Latest News

Lee Taubeneck Joins NCE’s Infrastructure Team

NCE is excited to welcome Lee Taubeneck as an Associate Engineer with our Infrastructure Design Team. Lee is an expert in transportation planning and design, with more than 30 years of experience in the development of expressways, freeways, transit systems, streets, multi-use paths, trails, and sidewalks. He has worked with public, private, and non-profit clients throughout California at both the local, regional, and State levels. In addition, he formerly served in Branch Chief, Office Chief, and Deputy District Director positions at Caltrans and will provide valuable insights on Caltrans procedures and protocols. Lee is a registered Professional Engineer and a Qualified SWPPP developer in California. He is a member of American Society of Civil Engineers and the Association of Bicycle and Pedestrian Professionals. Lee earned his MS in Civil Engineering at the University of California, Davis, and BA degrees in both Environmental Science and American Government at the University of Virginia.

NCE Helps Clients Manage Pavement Assets with StreetSaver® Workshop

NCE pavement management experts are leading a four-part online workshop on StreetSaver® software November 16-19, sponsored by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) ;

“We’re committed to helping our clients use this tool effectively,” said Margot Yapp, NCE’s president. Yapp, Lisa Senn, and Sharlan Dunn—all expert users and teachers of the computer-based program—will lead the training ;

In the workshop, NCE will teach users how jurisdictions define and manage pavement networks and how to use the features of StreetSaver®, including:

  • Entering data from street surveys and inspections.
  • Updating maintenance and rehabilitation history.
  • Setting up a budget needs analysis.
  • Creating budget scenarios.
  • Using GIS linkage and reporting tools.

StreetSaver®, developed by MTC, is used by more than 300 public and private organizations nationwide—including all 109 cities and counties in the San Francisco Bay Area—to make informed decisions about managing street pavement and other assets. NCE routinely works with over 100 cities and counties to use StreetSaver® in preparing workplans, informing decision-makers, and complying with funding requirements. In addition, NCE prepares the biennial California Statewide Local Streets & Roads Needs Assessment, which relies in part on StreetSaver® to inform the public and policy-makers on the condition of the state’s local pavement network.
To register for the workshop, visit the StreetSaver® Academy at

Improved Transit, Pedestrian Corridor Opens in Midtown Reno, NV

The Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County (RTC)’s $90M transformation of Virginia Street in Midtown Reno is substantially complete (see the video at NCE led the overall design effort for RTC’s marquee complete streets project, which features new, wider sidewalks; new bus shelters; level bus-onboarding; bicycle improvements; associated roadway improvements; and welcoming landscaping and aesthetics.
The Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension Project extends the RTC RAPID service from the 4th Street Station to the University of Nevada and provides an accessible, pedestrian-friendly corridor. NCE provided support throughout the project, including:

  • Prepared federal funding applications, encroachment permits, and environmental documents.
  • Conducted agency and public information meetings and creating a related, interactive website for the project.
  • Performed investigations and analyses of drainage patterns, geotechnical conditions, existing pavement, traffic patterns, right-of-way, topography, and utilities.
  • Identified sustainable and feasible pavement rehabilitation and/or reconstruction alternatives and developed the recommended alternative.
  • Provided transit station architecture and structural design.
  • Designed landscaping and aesthetics improvements.
  • Developed preliminary and final design plans and estimates for the preferred alternative.
  • Performed Construction Manager at Risk support services, which included participation in value engineering and risk workshops, response to requests for information, and review of submittals.

The Virginia Street Bus RAPID Transit Extension project – the first of multiple projects stemming from the Virginia Street Corridor Investment Plan – finished ahead of schedule and under budget.

