June 2016 Print

President's Report


I turned 50 years old last week and realized that I have been working in the civil engineering industry for 27 years…I attribute my success to my engineering supervisors who mentored me and allowed me to grow and develop professionally. This included promoting attendance of ASCE conferences, publishing and presenting technical papers, volunteering with community organizations, volunteering at local ASCE sections, and career development. I learned early in my career to listen, take direction well, learn, and contribute. My first supervisor mentored me to take pride in my profession, ask questions, and be a team player.

At my company, we promote young engineers to become involved with ASCE and the local community. We need to allow our young engineers time and resources to be involved in the local community in order to make this participation rewarding. This involvement will allow our young engineers to give back to their communities and become leaders within our company. Mentoring young engineers about the importance of giving back to our communities will inspire them to promote volunteer work and develop leadership skills.

A recent letter from a local student read, “Your generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community. I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goal just as you have helped me.”  As Mark Woodson, President of ASCE noted, “Students and younger members are our future. The work we do today for their growth and development better prepares them to be the Society’s future leaders and, in turn, ensures the future of our profession.”


Louay M. Owaidat

Back to top


Calendar of Events

3rd Annual Picnic

No Need To RSVP
William Land Park Group Area 19
Sacramento, CA

Wine Tasting Train & BBQ

YPT/YPG/YMF Co-Hosted Event
Western Railway Museum 
5848 State Highway 12
Suisun City, CA

EWRI Sacramento Chapter Meeting

Topic: Klamath River: A New Direction
The Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J. Street
Sacramento, CA

Capital Branch Speaker Lunch

Topic: Marysville Ring Levee
The Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J. Street
Sacramento, CA

YMF Golf Tournament

Granite Bay Golf Club
9600 Golf Club Dr.
Granite Bay, CA

Back to top


Project Awards Dinner


On Wednesday, May 11, over 180 professionals gathered at the Crocker Art Museum for the recognition of 21 outstanding projects in the Sacramento Section. Also awarded were Golze Scholarships to 17 well-deserving civil engineering students from CSUS, CSU, UOP and UCD (a record number of scholarships ever presented thanks to your generous donations). Prior to the awards presentation, Dr. Lorenzo Smith, Dean of Engineeering & Computer Science at CSUS, delivered an eloquent keynote address regarding engineering education in the 21st century and vision for the future. To view photos of all winners, click here.

Project of the Year (pictured below) - Folsom Dam Auxiliary Spillway; Owner: US Army Corps of Engineers – Sacramento; Contractor: Granite Construction 

Bikeways & Trails Project - Francisco Drive Right Turn Pocket; Owner: El Dorado County

Bridge Project - Roseville Road Bridge Replacement; Owner: City of Sacramento, Design: David Evans & Associates; Construction Management: HDR

Community Project - Sierra College Blvd. & Douglas Blvd. Sidewalk; Owner: Placer County, PSOMAS

Construction Project - Mormon Island & Lake Ridge Oaks Lift Station Elimination; Owner: El Dorado Irrigation District (EID)

Energy Project - Granite Bay Booster Pumping Stations; Owner: San Juan Water District; Construction Management: HDR

Environmental Project - Sherman Island Whale’s Mouth Wetland Restoration & Scour Pond Habitat Enhancement; Owner: Reclamation District 341, Contractor: Great Lakes Environmental & Infrastructure (GLEI)

Flood Management Project - Drought Emergency Barrier – 2015 West False River; Owner: Department of Water Resources, The Dutra Group

Geotechnical Project - EID Flume 42/43 Replacement; Owner: El Dorado Irrigation District (EID); Engineer: GHD Inc.

Historical Renovation Project - Yosemite National Park Tunnel Preservation; Owner: Federal Highway Administration; Contractor: Maloney Construction

Parks & Recreation - Cosumnes River Preserve Boardwalk Reconstruction; Owner: Bureau of Land Management (BLM);  Contractor: Maloney Construction

Road & Highway Project - State Route SR70 / Feather River Boulevard Interchange Project; Owner: Yuba County; Engineer: Dokken Engineering

Small Project - Dry Creek Trunk Sewer Bank Rehabilitation; Owner: City of Roseville; Engineer: West Yost Associates

Structural Project - Alpine Meadows Road Bridge Replacement Over Truckee River; Owner: Placer County-Tahoe Division; Engineer: Drake Haglan & Associates

Sustainable Project - DWR Climate Action Plan; Owner: Department of Water Resources

Large Transportation Project - Cosumnes River Boulevard Extension & Interchange at Interstate 5; Owner: City of Sacramento; Engineer: Mark Thomas & Company

Small Transportation Project - Lathrop Road / UPRR Westerly Grade Separation; Owner: City of Lathrop; Engineer: Mark Thomas & Company

Urban & Land Development Project - Sacramento State Stormwater LID Implementation; Owner: CSU Sacramento, City of Sacramento

Utility Project - Willow Hill Pipeline Rehabilitation; Owner: City of Folsom, Environmental & Water Resources; Construction Management: HDR

Water Project - Roseville Intertie and Zone 4 Transfer Pump Stations; Owner: City of Roseville, Engineer: Bennett Engineering Services

Water Treatment Project - Rancho Murieta Phase 3 Water Treatment Plant Expansion; Owner: Rancho Murieta Community Services District; Construction Management: HDR 

Back to top


Golze Scholarship Winners


California State University, Sacramento

George Brown IV                                                              Malak Alhaidari 

California State University, Chico

Anthony Burgess                                                            Samantha Grey 

Brianna Murphy                                                              Daniel Phelan

University of Pacific

Michaela Robertson                                                      Michael Sitzmann                                            

Maddie Netto                                                                David Garcia

Daryll Mendoza                                                            Hayley Ann Pallila

University of California, Davis

Harrison Kwan                                                             Brian G. Gee

Katherine Flowers                                                     Eric Neill

Lillian Xie

Back to top


2016 Individual Award Nominations


Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty for the civil engineering profession? Here is your chance to publicly recognize this individual at the ASCE Sacramento Section Individual Awards & Installation Banquet to be held in the Fall of 2016. The specific date and details of this event will be announced soon. 

