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Ralph Boirum

Geotechnical Engineer PE

Mr. Boirum has 40 years of geotechnical consulting experience in the Pacific Northwest and many corners of the world. His well-rounded experience comes working on more than 6,000 geotechnical engineering projects ranging from small commercial and residential developments to large transportation projects and heavy industrial plants. These projects have included field explorations, design studies, contract drawings and specifications, and report preparation. He has followed many of these projects through construction and has extensive experience in foundation and earthwork construction. 


He has considerable experience with bridges, tunnels, and transit projects, and has performed geotechnical studies for a number of corridor projects. From 1983 through 1986, Mr. Boirum managed the geotechnical design studies for the Downtown Seattle Transit Project. This project consisted of the design and construction of twin transit tunnels and five transit stations through 25 blocks of downtown Seattle. He served as an advisor to the Colombian government for the Darien Gap Highway Project in northern Colombia, and has evaluated geotechnical conditions for many roads, sewers and gas lines. He was involved in the design and construction of the Mt. Baker ridge tunnel for Interstate 90 in Seattle, the high-level West Seattle Freeway bridge, and in the design of a large retaining wall and tunnel for the Interstate 471 landslide stabilization project in Cincinnati, Ohio. Beginning in 1995, Mr. Boirum directed geotechnical studies for King County’s Denny Way / Lake Union CSO project. This project included six tunnels ranging from 6 to 15 feet in diameter and 400 to 6,200 feet in length. Mr. Boirum was the principal geotechnical investigator for conceptual and pre-design studies for the entire project and directed preliminary and final design geotechnical studies for five of the six tunnels in Renton, Washington. 


Mr. Boirum has provided geotechnical evaluations and developed design recommendations for more than 50 wastewater treatment plants and major plant upgrades throughout Washington State. He has provided geotechnical services for the design and construction of many lift stations and sewer lines in a wide variety of soil and groundwater conditions. Mr. Boirum has directed geotechnical studies for the design of seven U. S. Embassies and Consulates in Europe, Africa and the Americas. 


Ralph’s extensive knowledge and experience is leveraged at HWA not only by his geotechnical design capabilities but also as our quality assurance lead.  All projects at HWA go through QA and Mr. Boirum is the last to sign off on a report before delivering to a client.


Licenses and Certificates:

  • PE in Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Alaska


Specialty Focus:

  • Bridges

  • Tunnels

  • Transit



  • Paragliding

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