After 45 years as an industry leader, Budinger & Associates continues to innovate, offering a wide range of geotechnical, environmental and construction services in the Inland Northwest.
Budinger has gained a reputation for the depth of its in-house capabilities in geotechnical engineering, environmental engineering, subsurface exploration, materials testing and construction special inspection.
The company works with local, state and federal agencies, public and private utilities and both commercial and residential clients.
Since 1976, Budinger has provided services on projects throughout North Idaho, including the Coeur d’Alene Resort and Golf Course, the Terraces and the Coeur d’Alene Casino.
One of Budinger’s most exciting current projects is Humbird, Schweitzer’s new destination hotel.
Anchoring the Schweitzer village, the 66,580-square-foot hotel complex will be a ski-in, ski-out property that provides hospitality and support services to reframe Schweitzer as a year-round destination.
Humbird Hotel is expected to open for the 2021/22 season.
Budinger is also involved with a new high-speed quad chairlift at 49 Degrees North. The detachable quad will be the longest chairlift in Washington.
“It’ll cut the lift ride in half,” said certified engineering technologist Andrew Balavage.
Growing up in Libby, Mont., Balavage liked taking things apart to see how they worked. He once wanted to be a mining engineer, but that dream evolved over time.
“They build a lot more buildings than they do mines,” he said with a laugh.
These days, he takes pride in seeing the progression of projects that he worked on, knowing the components that make it work. But that’s not the most rewarding part.
“We provide safety,” he said. “We get to focus on ensuring our client ends up with a high quality product.”
Balavage’s vast experience and accreditation, as well as his exceptional professionalism, make him one of the most qualified special inspectors in the Inland Northwest.
Budinger has developed a reputation for the breadth and depth of its experienced construction quality professionals.
Budinger & Associates provides geotechnical exploration services in-house — a rarity in this area. The company has its own drill rigs to perform exploratory drilling and site characterization.
This work is typically subcontracted out, but as demand for drilling services increases and growth in the region continues, such services are harder to come by.
Budinger offers a wide range of geotechnical laboratory services, including triaxial shear and permeability testing, which was essential for quality control of a recent slurry wall project at the Bunker Hill Superfund site in the Silver Valley.
The project required 47 of these specialized tests that would otherwise have to be sent to Seattle.
Budinger & Associates is pleased to announce that Collin McCormick, Geotechnical Engineer, has joined the company in their Hayden Office.
McCormick obtained a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Oregon State University, followed by a master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Washington with a focus on geotechnical engineering.
He worked as a geotechnical engineer in Portland, Ore. for eight years, where he developed expertise in landslide and rockfall mitigation, foundation design, earth retaining structures and dam safety evaluations.
“During that time, I realized the importance of setting roots down — having a place I call home,” he said.
For McCormick, who graduated from Lake City High School, Coeur d’Alene has always been that place.
He always thought he’d need to live in a large metro area to work on complex, exciting projects. But with North Idaho’s population growing rapidly, the same opportunities exist here.
In spring 2021, McCormick returned to Coeur d’Alene with his wife and three-year-old daughter.
He had offers to work remotely for large engineering firms based outside the Inland Northwest, but he wanted to work for a company that operates locally.
“There’s a special connection with those in your local community who’ve been through some of the same ups and downs together,” he said.
It was an easy decision to accept a job with Budinger & Associates, where he interned for two summers during college.
Now that he’s back in Idaho, McCormick said he gets satisfaction from seeing completed projects he worked on while driving around his hometown.
More than that, he appreciates the ability to connect with local clients and build a relationship with them.
“You see them at the grocery store or out enjoying the outdoors on the weekend,” he said. “I love that.”
He said he wants other young professionals who left the area to pursue specialized training to know that it’s possible to pursue their passions in the community they know and love.
“There’s no one better to fill that position than someone with a deep connection to the community, the history and the landscape of North Idaho,” he said.