The 2017 ACEC/Iowa Engineering Excellence Awards winning projects in the Transportation Category, in the order listed (Note Attachment: Grand Place Award Winner press release document): 

Transportation Grand Place Award (1st Place in Category)

Firm: CH2M Hill
Client/Owner: Iowa Department of Transportation
Project: Iowa Highway 100 Extension Project- Phase 1
Contact: Ms. Sirpa HallPE, CH2M Hill
E-mail: Sirpa.Hall@ch2m.com  ~ Phone: 954-299-8577
Iowa Highway 100 Extension Project- Phase 1

Rendering of the IA 100 Extension – Phase I Project at the Cedar River.

Construction of the long awaited and much anticipated Iowa Highway 100 (IA 100) Extension Project is ongoing with the Phase I project, Covington Road to Edgewood Road, scheduled to open to traffic in Fall 2016.  Once complete, the new corridor will reduce traffic congestion along I-380 and other roadways in Cedar Rapids, provide an additional crossing of the Cedar River, and spur growth and economic development to northwest Cedar Rapids. 

Understanding the importance of this corridor to the region, the Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) remained committed to the project and has gone the extra mile to assure the project is completed to meet current and future travel demands while displaying a model of environmental stewardship.  Throughout the planning process Iowa DOT made a series of commitments to protect and minimize disruption to sensitive areas adjacent to the corridor such as the Rock Island Preserve.  To make good on these commitments, innovative engineering and construction solutions were necessary and additional investments made to protect and improve the habitats of endangered plant and animal species, wetlands, and woodland areas adjacent to the freeway corridor.

Below are three key features of Phase I of this project:

Travel Connectivity - A new interchange at Covington Road and a full access interchange with Edgewood Road will provide a direct link between the northwest side of the metro and outlying areas such as the City of Palo to commercial and employment centers of northwest Cedar Rapids.  This linkage will reduce travel time and distance between these areas and improve traffic flow along other major local roads including Edgewood Road, Ellis Road, and Blairs Ferry Road as well as US 30 and I-380 through downtown Cedar Rapids.

Improved Edgewood Road Corridor – The recent reconstruction of Edgewood Road between Blairs Ferry Road and 42nd Street was part of the IA 100 project.  The existing interchange with IA 100 was reconstructed and one signalized intersection along Edgewood Road was eliminated, improving the flow of traffic.  The reconstructed Edgewood interchange includes sidewalks and accommodations for a future trail.  The reconstruction included aesthetic features to enhance the corridor including decorative roadway lighting, concrete pavers and pedestrian ways, and decorative concrete barriers and retaining walls.   

Animal Habitats and Crossings –The project included construction of a new pond to improve the endangered Ornate Box Turtle habitat within the Rock Island Preserve and a wildlife crossing for safe passage under the freeway corridor for turtle and other animals.  Special fencing along the freeway corridor includes deer fence and small animal barrier fence to prevent animals, big and small, from entering the travel way adding a safety benefit to the traveling public and the wildlife. 

Overall, the IA 100 Extension corridor was estimated to cost $200 million dollars to construct with $101 million of that total for the Phase I project. CH2M was the design engineer for this project with the exception of the Cedar River bridge which was designed by Parsons Transportation.  


Transportation Grand Place Award (1st Place in Category)

Firm: HDR
Client/Owner: Iowa Department of Transportation
Project: Council Bluffs Interstate System Railroad Relocation Project
Contact: Mr. Craig Hunter, PE and Tim Bennett, PE, HDR
E-mail: craig.hunter@hdrinc.com and tim.bennett@hdrinc.com~ Phone: 402-399-1336

Council Bluffs Interstate System Railroad Relocation Project

The unique partnership between Iowa DOT, the City of Council Bluffs, the railroads, HDR and Ames Construction successfully delivered the CBIS Railroad Relocation Project nearly $2 million under budget, substantially completing the work almost two months ahead of schedule.

Council Bluffs Seizes Unique Opportunity to Relocate and Consolidate Railroad System

COUNCIL BLUFFS, IOWA – The Iowa Department of Transportation and the City of Council Bluffs have partnered to complete a $13.9 million railroad relocation and consolidation project as part of the larger Council Bluffs Interstate System (CBIS) program.

In 2004, the Iowa Department of Transportation and the City of Council Bluffs posed a question as they began a $1.04 billion program to modernize and increase the capacity and safety of Interstates 80, 29 and 480 in Council Bluffs: “What if we also used this opportunity to consolidate, streamline and reduce the impact of the railroad lines these interstates crossed?

The project is a critical one for Council Bluffs, one of seven principal Midwest railroad gateways, with one-fourth of all the trains moving between the eastern and western United States passing through it.

Today, nine railroad main lines of five major railroads converge at Council Bluffs in “shortest distance between two points is a straight line” fashion. The result is a city divided and a street grid congested by seemingly another railroad grade crossing at every block.

The railroads this project affected were approached, and BNSF Railway, Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS) and CBEC Railway responded enthusiastically. Iowa DOT selected HDR to develop the railroad consolidation plan, and to assist it with the numerous agreements and federal filings.

HDR’s team began with a railroad traffic and operations analysis—informed by the railroads—that identified a consolidation plan for four main lines that approached Council Bluffs from the south and east, and eliminated numerous grade crossings, including one across the primary entrance to a major shopping center. Additionally, it relocated one of the main tracks away from a high school and middle school. 

Ultimately, the consolidation project constructed a new single common corridor for BNSF and CBEC main lines west of Mosquito Creek under Interstate 29 and Iowa Highway 92.

In total, the project eliminated nine at-grade roadway/railroad crossings; improved traffic operations at South Expressway Interchange as well as South Expressway; reduced interstate bridge cost for South Expressway; eliminated a main line that bisected Lewis Central High School property; improved railroad operations by enabling railroads to eliminate switching across streets in Council Bluffs; and provided for future capacity expansion of the rail lines.

The impact of the project will be far-reaching beyond Council Bluffs, which is a regional railroad transportation hub for agriculture, ethanol, new automobiles and manufacturing in a 200-mile radius. Added to the more than 40 transcontinental trains’ daily carrying coal, grain, minerals and consumer goods, Council Bluffs is a nationally strategic rail center.

The unique partnership opportunity proved successful for Iowa DOT and the stakeholders involved, and the project was substantially completed almost two months ahead of schedule and nearly $2 million under budget.

About HDR: At HDR, we’ve partnered with our clients to shape communities and push boundaries of what’s possible since 1917. With nearly 10,000 employees in more than 225 locations around the world, we think global and act local. We’ve completed projects in more than 60 countries, always following through and holding ourselves accountable.

Transportation Honor Award (2nd place in category)

Project: Grand Prairie Parkway Diverging Diamond Interchange Project
Firm: Kirkham, Michael & Associates, Inc.
Client/Owner: City of Waukee & City of West Des Moines

Engineering Achievement Award

Project: 42nd Street NE and I-380 Intersection Improvements Project
Firm: Anderson Bogert
Client/Owner: City of Cedar Rapids

Project: Muscatine Airport Runway 6/24 Reconstruction Project
Firm: Anderson Bogert
Client/Owner: City of Muscatine

Project: Paving for Progress Project
Firm: HR Green
Client/Owner: City of Cedar Rapids

Project: I-29 Sioux City Segment 1 Project
Firm: HR Green
Client/Owner: Iowa Department of Transportation

Project: Cross-Town Connector Project
Firm: Snyder & Associates Inc.
Client/Owner: City of Fort Dodge

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