J. Erich Rauber

PE, GE, Geotechnical Engineer / Professional Engineer

Mr. Rauber is a licensed Civil Engineer and Geotechnical Engineer in California with over 30 years of experience in civil and environmental engineering and project management.  He has…

  • Lead and/or participated in the design and construction of numerous roadway projects: He has designed flexible and rigid pavement systems, evaluated soil subgrades and, where necessary, developed and implemented mitigation of pavement subgrade soils, including lime treatment, cement stabilization, geogrid solutions, and effective utilization of recycled asphalt. He has experience with the use of lightweight fill, EPS geofoam, and tire-derived aggregate. 
  • Managed civil and environmental engineering projects; conducted geotechnical investigations and managed design and construction oversight projects, and remediated contaminated sites. Projects included roads, earth and concrete dams, mine sites, waterfront facilities, commercial developments, design/build projects, and rail facilities.
  • Supervised and participated in solid-waste landfill design and operations plans. Designed and implemented seepage control and interception and diversion of groundwater, utilizing systems such as slurry trench cut-off walls, pumping wells, and collection trenches.
  • Developed site characterization and clean up strategies for numerous CERCLA and RCRA sites, negotiated permits under the Clean Water Act, and successfully negotiated with state and federal regulatory agencies in several states and regions. 
  • Coordinated preconstruction activities, prepared budgets and engineer’s estimates, and prepared final construction documents. He has solicited, reviewed and evaluated contractor and subcontractor bids; understands critical path management and has extensive scheduling experience with several project management software packages. 

Areas of Expertise

Project Management
Geotechnical Engineering
Environmental Engineering


MS in Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
BS in Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

Registrations and Certifications

Geotechnical Engineer – California
Professional Engineer (Civil) – California, Colorado, Oregon
Dormant: Kentucky, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, and Alberta, Canada

Professional Memberships

American Society of Civil Engineers
Sonoma County Alliance

Continuing Education and Training

OSHA 40 hour hazardous materials/waste health and safety training and annual 8-hour refresher courses through the present
Fundamentals of Finance & Accounting for Non-Financial Executives
Understanding Migration, Assessment, and Remediation of Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids, National Groundwater Association
Environmental Regulations, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Regulations
Strong Ground Motion Seminar, Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
Project Management, Ira Bitz & Associates

Select Project Experience

Geotechnical Engineering Services, Colombia Solar Project, Pittsburg, California.

Project manager for a planned 19 MW solar project on a 105-acre site in Pittsburg, California.

The project consisted of a solar panel array field (including access roads), new electrical substation, and transmission tower. The work included performing a subsurface exploration program, performing an electrical resistivity survey, a laboratory testing program, and engineering evaluations to develop conclusions and recommendations regarding the following:

  • Site grading, including compaction requirements and access lane surfacing
  • Most appropriate foundation type(s) for the substation and solar panel arrays
  • Design criteria for recommended foundation type(s), including maximum allowable bearing pressure, uplift, and lateral load resistance
  • Seismic Design Criteria
  • Corrosion Potential
  • Construction considerations, including factors that may impact foundation installation

Various Projects, River Rock Casino/Dry Creek Rancheria – Geyserville, California.

Project Manager and lead geotechnical engineer for several projects, including the following performed since 2010:

  • Landslide Stabilization – Stabilization of a landslide threatening the River Rock Casino. With the landslide moving up to 6-inches a day and migrating toward the Casino, Mr. Rauber lead a team that stabilized the landslide via a series of stone columns and horizontal drains, designed and oversaw the construction of a soldier pile and lagging wall and earthen buttress. Work completed in less than 6 months. 
  • Infrastructure Improvement and Maintenance Plan – Assisted in developing a maintenance plan that identified infrastructure components that may be contributing to slope instability and recommendations for mitigating these potential contributions
  • Dewatering System – Designed and implemented a dewatering system to reduce the potential for future slope instability in key areas around the Casino
  • Emergency Access Road – Geotechnical investigation and construction oversight of two segments of an access road to provide separate, independent access to/from the River Rock Casino
  • Fire Station – Design and construction of a new fire station and support buildings
  • New Hotel – Geotechnical investigation for a planned 7-story hotel constructed into sloping, landslide-prone terrain.
  • New Office Building – Geotechnical investigation for a planned 3-story office building with basement and ½ million gallon water tank.
  • New Winery Complex – Geotechnical investigation for planned winery complex to be constructed on the Dry Creek Rancheria
  • Cut slope Stabilization – Geotechnical investigation to develop the optimal approach for stabilizing a failing cut slope along the main access road to the Casino.

