Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA) opened their new $18.7M High Desert Proving Grounds (HDPG) in Madras, Oregon in May 2017.  The 87-acre site is located on City of Madras property and will serve as a key facility in Daimler’s future truck and autonomous vehicle testing program.  The facility includes 3.5 miles of oval-shaped, inter-connected, highly-engineered event tracks, banked curves, and hill features with irregular, pre-cast panels that simulate a typical vehicle’s entire service life in a significantly reduced time period.  Other development features include a 32,000 square-foot office and shop building with 14 services bays and overhead crane rails. 

The HDPG site posed several geotechnical and construction challenges including:

  • Developing recommendations for asphalt and concrete pavements and engineered fill sections with the capacity to withstand dynamic/high stress loads during truck and vehicle performance simulations.
  • Assessing the subgrade soil and rock support for structural elements including the office/shop buildings, underground utilities, concentric test track, Vehicle Dynamic Area (VDA), hill event, parking, and access drive areas.

  • Accommodating the potential for limited surface water infiltration into design of stormwater collection and disposal features.
  • Construction of an approximately 20-foot high, pyramid-shaped “Mount Madras” Hill Event feature with 11-degree slopes for transmission and brake performance testing.

featured projects

intensive care unit and patient tower,

bend, Oregon

client: st. charles health system, inc.


MADRAS, Oregon


Opal springs fish passage,

Crooked River Canyon at opal springs, culver, Oregon

client: rsci group and deschutes valley water district

The Wallace Group, inc. A Pacific Northwest Earth Science And Engineering Practice

In order to meet the growing population needs within central Oregon, St. Charles Health System, Inc. constructed a $66 million, 3-story ICU and Patient Tower expansion to its Bend hospital campus. The new addition nearly doubles the hospital’s number of intensive care unit beds and reduces the need to send patients to Portland. The 96,000 square foot, steel-framed structure connects to the existing hospital’s north end via breezeway at all three levels and overlies a large portion the north parking lot. To accommodate the loss of parking, a new 300 space parking facility has been constructed south and east of the new tower.

Wallace Group was retained by St. Charles Health System, Inc. as the Geotechnical-Engineer-of-Record, providing the design team with recommendations for foundation design, utility relocation and improvements, storm water disposal, site grading, and landscaping. Wallace Group’s recommendations for design and construction resulted in reduced footing sizes and large allowable bearing pressures, eliminating the need for a deep foundation system and resulting in substantial cost savings for the owner.

When construction commenced in December of 2017, Wallace Group’s Construction Services team provided special inspection and testing of earthwork, reinforced concrete, structural steel welding and bolting, spray-applied fireproofing, fire-stop penetrations, and post-installed anchors. The ICU tower will be complete in 2019.

Caldera high school,

Bend, Oregon

client: bend la pine schools

bethlehem inn,

bend, Oregon

client: bethlehem inn

Since 2010, Wallace Group is proud to have provided geo-environmental consulting and construction services to the Bethlehem Inn in Bend, Oregon.  The staff of Bethlehem Inn work tirelessly, day-in and day-out, to help homeless Central Oregonians and for years, the shelter operated out of an old, two-story, motor-court style motel. Thanks to the “Transforming Lives Together” campaign, a new family residence, kitchen, and service hub building was completed in 2018, and a second single residence building for men and women is scheduled to open in summer 2019. 

 As part of Bethlehem Inn’s multi-disciplinary design team, Wallace Group provided environmental sampling and analysis to facilitate building demolition, subsurface geotechnical exploration for new building foundations, on-site utility and stormwater infrastructure, structural re-development of a former in-ground swimming pool, sitework monitoring, special inspection, materials testing, and reporting during project construction.  Wallace Group’s services were provided at significantly discounted rates which resulted in estimated project savings of $20,000 over the three-year project design and construction schedule. 

Wallace Group completed preliminary and design-level geotechnical investigations for a 78-acre new high school campus in southeast Bend, Oregon. This is the largest project of a $268M construction bond approved by voters in 2017.  The project broke ground in mid-2019 and includes 268,000 sf of education and support structures, parking lots, athletic fields, and on/off-site transportation and utility infrastructure.  Wallace Group is the geotechnical engineer of record and is also providing comprehensive earthwork, off-site transportation and municipal infrastructure testing, materials testing, and special inspection services during construction.  The school will open to students in the fall of 2021.

