APWA Presents SEH, Three Rivers Park District with 2019 National Public Works Project of the Year Award

April 29, 2019

SEH and Three Rivers Park District (TRPD) received the American Public Works Association (APWA) esteemed 2019 National Public Works Project of the Year Award (Structures category, $5-25 million) for their collaboration during design and construction of the Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail. For this effort, SEH weaved 6.1 miles of ADA-accessible, multi-use trail through the heart of a first-ring suburb.

Here, SEH Project Manager Toby Muse and TRPD Associate Superintendent Jonathan Vlaming share the Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail project story.

Each year, APWA hosts its Awards Recognition Ceremony “to recognize outstanding individuals, groups, and chapters representing the best in the public works profession.” SEH’s selection puts the company in a “very elite group of winners, and APWA is proud to have those on this project epitomize the public works profession and our association,” said APWA representatives.

“Congratulations to Three Rivers Park District for their vision and planning to make this project a reality. I'm grateful and humbled to have led the SEH team of talented and dedicated professionals," said Toby Muse, SEH Project Manager. “This award is the culmination of years of hard work by hundreds of people and to see it be recognized in this way is truly an honor."

In addition, the National Association of Country Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) has presented SEH and TRPD with the national Trails & Corridors – Class II Award. NACPRO presents this award to “focus national attention on the very best of facility design; to encourage outstanding efforts in planning, design, construction, and benefits to the community.”

The Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail Story

Between 2000 and 2014, TRPD constructed 9.2 miles of the Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail through four Minnesota communities: Hopkins, Minnetonka, Richfield and Bloomington. Following this, TRPD was left with perhaps the most challenging portion, the middle – a 6.1 mile stretch that lay through the heart of the City of Edina. Situated immediately southwest of Minneapolis, Edina is a first-ring suburb with a population of nearly 50,000 residents across 16 square miles.

Designing and constructing this 6.1 mile segment proved to be uniquely challenging due to the trail’s proximity to its namesake creek, private and commercial properties, wetlands, woodlands and floodplains; the need to pass over two major highways; the need to pass under a heavily used City street via tunnel; and the need to pass through other highly developed infrastructure.

In response, the SEH project team provided a number of solutions:

  • 4.1 miles of paved trail with nearly 15,000 square feet of retaining walls
  • 1.7 miles of raised timber boardwalk (1.1 million board feet)
  • 19 temporary/permanent property and right-of-way easements
  • Three separate street reconstruction projects featuring roadway narrowing
  • 588 foot, 5-span concrete girder pedestrian bridge over MnDOT Highway 62
  • 1,025 foot, 10-span concrete girder pedestrian bridge over MnDOT Highway 100
  • 14 foot by 10 foot concrete box culvert pedestrian tunnel
  • 2,200+ cubic yards of lightweight aggregate to support trail on poor soils
  • 3,000+ lineal feet of drainage swales to infiltrate stormwater
  • ~800 vegetative screening trees and shrubs planted for residential properties
  • Designed a separate roundabout with safe, integrated trail crossings

This project exemplifies TRPD’s commitment to creating regional facilities that inspire people to walk and bike as well as connect with each other and nature – while protecting the region’s water and natural resources. Thoughtful planning and design incorporated compliance with the ADA; ensuring users across all demographics and abilities can freely access and use the trail.

Nearly 110,000 annual trail users are expected to traverse the Edina segment. Now connected across more than 16 miles, the Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail as a whole is projected to serve close to 500,000 users annually. 

Actionable Insight

Featuring insight from TRPD, drone footage, interactive maps, technical design solutions, as well as 11 actionable tips and lessons learned from the project team, the following Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail case study answers your most pressing project challenges: www.sehinc.com/news/nine-mile-creek-regional-trail-case-study

We’re hiring! Join our team.

At SEH, our people define us. You are the reason we lead the industry. Explore open positions, our culture and what “100% employee-owned” means for your career. Connect with your Recruitement Team.

Your destination for industry news and insight.

Browse our library of eBooks, case studies, infographics and more. Available for free download, these tools tackle your most pressing project challenges.