NCE Keeps Training During Outbreak, Moves Concrete Workshop Online

Working with our agency and industry partners, NCE is adapting to the current coronavirus outbreak by moving a full-day workshop scheduled for April 28 to an online format. Each of the four 1-hour webinars will be given on successive Tuesdays starting April 28, 2020, and will cover topics on cement and concrete properties as well as paving mixtures and construction adapted from information in Integrated Materials and Construction Practices for Concrete Pavement: A State-of- the-Practice Manual
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NCE Welcomes Mike Carlson, PE, as a Principal Engineer

Mike Carlson, civil engineer, joins NCE after a 32-year tenure with the Contra Costa County (County) Public Works Department. Mike most recently served as a Deputy Director of Public Works and was responsible for the Flood Control Division, Clean Water Program, Transportation Engineering, Environmental Services, Engineering Services and the Real Estate Division. Prior to that, he was Division Manager for Flood Control, Transportation, Engineering and Construction, including the Materials and Testing Laboratory. Throughout his career, Mike has developed successful relationships with his peers throughout the state, the regulatory community, the environmental community, non-profit organizations, and local citizen groups, to ensure projects meet the needs of all stakeholders. He has also served as an active participant and leader in the stormwater and flood-prevention communities in the Bay Area and statewide. He chaired the County Engineers Association of California Flood Control Committee. As chair, he established goals to develop a reliable funding source for flood protection and stormwater by modifying State legislation to allow stormwater to become a utility similar to drinking water and sewer. Because of his broad experience, Mike is a valuable addition to the NCE Team and can provide broad support to many of our service lines.

NCE Presents at Transportation Research Board Meeting

NCE fostered its long-standing relationship with transportation professionals by chairing sessions and presenting research results at the Transportation Research Board’s 99th Annual Meeting, January 12–16 in Washington, D.C. Eight NCE staff participated in order to share their insights about pavement learned during the past year and to bring news about the latest developments back to local clients. NCE staff presented results and information on the following topics:

  • Field Evaluation of Experimental Concrete Surface Wear Mitigation Treatments on I-80 in California
  • Experimental Investigation of Pothole Patching Materials
  • Assessment of California’s Continuously Reinforced Concrete Pavement Practice and Performance

More than 13,000 researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and other transportation professionals from around the world attended the meeting.

John Welsh, PE, Joins Reno Infrastructure Group

John-WelshNCE is pleased to welcome John Welsh as a new Principal Engineer in our Reno office’s Infrastructure Group. He brings more than 40 years of expertise in roadway engineering, airport design, facility planning, and water resources management across the western U.S.

Mr. Welsh is a registered Professional Engineer in both Nevada and California, a registered Water Rights Surveyor in Nevada, and a Professional Land Surveyor in California. John has been recognized by his peers on many occasions, including being named the 2011 Civil Engineer of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Truckee Meadows branch. He earned his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Mr. Welsh takes pride in finding creative design solutions for airports, streets, highways, utilities, storm drainage, sanitary sewer systems, flood control structures, mass grading, pavements, and development projects.

 “John’s extensive experience – particularly in the Truckee Meadows, Tahoe Basin, and eastern Sierra Nevada regions – will enhance our capabilities to serve these areas,” said NCE Regional Manager Kevin Senn. “He shares NCE’s commitment to providing high-quality products and excellent client service. He will also be a great mentor for younger staff.”

Matthew S. Gaber, RLA, to lead NCE’s new Landscape Architecture Studio

Matthew-GaberNCE is excited to announce the addition of Matthew S. Gaber, RLA, to lead NCE’s new Landscape Architecture service area. A licensed Landscape Architect in the state of California, Mr. Gaber brings a wealth of professional experience across the United States and beyond. Prior to joining NCE, Mr. Gaber worked at SWA (a large, international design firm) and led a Landscape Architecture studio in Berkeley, Calif. He specializes in providing creative design solutions at complex sites, typically working with diverse communities and satisfying extensive agency permitting requirements.

Over the course of 30 years designing and implementing projects, Mr. Gaber has gained a unique perspective on the practice of landscape architecture. Throughout his career, he has sought work that is environmentally and socially responsible, with a strong focus on client service and relationships. Under Mr. Gaber’s leadership, the Landscape Architecture Studio within NCE will focus on collaboration with NCE’s existing service areas, expanding the scale and scope of NCE’s built work while utilizing the deep technical expertise of NCE professionals. Mr. Gaber is currently leading the permitting, design and implementation of a variety of projects, including an extension of the Bay Trail in San Jose, Calif., which features overlooks and new watershed plantings along the Guadalupe River; the renovation of the streetscape and front gateway at UC Berkeley’s International House; and a new medical school campus with a teaching hospital in Elk Grove, Calif.

