- About Us
A major challenge facing the designers of I-35W Reconstruction Project was how to address issues of visual quality during the design of a major transportation project. Mn/DOT turned to SEH to help them facilitate a contentious public process that would determine the aesthetics of one of the busiest highway corridor in the Twin Cities. SEH developed solutions that will enhance the visual quality of the existing corridor for both neighbors and travelers.
The project extended between 66th Street in Richfield and Minnehaha Creek in Minneapolis and included the infamous and structurally complex "Crosstown Commons" interchange. Working with an Advisory Committee from both cities, SEH developed a cohesive identity for the entire corridor--creating a palette of integrated and complementary architectural designs for retaining walls, noise walls, bridges, lighting, signing, grading and landscaping. To facilitate understanding and discussion of issues, SEH constructed a 20' x 20' model of the proposed project and several detail study models of bridges and other special features.
Although the emphasis was on achieving an aesthetically-pleasing and context-sensitive solution, to assure construction, SEH developed several innovative strategies for reducing costs of the selected architectural treatments.
The project is culminating in the development of a flexible and comprehensive architectural vocabulary for the entire project that will mitigate the concerns of neighbors while incorporating the visions of the cities of Minneapolis and Richfield. The vocabulary will be articulated in an Aesthetic Design Guide for engineers to follow during the final design stage. The $80 million project is scheduled for construction in 2000.