Osborne Drive East Viaduct Evaluation

The evaluations is limited to the condition assessment, site investigation, and visual structural analysis to determine the overall structural condition of the viaduct, bridge support structure, piers, and the vehicle drive deck for the Hastings HWY 281 Viaduct/ Osborne Street bridge located at 16th Street and Kansas Avenue.

Evaluation Report by Engineering Specialists Incorporated dated July 20, 2020

Osborne Drive East Viaduct Evaluation Part 1
Osborne Drive East Viaduct Evaluation Part 2

*The above two files make up the entire Evaluation Report conducted by Engineering Specialists Incorporated dated July 20, 2020.

Assessment Report conducted by Olsson Associates dated May 2019

Osborne Street Viaduct Assessment

Viaduct Timeline of Events:

November 1935: Structural design completed


October 1936: Viaduct construction completed


1985: Structural repairs completed


2018: State assessment completed, giving the bridge deck and superstructure a Satisfactory rating and giving the substructure a Serious rating
February 2019: Olsson is hired to assess the condition of the structure at a cost of $25,917.84


May 2019: Olsson Conducts a “Visual Assessment” and gives an estimated option for repair of only the piers and bearings at a cost of $2.25 million, (later adjusted to $3.2 million) to gain an expected 30 years of use, but price did not include costs from Pacific Union that add up each day they cannot use their tracks during repairs. Olsson finds that the substructure of the bridge will fall to "Critical Condition" within the next 6 to 9 months without immediate action


May 2019: Viaduct closed to traffic


October 2019: Olsson was paid $15,600 for their services to update their cost estimate to repair the piers and bearings to $3.2 million, still not including Union Pacific costs and other fees


November 2019: City Council declares the viaduct a public safety issue


December 2019: City Council votes to demolish the structure at a cost of around $2 million


January 21, 2020: A Referendum Petition was filed to rescind the City Council’s decision to demolish the structure


March 2020: City Council rescinds decision to demolish the structure and allows the issue on the November 2020 General Election Ballot


March 2020: Proponents for keeping the viaduct suggest getting a second opinion on the structure to allow for additional information on its condition; Olsson agrees that a forensic examination is needed


April 2020: Engineering Specialists, Inc., recommended by Olsson, is hired to complete a more comprehensive report on the viaduct’s condition at a cost of $95,713


May 2020: ESI conducts a 4-day site evaluation, taking core samples to by analyzed


July 2020: ESI presents their findings in a 260-page report to the City Council, reporting that not only do the piers and bearings need extensive repairs as outlined by Olsson, but the treated-timber foundation is deteriorated beyond repair and needs replaced, and the bridge deck and piers would need to be removed to complete the work. ESI also warned that the structure could fall at any minute. ESI estimated demolition, replacement, and engineering costs to cost between $7,350,957.50 and $7,591,972.50, which does not include costs incurred from the closure of the Union Pacific railroad tracks during demolition and construction. Olsson agreed with the ESI report, saying Olsson’s $3.2 million estimate only included the repair of the piers and bearings and did not note the extensive deterioration to the foundation. The $3.2 million estimate also does not include fees to Union Pacific that will need to be paid. Olsson recognized that the bridge is not viable for saving based upon the new information from ESI, and agrees that the $7 million estimate to replace the bridge is construction costs only, and the price will rise to around $12 million when factoring in Union Pacific costs, permitting, construction testing, quality control and quality assurance. Based on the 260-page ESI report, Olsson voluntarily rendered their visual assessment and estimated costs invalid


August 2020: City Council selects the following ballot language for the November 2020 General Election: “Shall the governing body of the City of Hastings, Nebraska, be authorized to issue the negotiable bonds of said City in the principal amount of not to exceed $12,500,000.00 for the purpose of rebuilding the 16th Street Viaduct said bonds to bear interest at rates or rates as shall be determined by the Mayor and Council of the City and to become due at such time or times as may be fixed by the Mayor and Council and shall the City of Hastings cause to be levied and collected annually taxes sufficient in rate and amount to pay the interest and principal of said bonds as and when such interest and principal become due?”


November 4, 2020: Another City Initiative and Referendum Petition was filed, this time seeking to “perform major repair on the 16th Street Viaduct as outlined by the Olsson and Associates bridge engineer Tyler Kramer.” As far as the city understands, the repair outlined in the petition is the same bearings and pier-only repair offered by Olsson in May 2019, leaving the rotted foundation in place. The petition was filed prematurely, before all the votes were counted and certified, so it was returned pending the outcome of the election.


November 6, 2020: Votes were certified by Adams County, with residents voting against the rebuilding, bond and tax for the viaduct with a tally of 5,243 against and 5,193 for the measure.


November 9, 2020: The City Council voted deem the viaduct an urgent public safety matter to expedite its demolition for the safety of Hastings residents.