Great Salt Lake Causeway Bridge

Four HDR-Led Projects Earn ACEC Nebraska Awards

Great Salt Lake Causeway Project to Advance to National Engineering Competition

Four HDR-led projects have earned honors from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Nebraska. The Great Salt Lake Causeway Improvements Project received an Honor Award — and also received an Honor Award from ACEC Utah. The project will advance to the organization’s national competition in April. Also receiving an Honor Award was the Kapi’olani Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit/Pediatric Intensive Care Unit addition. Two other Nebraska projects were recognized with Merit Awards: The City of Blair Nebraska Water System Modeling and Master plan and the Omaha Public Power District’s Midwest Transmission-Nebraska Transmission project.

Great Salt Lake Causeway Improvements Project

In 1901, changes to the original transcontinental railroad system included constructing a causeway and wooden trestle across the Great Salt Lake, reducing the distance travelled around the lake by 42 miles. A mid-century replacement supplanted the trestle with a rock-filled embankment and two concrete culverts to facilitate boat traffic between both sides of the lake and the transfer of water and salt.

The newer rock-filled causeway, constructed in the mid-1950s, experienced settlement due to the weak lake bottom materials, causing the culverts to settle and over the past 60 years, deteriorate. In 2011, Union Pacific determined they would need to fill the culverts to stabilize the causeway and allow continued safe rail operations across the lake. However, permanent culvert closure would restrict water and salt flow between the two arms even more and potentially threatened to alter the lake ecology and water quality.

To maintain safe railroad operation without significant economic and environmental consequences, Union Pacific turned to the HDR team of engineers, hydrologists, water quality modelers and scientists to design a new causeway opening that replicates water and salt flow that was provided by the culverts and maintain the one-of-a-kind ecosystem in the Great Salt Lake.

Kapi’olani Medical Center NICU/PICU

The Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children Neonatal Intensive Care Unit/Pediatric Intensive Care Unit Tower, located in Honolulu, Hawaii, opened in the spring of 2017 and is the first major hospital project on the campus since the early 1970s.

The new tower provides 192,142 square feet of space in one below-grade and six above-grade levels. In the future, the tower can be expanded vertically with three additional floors.

The project faced numerous challenges related to the high costs of construction in Hawaii, high wind and seismic forces and a tight project site. Through use of an innovative structural system, all of these challenges were met in a practical and cost-effective manner.

The new hospital tower nearly quintuples the size of Kapi’olani’s previous NICU, and provides outpatient, education and support functions in addition to a new front door to the hospital, surrounded by an open “lei” that represents the welcoming of new life.

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 nearly 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.