St. Paul, Minn. (July 26, 2018) SEH and the City of Minneapolis partnered to design and replace the St. Anthony Parkway Bridge, a cornerstone structure in one of the City’s oldest neighborhoods – blending historic and environmental preservation with cutting-edge technology and, this month, garnering one of Finance and Commerce’s Top Projects of 2017 awards.
The Finance and Commerce Top Projects of 2017 awards stretch across the Twin Cities metro area. Honorees were selected by an independent panel of judges who weighed project degree of difficulty, creativity in design, innovative construction techniques, cooperation among contractors and management, and sustainability efforts.
SEH served as lead designer for the St. Anthony Parkway Bridge, which runs over Northeast Minneapolis’ BNSF Northtown Rail Yard. SEH also led planning and construction engineering, and coordinated all aspects of the new bridge and approach roadway with the City, Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), BNSF, MnDOT Cultural Resources Unit and the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office.
“We greatly appreciate receiving the Top Projects of 2017 honor for this project, but beyond that we’re thrilled the City has a structure that preserves its legacy, protects the community and will stand the test of time,” said Mark Maves, SEH Structural Engineer and Project Manager.
The new bridge replaces a historic 85-year-old, five-span Warren truss bridge and features a 305 foot steel truss span and two 125 foot steel girder spans that carry two 12 foot lanes, a sidewalk and a bike trail over the BNSF Railway yard. Due to the high volume of rail traffic, the truss span was erected along the west approach and incrementally launched over 12 tracks. The truss is a unique design that features a redundant post-tensioned bottom chord.
The project also required a high level of coordination due to the historical component of the in-place bridge. The SEH team worked closely with the City, community, historians as well as artisan and agency partners to preserve portions of the old trusses and integrate them into an interpretive plaza.
“Historic structures give an area their identity and, rightly so, residents want to preserve that integrity,” said Kristin Petersen, SEH Senior Planner and Public Involvement Specialist. “It was a result of gathering community input, along with coordinating the historic designation bodies that helped define how the new bridge looks as well as what we included in the historic plaza.”
Today, the bridge and overlook provide a stunning view of the Minneapolis skyline, the bustling railyard, sculptural elements from the old truss, and panels that illustrate the history and development of the surrounding area.