ASCE Sacramento Section Individual Awards recognize individuals for outstanding achievements or leadership in civil engineering or who, through their work, support and advance the profession. Contributions in any of the following areas are considered: 

Outstanding Civil Engineer Public Sector • Outstanding Civil Engineer Private Sector • Outstanding Young Civil Engineer • Outstanding ASCE Section Officer • Outstanding Branch Officer • Outstanding YMF Officer • Best Civil Engineering Event • Outstanding Civil Engineering Faculty Advisor • Outstanding Practitioner Advisor • Outstanding Civil Engineering Community Service • Humanitarian • Excellence in Journalism • Lifetime Member • Arthur L Elliot Bridge • Charles C. Pope Construction • Francis N. Hveem Geotechnical • Frederick W. Panhorst Structural • David N. Kennedy Water Resource • Jonathan Burdette Brown Education • Stewart Mitchell History and Heritage • William H. Hall Flood Control • Legistlative Activities • State Legistlator of the Year

Making a nomination is easy and convenient! Simply, complete the online nomination form here. For a list of criteria for each award category, click here. If you would rather print out the form and return it by mail or email, click here to download a nomination form.

Please submit your nomination by August 8, 2016.

Back to top


2016-2017 Call for Officers

The nominating committee for the Sacramento Section of ASCE is seeking candidates for the following positions to start in October 2016:

    President-Elect is a three year commitment with the first year serving as President-Elect, followed by President and Past-President.  As President-Elect, you are responsible for assisting the President.  As President you oversee the Section as whole including board meetings, newsletter, award dinners, and Branches, Institutes, Younger Member Groups and Student Chapters.  As Past-President you will be in an advisory position to the President.

    Junior Director is a two year commitment with the second year serving as Senior Director.  The primary responsibilities of the Junior and Senior directors are organizing the Project Awards banquet in the Spring and the Individual Awards banquet in the Fall.

    Secretary is a one year commitment with the option to continue service.  The Secretary is responsible for taking the minutes at each Board meeting and distributing the minutes for review.  The Secretary is also responsible for all e-mail correspondence between the Section and its members.

ASCE Sacramento Section members are encouraged to volunteer for positions of leadership, regardless of age or level of experience. Serving in volunteer positions on the Executive Board assists in building and enhancing careers.  The rewards of volunteer service are fulfilling and show you care about ASCE and your profession. 

If you would like further information about any particular office, have questions regarding ASCE, or desire to run for office, please contact Kyle Sanford at kyle.sanford@hdrinc.com


    Chair will represent the Sacramento Section to the Region 9 Disaster Preparedness Committee. Will work together to further recognition and training for SAP certification and disaster readiness. If interested, please provide your name, email address and phone number to asce@asce-sacto.org.

Back to top


Capital Branch Activities


Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J St,
Sacramento, CA 95811
11:30 AM Networking, 12:00 - 1:00 PM Lunch and Presentation

Topic: Marysville Ring Levee—California Gold Rush Town Builds Deep to Get Better Levees
Speaker: Erik James, PE, GE, PG and Jose Gomez, PE, Sacramento District of the Corps of Engineers 

Situated at the end of the Overland Emigrant Trail, Marysville played an integral role in the California Gold Rush. Unfortunately, in the 1860’s, hydraulic mining debris washed down the Sierran rivers and flooded the city. Levees were constructed in response. Additional flooding caused the City to construct a larger and more complete levee system. From the 1930’s to ‘60’s the Corps of Engineers raised the levees to the current height. However, flooding in the late 1980’s triggered new evaluations resulting in plans to remediate seepage concerns. After initial Corps work in 1996 and 1998, the State began its levee modernization effort in earnest and the Corps initiated work in 2008 to complete the improvements. The Corps has constructed the Phase 1 project, a deep-mixed cutoff wall (2012), has two phases ready for construction this summer, and four phases nearing final design. This presentation will give an overview of the project and discuss the technical challenges of the Phase 1 construction project including the technical field program that was developed to provide assurance of the integrity of the cutoff wall. 

Mr. James is a Professional Civil Engineer, Geotechnical Engineer, and Geologist in California with 10 years of experience. He serves as Chief, Soil Design Section B, for the Sacramento District of the Corps of Engineers, managing the geotechnical and materials aspects of levee, dam, and vertical construction projects throughout 8 western states. Mr. James previously served as the geotechnical lead engineer for numerous geotechnical design and construction projects, risk-based levee remediation feasibility studies, and levee system risk assessments primarily on the Sacramento River Flood Control Project and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. He has been a guest lecturer at the Hydraulic Engineering Center, teaching the geotechnical aspects of levee evaluations for flood risk management studies. Mr. James previously worked for Holdrege and Kull, and has a BS in Geology from the University of California, Davis, and a second BS in Civil Engineering from Sacramento State Mr. Gomez is a Professional Civil Engineer in California with 9 years of experience. He serves as a Senior Civil Engineer in the Levee Safety Section for the Sacramento District and has worked on levee design projects, risk- based levee remediation feasibility studies, levee system risk assessments for the Sacramento River Flood Control Project, initial eligibility inspections, and periodic inspections for many levee systems. Mr. Gomez previously served as a Quality Assurance engineer for military construction work at the Presidio of Monterey. 

