relocation, borrow search, specialty cutoff wall techniques, etc. Now that the flood protection has been constructed along 40 miles of Feather River levees, the people of Sutter and Butte County are way more protected against the real possibility of catastrophic flooding. The residents of those counties still remember the flood of 1955, wherein 38 people were killed the night before Christmas Eve when a 21-foot wall of water rushed through the town during the middle of the night.”

There’s no question about it, Wood Rodgers has the best facilities in the business! This is in huge part to our dedicated facilities team!

The purpose of World Facilities Management Day is to recognize and celebrate the vital work that workplace and facilities managers and the wider industry contributes to business worldwide. It aims to raise the profile of the facilities profession anywhere that its practitioners influence the health, safety, productivity, and wellbeing of people who use the built environment.

We asked some of our Facilities Management Team some questions, and this is what they had to say!

Buck Mercer – Facilities Supervisor

How did you get into your field?

“Stuart Von Lewis got me the interview, but I am pretty sure someone lost a bet and had to hire me.”

What is your favorite part of your job?

“Wood Rodgers Facilities Department covers a wide range of tasks and activities. Everyday is something different. The variety is challenging and rewarding at the same time.”

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into your field?

“Learn as much as you can through experience. Once you find one or two things that are interesting, school up on them, but keep your hands learning as well.”

What is your favorite part of working at Wood Rodgers?

“Learning from the other operations departments (IT, Corporate Communications, Accounting and Administration), and utilizing that knowledge within the more traditional roles of a Facilities/Fleet Department. Doing some of the routine tasks that keep Wood Rodgers moving along without interruption, always with the goal of doing them better the next time.”

Trey Powell – Facilities Coordinator

How did you get into your field?

“I was always hands on while growing up always helped my dad with many projects and that lead to starting in the construction field.”

What is your favorite part of your job?

“My favorite part of the job is being able to find solutions to problems.”

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into your field?

“Learn the value of hard work by working hard.”

What is your favorite part of working at Wood Rodgers?

“I have felt like I work with a big family.”

Beau Katolin – Facilities Technician

How did you get into your field?

“I was made aware of the open position through my girlfriend. I strive for positions where I get to work/build with my hands, so I applied for the job.”

What is your favorite part of your job?

“I like building, fixing, and installing various things with my hands and getting to see the end product of my work.”

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into your field?

“It is a smart choice because you will learn non perishable skills.”

What is your favorite part of working at Wood Rodgers?

“It is a very open and welcoming company to work for.”

Sarah Valdez – Fleet Coordinator

How did you get into your field?

“I was referred by a colleague.”

What is your favorite part of your job?

“I’m still new, so right now I’m enjoying learning all of the things Wood Rodgers has to offer.”

Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into your field?

“Go for it!”

What is your favorite part of working at Wood Rodgers?

“I like the sense of community and the team I work with.”