SRF’s U.S. Trunk Highway 2/John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation over the Red River and Fargo Main Avenue Reconstruction were recently honored as ACEC North Dakota 2021 Engineering Excellence Award Winners.
U.S. Trunk Highway 2/John F. Kennedy Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation over the Red River
The Kennedy Memorial Bridge has been a signature bridge for the cities of Grand Forks, North Dakota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, since its construction in 1963. This project for the North Dakota and Minnesota Departments of Transportation rehabilitated the truss, approach spans, deck, and piers to maintain this vital crossing of the Red River. The project addressed structural issues related to the condition of the bridge deck, capacity of structural steel elements, and movement of substructure elements. Prior to rehabilitation, subsoil movement had decreased the capacity of Pier 6, which is on the west bank of the Red River. Pier 6 was cracked, bowed, and tilted, and its base had shifted more than three feet toward the river. The bridge’s beams and stringers required strengthening to support modern traffic loads. The concrete deck had deteriorated, and paint had failed on both the approach and truss spans resulting in corrosion of the steel. In addition, the bridge railing did not meet modern crash-test standards. Finally, the historically significant bridge had no dedicated bicycle/pedestrian accommodations.
The successful rehabilitation project resulted in a structurally sound bridge while achieving a finding of no adverse effect to historic resources by ensuring rehabilitated elements met the U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. Accommodations for pedestrians and cyclists were added while four lanes of traffic were maintained within the given bridge width by reconfiguring the lane and median positions. To minimize disruption to the traveling public, the project was completed in stages to keep at least one lane of traffic open each way during construction. Completed in December 2018, the Kennedy Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation Project over the Red River restored an important transportation link between Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.
Completed in December 2018, the Kennedy Memorial Bridge Rehabilitation Project over the Red River restored an important transportation link between Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.
Fargo Main Avenue Reconstruction
The North Dakota DOT and City of Fargo reconstructed a one-mile segment of Main Avenue from the Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Red River to University Drive. Main Avenue (US Highway 10) serves as an arterial connection between West Fargo, Fargo, and Moorhead. Constructed in the 1950s, Main Avenue was one of the oldest roads in Fargo and traversed the heart of downtown. The design addressed deteriorating pavement and sidewalks, aging underground utilities, ADA compliance, at-grade train crossing delays, and intersection safety issues. Numerous stakeholders were engaged in the planning and design process, including the City, NDDOT, Fargo-Moorhead Council of Governments, Downtown Community Partnership, bike/pedestrian advocates, business/property owners, and BNSF Railway. A wide range of alternatives and transportation system characteristics were considered, and a 5-4-3 lane hybrid alternative was ultimately selected.
Extensive collaboration through meetings, workshops, and one-on-one conversations was key to making informed decisions on and building consensus for the recommended alternative, recognizing that the improvements would be more than improving traffic flow and reducing congestion to operate efficiently for motorists. Wider sidewalks, shorter pedestrian crossings, streetscaping and landscaping features, separation of pedestrians from adjacent traffic, trees, planting beds, and benches were also incorporated into the design to create a pedestrian and business friendly environment.
With construction now complete, Main Avenue has been transformed into a multi-modal complete streets facility that brought to life the vision of stakeholders, the City of Fargo’s plans for Downtown, and the Governor of North Dakota’s Main Street Initiative. The roadway improvements and amenities will support sustainability and continued development and serve as a catalyst for growth in Downtown Fargo for many years to come.