HDR Projects, People Honored with American Council of Engineering Companies-Nebraska Awards

Five HDR projects have been recognized by American Council of Engineering Companies of Nebraska in its 2017 Engineering Excellence Awards competition. The Council Bluffs Interstate System – Railroad Relocation Project achieved the Grand Award, the state's top honor, and will move on to ACEC’s national competition in April. In addition, ACEC/Nebraska named HDR’s Matt Tondl a recipient of the Charles Durham Achievement Award and Ryan Hanson Nebraska Young Professional of the Year.

Grand Award Winner: Council Bluffs Interstate System – Railroad Relocation Project

Council Bluffs is one of seven principal Midwest railroad gateways, with one-fourth of all trains moving between the eastern and western United States passing through it. Nine main rail lines of five major railroads converge there. In 2004, the Iowa Department of Transportation and city of Council Bluffs began a $1.04 billion program to modernize and increase capacity and safety of Interstates 80, 29 and 480 in Council Bluffs. One of the goals was to reduce the number of rail crossings to improve rail flow and safety, and the affected railroads responded enthusiastically. HDR's role was to develop a railroad consolidation plan and assist in obtaining necessary agreements and federal filings.

The consolidation project eliminated nine at-grade roadway/railroad crossings, improved tracking operations and provided for future expansion, among other improvements. It delivered the new track corridor two months ahead of schedule and nearly $2 million under the programmed amount.

Other Winners

The following HDR-led projects received Merit Awards from ACEC/Nebraska:

  • Florence Howell Filter Plant Improvements
  • Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) Categorical Exclusion Smartform
  • Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) Activated Carbon Injection, Dry Sorbent Injection (ACI/DSI) Project
  • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site Visitors Center (largely designed in Nebraska)

Matt Tondl: Charles Durham Achievement Award

Matt Tondl was honored with a Charles Durham Achievement Award. Tondl is a professional engineer with 33 years of experience, 27 of them with HDR. He is a senior vice president with responsibility for HDR’s Nebraska and Iowa engineering operations. Under his leadership, staff has doubled to nearly 400 professionals. His technical expertise is in transportation project planning and design. Tondl serves on the University of Nebraska Civil Engineering Advisory Board, and has served as president and national director of ACEC/Nebraska. The Charles Durham award honors Durham’s community stewardship and leadership in the engineering profession. Durham was chairman and CEO of Henningson, Durham and Richardson, which became HDR.

Ryan Hanson: Nebraska Young Professional of the Year

Hanson is a transportation engineer in Omaha. He is being honored for his accomplishments as an engineer under age 30 who has contributed to the engineering profession and has had a positive community impact. He is active in the American Society of Civil Engineers Nebraska section, the Truss Bustin' Competition and LOCATE Drive Smart program. His name will be entered into ACEC’s national competition for Young Professional of the Year.

About HDR

For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what's possible. Our expertise spans 10,000 employees, in more than 225 locations around the world—and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.