Carver County awards SW Reconnection contract

A big ticket item was on the agenda of the Carver County Board’s May 13 meeting: the award of a multi-million dollar contract for the Southwest Reconnection Project between Chanhassen and Shakopee.

The Southwest Reconnection Project, which will reconstruct the 101 bridge from Chanhassen to Shakopee over the Minnesota River and also reconstruct the 61/”Y” intersection on the Chanhassen/Eden Prairie side made a huge step forward at the May 13 meeting, with the award of the construction contract to Ames Construction, Inc. of Burnsville.

“We’ve come to a major milestone,” County Engineer Lyndon Robjent said at the meeting.

Bids opened April 17 and the county, as the lead entity on the project, received four bids. The Engineer’s Estimate was just over $50.4 million and Ames Construction, Inc. was the lowest bidder at just under $49.3 million. MnDOT and the city of Chanhassen have concurred in the award of the contract.

The new bridge will be a 4,200-foot structure above the 100-year flood plain that will including four lanes with shoulders and a trail. Construction will take place in five stages, beginning mid-June 2014 and ending in the fall of 2015.

Archeological work on the Carver County side is wrapping up and construction will begin next month. Highway 101 is officially a County State Aid Highway now, after MnDOT transferred the title to the county on April 7.

The amounts of concrete and steel required for the project are impressive.

An estimated 338,000 square feet of concrete slab is required, enough to cover six football fields in area, along with 2.5 million pounds of rebar weighing over 1,250 tons. In addition, over 81,000 linear feet of concrete piles will be put in place. Put end to end, the piles would stretch 15.3 miles long, or the length of 57 Empire State Buildings stacked atop one another.

In addition, hundreds of cubic yards of earth will be excavated and filled to completed the bridge and roundabout at the 101/61 intersection.

Funding is coming from a variety of sources including Local Road Improvement Project funds, the state of Minnesota, Carver County’s turnback account, Carver and Scott counties, and the city of Chanhassen. The project totals approximately $53 million and is the largest project Carver County has ever undertaken.

Construction will take place in five stages with road closures on the Carver County side throughout. The existing bridge will remain open throughout the construction process, barring any flooding or necessary closures for construction safety.

Work will be allowed on the project until 10 p.m., with some night work required, but Ames Construction, Inc. will be cognizant of nighttime noise restrictions in the area.

The first stage of construction will be the diversion of Bluff Creek along 61, which will close parts of 61 west of the intersection for approximately two weeks in late June. Travelers will be diverted east to Spring Hill Road (Hennepin CSAH 4), north to Highway 212, and west to CSAH 41.

Stage 2 stretches from June/July to September along 61 east of the intersection and will require approximately a two-week closure that will divert travels to Pioneer Trail and Audubon Road. After that closure, traffic will be open in all directions.

The third stage will focus on Flying Cloud Drive west of the “Y” from September to November 2014 and will follow the same detour as stage two.

Stage 4 covers winter, spring and summer of 2015 and will focus west of the 101 intersection near Golf Zone and closures will follow the same detour to Pioneer and Audubon.

The final stage, from September to November of 2015, will detour to Pioneer and Great Plains Boulevard (101).

All of the closures are tentative and travelers and residents should continue to watch the county website for updates and changes.

The county will hold an open house for the Southwest Reconnection Project tonight, May 22, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Chanhassen Library.


Contact Melissa Marohl at [email protected]