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Highways for LIFE

Arrow Minnesota Demonstration Project: Reconstruction of Trunk Highway 36 in North St. Paul

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Draft Final Report June 2010

Table of Contents

Minnesota Demonstration Project: Reconstruction of Trunk Highway 36 in North St. Paul


The purpose of the Highways for LIFE (HfL) pilot program is to accelerate the use of innovations that improve highway safety and quality while reducing congestion caused by construction. LIFE is an acronym for Longer–lasting highway infrastructure using Innovations to accomplish the Fast construction of Efficient and safe highways and bridges.

Specifically, HfL focuses on speeding up the widespread adoption of proven innovations in the highway community. "Innovations" is an inclusive term used by HfL to encompass technologies, materials, tools, equipment, procedures, specifications, methodologies, processes, and practices used to finance, design, or construct highways. HfL is based on the recognition that innovations are available that, if widely and rapidly implemented, would result in significant benefits to road users and highway agencies.

Although innovations themselves are important, HfL is as much about changing the highway community's culture from one that considers innovation something that only adds to the workload, delays projects, raises costs, or increases risk to one that sees it as an opportunity to provide better highway transportation service. HfL is also an effort to change the way highway community decisionmakers and participants perceive their jobs and the service they provide.

The HfL pilot program, described in Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA–LU) Section 1502, includes funding for demonstration construction projects. By providing incentives for projects, HfL promotes improvements in safety, construction–related congestion, and quality that can be achieved through the use of performance goals and innovations. This report documents one such HfL demonstration project.

Additional information on the HfL program is at


This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U.S. Government assumes no liability for its contents or use thereof. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U.S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade and manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.

1. Report No. 2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
Minnesota Demonstration Project: Reconstruction of Trunk Highway 36 in North St. Paul
5. Report Date
June 2010
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
Jagannath Mallela, Paul Littleton, P.E., and Gary Hoffman, P.E., R.L.S.,.
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Applied Research Associates, Inc.
100 Trade Centre Drive, Suite 200
Champaign, IL 61820
10. Work Unit No.(TRAIS) C6B
11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Infrastructure
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Draft Final Report

April 2007 – April 2010

14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
Contracting Officers Technical Representatives: Byron Lord, Mary Huie
16. Abstract

As part of a national initiative sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration under the Highways for LIFE program, the Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT) was awarded a $1 million grant to demonstrate the use of proven, innovative technologies to deliver a $30.7 million project in less time than conventional construction. This report documents the use of full closure to reconstruct a four-lane, 2-mile (approximate) section of Trunk Highway 36 in North St. Paul. The finished project has enhanced transportation safety and reduced travel times by eliminating six at-grade intersections. Local transportation has been improved with newly constructed crossover bridges and a pedestrian bridge.

This report discusses the use of full closure on a major highway reconstruction project, which until now has not been used on a main thoroughfare in Minnesota. The project incorporated A+B contract bidding, a locked incentive date specification, and lane rental as an innovative approach to minimize traffic disruption by getting the highway rebuilt and open to traffic as early as possible. The result was that the newly reconstructed roadway was completely open to traffic in 145 days, 65 percent sooner than if traditional staged construction had been used.

During full closure, traffic was diverted to detour routes, which presented the opportunity to use an intelligent transportation system, integrated with the existing Mn/DOT traffic monitoring system, to route motorists around the construction. Mn/DOT also explored the use of intelligent compaction equipment to expedite site work and lightweight deflectometers for acceptance testing, a first for Minnesota. While not a recent innovation, machine control using Global Positioning System technology was used extensively on this project and was a key component in streamlining grading operations.

