TH 169 Redefine Elk River


Elk River, MN







Alternative Project Delivery

Bridges & Structures

Contractor Modeling

Constructability Review

Roadway Design


Traffic Engineering


Water Resources

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) received special funding to convert Highway 169 from the Mississippi River to 197th Avenue into a freeway system through the City of Elk River. WSB was contracted to provide the final design for the project, which included converting four at-grade traffic intersections into interchanges and modified highway access.

Due to the special funding, our team had a Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) construction cap of $130 million that could not be exceeded. The design needed to be iterative and flexible, and we needed to provide real time quantities in order to stay on budget. The team utilized Bentley tools to help find more efficient designs and had our Construction Manager/General Contactor (CMGC) price changes from the software’s outputs to validate the savings. Without these tools, our schedule would have not allowed the fluid transfer of design and quantities to the CMGC.

The team was able to relocate 310,024 linear feet (58.7 miles) of utilities ahead of schedule utilizing clash detection tools. Originally, the relocation was scheduled to occur in spring 2023, but due to the advanced technology, we are able to have these utilities out by July of 2022. With the additional time they received from early notification, most utilities will be relocated by August of 2021. The CMGC is now able to construct two of the interchanges in 2022, and will be fully complete in 2024, with a half of a million in savings on inflation alone.

The WSB team will be delivering the first paperless roadway construction plan set for the TH 169 Redefine Elk River project, in addition to the traditional submittals. We are utilizing technologies such as the 3D and 4D modeling tools to increase quality and efficiency of our design throughout all stages of the project, and to pave the way for all future projects in the industry.

Construction on the TH 169 Redefine Elk River project is set to be complete in 2024.

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