A life-long learner, Mr. Gaber earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design in 1987 and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design in 1995.

An avid gardener, he can be found most weekends exploring nurseries, walking throughout the East Bay studying the built landscape, or working in his constantly evolving garden with his wife and three children.

Michael Leacox Named Director of Marketing at NCE

Mike Leacox - CircleNCE is pleased to announce that Michael Leacox, PG, CEG, has assumed the role of Director of Marketing at NCE.

“Mike’s 32 years in the business and 17 years with NCE have given him a comprehensive knowledge of the firm’s capabilities in civil and pavement engineering, environmental sciences, and watershed science and planning. He has worked with our clients across multiple disciplines and thoroughly understands their needs. His new position will allow him to capitalize on that background and promote NCE’s unique skillset with cities and counties.” says CEO Margot Yapp.

Mr. Leacox joined NCE in 2003 as a Principal, working out of the company’s Sacramento office. As Director of Marketing, Mr. Leacox will lead NCE’s ongoing commitment to put clients first and to offer the company’s full range of services to meet client needs. He will collaborate with existing and potential clients to develop and propose solutions for large-scale and small-scale federal, public, and private projects.

“NCE is full of exceptional talent and resources. My goal is to support the staff as they deliver projects to clients, while at the same time helping the firm succeed,” Mr. Leacox says.

Mr. Leacox received his BS in Geology from UC Davis in 1984. He is a member of the Civil Engineers Association of California, American Public Works Association, and Groundwater Resources Association.

NCE Welcomes New Team Members

NCE welcomes and is excited to add long-time friends and collaborators André G. Jadkowski, PE, Thomas M. Palmerino, PE, and Andrea Valentine formerly with A-N West, Inc. to our team. Andre, Tom, and Andrea add experience and technical skills that are great assets to our clients and NCE. They bring a depth of experience providing civil and structural engineering services to public agencies and private clients throughout the San Francisco Bay Area with over 35 years of successful projects involving the design of streets and highways, bikeways, trails, bridges, city parks, residential and commercial developments, and storm drainage and flood control facilities. Some of their recent clients include the Cities of Pinole, El Cerrito, Richmond, San Pablo, Los Gatos, and San Jose; the Town of Corte Madera; and Contra Costa County. They can be reached at NCE’s Richmond office at (510) 215-3620. Brief introductions to each follow:

Andre Preferred - Circle v3André G. Jadkowski, PE
Principal Engineer

Mr. André Jadkowski, PE is a project manager and principal-in-charge with over 35 years of experience in civil and structural engineering projects related to bike and pedestrian trails, streets, roads, parking areas, site development, and utilities. His experience includes water resources, including storm drainage, flood control, pumping stations, sanitary sewers, and water distribution systems. These projects ranged from preliminary studies to feasibility reports to design to construction support services. His responsibilities include planning, engineering studies, analysis, design, surveying, inspection, computer applications, specifications, and cost engineering. André earned his BS in civil engineering from the University of the Pacific in 1982 and holds professional civil engineering licenses in the States of California (#42314), Nevada (#11619), and Arizona (#29609).


Tom Preferred - Circle v2Thomas M. Palmerino, PE
Senior Engineer

Mr. Thomas (Tom) Palmerino, PE is a practicing general civil engineer with over 46 years of experience and has worked on transportation projects in Northern California since 1980. Over that time, his roles have ranged through project management, planning, analysis and design, construction inspection, and post-construction claims. His experience with civil and structural engineering projects includes culverts, retaining walls, pump stations, and pipeline relocations. His experience in transportation-related structures includes creek crossings and highway crossing of various bridge types, including cast-in-place and precast concrete structures and steel structures. Tom earned his BE in civil engineering from Manhattan College in New York in 1971 and holds professional civil engineering licenses in the States of California (#29562) and Arizona (#20001).


