Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Civil and Environmental Engineering


In 1863, while the Civil War was dividing the East, a monumental project began in the West. Plans had been finalized for a railroad that would unify the country in commerce and migration. Two companies accepted the challenge of laying track across over 1700 miles of North American soil, from Sacramento, California to Omaha, Nebraska. The Union Pacific Railroad would come from the East and the Central Pacific Railroad from the West. Governor Leland Stanford of California broke ground for the project on January 8, 1863, and the line was finished at Promontory Summit, UT on May 10, 1869 (NPS, 2013). The 2014 Utah State University (USU) Concrete Canoe Team has honored the engineers and laborers involved in this project by basing this year' s canoe, Promontory, on this historic achievement of the 19th century.



Faculty Mentor

Paul Barr

Departmental Honors Advisor

Dean Adams