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Govs. Kulongoski and Gregoire Announce Independent Panel to Review Columbia River Crossing Project

Press Release

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Location: Salem, OR

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski and Washington Governor Chris Gregoire today announced the appointment of eight transportation experts to an independent panel to review the Columbia River Crossing project. The governors convened the panel to ensure that key project assumptions and methods are reasonable for this one-of-kind transportation project.

"Replacing the bridge over the Columbia River is essential to maintaining the economies and enhancing the livability of the communities in our two states. The project combines light rail, bike and pedestrian facilities, and will improve the movement of people and goods all in a little over five miles," said Gregoire. "The independent expert review will provide us assurance that the project has the implementation and financial plans in place to get the job done on time and on budget."

"The CRC is an investment that is critical to the economy of the entire Pacific Northwest because of its importance as the major north-south transportation link of the western United States," Governor Ted Kulongoski said "We have selected the members of this panel because they each bring key areas of expertise to assess this unique project and ensure the project meets our goals of improved flow of commerce and goods, new green transportation alternatives for commuters, and improved safety at the most dangerous interchange in Oregon."
The panel has been asked to:

* Assess the implementation plan for the CRC project
* Review the financial plan for the project
* Review and evaluate post-construction performance measures

The panel will meet for the first time May 19-20, 2010, and will meet at least three more times throughout the summer. The panel is charged with reporting its findings to the governors by July 30, 2010.

Panelists include experts with national and international experience in project financing and delivery, environmental law and land use, risk management, transit project planning, context sensitive design, and bridge design and construction.

The panel will be chaired by Tom Warne, a civil engineer and with expertise in transportation project financing, project delivery and context sensitive design. Mr. Warne has over 30 years of experience funding and delivering light rail and highway infrastructure projects. For the past nine years he has worked as a consultant assisting public agencies and private companies. His projects include light rail systems, significant design-build efforts, major bridges, strategic planning, partnering facilitation, and process improvement initiatives. Warne is known for his work on complex projects and programs such as the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in the Washington D.C. area, I-35W Bridge Replacement in Minneapolis and University Light Rail in Utah.

Also serving on the panel are:

Rodney L. Brown, Jr. - Areas of expertise include Northwest environmental issues; environmental law and land use; National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

E. Robert Ferguson - Areas of expertise include bridge construction; contracting methods

Patricia D. Galloway, P.E., Ph.D - Areas of expertise include performance measures; project and risk management; mega-project planning and delivery

Diana Mendes, AICP - Areas of expertise include federally-funded transit project planning; environmental analysis and management

Michael D. Meyer, P.E., Ph.D - Areas of expertise include transportation engineering; public works economics and finance; environmental impact assessments and greenhouse gas analysis

Timothy Ray Neuman, P.E. - Areas of expertise include context sensitive design and solutions; urban transportation design

Mary Lou Ralls, P.E. -- Areas of expertise include bridge design and construction
The design of the Columbia River Crossing project began in 2005 to address existing and growing safety and congestion problems on I-5 between Portland and Vancouver. In 2008, local and regional governments decided to replace the I-5 bridge over the Columbia River and extend the regional light rail system into Washington.

More information is available on the project Web site, www.ColumbiaRiverCrossing.org

Full biographies of the appointments are below:

Thomas R. Warne, P.E., Chair
Areas of Expertise: Project financing and delivery; Context Sensitive Design
Location: South Jordan, Utah

Mr. Warne has over 30 years of experience funding and delivering light rail and highway infrastructure projects. For the past nine years he has worked as a consultant assisting public agencies and private companies. Clients include the Federal Highway Administration, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), metropolitan planning/regional transportation organizations and authorities, departments of transportation and contractors. Mr. Warne is known for his work on complex projects and programs. His projects include light rail systems, significant design-build efforts, major bridges, strategic planning, partnering facilitation, process improvement initiatives, and more. Mr. Warne was one of the early leaders in starting Context Sensitive Design in the late 1990s and this was one of his emphasis areas as President of AASHTO. For the past seven years, he has been the transportation advisor to Daybreak, a smart growth development in Salt Lake County. Other projects include the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, the 35 W Bridge Replacement in Minneapolis and University Light Rail in Utah. While serving as the Executive Director of the Utah Department of Transportation, he was responsible for delivering the $1.325 billion I-15 Reconstruction project three months ahead of schedule and more than $30 million under budget. He has an M.S. in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Brigham Young University.


Rodney L. Brown, Jr.
Areas of Expertise: Northwest environmental issues; environmental law and land use; National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
Location: Seattle, Washington

Mr. Brown is an environmental lawyer with over 20 years of experience advising clients and decision makers in Washington and Oregon. He serves on Washington Governor Christine Gregoire's Climate Action Team, a group charged with reducing the state's dependence on greenhouse gases, increasing a clean energy economy, and moving toward energy independence. With a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law, Mr. Brown represents clients on issues related to environmental impact statements and permits; pollution control and waste management regulations; Endangered Species Act requirements, and environmental liabilities. Mr. Brown is a member of the Washington Department of Ecology's Regulatory Performance Advisory Group, and served on the Blue Ribbon Commission for Transportation. Best Lawyers in America named Mr. Brown "2010 Lawyer of the Year" for environmental law in Seattle. He is President of the Washington Environmental Council, a member of the Cascade Agenda Leadership Team, and serves on the board of the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center. Mr. Brown is a founding partner of Cascadia Law Group PLLC.