Geotechnical Engineering Services, IOS-1 Design-Build Project, Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) District, Marin and Sonoma County, California.

Project manager and lead geotechnical engineer for this 38-mile section of railroad. The project included design and construction of 38 miles of roadbed and track, 8 bridges, 8 stations through a variety of challenging soil and rock conditions. Provided criteria for the design of pile foundations for the bridges, all with significantly different soil conditions. Using the results of our investigation and considerable experience with the soil conditions along the alignment and the soil-structure interaction software program L-PILE, we worked closely with the team’s bridge engineers to develop efficient foundation designs that resist the effects of vertical and lateral loading. Evaluated the time for consolidation settlement of bay mud to occur and methods to reducing this time, including preloading/surcharging, and the optimal spacing of vertical (wick) drains. Mr. Rauber also managed the implementation of environmental mitigation program required of the environmental impact statement.

Terrace Avenue Roadway Repairs, Arcata, California – For the City of Arcata.

Mr. Rauber was the lead Geotechnical Engineer for a geotechnical exploration program to evaluate the cause of observed roadway subsidence and develop approaches to ameliorate the subsidence and repair the road. Our exploration revealed the subsiding road section was underlain by nearly 20 feet of large logs, loose soil, and miscellaneous wood debris. LACO developed cost-effective approaches for minimizing future subsidence and repairing the roadway.

Alderpoint Road Landslide, Garberville, California – For the County of Humboldt.

Mr. Rauber, as project Geotechnical Engineer, lead a geotechnical exploration program to evaluate the cause and develop a cost-effective landslide repair/stabilization approaches. The subject section of Alderpoint Road crosses steeply sloping terrain within intensely fractured, deeply weathered geology. Past attempts to repair the landslide had been unsuccessful. Using the results of our exploration program, including the installation and monitoring of inclinometers and piezometers, we identified the probable causes and developed a cost-effective repair for the road, the implementation of which is pending.

Foster Avenue Extension, Arcata, California – For GHD.

Mr. Rauber served as Project Geotechnical Engineer for a geotechnical exploration program to support the design and construction of an approximate 2,000-foot extension of Foster Avenue. The project included retaining walls, multi-use trail, and a roundabout. The expansion area was formerly a lumber mill that included a 500-foot-long pond. Ground disturbance associated with the prior mill development is ubiquitous. Working with GHD engineers, we evaluated settlement and expansive soil conditions along the alignment and developed approaches to mitigating these conditions. 

Francis Creek Bridge Replacement, Ferndale, California.

Mr. Rauber was project Geotechnical Engineer, for the replacement the bridge in the Salt/Eel river delta. Our geotechnical exploration program revealed the site is underlain by weak, compressible silty clay. To avoid the use of costly deep foundations, we developed design criteria for using vertical (wick) drains to increase consolidation settlement rates, and utilized geogrids to develop design criteria for the use of shallow foundations to support a segmented precast concrete bridge.

Squaw Creek Road, The Geysers Geothermal Region, Sonoma County, California.

Mr. Rauber served as lead engineer for geotechnical services during construction of 3000 foot-long section of road that traversed over 50 major landslides. In addition to repairing these landslides the project included installing reinforced earth walls up to 50 feet high, several 1.5:1 fill embankments up to 175 feet high, 3,000 rock anchors to stabilize ½:1 rock cut slopes, and a drilled pier and ground-anchor-supported bridge.

SMART Station Sites – Marin and Sonoma County, California.

Project manager for geotechnical evaluations at sites for the 14 planned stations during Advanced Conceptual Engineering, and geotechnical investigations for eight of these stations as part of Preliminary Engineering activities for the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) project. Our work targeted geotechnical factors that may influence design and construction of station elements, including platforms, pavements, shelters, light poles, and retaining walls. Project challenges included developing efficient, effective approaches for addressing weak, compressible or expansive surface soils, liquefaction potential in response to earthquake shaking, and shallow groundwater.

Albertola Estates Subdivision, Greenfield, California.

Designed and provided construction management services during construction of this 10 lot Central California hillside development. The project included designing nearly 1 ½ miles of roadway and pavement section design, identifying and evaluating potential water sources, performing groundwater pumping tests on four wells, performing water quality evaluations, designing a water treatment facility and water distribution system. 

Liquefaction Evaluation, Lloyd Hance Community School, Lakeport, California.

