AASHTO Journal, 2 March 2012
Fearing a collapse of the 40-plus-year-old highway, MnDOT developed an innovative solution: designing a super-strong highway that could bridge a collapse underneath. It featured a doubly reinforced concrete section approximately a foot thick — so strong the road will stay in place even if the soil below gives way.
The U.S. 169 reinforcement project was completed in June 2010 using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding. The project cost about $7.4 million, which included 1.7 million tons of reinforcement steel and 10,000 cubic yards of structural concrete.
Improvements made by MnDOT guarantee the highway’s resilience in the event of any subterranean unpredictability, which could ultimately save many lives.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials features a Project of the Week in each edition of the AASHTO Journal to highlight excellent state transportation department projects that are completed on time, under budget, and/or using innovative management. To nominate a completed project that meets these criteria, please e-mail editor AT aashtojournal.org. Previous Project of the Week selections are available at projectprofiles.transportation.org.