Tony Rikli, P.E. - New Project Engineer

Foundation Engineering welcomes Tony Rikli, new Project Engineer to our team!   Tony joins us with over nine years of geotechnical engineering experience throughout the Pacific Northwest, and a reputation for his ability to provide systematic critical thinking and analysis for complex, technical issues, and to engage non-technical individuals at a meaningful level.  He ensures that clients, policy makers, and other interested parties have the information and tools necessary to make project decisions that meet their needs. 

Local Landslide - Kalama River Road

Another long wet winter is taking its toll on the local slopes. On March 15, 2017, a 150-foot long section of slope above Kalama River Road failed, covering the road with trees and mud.  The only available detour was over an hour long and involved several miles of private logging roads.  Foundation Engineering helped Cowlitz County and their contractor assess the remaining slopes and develop an approach to safely remove the debris and reopen the road.  Removal of the debris was complicated by stumps that were too large to fit in a dump truck, but the road was cleared and ready to reopen by March 31.

OSU Forest Science Center - Sustainable Building

Oregon State University has begun the expansion of its College of Forestry facilities on the Corvallis campus.  Two new buildings will replace Peavy Hall to create the Forest Science Complex.  The Complex will include a new, 4‑story, 90,000 SF classroom and office building (Peavy Building) constructed with engineered wood products, and the new 18,000 SF A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Lab for testing and developing new engineered wood products.  The A.A. “Red” Emmerson Lab will be home to the National Center for Advanced Wood Products Manufacturing and Design, a collaboration of architecture, wood science, and engineering programs driven to innovate sustainable building components in Oregon.

In keeping with OSU’s goals for sustainability, construction of the new Forest Science Center was developed with recommendations to support Resource-Sensitive Engineering.  The demolition of Peavy Hall generated tons of debris and left a large, ±12‑foot deep hole in the ground that would require filling with structural fill to support a portion of the new Peavy Building.  Foundation Engineering, in consultation with the design team and contractor, developed a plan to leave portions of the existing basement slab and walls in‑place, and process and re-use thousands of tons of concrete as on-site fill.  Our firm developed gradation recommendations for processing and a performance specification for placement and compaction, and we are currently providing construction support and observations services for the project.  The processing and re-use kept approximately 2,500 tons (±1,400 yd3) of concrete out of local landfills.  


Debris Flow Safety

Senior Engineer Tim Pfeiffer, P.E., G.E. is providing debris flow safety training to Oregon and Washington counties.  Tim is Foundation Engineering's landslide and rockslide expert and provides emergency responses services to landslide-prone cities and counties.  Tim's training presentation was developed at the request of County officials preparing response crews for the upcoming winter rains.  

Equipment from the emergency response team was caught up in the severe damage from landslide debris flow in Cowlitz County, Washington

Equipment from the emergency response team was caught up in the severe damage from landslide debris flow in Cowlitz County, Washington

The Corvallis Museum

Foundation Engineering is excited to provide geotechnical engineering for the new Corvallis Museum!  The Benton County Historical Society (BCHS) plans to build this new two-story, ±19,000 square-foot museum at the corner of SW 2nd Street and SW Adams Avenue in Corvallis, Oregon with projected completion in mid‑2018.  


Effective Writing for Engineers

Our firm was proud to host Susan Conrad, Ph.D. for her seminar on Effective Writing for Civil Engineers.  

In her seminars, Dr. Conrad presents real-life examples of engineering proposals, memos, and other writing in order to demonstrate the best way to convey exactly what the writer intends.  She points out common mistakes that confuse readers and may even imply guarantees or liability unintentionally.  Her seminar is informative and engaging, and we highly recommend her to other engineers. 

May 16 - 21: National Public Works Week

This week, the men and women who have dedicated their lives to maintaining and improving our nation's quality of life are being celebrated for their contribution.  Their hard work makes our daily lives possible.  Unfortunately, their effort often goes unnoticed, and many of the functions they provide are relegated to background noise.  We take for granted that our waste disappears from our homes, that we can drive to the grocery store, or that our lights will turn on.  When we do notice public works, it's after disasters or when infrastructure or services fail.  

This week, be mindful of the public works projects and services that make our communities possible, and remember that they can only work with the funding we provide them.  Investing in public works is investing in our quality of life.

Gilkey Covered Bridge Rehabilitaion

Foundation Engineering has completed the exploratory drilling, laboratory testing, and an evaluation of the foundation options for Linn County's rehabilitation of the Gilkey covered bridge crossing Thomas Creek on Goar Road.  The bridge is a ±82-foot long by ±24-foot wide, four-span timber trestle structure built in 1950.  The existing structure is structurally deficient with a Sufficiency Rating of 22.5.  Rot has been found in some of the timber piling supporting the bridge, and the bridge deck and stringers have various degrees of weathering and/or deterioration.  


