June 2017 Print

Calendar of Events

YMF Picnic

All Welcome No RSVP
William Land Park Group Area 22
3800 Landpark Drive
Sacramento, CA

EWB Chapter Meeting

All Welcome
Cabana Winery Wine Bar and Kitchen
5610 Elvas Avenue
Sacrament, CA

Capital Branch Speaker Lunch

Topic: River Forecasting in California
Blue Prynt Restaurant & Bar
815 11th Street
Sacramento, CA

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Call for Individual Award Nominations


Do you know someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty for the civil engineering profession? This is your chance to publicly recognize that individual at the ASCE Sacramento Section Individual Awards & Installation Banquet to be held in the Fall of 2017. The specific date and details of this event will be announced soon. 

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

To Make a Nomination

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.

Questions? Please contact Tony Quintrall, ASCE Sacramento Section Senior Director, 
tony@larsenwurzel.com Please submit your nomination by August 4, 2017.

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Call For New Section Officers


The nominating committee for the Sacramento Section of ASCE is seeking candidates for the following positions to start in October 2017 through September 2018:

    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 Elias Karam at elias.karam@jacobs.com.

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Capital Branch Activities


Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Blue Prynt Restaurant & Bar
815 11th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
11:30 PM Networking 12:00 PM Lunch and Presentation

Topic: A Wild Winter for River Forecasting in California
Speaker: Alan Haynes, NOAA/NWS, California Nevada River Forecast Center

Registration Link:



The 2016-2017 water year was an active one for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s California Nevada River Forecast Center.  A series of warm, wet atmospheric river systems impacted much of California.  Runoff from these atmospheric rivers caused flooding and filled many reservoirs that had been drawn down after several years of drought.    Additionally, high elevation snow accumulations in the Sierra Nevada guaranteed a high and prolonged snowmelt runoff period for the spring and summer which is still occurring in June.   This presentation will feature some of the highlights of this past runoff season as experienced by the California Nevada River Forecast Center. 

About the speaker:

Mr. Alan Haynes is the Service Coordination Hydrologist for the National Weather Service’s California Nevada River Forecast Center (CNRFC) in Sacramento.  He serves as the primary external liaison for the CNRFC, connecting partner agencies and other customers to the CNRFC’s products and services and gathering feedback to improve the effectiveness of these products and services.  Mr. Haynes has 28 years of experience with the National Weather Service, including 16 years with the CNRFC.  He holds both B.S. and M.S. degrees in Meteorology from the University of Utah.


The ASCE Capital Branch is pleased to announce an opportunity for the Civil Engineering Firms, Contractors and Vendors to sponsor ASCE’s monthly Luncheons. The sponsoring company will have the opportunity to make a brief presentation that is 3 to 5 minutes long and is supported by a few slides in PowerPoint format. This opportunity will provide the sponsoring company a great marketing opportunity to the local engineering community. For further information, please contact Jai Singh at (916) 580-9725.

Past Meeting Sponsor:

Thank you to Greve, Clifford, Wengel and Paras, LLP" ( http://gcwp.com/) for sponsoring the ASCE Sacramento Capital Branch April Luncheon Meeting.

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

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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 Rhett Kilgore at rkilgore@siegfriedeng.com.

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Feather River Branch Activities

For more information about future meetings and activities, please contact, Jim Richards at jim.richards@prodigy.net, or 530-762-9464.

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Shasta Branch Activities

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

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Younger Members Forum (YMF)

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Engineers Without Borders


Wednesdsay, June 21, 2017, 6 pm
Cabana Winery Wine Bar and Kitchen
5610 Elvas Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95819.

All Welcome

We are looking for a fundraising chair for our fundraising committee. Each year EWB SVPC throws a silent auction fundraiser with either dinner or drinks and appetizers. We are looking for an individual to run our fundraising committee.