Currently, he is the geotechnical lead engineer for the Marysville Ring Levee and is responsible for the design and geotechnical construction oversight of the project. Mr. Gomez previously worked for BSK and Associates, and has a BS and MS degree in Civil Engineering from the California State University of Fresno.

The Capital Branch of the Sacramento Section of ASCE is looking for new officers to continue our tradition ofserving the local engineering community. Serving on the Board of Directors is an outstanding opportunity to build your leadership skills and learn more about the exciting projects being designed and built in the Sacramento area.

As an officer, you will participate in planning our monthly activities in a collaborative team environment. It’s also a tremendous opportunity for personal growth by attending ASCE National and/or Regional workshops, and expanding your professional civil engineering network. 

The Capital Branch welcomes nominations for officer positions to serve on the Board of Directors for the 2016-17 term, which begins on October 1, 2016. Nominations, including self-nominations, may be submitted in writing to Natalie Calderone, Nominating Committee Chair, via email (natalie.calderone@aecom.com). Nominations will be accepted until Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 11:59 PM. Officer Candidates shall include the following items with their written nomination: a color photograph (jpg format) and a personal statement (MS Word) describing their professional background, reason for running and goals if elected as an officer (500 words max.). An electronic ballot will be e-mailed to paid members on August 5, 2016 and will be made available in the August Engineerogram. Election results will be opened and tallied after 21 days. Elected officers will be notified directly and results will be published in September Engineerogram.

We are accepting nominations for the following positions:


  • Assists President and Vice-President of Education when needed.
  • Becomes President the following term, and subsequently Past-President (3-year commitment).
  • Is the Official Delegate at the ASCE Regional Leadership Conference (Location TBD)

Vice-President of Education

  • Coordinates speakers for monthly luncheons.
  • Provides content for meeting announcements for distribution to membership.
  • Assists the treasurer with registration at the monthly luncheons.

Vice-President of Membership

  • Responsible for electronic communication with the members.
  • Responsible for welcoming new members.
  • Takes notes during the meetings and prepare the minutes. Distributes within one week of Board meeting.
  • Keep records of all the minutes, and other documents essential to the Branch’s activities.
  • Maintains and facilitates all Branch financial duties.
  • Keeps accurate records of account deposits and expenses for the group.
  • Pays bills incurred by the Branch and deposits income into Branch account.
  • Submits an annual expense report and account balances report in November to the Sacramento Section.
  • Runs the registration table at the Branch events.

*Note: The following positions are not subject to election – (1) Past-President: the current President (Adam Killinger) will transition to this post; and (2) President: the current President-Elect (Om Prakash) will transition to this position for the 2016-17 term.

JOIN US ON LinkedIn. 
The Capital Branch has started a Group Page to make it easier to post announcements about upcoming events of interest to Civil Engineers in the Sacramento area. To join the group page go to http://goo.gl/iG6aD6

Back to top


Central Valley Branch Activities

We have monthly lunch meetings with various presentations on the third Tuesday of each month. If you are in the Stockton area please join us. For more information about the Central Valley Branch please contact Jeff Mueller at jmueller@ksninc.com.

Back to top


Feather River Branch Activities

For more information about future meetings and activities, please contact the president, Radley Ott, rott@northstareng.com, 970-218-9256.

Back to top


Shasta Branch Activities

For more information about the Shasta Branch meetings, please contact Susan Goodwin at sgoodwin@vestra.com.

Back to top


Younger Members Forum (YMF)


Thursday, June 2
5:30 pm
William Land  Park Group Area 19
Brought to you by Sacrmento Section, Capital Branch and YMF in celebration of Life Members and YMF Student Scholarships.
Catering by Chando's Tacos. Fun for engineers and non-engineers of all ages. Activities include: volleyball, Cornhole, Bocce, Frisbee, and Soccer. No need to RSVP.

Saturday, June 4
10:30 AM to 2:00 PM (Train leaves at 11 AM sharp!)
Western Railway Museum
5848 State Highway12
Suisun City, CA

Please join the Young Professionals in Transportation/Young Planners Group/Younger Member Forum ASCE for a special tour of the Western Railway Museum. This co-hosted event will feature a one-hour train ride on the museum's vintage 1914 Salt Lake & Utah parlor car, a free sampling of local wines from Tenbrink Vineyards, a guided tour by the museum's volunteer conductors and docents, lunch in the museum's picnic grounds catered by Kinders BBQ, and a great chance to meet new friends and see electric railroading history brought to life.  The total cost (including EventBrite Ticket fees) is $53.49/person and is all inclusive. We are selling the tickets on EventBrite and the tickets must be pre-purchased to attend. Seating is limited to 87 folks and tickets are first come first serve. We encourage folks to invite family, friends, and significant others to attend this event. Car pools are also encouraged. To sign up, click here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/wine-tasting-train-bbq-with-ypt-sacramento-tickets-24584880038


Monday, July 25, 2016, 10 am Shotgun Start
Granite Bay Golf Club, Granite Bay, CA
Proceeds go to Make-A-Wish®
For More Information Contact: Tyler Hatch at golftournament@sacymf.org or visit www.sacymf.org

Back to top


Environmental Water Resources Institute (EWRI)


Thursday, June 9
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Old Spaghetti Factory
1910 J Street
Sacramento, CA
Topic:  The Klamath River: A New Direction
Speaker:  Parker Thaler, State Water Resources Control Board Division of Water Rights

The Sacramento Chapter of EWRI would like to welcome you and your guests to our next meeting. Speaker Parker Thaler, State Water Resources Control Board Division of Water Rights will present on The Klamath River: A New Direction. 