Columbia Stock Ranch

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Portland District plans to construct ±6,000 linear feet of setback levee as part of the Columbia Stock Ranch (CSR) project in the Lower Columbia River Estuary.  In addition to the new ±15 to 25‑foot high levee, the project includes:

  • 12,000 linear feet of tidal channel excavation
  • Overflow channel excavation
  • Breaching the existing levee in three places
  • Construction of a tide box structure
  • Construction of a levee closure structure for the railroad
  • Construction of access roads and haul roads
  • Construction of two channels under the railroad embankment

Material from the tidal channel, excavations, plus material from a local dredge disposal site will be used to construct the new levee with balanced excavation to embankment volumes. Foundation Engineering is providing geotechnical services including site analysis, recommendations for design and construction, and evaluation of the borrow soils.

Outside Coverage

Welcome to Foundation Engineering!

Foundation Engineering is proud to announce the addition of David Johnson to our team.  David joins our Beaverton office, bringing his knowledge of advanced soil mechanics, advanced foundation design, earth retaining structures, geoenvironmental engineering, soil dynamics, and geotechnical earthquake engineering.  We look forward to what David has to offer our firm and our clientele. 

David Johnson, P.E.

Professional Engineer: Oregon, California

BS Civil Engineering, Seattle University
MS Geotechnical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles

David has five years of practical geotechnical engineering experience in the northwestern United States.  His project roles have ranged from providing onsite inspection services to technical design and analysis on mine and industrial development projects.  David has provided evaluations for liquefaction hazards, soil slope stability and deep and shallow foundations.  In addition, his responsibilities have included geotechnical investigation, computer modeling, project scoping and cost estimation.

Opportunity Available

Our Beaverton office is seeking a geotechnical staff engineer!  

Visit our Careers page to check out this opening and see how to apply!



Astoria Bridges Replacement

Just after Christmas, Foundation Engineering completed the subsurface exploration for the replacement of six bridges in Astoria linking the City with the popular Riverwalk and waterfront.  We are currently working on the foundation design for the bridges.   The project will replace the deteriorating timber structures with modern structures that fit with the historic Astoria waterfront.

Woolly Mammoth Bones Uncovered

OSU Valley Football Center Expansion

Foundation Engineering provided geotechnical design and is currently providing construction‑phase services for the OSU Valley Football Center Expansion project.  On January 26, 2016, while excavating for the new locker room that will be at field level, the excavation subcontractor uncovered bone-like material and immediately stopped work.  Upon further investigation, it was determined by OSU archaeologists and anthropologists that the bones and bone fragments were from an ice-age woolly mammoth.  The area was cordoned off and over the next 24 hours, careful excavation of the bones led by a team of OSU archeologists and anthropologists uncovered an intact woolly mammoth femur (damaged upon removal from the excavation), pelvis and hundreds of other bone fragments.  In addition to the mammoth bones, bones from a camel and bison were also identified.    

The geologic significance of this find is the bones were uncovered deep within the Willamette Silt deposit, approximately 12 feet below the surrounding grade.  Willamette Silt is a predominately fine-grained, alluvial deposit from the great Missoula Floods  that occurred over a period of ±15,000 to 12,000 years ago.  Therefore, were the animals victims of the flooding or did they die prior to the flood deposits?  The OSU archaeology department will radio carbon date to aid in determining the relative geologic age of the bones and stratigraphic sequence.  We will keep everyone updated as the information becomes available. 

Cowlitz County Emergency Landslide Response

Several days of rain saturated the slopes, followed by intense rainfall during the night of December 8th resulting in dozens of shallow slope failures and debris flows effecting Kalama River Road and similar roads in steep-sided valleys. 

Foundation Engineering has been called in to provide geotechnical services to the Cowlitz County Public Works Department. 

Jeff Tweedie: Winthrop/Monmouth football's engine that could

On behalf of Foundation Engineering, I am proud to post this article highlighting the most recent accomplishments of my former University of Maine graduate office mate, Jeff Tweedie.  Following a tragic neck injury in the fall of 1994, Jeff, with the love and support of his family and friends has overcome obstacles that I cannot begin to fathom or describe.  From the day of his injury, the article highlights his challenges and accomplishments that are testament to his resolve and never give up attitude.  I am very proud to know Jeff and to have had the opportunity to interact with him during school and in our professional careers.  He is an inspiration to us all.

Bill Nickels, President

Resilient, indomitable and successful, Tweedie is considered a hometown hero, one whose story family, friends and neighbors hope will achieve national recognition.
Kalle Oaks, Sun Journal

Read the Sun Journal article here

OSU Celebrates Seismic Retrofit

October 27, 2015, Oregon State University celebrated the grand re-opening of the Strand Agricultural Hall.  The 4‑story, ±100‑year old structure consists of a north, south and middle section built with unreinforced brick and mortar.  The retrofit structurally upgraded the building to resist collapse.  

As reported by the Gazette Times, 

"it is one of the most structurally sound buildings in the state"

Read the Gazette Times Article Here


Wildlife Crossings: Saving Wildlife & Drivers

Oregon Field Guide featured the Lava Butte US 97 Wildlife Crossings.  These unique structures  provide deer, coyotes, black bears, and other wildlife with a safe passage across roads, and include guide fences to funnel animals to these safe zones.  Providing an alternative to move between territories prevents wildlife from entering the roadway, endangering human and animal life.  Since their installation, these crossings have substantially reduced the number of roadside carcasses, and ODOT estimates that the $1.5 million cost will be saved in 12 years of prevented collisions. 

This is a an exciting project that we were proud to provide geotech for.