Getting the Lead Out

by C. Dale Jacobson, (M.ASCE), Principal; Jacobson Helgoth Consultants, Omaha, NE,
Craig G. Osborn, Proj. Engr.; HDR Engineering, Omaha, NE,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 4, Pg. 60-62

Document Type: Feature article


When officials from Omaha, Neb. announced an ambitious plan to revitalize an abandoned stretch of land along the Missouri River, the land itself presented one of the biggest problems. The territory had a dubious environmental history. A battery-breaking and secondary smelting facility operated on the site from 1963 to 1982. And a metal salvage business, a railroad freight-handling facility, a World War II alcohol production plant and a series of railroad tracks had all served the area. As a result, environmental investigations in 1987 and 1988 revealed that soil on the site was contaminated with heavy metals—most prominently lead. But a fast-tracked, $7.1 million site investigation and remediation had the site ready for construction in just 18 months. Specifically, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Control and Douglas County agreed on a two-pronged remediation strategy of resource recovery and on-site stabilization. Now, a new corporate complex and a 30 acre park have invigorated the city's central business district.

Subject Headings: Site investigation | Construction sites | Land use | Railroad tracks | Soil pollution | Remediation | Rivers and streams | History | Nebraska | United States | Missouri River

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