I-94 St. Michael to Albertville and Monticello to Clearwater Design-Build Projects

These two design-build projects started in 2019 and will be completed in the fall of 2022. These projects were unique as both shared the same the contractor, QA (MnDOT and MnDOT verification), and QC (contractor verification) personnel. The St. Michael to Albertville segment provided construction on 6 miles of roadway and cost approximately $65 million, while the Monticello to Clearwater segment provided construction on 14 miles of roadway and cost approximately $85 million. From St. Michael to Albertville, the project expanded I-94 from four lanes to six lanes. As part of this work, mass grading, concrete paving, bridge replacement, concrete median barrier, and the construction of stormwater basins were performed. The Monticello to Clearwater portion provided the reconstruction of the road surface in both directions from TH 25 in Monticello to TH 24 in Clearwater, including the addition of a third lane (in both directions). Work performed as part of this construction included: concrete and stone matrix asphalt paving, mass grading, box culvert replacements, concrete median barrier, construction of noise walls, and the construction of several permanent stormwater basins. Each of the Projects are adjacent to numerous environmentally sensitive areas and surface waters, some of which are impaired or are infested with aquatic invasive species, requiring extra attention to detail.

PE Services, and its partners, were selected by MnDOT to function as the Environmental Compliance Manager (ECM) and provide verification services on the behalf of MnDOT. Tasks included: design plan review, site management plan review, coordination with regulatory agencies and MnDOT, attending pre-activity meetings to outline environmental concerns specific to work, attending BMP Critical Activity Point meetings and providing approval, performing routine NPDES inspections with the contractor and their QC personnel, attending dewatering Critical Activity Point meetings and providing approval, and the management of both of the Projects’ Environmental Green Sheets. Each of these responsibilities helped to minimize the environmental risk of the construction activities.

One key activity that had a high risk for environmental impact on the Monticello to Clearwater Project included the replacement of two large culvert crossings at Otter Creek and Silver Creek/Locke Lake. PES acted as the liaison, on the behalf of MnDOT, between the contractor and regulatory agencies (DNR, Wright County Ditch Authority, etc.). We helped to review and approve the Site Management Plans for each of these work locations and provided environmental oversight during construction. Each of the culvert crossings were constructed one-half at a time; portions under westbound lanes of I-94 were constructed during the 2021 construction season, while the portions under the eastbound lanes of I-94 were constructed during the 2022 construction season. An important part of this work included the diversion of each of the creeks along with dewatering operations—PES helped to provide oversight for these dewatering activities, including providing verification of water quality by providing sampling and testing of discharged water to ensure environmental impacts were minimized.