HDR, which beat out URS, among others, for the $14.2M contract, will oversee design of the St. Croix River span.
The national engineering firm HDR has been selected to lead the design effort for a new St. Croix River bridge, the Minnesota and Wisconsin state transportation departments said Tuesday.
The $14.2 million contract will refine the extradosed-type design selected by a community stakeholder group for construction, the agencies said. An extradosed bridge is a hybrid of a concrete box girder structure and a cable-stayed structure.
The four-lane bridge will span the St. Croix River between Oak Park Heights and St. Joseph, Wis., and will retire the Stillwater Lift Bridge, built in 1931. Both bridges will become part of a loop trail for pedestrians and cyclists.
When complete, the St. Croix Crossing will be the second extradosed bridge in the United States. The first is being constructed in Connecticut.
One of the four unsuccessful design bidders was URS Corp., which paid a $54.2 million settlement after the Interstate 35 bridge collapsed in 2007. The company settled a lawsuit in 2010 after victims alleged that URS had failed as a consultant to detect the bridge's structural flaws. URS also had designed the Martin Olav Sabo Bridge in Minneapolis where cables broke in February.
The new St. Croix bridge, estimated to cost between $280 million and $310 million, will be part of a larger project that will include the trail, expressways on either end of the bridge, and historic and environmental mitigation efforts. The total cost, shared by both states, is estimated between $580 and $676 million.
Design work will take about a year with construction anticipated to begin in fall 2013. Assisting HDR will be the firm Buckland and Taylor, the agencies said. HDR, with headquarters in Omaha, employs about 200 people in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester and Thief River Falls, Minn.
HDR is also designing the Cayuga Bridge on Interstate 35E in St. Paul.
A second major contract -- for peer review of HDR's design -- will be awarded next. The URS firm is one of seven finalists for that contract.