Overseen by the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT), this project involved the complete replacement of the Interstate 94 westbound lane from Medora, North Dakota, to the Sentinel Butte interchange 12 miles away. The existing four lanes of this segment were originally constructed approximately 50 years ago. Since then, the amount and weight of traffic has increased significantly, pushing the roadway to its physical limits. Ulteig provided project management, inspection and surveying services to produce a safe and low-maintenance freeway segment that will serve NDDOT over the next 30 years.
Ulteig inspectors oversaw construction, monitored and recorded the contractor’s daily operations, and verified the contractor was building the roadway to the design plans and specifications. Ulteig’s survey crew provided staking at the contractor’s request to guarantee progress. Ulteig regarded this construction project as a machine with several moving parts. Our job was to keep it working properly by listening to challenges and solving them with the entire machine in mind. As a result of this dedication and ingenuity, the project was completed ahead of schedule.
Oakport Township, now part of the city of Moorhead, Minn., is situated along the Red River and the Oakport Coulee. Oakport, along with most communities in the area, has been reacting to a cycle of rising flooding waters and the impacts for more than a decade. After the 1997 flood, Ulteig was retained to initiate a study to assess various possible solutions and recommend to the Township the most viable solution for resolution of flood-related impacts, based on 1997 river hydraulics. The findings of Ulteig’s study are summarized in a Flood Mitigation Plan Report.
In 2000, the project proceeded to a Phase I Environmental Study conducted by the USACE – St. Paul District office. In 2003, Ulteig began preparing preliminary design and additional river hydraulic analysis. Ulteig also conducted a benefit-cost analysis that met the USACE’s criteria. Ultimately, Oakport Township received sponsorship from the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District to design and construct the Oakport Flood Mitigation project to reduce future flood damage to 310 existing structures as well as future development in a 750-acre area of Oakport Township. The Oakport Flood Mitigation project is a 6-mile earthen levee system that includes five separate interior drainage systems, five 100-year regional stormwater retention basins, and five 5,000 gpm stormwater pumping stations.
This project also included the complete reconstruction and road raise of 3 miles of Clay County highways and the development, permitting, and construction of the wetland mitigation plan, which utilized a combination of on-site restoration and creation along with wetland banking to mitigate the project’s 10-acre wetland impact. Project design is based on the USACE standards to meet FEMA certification requirements.
In 2008, Ulteig started to plan design work based on the funding that was available at the time. The work was broken into multiple phases and then constructed gradually as funding became available. During construction, the area was impacted by additional flooding in 2009, 2010 and 2011, so we responded by scheduling our efforts strategically to protect areas that were most vulnerable.
Now with construction complete, Ulteig is working to receive levee certification from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for accreditation. To date, 6 miles of protection have been constructed, which includes 3.5 miles of county highway that were converted to functional levees, complete with an operation and maintenance plan to ensure public safety during future flood events. The cost of this project is estimated to exceed $30 million, resulting in the protection of more than 300 homes and more than 750 acres of property.
Once the flood control levees are certified, Oakport Township residents living inside the protected area will see a significant reduction in their annual flood insurance premiums.
Services provided by Ulteig include:
- HEC-RAS hydraulic modeling
- Engineer’s report (preliminary design and economic feasibility report)
- Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW)
- Earthen levee design (per USACE Design Standards)
- Flood control structures design
- Interior drainage and storage design
- Wetland mitigation plan and permitting
- Conditional Letter of Map Revisions (CLOMR)
- Coordination of geotechnical analysis
- Public hearings and public input meetings
- Topographic surveying
- Legal surveying (easement exhibits, certificate of surveys, and government corner certificates)
- Construction observation and staking
- Contract administration
This project consisted of several elements.
Urban Section: Three-inch Minor Rehabilitation HBP Overlay
The urban section consisted of a three-inch HBP overlay to extend the useful life of the roadway by restoring the pavement structure. The HBP overlay was placed over the existing roadway. The roadway consisted of two 12-foot driving lanes. The project overlaid the existing roadway width with no widening.
Rural Section: Structural Improvement Mill with 8.5 Inches of Concrete Inlay
The rural section consisted of milling 3 inches, leaving 4 inches of existing HBP in place. The roadway was then overlaid with 8.5 inches of doweled concrete overlay to extend the useful life of the roadway by restoring the pavement structure. The roadway consisted of a 13-foot inside driving lane and a 14-foot outside driving lane. This project overlaid the existing roadway width with no widening. The corridor geometrics were brought up to standards. The highway patrol/truck pullout was included for a preventative maintenance HBP overlay.
West Frontage Road: Preventative Maintenance HBP
The west frontage road consisted of a preventative maintenance two-inch HBP overlay over the existing width. The project overlaid the existing roadway width with no widening.
US Hwy 2 and 26th Street East Intersection Improvements
This intersection improvement consisted of milling 6 inches and placing a 6-inch doweled concrete overlay throughout this segment. The roadway consisted of two 13-foot driving lanes. The project overlaid the eastbound to northbound turn lanes and the southbound to westbound turn lane width with no widening.
US Hwy 2 and 42nd Street West Intersection Improvements
This intersection improvement consisted of milling 4 inches and placing a seven-inch doweled concrete overlay throughout this segment. The project overlaid concrete in the through lanes and HBP on the turn lanes and shoulders with no widening. The project repaired the westbound and eastbound lanes.
Install Turn Lanes and Lengthen Existing Turn Lanes to Meet Standards
This project also included installing turn lanes on US Hwy 2 and County Road 6, which is the temporary bypass route around the northwest and northeast areas of Williston. The surveying services for this project included the establishment of a horizontal and control network for the benefit of the design survey and construction services. Our field services teams performed a design survey that included data collection for existing pavement and concrete surfaces, bridges, culverts, and the perimeter of wetlands, as delineated by others.
During the construction phase, Ulteig’s surveyors collected centerline profile and alignment data and designers completed the design of an improved centerline profile. On previous mill and concrete overlay projects, common practice was to mill the specified depth and establish a profile for the concrete pavement. This resulted in the potential for a large overrun in concrete volume. With the method Ulteig incorporated into this project, the milling was controlled to the same profile as the PCC pavement. The result was a very small overrun in concrete volume.
Because of the development of a large truck stop complex at the intersection of US Hwy 2 and County Road 6, Ulteig was directed to complete the design of a four-lane PCC pavement roadway extension to span the full length of the truck stop development. The design was completed in a timely manner resulting in no loss of time to the contractor’s operation.