Andrea - Circle v2Andrea J. Valentine
Senior CADD Technician

Ms. Andrea Valentine is a CADD drafter with nearly 40 years of experience providing layout and drawing of civil and structural plans, control lines, profiles, sections, and details based on engineers’ sketches and markups. She works with engineers to provide lot line adjustment boundaries; develops, implements, and updates CADD standards; and sets up and maintains drafting records and documentation. Her program experience includes AutoCAD, Bentley Microstation, and Microsoft Word and Excel. Andrea earned her BA in theory and practice of art from Northwestern University in 1974 and has taken various drafting, graphic arts, solar design, technical math, cartography, natural sciences, and computer training courses at various San Francisco Bay Area colleges.

Margot Yapp, PE will succeed Claude Corvino

Margot 13 v3NCE is pleased to announce that Margot Yapp, PE, will succeed Claude Corvino as President and Chief Executive Officer of NCE when he retires on June 1, 2019. Ms. Yapp currently serves as Vice President of NCE.

“Margot brings a unique set of technical skills and a thorough understanding of public policy at the state and local levels. Her passion for our staff and commitment to our clients is completely in line with our firm’s guiding principles,” says Corvino.

Ms. Yapp joined NCE in 1994 and opened the firm’s first California office. She has been prominent in pavement design and management projects and successfully led the biennial California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment study, which provided the Governor and Legislature with the data needed for new transportation funding.

“My personal goal has always been to make sure that the work I do is meaningful and that it contributes to the community by improving people’s lives. Joining NCE was an opportunity for me to realize that goal, as it allowed me to work with public agencies in the important field of transportation,” she says.

“As an engineering and environmental firm that focuses on transportation and infrastructure,” she continues, “NCE is ideally situated to have a huge positive impact on our communities. Our talented men and women offer practical solutions and are committed to making things happen. I am honored to be part of this team, and consider it a privilege to lead them to an exciting future.”

Ms. Yapp received her BS and MS in Civil Engineering (Pavements) from Oregon State University, and her MPP from UC Berkeley. She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Public Works Association and the Transportation Research Board.

Dr. Gail Ervin of The Ervin Consulting Group, a long-time friend and collaborator of NCE, joins forces with NCE

Gail ErvinDr. Gail Ervin of The Ervin Consulting Group, a long-time friend and collaborator of NCE, is joining forces with NCE to better serve her clients and communities with a team of exceptional professionals that share her values and commitments. She is a consulting principal with over 30 years of experience in environmental assessment and planning, facilitation, and public dispute resolution, specializing in downtown commercial and housing development, municipal infrastructure, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, military base closures, and brownfield development, with special expertise in downtown and neighborhood revitalization and CEQA/NEPA compliance for both the private and public sectors. Her professional experience, uniquely complemented by her active civic involvement, provides a thorough understanding of project analysis, public dispute resolution, public policy development, project management, public outreach, and development review from all perspectives. Gail and NCE embody an ethic of collaboration, integrity, and service. NCE is honored to combine forces with her. Gail can be reached at NCE’s Richmond office at (510) 215-3620, at her mobile at (916) 764-2498, or at

2016 California Statewide Needs Report Released

The 2016 California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment Report was released last week. No surprise to any of you, the 2016 Report found continued decline in pavement condition, bridges and essential components that make up the local street and road system. The average condition has dropped from a 66 on the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) [a scale of zero (failed) to 100 (excellent)] to a 65 which is in the “at risk” category. While this drop may not seem significant on its own, consider that since the inaugural report in 2008 the number of counties with an average PCI in “good” condition has dropped from 16 to 6 in just 10-years.


Since 2008, NCE has performed the Statewide needs assessment study of 539 cities and counties in California and has updated it biennially in 2010, 2012, 2014 and the most recent report in 2016. The scope of work includes collecting data on over 143,000 miles of local streets and roads, or over 80% of the state’s publicly maintained roadways.

The major tasks in this study include data collection from all cities and counties. These data is reviewed, summarized and evaluated. A methodology for standardizing the comparison process (converting all “apples” and “oranges” to “strawberries”) was developed in 2008 and continues to be utilized. This considers agencies with old data, missing data or no data. The results are presented to a variety of audiences including the California Transportation Commission, the State Legislature, Regional Transportation Planning Agency Planning Group and industry representatives.

Please visit to download a copy of the report.