Indonesia Project

We are looking for international development lead and more technical mentors. The Indonesia project is planning an assessment trip for a water supply project this upcoming summer. Feel free to reach Anindito Wibowoputro at awoputro@ucdavis.edu

Peru Project 

Peru's traveling mentor got very ill, and they are looking for some mentor help. The Peru team is planning an implementation trip for spring boxes this upcoming summer as well as assessing the feasibility of a water storage tank.

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Continuing Education



ASCE announces new asynchronous online instructor-led programs in which you move through a 6 or 12-week learning experience with your peers. The Guided Online Course content includes recorded video lectures, interactive exercises, case studies, live webinars and weekly discussions to help you master the course material. Gain unlimited, 24/7 accessibility to weekly modules. Complete coursework at the time and pace that is most convenient for you, using your own devices. Click here to see full list of courses.

Buy 2 Registrations and get the 3rd Free!
To receive this discount, email contact information for all registrants toguidedonlinecourses@asce.org and a registration confirmation email will be sent to each attendee. Or call 1-800-548-2723 to register, and mention the code GOCFREE. To inquire about larger group discounts, write to guidedonlinecourses@asce.org.


Pumping Systems Design for Civil Engineers
August 18, 2017, Sacramento, CA
Click here for more information


You've asked for it and we listened!  Pay 1 low rate, and gain unlimited access to your choice of 10 on-demand webinars from ASCE's complete catalog, during a 365-day subscription period. Order your on-demand webinar subscription today!  For individual use only, not to be used for groups.

  • Save up to 63%
  • Earn up to 15 CEUs/PDHs
  • Pay one low fee 
  • 10 on-demand webinars of your choice
  • State-of-the-practice programs taught by leading practitioners
  • A convenient, effective, affordable way to earn CEUs/PDHs for P.E. license renewal


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.

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Environmental Water Resources Institute (EWRI)


Fred Blickle, P.E., M. ASCE
Chair, EWRI-San Francisco Chapter, and Principal, GHD Inc.

Or more appropriately put, we’ve had water on our minds a good deal lately at the Environmental Water Resources Institute, San Francisco Chapter (EWRI-SF).  Various challenges and issues surfaced of late that has brought water to the front page for many people considering the issues with too much water in too short a period of time in California.  The Oroville Dam, north of Sacramento, was bulging at the seams earlier this year when water had to be released from an emergency spillway to protect the dam from collapsing.  200,000 people were evacuated from the area until engineers could determine that the surrounding residents were no longer at risk from dam collapse.  The release caused extensive damage to the dam spillway, with current estimates of $275 million price tag for spillway repairs that need to be completed before the start of the next rainy season (November 1st). 

Many hill slides and road slides occurred throughout the State earlier this year, as a combination of water-logged soils and gravity took over and moved soil and rock to places where people would rather not have it.  Whole football fields in San Bernardino County slid!  Big Sur was closed due to slides across the Pacific Coast Highway.  Numerous other roads have been impacted from these slides.  It’s no wonder, as all weather stations across the State are reporting well over 100% of the average rainfall year to date for this Water Year (which runs October 1st through September 30th).  Some are reporting over double the average yearly rainfall!  For areas that are not accustomed to a lot of rainfall, this causes problems.  Average rainfall for the Bay Area is about 24 inches per water year, compared to the State of Florida which has a statewide average of nearly 30 more inches.  Florida is however much more accustomed to managing all that water’s impact on their land and structures.

