Maple River Bridge Replacement

Maple River Bridge Replacement 9 - Houston Engineering INC.
Maple River Bridge Replacement

Overview

HEI led survey, construction observation support, environmental documentation, and design of the replacement bridge. HEI also led coordination between the various stakeholders in the project, including Cass County Highway Department (CCHD) and NDDOT.

Background

Located just outside of Fargo, ND, lies Addison Township. With just a little more than 6,600 residents, this rural area is home to many farmers and families. Because of its close proximity to Fargo, this town has access to all the amenities that come with a populous city, such as retail, healthcare, and education, without losing the benefits that come with living the idyllic country lifestyle.

Becoming a Part of Vision Zero

Currently, North Dakota’s Department of Transportation (NDDOT) is implementing a strategy called the Vision Zero Plan . Vision Zero’s mission is to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes all across the state. Vision Zero has several strategies to accomplish this, one of them being through infrastructure improvements. This is why when Houston Engineering Inc. (HEI) was retained to develop plans for the Maple River Bridge replacement in Addison Township, HEI made sure to align their plan with Vision Zero as a top priority.

Maple River Bridge Project Complexities

Replacing the Maple River Bridge was not only crucial to construct because of Vision Zero, but because of its importance to the community. Maple River Bridge is:

  • One of the only river crossings in the area. Detours to the nearest crossing would require a miles-long detour, affecting emergency vehicles should the need arise.
  • This major agricultural area relies on crossing the river to get product to market. By avoiding a detour, this allows harvest to continue uninterrupted, which is unique for a rural crossing.

Choosing HEI

With HEI’s history in bridge infrastructure, and having previously performed hydraulic analysis for the Maple River bridge, Cass County Highway Department chose HEI to be the primary consultant for the project.

HEI led survey, construction observation support, environmental documentation, and design of the replacement bridge. HEI also led coordination between the various stakeholders in the project, including Cass County Highway Department (CCHD) and NDDOT.

HEI’s Role and Contribution:

After reviewing an assortment of alignments and coordinating with the CCHD and the NDDOT, HEI designed a 225-foot, three-span pre-stressed concrete beam bridge that resolved several problems:

Safety:

  • Before: The former bridge was located at a 90-degree turn at 157th Avenue Southeast and 45th Street Southeast. This was a road hazard causing safety issues for farmers, nearby residents, and motorists.
  • HEI’s Solution: HEI designed a bridge deck with a 40-degree skew, featuring MASH TL-3 rated open concrete barriers, high parapet abutments, and geofoam backfill to minimize settlement.
  • After: Thanks to a straighter roadway, the new alignment dramatically improves safety compared to the original, deteriorating bridge. The bridge also aligns well within NDDOT’s Vision Zero Strategy.

Environment:

  •  Before: The original bridge lacked adequate hydraulic flow capacity and performance characteristics to ensure local impacts and damage was mitigated during potential flood events. In addition, the bridge’s low-flow capacity prevented the flourishing of endangered species in the area
  • HEI’s Solution: HEI worked with Prairie Soils Consulting, Inc. to provide a wetland delineation, and then designed the bridge with few environmental impacts, increased flow area, and clearance over the river.
  • After: With these features, the new construction had minimal impact on habitat, and improved the river’s passage of debris, trees, as well as local passage.

Connection:

  • Before: With the bridge’s deteriorating state, it was not only a safety hazard but inefficient as detours caused motorists several extra miles of travel time.
  • HEI’s Solution: HEI realigned the bridge, rerouted traffic to the new bridge, and demolished the remainder of the old bridge.
  • After: Thanks to a new, straighter roadway, motorists can now travel efficiently and navigate the river crossing intersections easily. This reconstruction also supports local farms, residents, and other businesses providing another convenient and safe connection to access larger, nearby towns for business or recreation. This also allows emergency vehicles and others to administer services quickly.

A Lasting Impact

HEI’s leadership in the Maple River Bridge Replacement not only impacted the community of Addison Township, but also our client the Cass County Highway Department (CCHD). Impressed with HEI’s close coordination with their department and the NDDOT, as well as going above and beyond in meeting expectations and design standards, CCHD endorsed the Maple River Bridge Replacement for an ACEC/ND Award.

“Thanks to everyone involved, the project met all its major milestones…HEI went above and beyond to complete this project and handled any issues with grace.” – Jason Benson, PE and County Engineer for CCHD.

Although the Maple River Bridge Replacement was later not selected for the award, HEI’s impact left Addison Township with a stronger and safer connection to its surrounding communities than ever before.

Learn more about this project in our StoryMap.

  • The bridge was designed to overcome complex alignment challenges present at the existing bridge.
  • Maintained close coordination with the County and NDDOT to ensure all expectations and design standards were met.
  • Maintaining traffic was a top priority as the previous structure served as an important crossing for agricultural traffic so a staged construction plan was created that maintained the original crossing until the new bridge was completed.
Project Details

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Client: Cass County Highway Department

Location: Cass County, ND

Project Highlights
  • The bridge was designed to overcome complex alignment challenges present at the existing bridge.
  • Maintained close coordination with the County and NDDOT to ensure all expectations and design standards were met.
  • Maintaining traffic was a top priority as the previous structure served as an important crossing for agricultural traffic so a staged construction plan was created that maintained the original crossing until the new bridge was completed.
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