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News Release

October 30, 2009



Minnesota Department of Transportation
Office of Communications
395 John Ireland Blvd.
Mail Stop 150
St. Paul, MN 55155-1899

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I-35W bridge replacement wins America’s Transportation Awards’ Grand Prize


ST. PAUL, Minn. -The Interstate 35W bridge replacement project was awarded America’s Transportation Awards’ Grand Prize for 2009 on Oct. 25 by the American Automobile Association, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.


Mn/DOT received a $10,000 award to use to support a charity or academic scholarship program of its choice.


“It is an honor to receive this recognition and a true testament to the value of strong partnerships,” said Khani Sahebjam, deputy commissioner and chief engineer. “It took the remarkable efforts of many different people to complete this project in a timely manner. It was a triumph over tragedy.”


The I-35W bridge replacement project was also in the running for the People’s Choice Award, which was selected through online voting. Florida Department of Transportation received the award for its I-95 Express Miami project.


Ten projects were nominated for the two awards by a panel of judges who evaluated 50 highway projects from 33 states in three categories: “On Time,” “On Budget” and “Innovative Management.”


Minnesota’s I-35W bridge was completed in September 2008, three months ahead of schedule, at a cost of $234 million. It was built using the design-build process, which allowed it to be completed in 339 days.


The new bridge also has the world’s largest anti-icing system and uses smart bridge technology, including 323 sensors that will generate a record of how the bridge manages the stresses of traffic. Other project notables include:


• 10 lanes of traffic (five in each direction)-two lanes wider than the previous bridge.
• 13-foot right shoulders and 14-foot left shoulders; the previous bridge had no shoulders.
• 100-year life span.
• Light rail transit-ready to accommodate future transportation needs.
• Aesthetically pleasing design that fits in with the surrounding environment.