The city of Los Angeles is presently wondering where they are going to put all the water that will be heading their way in a few weeks when snowfall melt reaches its peak.  Squaw Valley is staying open for skiing past July 4 this year.  What is going on?  Didn’t we just endure harsh water restrictions in 2015, and didn’t we pass Proposition 1 to the tune of $7.5 billion because we were running out of water?  El Nino is what’s going on, and we are experiencing unusually high precipitation on the west coast currently, although this may soon return to the typical dryer climate cycles.  El Nino, which means The Little Boy or Christ Child in Spanish, was originally recognized by fisherman off the western coast of South America with the appearance of unusually warm water in the southern Pacific Ocean that occurred around December.  According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), El Nino begins when the Humboldt Current, which flows south to north along the western coast of South America and turns west at Ecuador and runs at Galapagos, stops for some unknown reason.  This starts a chain reaction that spans around the world causing warmer, wetter weather in some locations, and drier hotter weather in others.  These changing weather patterns can result in huge changes in crop production, and massive die-off in certain animal species, due to breaks in the food chain.  El Nino generally lasts for 9 to 12 months, but can extend for years.  It is followed by La Nina, periods of below-average sea surface temperatures across the east-central Equatorial Pacific. 

EWRI-SF and the ASCE-Golden Gate Branch recently hosted dinner meeting speakers author Rita Schmidt Sudman and artist Stephanie Taylor, who had published the book “Water, More or Less”.  The speakers profiled a few examples from their very interesting book which features information from interviews with twenty top water leaders in the state; representing diverse views, insights, and options for solutions.  Stephanie’s paintings and photography brought life and impact to the topics of which Rita spoke.  Both Institute members and other attendees found the meeting very informative.

Water issues were also the focus of the EWRI World Environmental & Water Resources Congress which was held in Sacramento, California from May 21-25, 2017.  The overall theme was “Creative Solutions for a Changing Environment”, with a primary focus on water and weather cycles, and a keynote speaker being Dr. Marty Ralph, Director of the Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes, UC San Diego Scripps Institute of Oceanography.  More information from the Congress can be found at www.ewricongress.org 

Created in 1999, EWRI is the recognized leader within ASCE for the integration of technical expertise and public policy in the planning and design, construction, and operation of environmentally sound and sustainable infrastructure impacting air, land and water resources.  http://www.asce.org/environmental-and-water-resources-engineering/environmental-and-water-resources-institute/

For more information about the EWRI-SF, please contact Fred Blickle, PE, Chair, EWRI San Francisco Section at fblickle@ghd.com

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ASCE America’s Infrastructure Report Card



David M. Schwegel PE
ASCE Region 9 Transportation Committee Chair


The warping of tracks, the derailment of trains, and the disruption of schedules at New York City’s Penn Station is a reminder of what happens when decision makers neglect infrastructure. Check out the Report Card for America’s Infrastructure at www.infrastructurereportcard.org. It gave Mass Transit (including Passenger Rail) a D-. Had decision makers actually acted on report card findings, then catastrophes like the above-mentioned one at Penn Station could have been avoided.

Closer to home, we saw how the failure of a spillway at Oroville Dam during the 2017 floods led to the mass evacuation of well over 100,000 residents. Had decision makers actually acted aggressively on the findings from the 2012 Report Card for California’s Infrastructure www.ascecareportcard.org, then the Oroville Dam catastrophe could have been avoided.

The California construction boom so far has largely bypassed our Section as evidenced by the lack of construction cranes (0 in Sacramento versus over 40 in Los Angeles), the lack of progress on the Railyards development (0 construction cranes 8 years after the New York Times deemed it “America’s Largest Urban Infill Project”), and the low representation of projects from our Section in the most recent Region 9 Awards Banquet. According to the Sacramento Business Journal, Sacramento is the second most overlooked region in the nation. Therefore, it is imperative that we take ownership of this situation by drawing decision makers’ attention to Report Card findings and performing a comprehensive evaluation of the infrastructure within the geographic boundaries of our Section. Our Section is vast, essentially covering Northeastern California from Modesto to the Oregon State Line and from Davis to the Nevada State Line.

While half-cent sales tax measures were turned down by voters in both Sacramento (66 percent) and Placer (64 percent) Counties (67 percent needed for passage), there is a “silver lining” in Stanislaus County where voters passed their half-cent sales tax measure (despite considerable poverty) and $400 million of the Senate Bill 1 (SB 1) (funds $52 billion in transportation projects over the next decade) proceeds were allocated to Senator Anthony Cannella’s District (a Republican and a Civil Engineer). Specifically these proceeds would go toward the extension of the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) Commuter Train giving Modesto residents improved access to abundant and high-paying employment opportunities in the Silicon Valley. 

