Client
Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT)
Location
Minneapolis, MN, U.S.

Minnesota Trunk Highway 212 Design-Build

Fluor was managing partner of Zumbro River Constructors, a joint venture that designed and built in the suburbs of Minneapolis a 12-mile limited-access highway expansion and realignment to 4 lanes.


    Client's Challenge

    The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) needed a new commuter route from a suburban residential area southwest of Minneapolis to the metropolitan area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. The expanded TH 212 route was to connect to the urban ring route, relieving traffic congestion along parallel routes. It required 7 new interchanges, 29 bridges, and 13 miles of side and cross-streets.

    Maintenance of traffic staging for construction was constrained by limited road closure time frames; certain bridges could not be constructed simultaneously; and the sequencing of bridge activities had to be staggered to accommodate settlement periods ranging from 3 to 9 months.

    Construction challenges also included earthwork that shifted from large cuts to large fills along portions of the alignment, and drainage that required both urban and rural systems. The Red Rock Interceptor, a 48-inch sanitary sewer line that crossed project alignment, had to be protected. Finally, numerous areas in the project corridor were underlain by thick lenses of highly saturated peaty, organic deposits. In some locations, excavation of these deposits prior to construction was impractical.

    Maintenance of traffic staging for construction was constrained by limited road closure time frames; certain bridges could not be constructed simultaneously; and the sequencing of bridge activities had to be staggered to accommodate settlement periods ranging from 3 to 9 months.

    Construction challenges also included earthwork that shifted from large cuts to large fills along portions of the alignment, and drainage that required both urban and rural systems. The Red Rock Interceptor, a 48-inch sanitary sewer line that crossed project alignment, had to be protected. Finally, numerous areas in the project corridor were underlain by thick lenses of highly saturated peaty, organic deposits. In some locations, excavation of these deposits prior to construction was impractical.


    Fluor's Solution

    Zumbro River Constructors was a consortium of Fluor, Ames Construction, Inc., and Edward Kremer & Sons, Inc. responsible for the TH 212 road, interchanges, bridges, cross-streets, and signals and lighting, etc.

    The construction schedule accommodated constraints posed by limited road closure time frames, issues associated with placing noise berms atop the 48-inch sewer, and sequencing of bridge activities to accommodate settlement periods of 3 to 9 months and to assure traffic access. In addition, to counteract the peaty, organic deposits, Zumbro used a lightweight fill of shredded tires and / or geofoam blocks to decrease the weight of the load, thereby reducing the potential for compression.

    As part of the joint venture, Fluor designed, restored, or purchased 156 acres of wetland credits and protected the "Big Woods" ecosystem by conscientious design and construction.

    Roads and Bridges magazine recognized the project was as the "Number 1 Roadway Project for 2007".

    The project also received the Federal Highway Administration 2007 award for "Excellence in Utilities Project Management."

    Additionally, it was the first highway construction site to receive Minnesota Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (the Minnesota's OSHA Voluntary Protection Program) recognition.

    The project also achieved 1 million hours of safe work without an accident.


    Conclusion

    Fluor was managing partner of the design-build joint venture to expand the Minnesota TH 212 highway.

    Numerous challenges and geographic variations were identified and resolved, including time constraints, compressible organic material, utility protection, grading, draining, and wetlands preservation.