Please register via EventBrite at the following link: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/ewri-sacramento-chapter-june-meeting-tickets-24934627141. For questions about this event or having trouble registering, please contact Sarah McIIroy by email sarah.mcilroy@stantec.com or by phone (916)773-8100. 

Back to top


Structural Engineering Institute (SEI)



SEI Sacramento Chapter had Lunch & Learn Technical Talk
on May 10th, 2016 @ Old Spaghetti Factory. Guest speaker Dr. Anoosh Shamsabadi from Caltrans delivered an excellent presentation about seismic ground and structure interaction. The event was very successful and attended by over 60 participants.

Edward J. Thometz, P.E., M.ASCE
Area Bridge Maintenance Engineer (ABME),California Department of Transportation

Established in October of 2014, with a unanimous approval by the ASCE San Francisco Section Board, we became the third SEI local chapter in California. I am privileged to report what our chapter has accomplished in the past year and a half. But before I delve into our chapter’s accomplishments, I would like to give accolades to the individuals that have helped realize our chapter.

First and foremost, the success of any organization does not come without dedicated individuals at the helm. Our chapter has been fortunate to have an inaugural board of directors that are extremely dedicated to laying a strong foundation for our chapter to grow, and become a successful organization for the Structural Engineering Institute of ASCE. With that, I’d like to call out these individuals: 

  • Vice-Chair: Phoebe Cheng, PE - Principal Engineer and Project Manager at SC Solutions
  • Secretary: Zhaoshuo Jiang, PhD, PE, LEED AP - Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University
  • Marketing Director: Vladimir Calugaru, PhD - Project Engineer at InfraTerra
  • Technical Director: Brian Kehoe, PE, SE - Structural Engineer with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
  • Technical Director: Herbert Birthelmer, PE - Runs an engineering firm, specializing in structural engineering design for residential and commercial projects
  • Treasurer: Mark Bird, PE - Structural engineer specializing in curtain wall and cladding systems for commercial buildings
  • Webmaster: Ian Prowell, PhD, PE – Engineer within the civil engineering group at DNV GL
  • Inter-Organization Director: Anna Teplitskaya - Design Engineer at FTF Engineering, Inc.

I encourage you to visit our website (www.seisf.org) and read the detailed bios of this diverse and talented group of engineers.

Secondly, I’d like to thank our ASCE San Francisco Section board of directors, local branches, and other institutes for the guidance and the monetary support. Their actions have shown that ASCE’s specialty institutes are a critical component of an ASCE section to provide members access to technical, educational, and professional resources in specialty areas. I would also like to thank the SEI Local Activities Division (LAD). The LAD’s proactive support through sponsoring events such as the annual SEI Local Leaders Conference, has provided me a pathway to learn about new initiatives, best practices, and insights from other local chapters and groups.

Inaugural Dinner and Technical Presentation
In November 2015, the chapter held its Inaugural Dinner and Presentation event. Terrence Paret, Senior Principal with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., presented on the post-earthquake damage, repair, and seismic vulnerability assessment of the Washington Monument, which is the tallest unreinforced masonry structure in the world. More than 40 attended and the mood of the evening was really great; many folks networked, enjoyed the social hour and dinner, and of course a great presentation. The follow-up participant survey results were very positive.

ATC-SEI Conference
In December 2015, the 2nd Conference on Improving the Seismic Performance of Existing Buildings and Other Structures was held. It was a joint conference organized by the Applied Technology Council (ATC) and SEI that included case studies, emerging and innovative uses of new technologies and materials, standards and codes issues, and performance-based design methods. With the conference venue in San Francisco, our chapter not only had the convenient opportunity to attend, but were also fortunate to be asked by the SEI Director, Laura Champion, to assist with their exhibit booth. Having a presence at the SEI booth provided us a great opportunity to meet local structural engineers and inform them about our SEI local chapter.

Joint Event with the Structural Engineering Association
To kick off 2016, our chapter had a joint social networking event at Tonic Bar in San Francisco with SEAONC YMF. The two organizations enjoyed "building bridges" between SEI and SEA in a social setting. Three members from SEI SF, and three from SEAONC YMF bartended, making the event even more unique. The outcome was very rewarding for both organizations.

Joint GI and SEI Congress
In February 2015, the Geo-Institute (G-I) and SEI came together to create this first-of- its-kind event. Our chapter Vice- Chair, Phoebe Cheng, represented us at the congress in Phoenix, AZ. By combining the best of both Institutes’ annual conferences into one unique conference, there were unique networking opportunities with colleagues within and across two tightly woven disciplines. To quote Phoebe, “…Structural and geotechnical engineers often work independently from each other. There’s a gray area where the two disciplines meet, and the engineering challenges from both disciplines need to be addressed at the same time. It’s so wonderful that in this conference we get to meet so many people who deal with these two disciplines simultaneously and to learn from each other… ”

PEER Earthquake Simulator Lab Tour
In March 2016, our SEI chapter had the opportunity to tour the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research (PEER) Center. Over lunch provided by the center, PEER–UC Berkeley Lab Manager Clément Barthès, Ph.D, gave a presentation on wireless remote sensors to monitor bridge dampers. Led by Clément, the group of thirty SEI professionals and engineering students got to see the high capacity (4 million pounds) universal testing machine (UTM) and learned how experimental testing is conducted via watching a demonstration of a damper testing machine.

The tour included a visit to the outdoor yard that features specimens from past testing programs. There was also a historical overview of the lab and the digital library provided by Chuck James, the NISEE librarian.

Looking Forward
Our Mission is “Serve and promote the structural engineering profession within the San Francisco Bay Area in a manner consistent with the purpose of the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).” Our Vision is “Inspire and advance the art and practice of structural engineering, develop and implement programs to enhance knowledge exchange, networking, and other professional development and educational outreach activities.”

