By Jyll Smith
For the Keizertimes
Keizer’s Sakurako Egami Thatcher remembers her first day working on the Oregon Department of Transportation project.
A cold winter’s day in 2009 found her and husband Reed struggling mightily with a simple hand auger as they dug post holes for huge orange highway construction signs along the Wilson River highway west of Portland on a State Bridge Delivery Program.
Over the next three construction seasons, Egami Construction tackled five more bridge program projects – from as far south as Winchester on Interstate 5 to two-lane highway bridges in the rural Willamette Valley, and on higher elevation projects in the Coast Range mountains to a complex tunnel and viaduct repair on the western slope of the Cascades Range.
While Thatcher is perhaps proudest of the largest bridge program project Egami Construction tackled – the recently completed $14 million update of the Hood River interchange on Interstate 84 – she still relishes the memory of that first day on the job.
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