At the most recent Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) (www.sacog.org) Board of Directors Meeting, it was pointed out that the Sacramento Region exports approximately 80,000 residents to employment opportunities in the Bay Area every day. At that same Board of Directors Meeting, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg requested presentations on what the passage of SB 1 means for the Sacramento Region. This is a great opportunity for Capital Branch Members to educate decision makers (namely mayors and county supervisors within the 6-county SACOG Region – Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Yolo, Yuba, and Sutter) on how the upcoming Sacramento Infrastructure Report Card can be used as a tool to make the case for investing in the SACOG Region. Central Valley Brach Members could make related presentations to the San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) (www.sjcog.org) and Stanislaus Council of Governments (StanCOG) (www.stancog.org). Feather River Branch Members could present to Butte County Associated Governments (BCAG) (www.bcag.org). To participate in the public comment portion of these meetings, go to the appropriate Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) website, find out when their next Board of Directors Meeting takes place, show up early, fill out a request to speak form, and then give them your best in 200 words or less.

The Sacramento Section also has an immediate need for Subject Matter Experts to step forward and participate in the actual evaluation of the infrastructure within the geographic boundaries of the Section. The Infrastructure Report Card (IRC) Committee has already formulated categories and identified source documents. This IRC Committee is in the process of identifying key decision makers who could serve on an Expert Advisory Panel to independently assess the grades that are determined by the Subject Matter Experts. Specifically, the Subject Matter Experts from the Sacramento Section would be reviewing the source documents, filling out evaluation forms, and assigning grades consistent with criteria provided by the Society. If you are interested in serving as a Subject Matter Expert, then please email Infrastructure Report Card Chair Dr. Om Prakash, Ph.D., P.E., QSD, M.ASCE at oprakash@westconsultants.com.

Benefits of Report Card involvement include establishing yourself as a Subject Matter Expert within your area of expertise while encouraging decision makers to use the Report Card as a tool for stimulating investment in our highly overlooked region. Critical investment decisions are being made now that could tie our region much more closely into the statewide construction boom currently underway. Region 9 is in the early planning stages for the production and release of the next California Infrastructure Report Card, which will be largely dependent on our efforts at the Section level. We hope to have the Sacramento Report Card wrapped up by late summer. The time to act is now! 

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Region 9


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


As of April 26, 2017, the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) announced snow packs of 150% to 210% of the average for this time of year and in addition, we’ve received record amounts of rainfall this season.  On April 7, Governor Brown issued an executive order to end the drought state of emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water projects will continue to help address diminished water supplies. In those areas, reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful use remain in effect.  Throughout the state, current surface water storage in major State Water Project reservoirs ranges from 44% to 99% of historic average. 

During the wettest months, many reservoirs exceeded their capacity resulting in spillway releases, which for some facilities had not occurred in decades.  Although a welcome sign from a water supply viewpoint, the spills raised new concerns with statewide dam safety.  Oroville Dam, owned and operated by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), is the tallest dam in the U.S.  At 770 feet in height and capable of impounding more than 3.5 million acre feet of water, Oroville dam provides water supply, hydropower generation and flood control for the region and much of the state.  Heavy rains between mid-January to mid-February led to record releases of water.  During this time, a large crater formed in the dam’s main spillway. In an attempt to minimize further damage, flows were reduced.  As storms continued, lake levels rose, necessitating the use of the dam’s emergency spillway on February 11th, for the first time in its nearly 50-year history.  The releases caused erosion, resulting in a concern for the integrity of the structure, and on February 12th authorities issued a mandatory evacuation of over 180,000 people in downstream communities.  The root causes of failure have been studied and no doubt will lead to a better understanding of dam design and inspection practices.  The state legislature has engaged.  Assembly Bill 884 (Levine) Dams and Reservoirs: Inspections, AB 1270 (Gallagher) Dams and reservoirs inspections and reporting, and AB 1271 (Gallagher) Dams and reservoirs, have been introduced to address dam safety practices and funding. 