Looking ahead in the coming months, we already have plans for dinner presentations, tours, and student outreach. We are making steady progress towards serving the needs of our members, and becoming an integral part of the local ASCE community.

For more information or to get involved with SEI-San Francisco Chapter, please contact me at ed.thometz@dot.ca.gov 


Help improve codes and standards
SEI Trial Design Problems are investigations into how structural engineers interpret code provisions. The purpose is to evaluate if practicing engineers are able to accurately understand and consistently implement the current code as well as possible future code provisions. The exercise is designed to take about an hour. Solutions are anonymous in the publication of results which are summarized and communicated to the respective standards committees. This problem is representative of a common engineering task that is performed in structural engineering offices on a routine basis.

First, review the Trial Design Problem then submit your solution online, and encourage your colleagues to participate. Thank you for your input to improve codes and standards!

Back to top


Honors & Awards

Each year, officers, members, and guests of the Sacramento Section of ASCE gather for our annual Individual and Project Awards Dinners. Each month, in this column, we will profile one of these award-winning engineers and/or projects.


Dorsey Drive Interchange Project


Dorsey Drive is an arterial street located in the City of Grass Valley in western Nevada County that crosses over State Routes 20/49 (SR 20). Before the new interchange was constructed, access to Dorsey Drive from the highway was by surface streets from Idaho-Maryland and Brunswick Highway on/off ramps over a mile away. Drivers had to travel through numerous traffic signals to access these ramps. There was no direct access to the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, which hindered ambulances. Pedestrians using Dorsey Drive had neither walkways in some areas nor adequate lighting at night.

Completed in November 2014, the new Dorsey Drive Interchange resolved all of the aforementioned issues and connects Dorsey Drive with State Highway 20/49. This two-phase bridge widening project improved approximately 0.46 miles of surface roadway and 1.4 miles of highway. Key improvements included the widening of both Dorsey Drive and the two-lane bridge over the highway, new on- and off-ramps for the diamond interchange, and the changing of Joerschke Drive into a one-way street. The project also included new LED freeway lighting, landscaping, two new and one improved intersections, retaining walls, and soundwalls. 

The project has been on the books since 1989, The City of Grass Valley served as the lead agency, working in partnership with the Nevada County Transportation Commission and Caltrans. The design was performed by Caltrans and construction was performed by McGuire and Hester. The constructability review, public outreach, and construction management were performed by HDR with geotechnical and SWPP construction support provided by Holdrege and Kull. 

Significant elements of this $15 million construction project include:

  • Dramatically reducing access time from Route 20/49 to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital
  • Widening of the existing bridge by adding through lanes and left turn pockets (bridge design included an innovative bent cap design for precast girder)
  • New on/off-ramps and auxiliary lanes between Dorsey Drive and Highway 20/49
  • Dramatically improving pedestrian safety and commuter options for the residents, many of whom are senior citizens. Improved pedestrian facilities included bus stop turnouts with benches, new ADA compliant sidewalks, bicycle paths, crosswalks, and audible pedestrian signals.
  • Architectural treatments were added to the concrete bridge walls, retaining walls, street lighting, and retention walls.
  • Improvements were made to the Storm Water Pollution treatments with oil water separators and sand trap drop inlets.
  • The addition of environmentally friendly LED street lighting.
  • Cost saving construction measures in dealing with hard rock that resulted in deleting a soil nail wall and reducing the depth of a difficult CIDH pile by designing a rock socket pile.
  • Placement of drought tolerant native plants.

Back to top


Continuing Education


Earthquake-Induced Ground Motions
July 21 - 22
Holiday Inn Express Hotel And Suites Sacramento
2224 Auburn Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95821-1601
For group discounts and more details, go to:  http://www.asce.org/continuing-education/face-to-face-seminars/

Webinars are convenient, low-cost, and an efficient training option. Login anywhere and interact with the instructor and other participants. Live webinars cover practical, targeted topics taught by experts in their field. Gain knowledge and earn PDHs. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: http://mylearning.asce.org/diweb/catalog/t/2125/c/79 Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate.

On-demand learning is a convenient and effective method for engineers to earn PDHs/CEUs and gain practical, real-world knowledge.  ASCE's programs are developed by industry experts and available for a variety of technical areas and in your choice of format to meet the demands facing today's engineers. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: http://mylearning.asce.org/diweb/catalog/t/2135/c/79. Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate.

Back to top


Region 9


Yazdan T. Emrani, P.E., M.ASCE
ASCE Region 9 Infrastructure Policy Committee

It has been four years since the release of the 2012 California Infrastructure Report Card (CAIRC) and its estimated price tag of $650 billion for California’s total unfunded infrastructure needs over 10 years. While that price tag remains high and keeps increasing, there is a glimmer of good news to report. First, we have slowly, but surely climbed our way out of one of the worst economic depressions in recorded history. According to the California's Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) "The state budget is better prepared for an economic downturn than it has been at any point in decades." The LAO also projects that in this fiscal year that personal income tax revenue will exceed previous year's budget assumptions by $3.6 billion.

California Proposition 1, the Water Bond, was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in California, and was approved by the voters. Proposition 1 authorized about $7.12 billion in general obligation bonds for State water supply infrastructure projects, such as public water system improvements, surface and groundwater storage, drinking water protection, water recycling and advanced water treatment technology, water supply management and conveyance, wastewater treatment, drought relief, emergency water supplies, and ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration.

