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Haines Road reconstruction wins award

The Minnesota County Engineers Association has named the rebuilding of Haines Road in Duluth as the group's 2013 Project of the Year.

The honor is given to the project that best demonstrates design innovation, noteworthy accomplishments under adverse conditions, community involvement, and environmental and historical considerations.

St. Louis County commissioners on Tuesday recognized the county's public works engineers and others involved with the project, which cost $12 million and was completed in October.

The project, a decade in the making and the county's single-most-expensive road project, was complicated by the massive June 2012 rainstorm and flood that happened months before construction was set to start. Engineers were able to modify and accelerate plans to complete what had been expected to be a two-year project in one construction season.

The 2.2 miles of new roadway, which handles about 7,000 vehicles per day, includes an extra uphill lane for vehicle traffic, wider shoulders and a sidewalk, storm sewers, storm-water ponds, retaining walls, railroad-crossing improvements and an underpass for users of the Superior Hiking Trail, a snowmobile trail and a mountain biking trail.

Hammerlund Construction Inc. was the primary contractor on the project. Other key partners included LHB Engineers & Architects, Federal Highway Administration, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, Minnesota

Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, city of Duluth, city of Hermantown, Skyline Planning and Preservation Alliance, Cyclists of Gitchee Gummee Shores, Superior Hiking Trail and the Over the Hill Night Riders snowmobile club.