Douglas County's decision to form a Public Utility District and construct the Wells Dam project led to the formation of Munson Engineers. The District Engineer for the the Washington State Highway Department, Ike Munson, partnered with local engineer and construction expert, Chuck Nash, to form Munson-Nash and Associates. Bechtel Corporation, general contractor for the construction of Wells Dam, then subcontracted with Munson-Nash for significant portions of the work required to complete the project, the only project for which Munson was engaged during the following four years. We established the boundaries of the Wells Reservoir, re-established the lines of individual property holdings within the surveyed reservoir boundaries and prepared "Exhibit K" drawings of the entire reservoir for the Federal Power Commission. We coordinated the acquisition of land that was to be flooded by the rising waters behind the new dam. We designed and supervised construction of over 150 separate irrigation systems to replace those providing water for orchards that were partially flooded. We planned and designed the relocation of the towns of Pateros and Brewster to remove them from areas of the land to be flooded. This included raising Pateros between six and twelve feet by means of a large scale fill operation. New streets, water systems and sewer systems were constructed for both towns. Native American burial sites were relocated in close cooperation with the tribes. The project was completed on time and under budget.
During the later stages of the Wells Hydroelectric Project we began our relationship with the City of Wenatchee, contracting to develop arterial streets. Six and a half years after our formation, we started the improvements to the street system of Wenatchee by signing a contract with local construction company Graves and Burke, Inc., who would join Ferry Street and Russell Street together to form a continuous modern arterial connection between South Wenatchee Avenue and the intersection of Miller Street and Millerdale Street. The success of this venture blossomed into the construction of many more street and highway projects throughout Wenatchee and the northwest. Within eight years of our founding, we had established four additional offices in Redmond and Vancouver, Washington, Helena, Montana, and Honolulu, Hawaii. During this period we completed Highway Classification Studies for the states of Montana and Hawaii, and TOPICS Report Studies (Traffic Operations Program to Increase Capacity and Safety) for Montana, Hawaii, King County, Pierce County and many cities around the northwest.
Due, in part, to the Boeing downturn and energy crisis of the early 1970 period, we divested ourselves of our branch offices, keeping open the Wenatchee main office. Other surveying/engineering firms did not fare so well. Our longevity derives from downsizing and working through that period, the "dot.com bubble collapse" and the "great recession," leaving us by ourselves in our length of continuous service in north central Washington. In 1974, future Wenatchee Public Works Director Buzz Parkhill joined the ownership of the company, and the partnership incorporated under its current name, Munson Engineers, Inc. Our clientele expanded to include irrigation and domestic water providers, sanitary sewer treatment providers, utility providers, and municipal utilities. Developers and realtors turned to us for their residential subdivision projects throughout eastern Washington. Expanding church congregations engaged us to plan and design new worship facilities. We were included as part of the design teams for most of the large projects in our service area, not forgetting our personal touch with private clients and their needs for design and approval of septic tank/drainfields, swimming pools, retaining walls, geohazard studies, drainage studies and other smaller project scopes.
As you view the landscape of north central Washington, you will see our handiwork in the evolution of the eastern Washington lifestyle, including several projects nominated for and winning "best of" awards. Our Crescent Bar Resort project attracted thousands of people over the years, and put the Wanapum Reservoir pool of the Columbia River on the map as a major recreational attraction in Washington State.
Our Wenatchee Center project grew into the Stanley Convention Center and the Wenatchee Performing Arts Center. Wenatchee Avenue "Streetscape" was awarded the best asphalt street project in Washington. Our residential and recreational developments of Roosevelt Lake Ranch, Deer Meadows and Lakeview Heights between Creston and Fort Spokane along the edge of Lake Roosevelt have opened the upper Columbia to warm climate summer recreation. We designed or expanded golf courses at Chelan, Colfax, Leavenworth, Rock Island, Clarkston and Deer Lodge, Montana. We designed the swimming pool for the Davenport Hotel renovation in Spokane. If you have used the pools and spas at Sun Mountain Lodge, or skied the slopes at Stevens Pass or Chewelah Peak, you have enjoyed our work. If you have visited our eastern Washington parks, from playing disc golf at Rotary Park in Wenatchee, playing ball at Lions Park in Othello, attending a car show at Douglas County Park in East Wenatchee, or camping at Wenatchee River County Park, you have enjoyed our work.
Sun Valley Estates, Wenatchee, residential design
If you participate in the quality of life and standard of living characteristic of north central Washington by residing in this area, you most likely have been touched by Munson Engineers. Your children have probably benefited from one of the school projects we have surveyed and engineered in many of the local communities. If you shop at local stores or have friends that stay in local hotels, you probably have been touched by Munson Engineers. If you receive deliveries from parcel services, you probably have been touched by Munson Engineers. If you use a car, or a bicycle, or walk around towns or on trails in north central Washington, you probably have been touched by Munson Engineers. If you have boys in Scouts that utilize Scout facilities, you probably have been touched by Munson Engineers. If you enjoy music and drama at a local venue, you probably have been touched by Munson Engineers. If you vacation in Honolulu and drive from the airport to Waikiki, you have been touched by Munson Engineers.