We are continuing to see job growth rate increases here in California and nationwide. Cities, counties, and other municipal agencies are finally shifting from "Maintenance" mode to "Rehabilitation and Renewal" mode. However, we are playing a catch up game in regards to investment in infrastructure, and do need several more avenues of funding infusions to keep us in the game. In the past five decades, our capital investment has plummeted precipitously. In the 1950s and 1960s, California spent almost 20 cents of every dollar on capital projects. By the 1980s, that figure dropped to less than five cents on the dollar. Current estimates put infrastructure investment at around a penny on the dollar. This is despite ever-increasing demands presented by population growth and economic development. Much of the state’s public infrastructure was designed and built to serve a population half the size of California’s 38 million residents today, and we face an ever growing population in years to come.

Much work needs to be done at both the local and State-wide levels to improve the grades reported in the Report Cards. To that end, there are efforts underway in several jurisdictions within Region 9 to update the local infrastructure report cards, and to see the "Post Recession" grades. These local efforts include updates to the San Diego County, Orange County, Humboldt County, and the Inland Empire infrastructure report cards. These local report cards give us the best foundation and documentation for updating the statewide California Infrastructure Report Card (CAIRC), as Region 9 Report Card committee analyzes and utilizes the local results for developing an accurate and inter-connected state-wide report card.

Speaking of the CAIRC, we will be gearing up to start work on its next update in 2017, with a scheduled completion and release date in 2018.

A well-designed and maintained infrastructure anchors our economy and lifestyles and secures the public health and well-being. With 38 million residents, California is the most populated state in the country and its economy ranks as the world’s eighth largest economy. These 38 million people rely upon these infrastructure systems every day, and while their dependability and quality may be unobserved and go unnoticed, they are however significant contributors to our economic prosperity and quality of life. Over the next 20 years, California is expected to grow at a rapid pace. Based on some estimates our State will add an additional 10 million residents over the next 20 years, putting California’s population at a staggering 48 million people. Investment in infrastructure is therefore vital to our state’s productivity, competitiveness and economic well-being.

Congestion on California’s highways alone costs the United States an estimated $100 billion a year. Communities with efficient road systems, good schools and sewers can better attract residents and businesses. With updated water treatment plants, we can trust our tap water is safe. When traffic flows, goods and services move to market faster and more efficiently, lowering the cost to consumers. Modern school buildings provide a secure and healthy environment where our children can concentrate on learning. Efficient waste management programs reduce waste volume, and dispose of and contain waste effectively. The CAIRC is an effective step towards assessing and hopefully fully funding our infrastructure needs.

Lastly, a big task in securing infrastructure funding is to educate the public on the importance of infrastructure renewal, encourage colleagues in the public sector to continue the fight for infrastructure funding, and to actively communicate to elected officials the important role that infrastructure maintenance plays in our everyday lives. The Region 9 Infrastructure Policy committee is involved in all these efforts on behalf of California engineering, and we welcome all to be a part of this process.

For more information or to get involved in the 2018 update of the CAIRC please contact me at yemrani@carollo.com.


Xavier Irias, P.E., M.ASCE
Chair, ASCE Region 9 Water and Environment Committee

On March 30, 2016, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced snow pack of essentially average for that time of year. This result was a far cry from the same time last year, when a dismal snowpack holding only 5% of average prompted Governor Brown to declare 25% mandatory statewide conservation as a fourth year of drought continued. Water storage is also showing a strong rebound, with the two largest reservoirs in the state, Shasta and Oroville, both above average for this time of year.

Despite the good news, DWR’s optimism about the State’s water outlook has been tempered with caution, given that nearly the entire state remains in drought accordingly the U.S. Drought Monitor. Frank Gerhke, chief of the California Cooperative Snow Surveys Program, said “While for many parts of the state there will be significant gains in both reservoir storage and stream flow, the effects of previous dry years will remain for now.”

On May 18, the State Water Resources Control Board is expected to modify the emergency regulations put in place last year and most recently extended on February 2. In the meantime, water agencies in the state face a variety of circumstances, with the outlook generally better in the north due to a series of winter and late spring storms. Some reservoirs are so full they’re on track to overflow, even as other parts of the state continue to struggle. As the State and water agencies plan for next season, they are also weighing reports that next year may be a “la Niña” year – which would correlate with lower-than-average levels of precipitation for southern California especially.

Whatever happens next, the last four years have been instructive. On the one hand, the drought’s duration at four years showed that the State needs to be prepared for lengthy dry periods. On the other hand, the huge success of conservation efforts – the 25% rationing goal was essentially met – signaled that water users are engaged and willing to aggressively conserve.

At this point, it appears that we are indeed headed out of the drought, albeit potentially at different rates in different places. The post-drought period will pose financial challenges to some water agencies, owing to the success of conservation measures, and with that success, a decline in revenues.

Beyond its immediate impacts, the drought focused attention on a host of pre-existing longer-term concerns such as groundwater depletion, water transfers, environmental and species protection, and climate change.

If you would like to learn more about the activities of the Region 9 Water & Environment Committee, please contact me at xavier.irias@ebmud.com

Back to top


Legislation Day Recap


 Craig A. Copelan, P.E., T.E., F.SEI for ASCE Region 9 Government Relations Committee

Civil engineers from across California convened in Sacramento on Wednesday May 18 to celebrate Infrastructure Week and to advocate for California infrastructure by visiting with their legislators during the ASCE Region 9 annual legislative day.  This year the event was a tremendous success with more than 50 members participating from the public and private sectors who shared a common message about the importance of renewing our infrastructure.  Highlights of the day included a public relations and legislative training session provided by ASCE staff followed by a keynote address by Assembly member Jim Frazier.  After a morning spent training and preparing, the participants visited the Capitol to meet with their legislators.   The event went very well and all involved felt that they had gained new insights into the importance of civil engineers being involved in the decision making process on infrastructure.  Each of the participants displayed great enthusiasm and a few served as good examples for their contributions during the legislative visits this year, Ms. Joyce Cheung (a first time participant) who works for GHD Engineering as a water resources engineer in their Santa Rosa office, and Mr. Darwin Vargas who works as a bridge engineer for Caltrans at their engineering service center in Sacramento.   

