Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

I-35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge

Mississippi River Crossing in downtown Minneapolis


MnDOT accelerated the delivery of the I-35W Mississippi River replacement bridge project using the design-build procurement process.

Design-build brings designers and contractors together early in the project development process. Quality design-build projects differ from traditional design-bid-build projects in that they allow for the overlapping of design and construction. That means construction can begin after only a portion of the final detailed design has been completed. By using the design-build method for the I-35W bridge replacement project, MnDOT was able to deliver the project sooner. Some of the benefits of the design-build process are:

  • Shortened completion time by overlapping design and construction
  • Construction can begin before all design details are final
  • Greater innovation and flexibility in selecting design, materials and construction methods
  • Reduced claims due to design errors because construction happens under same contract
  • Accelerated response time and dispute resolution through a team effort
  • Single contact point for quality, cost and schedule from design through construction
  • Shortened project delivery time which can reduce user costs

MnDOT has awarded six Best-Value design-build projects since 2001

These projects and their value include:

  • Highway 212 in the west Twin Cities Metro, $238 million
  • ROC 52 in Rochester, $232 million
  • I-494 in the west Twin Cities Metro, $135 million
  • Highway 52 in Oronoco, $37 million
  • Highway 10/32 in Hawley, $8.6 million
  • District 4 Signs, $1.0 million

Many of these projects were completed in record time, which far exceeded the expectations of MnDOT and other units of government. For example, ROC 52 was completed two years earlier than projected.

Based on the success of MnDOT’s current and past design-build projects, MnDOT is confident that using design-build on the I-35W project resulted in a quality project being constructed in record time.

Four contracting teams—Ames/Lunda, C.S. McCrossan, Flatiron/Manson and Walsh Construction/American Bridge— submitted Statements of Qualifications to bid on the I-35W bridge reconstruction project. The teams submitted a proposal and cost estimate.

See more design-build information including information for contractors.