Bruce Alexander Krater, an icon in the civil engineering community of northern Nevada for many decades, has died. He was 90.
Krater, P.E., M.ASCE, had a career in the Reno, Nevada, civil engineering community that would last nearly 50 years, including time with Porter Armstrong, his own firm Sharp-Krater & Associates, and Harding Lawson, until he retired in 2003. Krater had a huge positive impact overseeing and being responsible for the design and construction of numerous important and critical infrastructure improvements in Reno, Lake Tahoe, and the northern Nevada/northern California area.
He joined ASCE in 1952 and was designated a life member in 1995.
He was one of the lead civil engineers for the Tahoe Keys development at South Shore Lake Tahoe, a project that occurred before environmental impact statements were required. He later said he would have done things much differently if he’d understood the long-term consequences of the development, so he embarked on numerous important water quality projects in the decades after, including preparation of a master plan for erosion control and stormwater management in the Tahoe Basin to meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act.
Krater was also an expert on roadway pavement management systems and was involved early on in the development of these systems. Today, taxpayers and motorists save tens of millions of dollars every year in pavement maintenance costs as a result of his efforts, and in 1992 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Nevada Society of Professional Engineers.
He began his service with the U.S. Air Force and was stationed at Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul, Illinois. He later received orders to go to Tachikawa Air Force Base in Japan, where he spent 18 months. While in Japan, Krater worked in the civil engineering department at the base, climbed Mt. Fuji, and found some time to ski. In March 1955, he and his new bride moved to Roswell, New Mexico, to complete his service; then in 1956 they found their permanent home in Reno.
Skiing was his passion, and you could say Krater followed the slopes. He moved from Los Angeles on the advice of his best friend, who told him how great the skiing was in Reno. Transferring from his city college to the University of Nevada in 1949, he graduated with a degree in civil engineering in 1952. He also trained people to ski.