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Pennington CSAH 8 New Corridor, River Crossing, Intersections, Urban Roadway, and Pedestrian Facility

Photo of new bridge crossing
Pennington CSAH 8 New Corridor, River Crossing, Intersections, Urban Roadway, and Pedestrian Facility

Location:  Thief River Falls, MN
Client:  Pennington County Highway Department


The growth of Thief River Falls is expected to increase along the southern boundaries in the coming years with the expansion of businesses and entities like the Sanford Medical Center, the Thief River Falls Airport, Challenger Elementary School, Digi-Key, and Arctic Cat, all of which are critical facilities to the city’s economy. 

However, east-to-west connectivity within this area is limited, restricting efficient access to this southerly growth. New and updated corridors for increased traffic types and volumes needed to be evaluated to allow the city to continue to thrive for years to come.

The Project

HEI assisted the Pennington County Highway Department in providing conceptual studies, roadway/bridge design and construction documents, public engagement, environmental permitting, and construction assistance for the new corridor including a new river crossing, roadway, and intersection improvements. 

Pennington new corridor and roundaboutThe new roundabout and corridor improvements enhance traffic flow, safety, and connectivity within the growing areas of Thief River Falls, MN. 

HEI also teamed with a partner to bring our complementary qualifications and experience together to best serve the community. Through this partnership, two build alternatives and a no-build alternative were evaluated and scored. HEI kept in mind the needs for the project, including efficient access for business and residential expansion. Our team recommended a build alternative creating a new river crossing and street corridor allowing for businesses and residential growth for these areas.

HEI and its partners developed a project that included the construction of a new 1-mile street corridor, a new bridge, and two new roundabouts, each at major intersections. Construction was completed and the facilities were fully operational by the fall of 2020. 

Pennington new bridge
The completed new bridge crossing. 

Client Benefits

  • Improved access for all major businesses to the airport and improved emergency access to Sanford Medical Center.
  • Provided necessary transportation infrastructure for future growth and development consistent with the City’s comprehensive plan.
  • Improved quality of life for residents on existing east-to-west routes by redistributing high traffic volumes in the southern limits of the city.
  • Improved opportunities for non-motorized travel through expanded City trail networks.
  • Completed truck alternative route avoiding downtown local traffic and improving safety and shipping efficiency.

Ribbon cutting bridge dedication event held in July 2021. The Pennington County Highway Department hosted a bridge dedication/ribbon-cutting ceremony in July 2021.