Funding in this area is clearly needed, as ASCE’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card gives dams “D” rating.  According to the Report Card, the average age of the 90,580 dams in the country is 56 years.  As our population grows and development continues, the overall number of high hazard potential dams is increasing, with the number climbing to nearly 15,500 in 2016.  Due to the lack of investment, the number of deficient high hazard potential dams has also climbed to an estimated 2,170 or more, according to ASCE’s Dams summary for the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card.  The Report Card estimates that it will require an investment of $45 billion to repair aging, yet critical, high hazard dams and other industry reports indicate that costs may be even higher.  The Governor’s four-point plan to bolster dam safety and flood protection in the state proposed a $437 million investment in near-term flood control and emergency response actions, which only scratches the surface of the overall infrastructure need.

As California experiences the most varied climate in the nation, it is also important that we continue to stay focused on integrated regional water management, groundwater management and conservation.  As the range of climate variance is expected to increase in the future, it is important that the Engineering community continue to look at ways to balance flood control with water supply through focus on forecast-informed reservoir operations.  Real-time reservoir operations using actual watershed data on snowpack and soil moisture combined with improved forecasting of Atmospheric Rivers can improve operations of multi-purpose reservoirs with little capital investment.

Our varied climate and diversity throughout the state has also highlighted the need to provide sustainable water for disadvantaged communities.  This past year has seen increased legislative support and funding, which has led to the implementation of projects to inventory and improve water supplies for small rural communities.

The recent drought highlighted the need for a multi-pronged approach to water supply resiliency.  DWR has continued to implement the new and expanded measures identified in the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) including developing groundwater basin boundaries, adopting regulations for implementing Groundwater Sustainability Plans, identifying over-drafted basins and potential sources and specific projects for groundwater replenishment.  The first major deadline in SGMA is approaching on July 1 of this year for all high and medium priority groundwater basins.  Groundwater Sustainability Agencies must be formed by then and must cover the entire basin with no underlap or overlap of responsible agency boundaries.  Groundwater basins missing this target will likely see enforcement intervention by the State Water Resources Control Board.  Even if governess issues are resolved, many areas, notably in the San Joaquin and Tulare Basins are expected to experience a difficulty in providing sufficient recharge supplies to offset historical pumping demands.

In addition to the myriad new investments required to maintain reliable water supply, flood protection, wastewater treatment and recycling, and protection of our environment, significant additional investments are needed to simply maintain existing infrastructure in a reliable, sustainable fashion.   Much of the California’s existing water infrastructure is at or near the end of its useful life, and agencies lack the funding for replacing this infrastructure.  This investment need adds to the burden to construct new infrastructure to maintain pace with economic growth while balancing environmental needs.

It is clear that the State is in need of additional infrastructure investment, and ASCE’s Report Card has helped build public awareness of that need.  In addition, the advocacy of civil engineers expressed through participation in the annual ASCE D.C. and Sacramento Legislative Fly-Ins, and in participating in the ASCE’s Key Contact program, is needed to ensure that the need is heard and understood by policy-makers and lawmakers.  The other challenge for us is to continue to make the best use of the funds that we have.  The ASCE’s Grand Challenge (www.ascegrandchallenge.com) calls on us to rethink what is possible within our areas of practice.  With a goal of reducing infrastructure life cycle costs by 50% by 2025, that initiative challenges us to optimize the size, scope and character of infrastructure for society. 

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

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Legislative Update


Richard Markuson
Region 9 Legislative Advocate 

The Legislature passed and Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1 and four companion measures. Only one Republican ended up voting for SB 1. Two Democrats voted NO and one – Assembly Member Rudy Salas, was subsequently removed as chairman of the Assembly Business and Professions Committee. You can see the votes for SB 1 here.