Engineering is about using science to find creative and practical solutions to problems. This can include providing thoughtful input to decision makers who are considering how to restore our infrastructure.  If you are interested in finding out how to become a voice for infrastructure restoration within your community check out ASCE’s key contact program which can provide you with opportunities to advocate for greater infrastructure funding and other issues of importance to the profession. http://www.asce.org/keycontacts.

In summary, the 2016 ASCE Region 9 Legislative Advocacy day was a great success, providing members with the opportunity to gain experience speaking about important technical issues impacting California’s infrastructure with their legislators. 

                  ASCE members visit the Assembly floor during the Region 9 Legislative Advocacy Day

Back to top


Legislative Update


Richard Markuson
Region 9 Legislative Advocate 

The State Legislature is in month six of its 2016 session, and many infrastructure issues – including the transportation special session – are still pending. The Legislature did pass a bi-partisan compromise on healthcare which leads some to believe a deal on the Governor’s transportation plan might be close at hand. The Fix Our Roads Coalition held a rally at the State Capitol on May 19 th in conjunction with an industry press conference.

Because of this lack of resolution, the California Transportation Commission will be forced to eliminate three quarters of a billion dollars in project work already programmed for the upcoming 2016 STIP because of declining revenues. Further, cities and counties have faced a similar reduction in revenues over the past few years and are eliminating important maintenance projects around the state. It remains to be seen if this will produce the necessary momentum to pass a new transportation package in California.

Assembly Member Rudy Salas has gutted AB 453 – a Bigelow bill on groundwater management – to authorize the Semitropic Water Storage District to impose fees and collect groundwater extraction information. This bill would authorize the district to impose fees on the extraction of groundwater from the basin to fund the costs of groundwater management and to require reporting of groundwater extractions. This bill would authorize the district to exercise these powers and authorities until a groundwater sustainability plan has been adopted for the area encompassing the district. He made the bill an urgency measure meaning he will need 2/3 vote in both houses to pass.

The Assembly Natural Resources Committee killed AB 1586 by Assembly Member Mathis that would have granted special CEQA protection to action or proceeding challenging the Temperance Flat Reservoir. In 2011, AB 900 (Buchanan) and SB 292 (Padilla) established expedited CEQA judicial review procedures for a limited number of projects. For AB 900, it was large-scale projects meeting extraordinary environmental standards and providing significant jobs and investment. For SB 292, it was a proposed downtown Los Angeles football stadium and convention center project achieving specified traffic and air quality mitigations. For these eligible projects, the bills provided for original jurisdiction by the Court of Appeal and a compressed schedule requiring the court to render a decision on any lawsuit within 175 days. AB 900's provision granting original jurisdiction to the Court of Appeal was invalidated in 2013 by a decision in the Alameda Superior Court in Planning and Conservation League v. State of California. The stadium project subject to SB 292 has not proceeded. In 2013, SB 743 (Steinberg) established special CEQA procedures modeled on SB 292 for the Sacramento Kings arena project. Like SB 292, SB 743 applied to a single project and included specified traffic and air quality mitigations. SB 743 included a provision limiting injunctive relief which is nearly identical to the provision in this bill. Alas, water storage is less important than a basketball arena – so no-go for AB 1586. Mathis also authored AB 1589 that would, for the duration of a state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor due to drought conditions, have exempted from the requirements of CEQA certain projects that are undertaken, carried out, or approved by a public agency to mitigate those drought conditions. This bill died without a hearing as did his AB 1590 that would have added an additional 4 members to the State Water Resources Control Board appointed by the Legislature.

Assemblyman Kevin McCarty’s AB 1886 that changes the current CEQA exemption for transit priority projects meeting certain requirements, is stalled in Assembly Natural Resources.

Assembly Member Ling-Ling Chang’s AB 1925 that would establish goals to desalinate drinking water per year by the years 2025 and 2030 is moving with bi-partisan support.

Senator Richard Roth is author of SB 1085 that will require licensees under the BPELSG, upon renewal of their license, to complete a board-administered online assessment to reinforce their knowledge of laws applicable to their practice area. It provides that failure to complete the assessment within the allowed timeframe is cause for disciplinary action but provides that failure to complete this assessment does not prohibit renewal.

Senator Cannella’s SB 1099 that would have expanded the definitions of civil engineering and land surveying to include laying out through the use of mathematics or geometric measurements the alignment or elevation for specified items, determining the configuration or contour of the benthic surface below water bodies or the measuring for volumetric calculations of earthwork, as specified, and making specified determinations by applying the principles of remote sensing has died. His other bill – SB 1165 – that extends the delinquent license reinstatement timeframe of a professional engineer and land surveyor's license from three to five years after the expiration of the license – is moving and is in the Assembly.

Senator Jerry Hill amended his SB 1195 to grant authority to the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to review a decision or other action, except as specified, of a board within the DCA (like BPELSG) to determine whether it unreasonably restrains trade and to approve, disapprove, or modify the board decision or action.


To California Transportation Commission: Lucy Dunn (reappointed), Coto de Caza, President of Orange County Business Council

Recent Reports

The Legislative Analyst’s Office released Options for Funding Water-Related Activities. This brief reviews existing funding for water-related activities, cost pressures and funding challenges, important considerations around water funding options, and identifies key legislative options to increase funding for water-related activities. State-level options include regulatory fees, polluter charges, a water use tax, a broad special tax, or an increase to General Fund spending levels. Local-level options include water related fees or differential water rates via constitutional amendment.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) released its first-ever short-term forecast of the potential risks over the next year in the central and eastern United States from natural earthquakes, as well as induced earthquakes brought on by human activity. The report documents concerns that one cause of induced seismicity may be underground injection of wastewater. The report predicts that portions of Kansas and Oklahoma have a 5 to 12% chance of experiencing a damaging earthquake in 2016 and that 7.9 million people live in areas of the United States with increased risks of induced seismicity.

