42nd and Q Street Intersections Improvements

Felsburg Holt & Ullevig and HGM Associates for the City of Omaha

Category winner: Transportation

South Omaha is known for its vibrant, culturally diverse neighborhoods built on proud traditions and a history of hard work. However, the failing bridge and outdated intersections at 42nd and Q Streets were not reflective of that pride and tradition. Built in 1961 over BNSF rail lines, the bridge’s structural deficiencies nearly forced its closure to vehicular traffic. The intersections had higher than average crash rates and were dangerous for pedestrians. In 2009, the City of Omaha hired Felsburg Holt & Ullevig and HGM Associates Inc. to update the intersections and bridge to current design and safety standards. The project area has since been transformed for the 46,000 daily drivers it serves. The new Q Street bridge is a space-saving, single-span structure that safely meets the needs of the vehicular and pedestrian traffic traveling on top and the BNSF Railway below. The two outdated signalized T-intersections were replaced with a modern, efficient multi-lane roundabout on the west side of the new bridge and a single-lane roundabout on the east side. Together they reduce speeds through the intersections and the potential for high-speed, right-angle crashes. The project provides a safe, pedestrian-friendly gateway to South Omaha businesses, schools, parks and neighborhoods.

Kapi’olani Medical Center NICU/PICU Addition

HDR Engineering for Kapi’olani Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii

Category winner: Structural Systems

The Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)/Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) Tower, which opened in spring 2017, is the first major hospital project on the center’s campus since the early 1970s. The new tower provides an estimated 200,000 square feet in a six-story structure. The tower has the potential for future vertical expansion with three additional floors. The project involved many challenges: the high cost of construction in Hawaii, high wind and seismic forces, and a tight project site. By using an innovative structural system, all challenges were met in a cost-effective way. The result is a new hospital tower that nearly quintupled the size of the previous NICU and provides outpatient, education and support functions; and a new front door to the hospital surrounded by an open “lei” representing the welcoming of new life.

Great Salt Lake Causeway Improvements

HDR Engineering for Union Pacific Railroad


After a railroad causeway across the Great Salt Lake created one of the world’s most unique ecological marvels, a team designed a new bridge opening and performed water quality modeling to maintain the rare environment. Salt and water transfer between the two lake arms had been reduced after the structural deterioration and closure of two culverts. Performing the first extensive lake modeling since 1997, the team updated and recalibrated the water and salt balance. The new 180-foot-long bridge enables lake managers to adjust salt and water transfer between the lake’s north and south arms. Designing a stable bridge structure proved challenging, given the area’s soft sediment and two tectonic faults. To mitigate these conditions, the bridge was constructed in a geologically stable area, with additional stability provided by 40 piles driven more than 200 feet deep — unusual for a 35-foot-deep lake. Project completion marks renewed cooperation among all stakeholders to protect and preserve the assets of the Great Salt Lake. The project is valued by Union Pacific, which can continue to operate safely; state officials, who have a long-term lake management solution; and environmental groups, who see the lake’s ecological resources continuing to thrive.

Fort Omaha Campus Expansion Morrissey Engineering for Metropolitan Community College

Building/Technology Systems

Metropolitan Community College’s Fort Omaha Campus Expansion includes three new-construction buildings pursuing LEED Gold certification, along with a new central utilities plant. The buildings are designed to create a new, application-based teaching model and achieve a high degree of student retention and success by focusing on skilled trade and technology-based degrees. The buildings immerse occupants in the building systems, making the structures an extension of the syllabus. Each building has a different design aesthetic, along with different architectural lighting concepts incorporated into each public space.

Jackson Dinsdale Art Center

Thompson, Dreessen & Dorner Inc. for Hastings College

Structural Systems

Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska, is home to the new Jackson Dinsdale Art Center. The $6.8 million, 24,600-square-foot facility was inspired by the life of Jackson Dinsdale, a young man passionate about art. The building design represents the art instruction areas of ceramics (brick façade), glass blowing (glass curtain wall) and metalworking (steel). The building includes classrooms, galleries and studios for glass blowing, metal sculpture, ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking and photography. Support areas include an office suite, permanent collection storage space and wood shop. Inclusion of two geometric scrim structures and several steel canopies gives the building a sculptural appearance and adds to a visually stimulating design that serves as a learning opportunity for art students.

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