Evaluated liquefaction potential and estimated liquefaction induced settlement at this school site. Also evaluated the results of post-mitigation activities, developed revised foundation recommendation to minimize liquefaction-induced settlement impacts and worked with a team to successfully argue to DSA that further mitigation was not necessary.

Mittelstadt Lane Landslide, Cloverdale, California.

Provided testimony at a settlement hearing regarding the cause and mitigation of this landslide that affected a driveway, adjacent roadway and utilities, and threatened a down-slope home.

Geotechnical Investigations, Power Plant Site U-27, and Well Pad Sites WHS-57, and WHS-72, Geysers Geothermal Region, Sonoma County, California.

Project Manager and lead geotechnical engineer for geotechnical investigations to develop power plant and well pad sites in the areas with challenging topography and geology.

Licensing and Permitting Activities, Centennial Uranium Recovery Project – Weld County, Colorado.

Lead engineer for preparation of license application and reclamation permit for this project which will utilize in situ recovery techniques to recover uranium. In addition, Mr. Rauber prepared a reclamation permit application for a planned sand and gravel mine being considered to support project development activities. He also performed a slurry wall feasibility study to evaluate the feasibility of utilizing soil-bentonite slurry trench cutoff walls to retain affected groundwater during orebody flooding and in situ recovery operations in shallow resource areas.

In Situ Recovery Feasibility Evaluation, Magnum Uranium Recovery Project – Emery County, Utah.

Lead engineer for evaluation of in situ uranium recovery techniques. Work included performing in situ tests, included groundwater pumping tests and laboratory tests, including physical properties and bottle roll tests, to support the evaluations. Prepared work plans, assisted in obtaining the required permits to perform the required fieldwork.

License Renewal Activities, Cotter Corporation Uranium Mill – Canon City, Colorado.

Lead engineer responsible for evaluating the tailings containment and dewatering systems in response to regulatory concerns regarding their continued effectiveness. Mr. Rauber provided testimony at hearings that lead to successful license renewal.

Landslide Evaluation and Repair, Active Coal Mine – Somerset, Colorado.

Project manager of the team that designed and directed the repair of a major landslide threatening most of the surface facilities at a coal mine near Somerset, Colorado. Mitigation measures consisted of:

  • Installing impermeable liners in onsite ponds to prevent seepage from reducing the stability of the landslide mass 
  • Draining certain mine workings utilizing horizontal drains to eliminate this potential source of water from entering and reducing the stability of the landslide
  • Installing large diameter stone columns designed to intercept and passively convey groundwater to a permeable gravel zone beneath the landslide, reducing the hydrostatic pressure within the landslide mass and increasing the factor of safety against failure
  • Installing micro-piles to increase the shearing resistance along the base of the landslide and increasing the factor of safety against failure

Also assisted this client with designing a 6,000 foot-long road through a landslide-prone ‘roadless’ area and negotiating with the U.S. Forest Service to obtain approval for this road.

Licensing and Permitting Support, Atlas-Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Dam– Moab, Utah.

Mr. Rauber provided technical and regulatory support to Atlas Corporation during the licensing and permitting activities required to perform in-place reclamation of a 130-acre tailings impoundment containing 10 million tons of uranium mill tailings adjacent to the Colorado River in Moab, Utah. Mr. Rauber evaluated the stability of the tailings dam and tailings dewatering methods and developed a conceptual design for pre-consolidation of the tailings using hydraulically placed overburden and wick drains to expedite the consolidation/dewatering process.

Rock Creek Hydroelectric Project No. 2, Feather River Canyon, Butte County, California.

Project engineer for the investigation and development of criteria for the design of an 80-foot-high concrete diversion dam, and associated tunnel, penstock, and powerhouse. 

Tailings Dam, Cotter Corporation Uranium Mill, Canon City, Colorado.

Lead engineer responsible for evaluating tailings dam stability, fluid containment and dewatering systems in response to regulatory concerns regarding its continued effectiveness. Mr. Rauber provided testimony at hearings that lead to successful license renewal.

Deer Island Detention Levees, Novato, California.

Project Engineer for geotechnical investigation and development of design criteria for a flood control system in Northern Marin County consisting of 6,300 feet of flood control levees and associated channels and spillways constructed on highly compressible San Francisco Bay mud.

Edwards Dams, Oakland, California.

Project engineer for seismic evaluations for upgrades to two large earth dams. Upgrades consisted of designing and constructing new spillways to increase the freeboard on these 100+-year-old earth dams and thus reduce the risk of dam failure during a seismic event. Supervised performance of seismic evaluations, prepared construction drawings and specifications, prepared bid documents and solicited bids, and managed the successful construction effort.

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