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Innovative engineer signed up again

The county will continue to have the Aziz Engineering Company in its arsenal of on-call geotechnical consultants.

The Board of Island County Commissioners approved a contract of up to $300,000 during a regular meeting Monday to keep the Redmond engineering firm as one of a group of three companies at Public Works’ disposal.

Assistant County Engineer Randy Brackett said the county uses the firms for tasks such as assessing soils, and infrastructure assistance like abutments, embankments and unstable slopes.

“We’ll bring them in on projects or on problems,” Brackett said. “If there’s some kind of a failure or we suspect there’s some trouble, on rare occasions we’ll bring them in to review what a developer says is acceptable. We have doubts so we’ll bring in a peer so we can tap this person for a peer review of the proposal that the developer has.”

Brackett said the county has a particularly special relationship with Enayat S. Aziz, the principal civil and geostructural engineer, and his firm. The company has separated itself with its continual innovation.

“Madrona Lane, that project is an example and there’s a number around here,” Brackett said. “That project involves soil nails. They’re spiral nails that Aziz has developed and patented. They’re a way of reinforcing the soil with the minimum invasiveness. You don’t have to tear things down.”

Spiral nails reinforce the soil and add density. The county will use a revolutionary vibratory hammer to drive in the unique nails.

“So, now we’re kind of on the cutting edge because we’re using the latest,” the engineer said. “It’s a collaborative project. He’s designed it but we’re adding little things here and there. It’s going to be pretty neat.”

As one of three consultants, the county will have a three-year contract with the Aziz.

“We try to have three-year relationship with them so we can bring them in on any project, large or small, to assist us with the geotechnical elements of the project,” Brackett said. “The reason we have three is that as busy as everybody is in Puget Sound and across the country, it can easily be that one or two are busy and by having a stable of these guys, it works out better. We’re trying to have backups.”

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