TomTom released TomTom Traffic Index: Measuring Congestion Worldwide The navigation products company TomTom has released their 5 th annual Traffic Index, providing detailed congestion statistics for 295 cities across 38 countries. Los Angeles was ranked as the 10 th most congested city in the world, and was the only US city to make the top 10. San Francisco and San Jose were also marked as highly congested, and all three were in the top 5 of congested US cities.

Back to top


The Law & Civil Engineering


Gene Bass

Written contracts are often very short stating essentially nothing more than the names of the parties, a brief description of the work to be performed and the price. Notwithstanding the brevity of some written contracts, or even the complete absence of any writing in the case of an oral contract, there are many terms and conditions that apply to the contractual relationship. These terms are the implied conditions of the contract.

In general, all things that in law or usage are considered as incidental to a contract, or as necessary to carry it into effect, are implied in the contract. A contract is considered as including not just the terms that have been expressly stated but also those implied provisions indispensable to effectuate the intention of the parties.

Some of the implied terms of construction contracts include the following. The contractor will perform his work in a good and workmanlike manner. There is always a duty to perform the work with reasonable care, skill, reasonable experience and faithfulness. There is an implied warranty that the plans and specifications provided for a project will be workable, correct and sufficient. When information is available to the owner of difficulties likely to be encountered on the job there is an implied condition in the contract that the owner will impart that knowledge, and disclose fully and not mislead the contractor as to conditions by only partial disclosures.

Unless the contract states otherwise, the owner is required to furnish whatever easements, permits and documentation as are necessary for the construction to proceed in an orderly manner.

It is implied that the owner will not hinder, interfere with or delay the contractor's performance. A party to a construction contract has the obligation not to deprive the other party of the benefits of the contract. There is am implied obligation of good faith and fair dealing between the parties. Where some action is left to the discretion of one of the parties or his agent there is an obligation to exercise the discretion reasonably and in good faith.

There are very important terms implied in all construction contracts which affect the rights and obligations of the parties. Those involved in the construction process should be aware of those terms and conduct themselves accordingly. To avoid conflicts and disputes during construction, the contract should clearly and completely state the rights and obligations of the parties. Say what it is and say what it isn't is not a bad policy and contributes toward clarity.

Back to top


Officer Contacts

(Those listed in blue are considered Section Board Members with voting authority. Everyone else on this list is invited to our meetings to give an update on their subsidiary organization)


President   Louay Owaidat lowaidat@magnuspacific.com  916-233-9037
President Elect    Vacant    
Senior Director  Marie Silveira marie.silveira@jacobs.com  916-929-3323
Junior Director Kyle Dushane kdushane@sageengineers.com 916-677-4782
Secretary Dr. Ben Fell fellb@csus.edu 916-278-8139
Treasurer Jafar Faghih treasurer@asce-sacto.org 916-679-8864
Past President Kyle Sanford kyle.sanford@hdrinc.com 916-817-4968 
Executive Director Thor Larsen thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-296-9856
YMF Board Rep Mike Konieczki konieczki@ford-consulting.com 916-447-8779
Region 9 Chair Jay Higgins  jayhiggins896@gmail.com  818-406-4896
Region 9 Governor Oscar Serrano oserrano@colusa-nsn.gov 530-458-8231
Egrs. w/o Borders Megan LeRoy megan.leroy@kimley-horn.com 707-291-5629
Ladies Auxiliary Marlene Tobia marlenetobia@att.net 916-492-2181
EOG/Webmaster Michelle Zeiss asce@asce-sacto.org 916-961-2723
Capital Branch Adam Killinger adam.killinger@crawford-inc.com  916-455-4225 
Central Valley Branch Jeff Mueller jmueller@ksninc.com 209-946-0268
Feather River Branch  Radley Ott rott@northstareng.com        530-893-1600
Shasta Branch Vacant    


Coasts, Oceans Ports & Rivers Inst. Zia Zafir zzafir@kleinfelder.com 916-366-1701
Construction Inst.    Brad Quon bquon@cts-1.com 916-871-2080
Environ. & Water Resources Inst.  Rich Juricic rjuricic@pacbell.net 916-492-2181 
Geo-Institute Kartik Atyam  kartik.atyam@aecom.com 916-679-2005
Structural Engineering Inst. Ahilan Selladurai  ahilan.selladurai@tylin.com 916-349-4266
Transportation & Development Inst.   Vacant     


College Accreditation Joan Al-Kazily  alkazily@sbcglobal.net  530-756-9530
Disaster Preparedness Vacant    
Education & Awards Thor Larsen thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-973-0356
Government Relations Craig Copelan ccopelan95694@yahoo.com 530-908-4790
History & Heritage Martin Farber  kowsoi@juno.com  707-253-9606
Membership-Life Mem. Thor Larsen thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-973-0356
Scholarship Eric Polson polsonengineering@earthlink.net  916-801-6290
Sustainability Jennifer Buchanan jbuchanan@watearth.com 916-240-7010


California State University, Sacramento William Cope csusascepresident@gmail.com  
University of the Pacific Hayley Palilla ascepresidentuop@gmail.com  916-934-8778
University of California, Davis Harrison Kwan ucd.asce.president@gmail.com  650-867-7606
California State University, Chico Anthony W. Burgess chicoasce@gmail.com  707-954-5440


Back to top


Event Flyers


Back to top