The legislation, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, invests $52.4 billion over the next decade - split equally between state and local projects: 

Fix Local Streets and Transportation Infrastructure (50 percent):

  •       $15 billion in "Fix-It-First" local road repairs, including fixing potholes
  •       $7.5 billion to improve local public transportation
  •       $2 billion to support local "self-help" communities that are making their own investments in transportation improvements
  •       $1 billion to improve infrastructure that promotes walking and bicycling
  •       $825 million for the State Transportation Improvement Program local contribution
  •       $250 million in local transportation planning grants.

Fix State Highways and Transportation Infrastructure (50 percent):

  •       $15 billion in "Fix-it-First" highway repairs, including smoother pavement
  •       $4 billion in bridge and culvert repairs
  •       $3 billion to improve trade corridors
  •       $2.5 billion to reduce congestion on major commute corridors
  •       $1.4 billion in other transportation investments, including $275 million for highway and intercity-transit improvements,

The packaged signed by Brown included:

  •       ACA 5 by Assembly Member Jim Frazier that, if approved by the voters, would amend the California Constitution to prohibit the Legislature from borrowing revenues from fees and taxes imposed on vehicles or their use or operation, and from using those revenues other than as specifically permitted in the Constitution.
  •       SB 131 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review - State public employment: memorandum of understanding,
  •       SB 132 by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review - Budget Act of 2016. SB 132 includes almost $1.0 billion in funding for specific projects, and
  •       SB 496 by Senator Anthony Cannella (R-Ceres) - Indemnity: design professionals. The bill provides that a design professional, shall only have the duty to defend an indemnitee for claims against the indemnitee that arise out of, pertain to, or relate to, the negligence, recklessness, or willful misconduct of the design professional.

Other Legislation

The Assembly Local Government Committee approved ASCE supported AB 851 (Caballero D) that allows additional types of special districts to use the design-build procurement method that is authorized for specified local agencies, and allows cities, counties and special districts to use design-build for additional types of projects.

The Assembly Natural Resources Committee rejected AB 1301 (Fong R) that would have established the mission of the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies (JLCCCP), as specified, and required the Chair of the Air Resources Board (ARB) to annually appear before the JLCCCP to report on cost and technological feasibility of greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction measures. The bill had substantial support and no listed opposition by failed on a party-line vote.

The Senate Veterans Affairs Committee approved ASCE supported SB 27 (Morrell R) that will require every board under the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) to grant a waiver for the application and initial licensing fee to an honorably discharged veteran.

The Senate Appropriations Committee sent ASCE supported SB 436 (Allen D) to Suspense. The bill establishes the California STEM Professional Teaching Pathway to recruit, train, support, and retain qualified science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals as mathematics and science teachers in California. The bill includes an unspecified Proposition 98 General Fund appropriation, beginning in the 2017-18 fiscal year, for purposes of this bill.  It is likely the bill would result in one-time costs of $5 million and ongoing costs of between $500,000 to $1 million (Proposition 98 General Fund).

Brown Lifts Drought Emergency Order.

Following unprecedented water conservation and plentiful winter rain and snow, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. ended the drought state of emergency in most of California, while maintaining water reporting requirements and prohibitions on wasteful practices, such as watering during or right after rainfall. “This drought emergency is over, but the next drought could be around the corner,” said Brown. “Conservation must remain a way of life.” Executive Order B-40-17 lifts the drought emergency in all California counties except Fresno, Kings, Tulare and Tuolumne, where emergency drinking water projects will continue to help address diminished groundwater supplies. The order also rescinds two emergency proclamations from January and April 2014 and four drought-related executive orders issued in 2014 and 2015. Release here.

