SRF provided planning and engineering services for the “critical connection to the community” through the TH 212/CSAH 44 interchange and CSAH 44 connection to downtown Chaska. This crucial project constructed three new roundabouts, a ramp and loop connection to TH 212, two miles of reconstruction on CSAH 44, a new pedestrian bridge over TH 212, regional stormwater ponding, and ADA accessible multi-use trails on both sides of CSAH 44. The City of Chaska defined important design goals, which included integrating safety into the design, meeting high water quality standards, providing the necessary vehicular throughput, and providing trail amenities.
Significant water resources in the project area dictated careful planning and design to prevent erosion and minimize flooding risk. The east end of the project has a significant reduction in elevation and drains to Chaska Creek. Carver County Watershed Management Organization and the City of Chaska each had strong interests to protect the water quality and rate control to sensitive ravines and wetlands. The project constructed a series of water treatment ponds and bioretention basins. A large retaining wall was built to minimize impacts to sensitive waterways, including Chaska Creek, and natural areas. In addition, extensive landscaping was installed along this important gateway corridor.
As part of the design process, SRF developed a 3D visualization model that was used to educate the public about the project design alternatives. During construction, survey and inspection staff used the 3D model to minimize physical stakes required in the field. The project used Critical Path Method (CPM) schedules for transparency of potential issues for the project team. With this and proactive change management, the project was completed on-time and had contract changes of less than 1% of original bid price. During construction, the contractor, SRF, and the City partnered in weekly communications with project stakeholders and adjacent property owners to ensure construction activities did not adversely affect the surrounding area and adequate access was provided to all properties.
The project was designed factoring in various complexities that included the presence of power transmission towers, minimizing environmental impacts and tree clearing at the Chaska Creek, designing intersection and pedestrian crossing treatments with safety as a priority for pedestrians and for a planned school in the area, and setting access control for the corridor. The design team collaborated with various regulatory agencies to ensure compliance with the requirements and processes of all agencies involved in a timely manner.
This project demonstrated many years of collaborative planning, design, and construction to successfully engage numerous agencies and the public. The County, City, and SRF collaborated to create a partnership dedicated to improving the community by providing safe and efficient transportation systems and community amenities. Through political support, cooperation with the County and MnDOT, and through the hard work of local leaders, the TH 212/CSAH 44 Interchange project was a success and contributed to the future value of the engineering profession.