City bridges earn design honors

Three engineering honors have recently been awarded to major participants in the 2010 project in Princeton that replaced two bridges and transformed a signal intersection into a roundabout.

The honors went to the project’s consulting engineering firm – WSB & Associates, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), and Mille Lacs County. General contractor, Lunda Construction, was also honored in one of the three award citations.

It was a big project for Princeton in 2010, drawing onlookers on a regular basis as Lunda Construction demolished the 1931-era Dunn Memorial Bridge, and the adjacent 1939-era Highway 95 bridge to the east. The construction team then built two new replacement bridges and turned the signal intersection at Highway 95 and Rum River Drive into a roundabout.

Mille Lacs Highway engineer Bruce Cochran said the $6.8 million project turned out well.

Cochran added that the new bridges were designed as he had requested. The goal, Cochran explained, was for the new Dunn Bridge to not look noticeably different than the original. The effort succeeded, Cochran said, explaining that the new Dunn Bridge contains the same three arches as the original, and also has pilasters, or exterior moldings to mimic the old 1931 style. He said he also sought the ornamental railing and the 1930s era lighting fixture design that the new Dunn Bridge has.

The replacement bridge along Highway 95 was constructed with the same design.

The three awards given for the project are the:

• 2012 Minnesota Society of Professional Engineers Seven Wonders of Engineering Merit Award.

• 2012 Engineering Excellence Honor Award given by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.

• 2011 Bridge Office Award for medium category bridges given by the Association of General Contractors and MnDOT. (Lunda Construction was also a recipient of this honor.)