E. Robert Ferguson
Areas of Expertise: Bridge construction; contracting methods
Location: Palm Desert, California

Mr. Ferguson is a nationally and internationally recognized construction professional with over 50 years of experience in the execution of major civil engineering projects. His major concentration has been transportation infrastructure, including highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, ports and railroads. Special emphasis has been in the continued development of concrete placement techniques and concrete bridge innovations. He has conducted value analysis, developed cost estimates and recommended contracting methods for projects around the country. Mr. Ferguson has worked as an International Infrastructure Consultant for the past 12 years. Additional experience includes acting in executive management positions for 29 years in some of the nations largest infrastructure companies serving as Regional Vice President, President, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board. Mr. Ferguson has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan and has served in the United States Marine Corps as an Engineering Officer on active duty and in the Reserve.


Dr. Patricia D. Galloway, P.E., CPENG, PMP, MRICS, CFCC
Areas of Expertise: Performance measures; project and risk management; mega-project planning and delivery
Location: Cle Elum, Washington

Dr. Galloway is an internationally recognized leader in the civil engineering and construction arenas with over 30 years of experience managing project delivery and providing advice to public agencies, industry and private sector firms on significant infrastructure projects. Her management consulting experience includes performance and management audits, strategic advice regarding governance, management structures and processes, performance operations, contract development, project/program management, project controls, contract administration, and others. She has worked on multiple rail, transit, roadway, and bridge projects, including the Sound Transit Light Rail program in Puget Sound, Australia's Melbourne Citylink project, Phoenix, Arizona's Light Rail Transit program and the Tsing Ma Bridge in Hong Kong. Prior to joining Pegasus-Global, Dr. Galloway was the Chief Executive Officer and principal of the Nielsen-Wurster Group Inc., an international management consulting firm specializing in management consulting, risk management and dispute resolution. Dr. Galloway has a Ph.D. in Infrastructure Systems Civil Engineering form Kochi University of Technology in Japan, an M.B.A. from the New York Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering (double major in Structures and Construction Management) from Purdue University in Indiana.

Diana Mendes, AICP
Areas of Expertise: Federally funded transit project planning; environmental analysis and management
Location: Washington DC

Ms. Mendes is a Senior Vice President with AECOM with over 25 years of experience working in the transportation industry. She is a nationally recognized expert in the development of major multi-modal and transit projects, and specializes in the land use and environmental management aspects of the design and implementation of major capital projects. She has extensive experience in the environmental analysis and management for large-scale, federally funded transit improvements, and has successfully coordinated controversial projects with government agencies, interest groups, and citizens. Ms. Mendes has served as project manager on several major corridor studies and planning processes for New Starts projects nationwide, and has a proven track record working with multidisciplinary teams to design sustainable transportation systems and improvements that meet agency needs, are well integrated into the community, are environmentally responsible, and are acceptable to the public. She is a leader in the field of environmental streamlining and stewardship, and developed the environmental management system to support the redevelopment of $4.5 billion of transportation projects needed to rebuild Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of September 11. Ms. Mendes has an M.A. of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Sociology from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She is a certified planner through the American Institute of Certified Planners.


Dr. Michael D. Meyer, P.E.
Areas of Expertise: Transportation engineering; public works economics and finance; environmental impact assessments and greenhouse gas analysis
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

For the past 40 years, Dr. Meyer has worked in the transportation field, including five years as the director of the Bureau of Transportation Planning and Development for the Massachusetts Department of Public Works. He has also been an associate professor for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a professor for the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Recent research and consulting includes incorporating greenhouse gas analysis into transportation decision making, developing non-traditional performance measures, congestion pricing, revenue estimation and freight planning. He is a member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers Steering Committee on Transportation Operations and has served on dozens of national committees, peer review panels and professional advisory groups. In 2006, he was chairman of the executive committee of the Transportation Research Board. Dr. Meyer is currently the director of the Georgia Transportation Institute and an advisor to Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. His degrees in Civil Engineering include a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.S. from Northwestern University in Chicago, and a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Timothy Ray Neuman, P.E.
Areas of Expertise: Context Sensitive Design and Solutions; Urban freeway and interchange design
Location: Chicago, Illinois

With over 34 years of experience, Mr. Neuman is a nationally recognized expert in Context Sensitive Design/Solutions and urban freeway and interchange design. He authored the widely-used reference on Context Sensitive Design and Context Sensitive Solutions published by the Transportation Research Board National Cooperative Highway Research Program, "A Guide to Best Practices for Achieving Context Sensitive Solutions," and served as technical editor for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) on "A Guide to Achieving Flexibility in Highway Design." He is a member of the Transportation Research Board Task Force on Development of a Highway Safety Manual and has served on the National Thinking Beyond the Pavement/Context Sensitive Design Action Plan Committee by AASHTO. Mr. Neuman has served as senior consultant, technical director or project manager for planning and preliminary design studies for complex urban highway corridors and interchanges across the country. Currently, he is Vice President and Chief Highway Engineer for CH2M HILL. Mr. Neuman has a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Engineering from the University of Michigan, and is a Registered Professional Engineer.


Mary Lou Ralls, P.E.
Areas of Expertise: Bridge design and construction
Location: Austin, Texas

Ms. Ralls has more than 25 years experience, include bridge design, structural engineering, project management, and accelerated bridge construction. She was the project manager for development of the FHWA Framework for Prefabricated Bridge Elements and Systems (PBES) Decision-making and PBES Cost Study and is currently a course instructor for the National Highway Institute. Her research and expertise is nationally recognized and she has served on multiple independent review panels and advisory groups for projects in Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and others. Ms. Ralls has received numerous awards including the Administrator's Public Service Award from FHWA, the AASHTO President's Award in Research Category, and the Design Award for Best Bridge with Spans Greater than 135 feet, presented by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute. Prior to her current position of Engineering Consultant with Ralls Newman, LLC, she directed the Bridge Division of the Texas Department of Transportation. Ms. Ralls has an M.S. in Engineering, Structures, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering with Highest Honors from the University of Texas at Austin.


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