Governor’s Appointments

Michelle Banonis, 40, of Sacramento, has been appointed assistant chief deputy director at the California Department of Water Resources. Banonis has been area manager for the Bay Delta Office at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation since 2016, where she has served in several positions since 2009, including, special assistant to the regional director, California WaterFix program manager, restoration goal supervisor for the San Joaquin River Restoration Program and natural resources specialist.

Recent Reports

Six of the ten cities with the worst air pollution are in CA. According to State of the Air 2017 by American Lung Association. “California’s smoggy reputation appears to be deserved: Six of the USA’s 10 cities with the worst air pollution are in the Golden State…. In addition to the worst spikes of short-term pollution—led by Bakersfield—the report also lists the cities with the worst overall year-round pollution—led by Visalia/Hanford, Calif.—and the worst ozone pollution, led by the Los Angeles/Long Beach area. California’s soaring population and topography allow air pollution to overcome the state’s strict environmental laws, said Paul Billings of the American Lung Association. The boom in people brings with it an increase in cars and trucks on the road, and many of the people live in valleys and basins, right where pollution tends to settle…. Overall, the report is a mixture of good and bad news: While year-round pollution has improved, short-term spikes of intensely polluted air have increased. ” (USA TodayApr. 19, 2017).

50-state survey of clean energy-related economic policies. The U.S. Department of Energy released Clean Energy-Related Economic Development Policy Across the States: Establishing a 2016 Baseline. “States implement clean energy-related economic development policy to spur innovation, manufacturing, and to address other priorities…. To date, no one source has collected all of the clean energy-related economic development polices available across the 50 states. Establishing a baseline of existing policy is a critical first step in determining the potential holistic impact of these policies on driving economic growth in a state. The goal of this report is to document the clean energy-related economic policy landscape … with a focus on new or existing [clean energy] manufacturing.” California has the 4th-most number of total clean energy polices with 35. (New York is first with 42.)

Best practices for identifying public infrastructure projects. Brookings Institution released Budgeting for Investment. “There is a strong consensus that the country needs to do a better job investing in public infrastructure. One issue with making smart infrastructure investment is that the budgetary process does a poor job differentiating between spending that will generate future returns from spending more generally. This study provides a set of best practices that the author argues could allow budget planners to better identify innovative public investments.”

Transferring CO River water for specific area of need explored. Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment released Colorado River Basin Environmental Water Transfers Scorecard. “The Colorado River and its tributaries support more than 35 million people and irrigate more than four million acres of farmland. At the same time, the river supports 30 fish species found nowhere else on earth and inspires millions of visitors and residents alike with its sheer beauty. However, growing water scarcity caused by increased water use, hydrologic variability and climate change loom over all the Colorado River provides…. This report focuses on one set of tools for reallocating water to one specific area of water need: water for rivers, streams, wetlands, and the aquatic species that depend on them.” California ranked No. 2 in this report’s Environmental Water Transfer Scorecard, which uses a numerical scoring framework to rank the ease or difficulty in state laws or policies regarding environmental water transfers. 

Computer model predicts accelerated So. CA beach erosion Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface released A Model Integrating Longshore and Cross-Shore Processes for Predicting Long-Term Shoreline Response to Climate Change. “Using a newly-developed computer model called ‘CoSMoS-COAST’ (Coastal Storm Modeling System – Coastal One-line Assimilated Simulation Tool) scientists predict that with limited human intervention, 31 to 67% of Southern California beaches may become completely eroded (up to existing coastal infrastructure or sea-cliffs) by the year 2100 under scenarios of sea-level rise of one to two meters…. Although a majority (72%) of beaches in Southern California show historical trends of accretion or getting larger (due to large artificial beach nourishments since the 1930s), future predictions indicate that nearly all of the beaches will experience erosion (will get smaller) due to accelerated sea-level rise.”

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The Law & Civil Engineering


Gene Bass

A particular characteristic of the statutorily created legal remedies is that they can require a precise series of steps that must be taken for enforcement A “dotting of the I's and crossing of the t's” is definitely the rule. The concept behind the rigid application of “follow the rules” is that the remedies were created by stature and are in addition to the normal applicable remedies. If one does not comply with all the requirements of the statutory remedy, usually all is not lost, hence more rigid adherence can be justified.

