WINNER: Best Recovery Act – Small Project
“MnDOT worked in partnership with the City and Chamber of Commerce to ensure that the public was fully engaged from the very first public open house design meeting, to the conclusion of major construction activities.”
The Highway 169 Saint Peter Design Build Project is located in Nicollet County, Minnesota, within the city limits of Saint Peter. The project extends a total of 1.5 miles from the south junction of US Highway 169 and MN Highway 22 to the intersection of US Highway 169 and Union Street.
The Minnesota DOT partnered closely with the city of Saint Peter to develop plans to reconstruct the historic portion of Highway 169 and Minnesota Avenue in Saint Peter. With the downtown business district designated as a Commercial Historic District by the National Register of Historic Places, the project entailed unique challenges, which the two agencies together surmounted to create a project that would renew the city while respecting its unique history and protected status. With the availability of Recovery Act funds, and the strong support of the city, the decision was made to design and build the entire project in 2009.
The Recovery Act funds provided to Minnesota DOT and the city allowed these agencies to rebuild Highway 169 through the historic business district and transform this urban setting. The choices made by these agencies, along with the other stakeholders, will improve pedestrian and vehicular safety while revitalizing a downtown area. The improvements will offer a unique identity that accentuates the historic nature of its downtown district.
Through extensive planning and partnering, Shafer Contracting, RLK, Minnesota DOT, and the city of Saint Peter were able to work collaboratively to ensure the design and construction was completed within the aggressive timeframe given and was completed in accordance with all of the contract requirements. This project, completed under a road closure that lasted only 133 days, is a shining example of how innovative contracting methods such as design build, proactive public information programs, and aggressive project scheduling can limit impacts to traffic, residents, and businesses while reshaping a city.