Minnesota Demonstration Project: Reconstruction of Trunk Highway 36 in North St. Paul
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Minnesota Demonstration Project: Reconstruction of Trunk Highway 36 in North St. Paul

Filetype[PDF-1.15 MB]

  • English

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      Final Report
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    • Abstract:
      As part of a national initiative sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration under the Highways for LIFE program, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) was awarded a $1 million grant to demonstrate the use of proven, innovative technologies to deliver a $30.7 million project in less time than conventional construction. This report documents the use of full closure to reconstruct a four-lane, 2-mile (approximate) section of Trunk Highway 36 in North St. Paul. The finished project has enhanced transportation safety and reduced travel times by eliminating six at-grade intersections. Local transportation has been improved with newly constructed crossover bridges and a pedestrian bridge. This report discusses the use of full closure on a major highway reconstruction project, which until now has not been used on a main thoroughfare in Minnesota. The project incorporated A+B contract bidding, a locked incentive date specification, and lane rental as an innovative approach to minimize traffic disruption by getting the highway rebuilt and open to traffic as early as possible. The result was that the newly reconstructed roadway was completely open to traffic in 145 days, 65 percent sooner than if traditional staged construction had been used. During full closure, traffic was diverted to detour routes, which presented the opportunity to use an intelligent transportation system, integrated with the existing Mn/DOT traffic monitoring system, to route motorists around the construction. Mn/DOT also explored the use of intelligent compaction equipment to expedite site work and lightweight deflectometers for acceptance testing, a first for Minnesota. While not a recent innovation, machine control using Global Positioning System technology was used extensively on this project and was a key component in streamlining grading operations. Completely closing the highway to traffic, even for a short time, increased costs associated with diverting motorists, but it reduced overall costs that would have been incurred with traffic impacts over a longer period. The alternate staging plan to get the project built was cost prohibitive and would have been unacceptable to roadway users. The high level of user satisfaction with the speed of project delivery attests to the project's success. The successes and knowledge gained on this project will encourage Mn/DOT to consider full closure as a viable alternative to traditional staged construction on future projects.
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