There can be situations, however, where the statutory remedies can be all that is left. For example, where the non-paying party goes bankrupt, all hope of payment can be wiped out. If there is a mechanic's lien, stop notice or payment bond right, the day can be saved and payment can be received provided the claimant has complied all the requirements for enforcement.

A paving subcontractor was not paid for improvements constructed as part of a subdivision. Both the general contractor and the developer went bankrupt. There was a payment bond, however, applicable to the “public works” of improvement including the streets that were required to be installed and paid for by the developer as part of the subdivision approval.

The paving subcontractor filed a lawsuit against the payment bond. The trial court ruled against the subcontractor, however, and the case was appealed. The appellate court agreed with the trial court's decision and the paving subcontractor was denied any legal remedy to collect against the bond on its unpaid contract.

The subcontractor was denied recovery because of its failure to comply with all the various notices and time limitations required to enforce a public works payment bond. A public works payment bond requires that a “20-day public work preliminary bond notice ” be served. The notice must be served by prescribed methods,and within stated time limits upon the general contractor and the bonding company and must contain specific information . The paving subcontractor did not serve a “20-day public work preliminary bond notice ” but rather served a “20 day preliminary notice” applicable to private works of improvement. That private notice did not require service on the bonding company. In addition, the subcontractor failed to comply with the various time limitations applicable to service of the bond notice and filing of the complaint associated with the public works payment bond. The subcontractor argued that service of the notice applicable to private works, substantially complied with the public works bond notice requirements. The appellate court disagreed

It was apparent that the paving subcontractor did not understand or appreciate the type of bond that was on the project. That misunderstanding resulted in the subcontractor not being paid for any of the contract work performed and, in addition, incurring the expense of the various filing fees, attorney fees and costs incurred with the trial court and appellate court proceedings. An expensive lesson.

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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   Elias Karam elias.karam@jacobs.com 209-481-6857
President Elect   Adam Killinger adam.killinger@crawford-inc.com 951-265-5289
Senior Director  Kyle Dushane kdushane@sageengineers.com 916-677-4782
Junior Director Tony Quintrall anthony.quintrall@aecom.com 916-993-7616
Secretary Dr. Ben Fell fellb@csus.edu 916-278-8139
Treasurer Jafar Faghih treasurer@asce-sacto.org 916-679-8864
Past President Louay Owaidat louaywaidat@gleis.com  916-462-6420
Executive Director Marie Silveira marie.silveira@jacobs.com   916-296-9856
YMF Board Rep Guy Hopes guy.hopes@erm.com 707-685-3015
Region 9 Chair Jay Higgins  jayhiggins896@gmail.com  818-406-4896
Region 9 Governor Thor Larsen thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-973-0356
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 Dr. Om Prakash oprakash@westconsultants.com  916-802-6140
Central Valley Branch Rhett Kilgore rkilgore@siegfriedeng.com 209-943-2021
Feather River Branch  Jim Richards jim.richards@prodigy.net 530-762-9464
Shasta Branch Susan Goodwin sgoodwin@vestra.com 530-223-2585 


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 Juricich rjuricich@pacbell.net 916-492-2181 
Geo-Institute Kartk Atyam  kartk.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 John Andrew john.andrew@water.ca.gov 916-651-9657
Education & Awards Thor Larsen thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-973-0356
Government Relations Craig Copelan ccopelan95694@yahoo.com 530-908-4790
History & Heritage Thor Larsen  thor.larsen@hdrinc.com  916-973-0356
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 Vince Anicich csusascepresident@gmail.com  
University of the Pacific Joey McElhany j_mcelhany@u.pacific.edu  
University of California, Davis Abdulla Alishaq ucd.asce.president@gmail.com  
California State University, Chico Grant Rose chicoasce@gmail.com  


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