Jodi Gardberg

Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Quality

Standards and Technical Services Section Manager


Jodi Gardberg is the Environmental Program Manager of the Standards and Technical Services Section for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Water Quality (UDWQ).  She oversees the following water quality programs: Great Salt Lake, Standards, Nutrient Reduction, Biological and Lake Assessment, Harmful Algal Blooms, Wetlands, Wasteload Allocations and Antidegradation Review, 401 Water Quality Certifications and GIS.

Panelist: Union Pacific Railroad Causeway Bridge Construction - Where are we Today? And Where are we Going in the Future?

8:55-10:20am - Friday, May 13th

Title: Circulation of water and salt between Gunnison and Gilbert Bays, Great Salt Lake through the railroad causeway: How much is enough?

Abstract: The twenty-mile Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) causeway across the Great Salt Lake (Lake) separates the lake into Gunnison (North Arm) and Gilbert (South Arm) Bays. Built in 1959, the twenty-mile rock and earthen fill causeway replaced a wooden trestle bridge and provides a shorter rail route. The causeway restricts circulation between the two bays resulting in current salinities from saturation (approximately 27%) north of the causeway in Gunnison Bay and approximately 17% south of the causeway in Gilbert Bay as well as creating a deep brine layer in Gilbert Bay. In 2012, UPRR filled two culverts originally intended to provide passage and increase exchange of water and salt between the two bays. UPRR proposed to build a bridge with adjustable berms to replace the exchange flow through the culverts that could also provide lake managers a tool to adjust the flow between the two bays in response to changing lake conditions (i.e., lake elevation and salinity). All of the uses of the Lake including mineral extraction, aquaculture harvest, industrial, recreation, and supporting millions of birds annually, have the potential to be positively or negatively affected by salinity. The specific requirements of the Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification and proposed methods for assessing and managing the circulation between the bays are presented.