Completely closing the highway to traffic, even for a short time, increased costs associated with diverting motorists, but it reduced overall costs that would have been incurred with traffic impacts over a longer period. The alternate staging plan to get the project built was cost prohibitive and would have been unacceptable to roadway users. The high level of user satisfaction with the speed of project delivery attests to the project's success. The successes and knowledge gained on this project will encourage Mn/DOT to consider full closure as a viable alternative to traditional staged construction on future projects.
17. Key Words
A+B contract bidding, full lane closure, intelligent compaction, intelligent transportation system, lane rental, lightweight deflectometer, locked incentive date specification, machine control.
18. Distribution Statement

No restriction. This document is available to the public through the Highways for LIFE website:

19. Security Classif. (of this page)
20. No. of Pages
21. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8–72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol Symbol When You Know Multiply By To Find Symbol
in inches 25.4 millimeters mm mm millimeters 0.039 inches in
ft feet 0.305 meters m m meters 3.28 feet ft
yd yards 0.914 meters m m meters 1.09 yards yd
mi miles 1.61 kilometers km km kilometers 0.621 miles mi
in2 square inches 645.2 square millimeters mm2 mm2 square millimeters 0.0016 square inches in2
ft2 square feet 0.093 square meters m2 m2 square meters 10.764 square feet ft2
yd2 square yards 0.836 square meters m2 m2 square meters 1.195 square yards ac
ac acres 0.405 hectares ha ha hectares 2.47 acres mi2
mi2 square miles 2.59 square kilometers km2 km2 square kilometers 0.386 square miles
fl oz fluid ounces 29.57 milliliters ml ml milliliters 0.034 fluid ounces fl oz
gal gallons 3.785 liters l l liters 0.264 gallons gal
ft3 cubic feet 0.028 cubic meters m3 m3 cubic meters 35.71 cubic feet ft3
yd3 cubic yards 0.765 cubic meters m3 m3 cubic meters 1.307 cubic yard yd3
NOTE: Volumes greater than 1000 l shall be shown in m3
oz ounces 28.35 grams g g grams 0.035 ounces oz
lb pounds 0.454 kilograms kg kg kilograms 2.202 pounds lb
T short tons (2000 lb) 0.907 megagrams Mg Mg megagrams 1.103 short tons (2000 lb) T
TEMPERATURE (exact degrees) TEMPERATURE (exact degrees)
°F Fahrenheit 5(F–32)/9 or (F–32)/1.8 Celcius °C °C Celsius 1.8C +32 Fahrenheit °F
fc foot–candles 10.76 lux l lx lux 0.0929 foot–candles fc
fl foot–Lamberts 3.426 candela/m2 cd/m2 cd/m2 candela/m2 0.2919 foot–Lamberts fl
lbg pounds 4.45 newtons N N newtons 0.225 poundforce lbf
lb/in2 pound per square inch 6.89 kilopascals kPa kPa kilopascals 0.145 poundforce per square inch ib/in2(psi)
k/in2 klps per square inch 6.89 megaPascals mPa MPa megaPascals 0.145 klps per square inch k/in2(ips)
ib/ft3(pcf) pounds per cubic foot 16.02 kilograms per cubic meter kg/m3 kg/m3 pounds per cubic foot 0.062 kilograms per cubic meter ib/ft3(pcf)


The project team would like to acknowledge the invaluable insights and guidance of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Highways for LIFE Team Leader Byron Lord and Program Coordinators Mary Huie and Kathleen Bergeron, who served as the technical panel on this demonstration project. Their vast knowledge and experience with the various aspects of construction, technology deployment, and technology transfer helped immensely in developing both the approach and the technical matter for this document. The team also is indebted to Phil Forst, area engineer for the FHWA Minnesota Division, and Steve Kordosky, Jay Hietpas, and Tom Ravn of the Minnesota Department of Transportation for their unstinting support in conducting and documenting this demonstration project. Finally, the team also appreciates the technical support for this report provided by Progressive Contractors, Inc.

Abbreviations and Symbols

AADT annual average daily traffic
ARAN Automatic Road Analyzer
dB(A) A–weighted decibel
DOT Department of Transportation
FHWA Federal Highway Administration
GPS Global Positioning System
HfL Highways for LIFE
HMA hot-mix asphalt
Hz hertz
IC intelligent compaction
ITS intelligent transportation system
IRI International Roughness Index
LID locked incentive date
LWD lightweight deflectometer
Mn/DOT Minnesota Department of Transportation
OBSI onboard sound intensity
OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration
SAFETEA-LU Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A
Legacy for Users
SI sound intensity
SRTT standard reference test tire
TERRA Transportation Engineering and Road Research Alliance
TH Trunk Highway
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Mary Huie
Center for Accelerating Innovation

Updated: 04/04/2011

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration