Cypress Drive Project (upper left), Falls International Airport Terminal Project (upper right), Runway 9/27 Reconstruction (lower left), Pinecone Road (lower right)

SEH Receives Four Engineering Awards from ACEC-Minnesota, Another from City Engineers Association of Minnesota

February 6, 2020

Four SEH projects garnered honors from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota’s (ACEC-MN) 53rd Annual Engineering Excellence Awards Program on January 24.

One of these projects received top honors from ACEC-MN, in addition to Project of the Year honors from City Engineers Association of Minnesota (CEAM) during the CEAM 2020 Annual Conference on January 29.

SEH and the City of Baxter, Minnesota, received CEAM’s Project of the Year Award for their collaboration on the Cypress Drive Project. The Project of the Year Award recognizes outstanding projects that have contributed to the State of Minnesota’s quality of life.” The project also garnered ACEC-MN’s Grand Award. “This award is based on originality and innovation; future value to the engineering profession; social, economic and sustainable design considerations; and complexity.”

Below is a closer look at each the four projects honored, along with their individual awards.


Cypress Drive Project – City of Baxter

ACEC-MN Grand Award; CEAM Project of the Year Award

The Cypress Drive project received the top award for a complex project that included constructing and expanding Cypress Drive to four lanes and adding multiple roundabouts. SEH partnered with the City to implement improvements – including stormwater facilities, municipal utilities, street lighting, on-road bike lanes and separated multi-use paved trails.

“It’s exciting and humbling to receive CEAM’s Project of the Year Award and the Grand Award recognition from ACEC-MN, with the City of Baxter,” said Scott Hedlund, SEH Project Manager. “Cypress Drive will play a critical role in the mobility and safety in the area for years to come. It’s nice to see the City recognized for their important investments.”

The team uncovered creative solutions to meet the unique challenges of the roadway, including incorporating roundabouts at two major intersections and a queue cutter traffic signal at the new at-grade railroad crossing.

The biggest challenge was the at-grade railroad crossing, which required dedicated personnel who understood the railroad’s requirements – ultimately equipping the railroad crossing with signals and preemption. The resulting improvements met the City’s goals and improved safety for all modes of travel.


Falls International Airport Terminal Project – International Falls-Koochiching County Airport Commission

ACEC-MN Honor Award

SEH and the Airport Commission were selected as Honor Award recipients by ACEC-MN for providing design and construction of a new 25,000 square-foot terminal at the Falls International Airport. The terminal is important as it provides commercial airline service to keep community businesses operational and connected to the rest of Minnesota and the world.

The terminal includes a customs processing facility for international customers. The newly designed terminal was built on the existing airport site and required two construction phases to keep the terminal fully operational. The facility is one level to improve ADA accessibility and includes a jet bridge. The entire project was designed to meet Minnesota’s B3 Sustainable Building (SB) 2030 Energy Standards.

“We've been working with the City of International Falls and Koochiching County for more than 25 years, and are honored to accept this award in partnership with them,” said Bob Cohrs, SEH Project Manager. “This terminal is one of the highlights of our partnership.”


Runway 9/27 Reconstruction Project – Duluth Airport Authority

ACEC-MN Honor Award

SEH and the Duluth Airport Authority were selected for an Honor Award as a result of their innovative planning, environmental, engineering and construction services to reconstruct the two-mile Runway 9/27 at the Duluth International Airport for the Duluth Airport Authority. The team secured $6.6 million through the State Legislature to provide the local share to leverage 90 percent funding from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The runway reconstruction project included a collaborative process and extensive stakeholder engagement. Project outcomes included new 13-inch concrete pavement, partial reconstruction of connecting taxiways, and new taxiway and runway end geometry on the east end to improve pilot situational awareness. Electrical improvements included new inset runway centerline lighting, touchdown zone lighting and edge lighting, Precision Approach Path Indicators on the west end and a new Airfield Lighting Control Management System.


Pinecone Road Project – City of Sartell

ACEC-MN Honor Award

Demonstrating an exceptional degree of innovation, complexity, achievement and value, SEH and the City of Sartell received an honor award for the Pinecone Road project. SEH provided engineering services for this complex, high-profile $7.5 million reconstruction effort on Pinecone Road initiated due to a new high school opening in the City.

There were a number of improvements provided by the project team, including expanding the road from a two-lane rural roadway to a 45-foot wide urban section with off-road bike lanes. Additional features include two roundabouts and a three-fourths access intersection to accommodate high school traffic, while improving overall safety along the corridor. SEH also provided right-of-way acquisition.

The firm partnered with the high school on a number of items, including stormwater ponding, pedestrian and trail connections and wayfinding signage. The reconstructed road now meets the City’s and school’s goals of providing safe travel for the new high school location.

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