Cloudchaser chair lift,

Bend, Oregon

client: Mt. bachelor, inc.

The $20 million expansion plans for Pronghorn Resort included the construction of the Huntington Lodge located near the 18th hole of the Tom Fazio Championship Course. The Huntington Lodge, with a footprint of 20,600 square feet, includes over 100 hotel rooms, a spa, and a pool. The most significant geotechnical design challenge was the placement of the structure over the existing lava tube, which was discovered in 2003. Wallace Group examined the multi-chamber lave tube which includes a 72-foot wide section with a ceiling up to 19 feet. Rock strength and ceiling geometry were evaluated and engineering analyses were performed to develop construction recommendations. The outcome was to install a series of rock bolts to reinforce the cavern ceiling. Wallace Group provided geotechnical observations during this construction phase.  

 Additionally, Wallace Group provided design-level geotechnical engineering, earthwork monitoring, special inspection and construction materials testing services during construction of the Huntington Lodge, which will open in Fall 2019. 




Photographs courtesy of Else Kerkmann Photography.

Huntington Lodge, pronghorn resort,

Bend, Oregon

client: The Resort group

The $6 million expansion of the Mount Bachelor ski resort included construction of the new Cloudchaser high-speed quad chair lift.  With the addition of the new chair lift, an additional 635 acres were added to the resort’s lift serviced terrain.  The construction of the new chair lift included top and bottom lift stations and 21 towers that span the 6,576-foot-long lift length.  Starting in August 2016,  Wallace Group provided geotechnical design and construction services to project team.  Wallace Group’s prompt delivery of as-needed geotechnical recommendations and services were an integral part of maintaining the schedule of this fast-tracked project.

 A significant geotechnical design challenge for the Cloudchaser project included the use of on-site light-weight soil backfill.  A Wallace Group geotechnical engineer evaluated the lift station and tower foundation excavations on a case-by-case basis to provide recommendations and soil backfill properties that were used in sliding resistance calculations.  In addition, Wallace Group provided comprehensive geotechnical monitoring, special inspection and materials testing services.  The Cloudchaser chair lift began operation on schedule on December 16, 2016.    

In 2018, Deschutes Valley Water District, ODFW, ODOT, BLM, Trout Unlimited, Deschutes Partnership, OWEB, Energy Trust of Oregon, and PGE joined forces to break ground on a fish passage project to remove a major barrier to salmon and steelhead at the Opal Springs Dam on the Crooked River.  The objectives were to make upstream habitat more accessible and support the larger reintroduction effort of anadromous fish in the Deschutes Basin. 

Wallace Group was commissioned by RSCI Group (General Contractor) to provide geotechnical engineering, earthwork, dam crest monitoring, construction materials testing, and special inspection services as part of the Opal Springs construction team. Technical and job-site safety challenges addressed by Wallace Group engineers and geologists included mitigating rock-fall, talus seepage, and slope stability for temporary excavation and H-pile and lagging shoring.  The Opal Springs Fish Passage project is scheduled to be completed in 2019.     

The Bend Science Station (BSS) re-located to a new, state-of-the art building on the campus of OSU-Cascades in 2018.  The BSS provides innovative, hands-on classes and camps for K-12 students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In addition, teachers receive inquiry-based training to improve their skills.  For over nine years Wallace Group has supported the science and engineering job shadow program for high school students through the Central Oregon Chapter of the Professional Engineers of Oregon.  When approached by BSS leaders to provide technical and financial support for the new facility, Wallace Group immediately committed to supporting the advancement of STEM education in Central Oregon by providing geotechnical engineering, sitework monitoring, construction inspection/testing, and reporting services.      

 The BSS provides high-quality, laboratory-based science education for more than 7,000 students and their teachers each year in Central Oregon.  Wallace Group is proud to support the work of BSS and empowering young scientists to pursue education and careers in the fields of STEM.