Racing Towards Excellence: Enhancing Customer Experience and Improving Safety at Churchill Downs

Experience Level: Any level of experience

Over the past two decades, Churchill Downs, renowned for its prestigious horse racing events, has undergone a series of remarkable capital improvement projects to elevate the customer experience and prioritize safety for all stakeholders involved, including jockeys, patrons, and horses. Leading the charge in this transformative journey, Qk4 has played a pivotal role in numerous projects that have redefined the racetrack.

The West Campus Expansion and Parking Improvement Project marked a significant milestone in Qk4's involvement. This ambitious endeavor encompassed a comprehensive consolidation, expansion, and upgrade of the primary guest parking lot at Churchill Downs. Aligned with a campus-wide initiative to enhance safety, functionality, aesthetics, and the overall user experience for racing patrons, Phase 1 of the project involved a complete reconfiguration and modernization of the parking facilities. Previously characterized by inefficient spaces and remnants of cleared residential blocks, the redesign covered a sprawling 60-acre expanse. To create a modern parking lot facility, old city streets and alleys were strategically closed, paving the way for a fully landscaped parking lot. A focal point of the design is the 4-lane primary transportation corridor, Derby Drive, which seamlessly connects Central Avenue and Longfield Avenue. The parking lot's versatility caters not only to daily functions but also to the massive influx of visitors during the highly anticipated Derby week, featuring temporary reconfigurations for shuttle bus systems and staging areas.

Learning Outcomes:

Gain knowledge on the history of Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby and it's economic impacts on the state of Kentucky. Learn about recent improvement projects to enhance the customer experience and also projects to improve equine/horseman safety and expand the racing operations. 

1 PDH 


NSPE Members: FREE

Non-members: $75.00 (Join NSPE today and save on this purchase.)

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Neal Crawford, P.E.

Project Manager

Qk4 Inc.

Meet Neal Crawford, an accomplished professional engineer and project manager at Qk4 Inc. With a solid educational foundation, Neal holds a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and a Master's degree specializing in water resources, both earned from the esteemed University of Louisville Speed Scientific School of Engineering. His commitment to excellence is evident through his Professional Engineer (P.E.) license, recognized in 10 states.
Throughout his remarkable career, Neal has been dedicated to serving water and wastewater municipalities, as well as private developers, by providing them with a diverse range of professional design services. Notably, he has been the esteemed civil engineer of record for Churchill Downs since 2017, expertly overseeing the civil design aspects of seven major capital projects at the renowned track.

Neal's contributions to the engineering community extend beyond his professional achievements. He has assumed leadership roles, serving as the past President of the Louisville Chapter and currently as the President of NSPE-KY (National Society of Professional Engineers - Kentucky). In recognition of his exceptional talents, Neal was honored with the Young Engineer of the Year Award by the Louisville Chapter in 2018. Additionally, he is a proud member of the 2013 class of Leadership PE, further exemplifying his commitment to professional growth and development.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Neal cherishes his role as a loving father to his two "Irish Twin" boys, Owen (13) and Ethan (12). During his leisure time, you can often find him enjoying the tranquility of Rough River or passionately cheering on his favorite UL (University of Louisville) sports teams.
With Neal's wealth of expertise, passion for engineering, and leadership acumen, he is a sought-after speaker who captivates audiences with his insights and experiences. Prepare to be inspired as Neal Crawford takes the stage and shares his wealth of knowledge.


Live event: 06/07/2023 at 2:00 PM (EDT) You must register to access.