Small project, big benefits

LKE Corporation of Washougal, Washington was awarded the $920,471 contract for the Trestle Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project, which will be completed by the end of February. (Photo by Jeff Henon, Public Affairs Office)

LKE Corporation of Washougal, Washington was awarded the $920,471 contract for the Trestle Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project, which will be completed by the end of February. (Photo by Jeff Henon, Public Affairs Office)

 

By Michelle Helms, Public Affairs Office

Flatbed rail cars hauled huge stones along a tramway that extended from the beach to the end of the jetty. Reports made during construction of the south jetty say that at times the power of the ocean would cause portions of the tramway to sway so violently that trains could not run on it. (Corps of Engineers photo)

Flatbed rail cars hauled huge stones along a tramway that extended from the beach to the end of the jetty. Reports made during construction of the south jetty say that at times the power of the ocean would cause portions of the tramway to sway so violently that trains could not run on it. (Corps of Engineers photo)

The wetlands inside historic Trestle Bay near Warrenton, Oregon, offer ideal habitat for juvenile salmonids. Ideal, but mostly out of reach for more than 125 years due to what makes historic Trestle Bay “historic” — the relic stone and pilings placed there from 1885 to 1895, when the South Jetty was built.

That’s changing in 2016, as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers partners with the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce and Bonneville Power Administration to reconnect the bay with the Columbia River.

The Trestle Bay Ecosystem Restoration is a relatively small project: removing wood pilings and moving 900 feet of jetty stone from seven locations along the 8,800 foot structure.

“It’s a small, simple project, but the benefits are enormous,” said Gail Saldana, Corps project manager. “Creating new openings and restoring hydraulic connections from Trestle Bay to the river will go a long way to improving the ecology there.”

The Corps completed a similar project in 1995, breaching a 500-foot section in Trestle Bay. Studies followed, evaluating the impact on migrating fish and other species that rely on the estuary. The studies showed that creating more openings would support efforts to increase survival of salmonids and other endangered species.

“Reconnecting the bay with the Columbia River provides additional access to quality wetland habitat for juvenile salmonids and other fish species,” said Justin Saydell, CREST Habitat Restoration Project manager. “Additional openings will also provide opportunities for an increase in organic inputs into the river, which provide great benefits like food sources and nutrients to species utilizing the river.”

Partnership with the Corps on the Trestle Bay restoration project is an important collaboration of agencies, said Saydell. Working together and sharing costs increases opportunities to improve ecosystems beyond the river.

“One of our primary goals at CREST is to work with partners on restoration projects to reconstruct and reactivate habitats for fish and wildlife in the estuary,” said Saydell. “These projects benefit not only fish and habitat, but also the local economy, by hiring contractors to do the work. Improving salmon stocks also benefit the fishing industry.”

The low technical complexity and short schedule of the project sparked the engagement of the Portland District’s Small Projects Team. Under its management, the project now has streamlined processes that allow for a quick turn-around in the design, pre-award and acquisition phases.

(Corps of Engineers photo)

(Corps of Engineers photo)

Communication and responsiveness have been critical factors in the success of the project,” said Corina Popescu, project Technical Lead. “I’m proud of the effort the team has put into this, from pre-award to construction. The overall execution would not be possible without everyone’s committed contribution.”

LKE Corporation of Washougal, Washington, was awarded the $920,471 Trestle Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project contract, which will be completed by the end of February.

The company is an 8(a) Small Disadvantaged Business, as well as a Woman-owned and Economically Disadvantaged Woman-Owned small business – all socioeconomic subcategories of the small business program that Congress has identified as critical for contributing to local and regional economic development. The District Small Business Office works with Contracting Division and the project delivery teams to identify projects suitable for award to small businesses. Watch for a new post on this website to learn more about the District Small Business Office and its mission.