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Engineering Excellence Award

Blackburn Consulting won the 2016-2017 ACEC Sierra Chapter Engineering Excellence award for "Best Geotechnical Engineering” project! On the Cosumnes River Boulevard Extension & I-5 Interchange project, certain pipelines required no additional loading from the planned roadway and interchange ramp embankments. Blackburn recommended use of an innovative material (pervious lightweight cellular concrete) at about half the cost of other alternatives. Read more about this project and Blackburn’s engineering solution here.


Excellence on School Projects

BCI’s quality reports save clients time and hassle when getting their projects approved. Within the last year, the Department of Conservation California Geological Survey accepted our geotechnical and geo-hazard reports for Sierra Vista Middle School (New Multipurpose Building), Bowman Charter School (New Multipurpose Building), and Del Rio High School (Three New Buildings) with no additional information requested.

For all three projects, the Department’s comments were "Based on our review, the consultants [Blackburn Consulting] provided a thorough and well-documented assessment of engineering geology and seismology issues with respect to the proposed improvements consultants [Blackburn Consulting] provided a thorough and well-documented assessment of engineering geology and seismology issues with respect to the proposed improvements”.


2017-2018 CalGeo President: Bob Lokteff, PE, GE

BCI Vice President Bob Lokteff leads the CalGeo Board of Directors this year as President. CalGeo is the only professional organization exclusively committed to California's geotechnical consulting industry. Bob has served on the CalGeo Board for many years, and is excited for his term as President. You can read his President's Welcome message here.

 


In Memory of Kristy

Kristy Chapman-Elbon, our friend and co-worker, passed away from her cancer last month. Kristy fought so hard through many rounds and types of treatments. She was brave and loving through it all, and is greatly missed.
 
Kristy’s family and her old Girl Scout Troop have established a scholarship in honor of her memory. The scholarship will be awarded annually to encourage girls to pursue a career in STEM. Click here for information about how to contribute.

Please keep Kristy’s husband, Andy, and her two girls, Mia and Emma, in your thoughts and prayers.
 

BCI Featured in High-Speed Rail Newsletter

The California High-Speed Rail (HSR) featured BCI in the latest issue of their Small Business Newsletter. BCI provides geo-environmental consulting and independent assurance testing on several HSR contracts for Construction Packages 1, 2-3, and 4. Read the full story here.

 

 


Our Jolly Good Fellow

The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) recently welcomed BCI's CEO Tom Blackburn into its College of Fellows. According to ACEC, their College of Fellows is "a distinguished class of engineers who have been selected by their peers as deserving recognition for exemplary contributions to the profession.” Tom participated in a leadership capacity at ACEC for over 10 years, and served terms on the Board of Directors and as President for both the local Sierra chapter and the statewide California organization. We are very proud of Tom and grateful to ACEC for honoring him!

 


Sacramento State Class Tours West Sac Lab

BCI welcomed a class of Construction Management students from Sacramento State to tour our West Sacramento laboratory. Several BCI field and lab technicians gave guided tours and described common tests we perform on soil, asphalt, concrete, and aggregate material. 
 
 
 
  

On-Call Contract Wins

BCI has celebrated several on-call contract wins in the last few months!
  • City of Fresno - Acceptance Testing Consultant
  • City of Lemoore - Soils and Materials Testing
  • City of Lincoln - Construction Management, Inspection & Testing, and Environmental
  • City of Roseville - Materials Testing
  • Placer County - Geotechnical and Materials Testing
  • San Joaquin County - Bridge Geotechnical Engineering
 
We are excited for the opportunities and projects these contracts offer.
  

ON THE CUTTING EDGE…
HILLS FERRY ROAD BRIDGE/SAN JOAQUIN RIVER SEISMIC RETROFIT PROJECT

 
Blackburn Consulting advanced the geotechnical design for seismic retrofit of the Hills Ferry Road Bridge over the San Joaquin River, a Stanislaus County Public Works project. The 647-foot long, 18-span reinforced concrete structure risks potential collapse. Seismic induced lateral spreading impacts both abutment river channel slopes and the river channel bed deposits.

BCI (with T.Y. Lin) evaluated and designed a retrofit strategy using the current Caltrans 2013 Lateral Spreading Design Guidelines. Caltrans considered this retrofit strategy to be cost prohibitive and unnecessary.

BCI attended several meetings and corresponded with Caltrans earthquake engineering and geotechnical staff. This culminated in Caltrans’ new Draft Memo to Designers 20-15 (Soil Liquefaction and Lateral Spreading Analysis for New and Existing Bridges) specific for design of this "pilot” project. The new Draft Memo relies on abutment/deck and pile plastic hinge resisting forces to reduce lateral spread movements to suitable levels for new bridge or retrofit design.

BCI used the new Draft Memo guidelines to develop a graph of required structural resistance vs. lateral spread displacements based on slope stability analysis methods. T.Y. Lin used BCI’s graph to develop a new retrofit strategy recently submitted to Caltrans.