Stearns County received the Project of the Year Award from the Minnesota County Engineers Association for the Sauk Rapids Regional Bridge project. Mitch Anderson, Stearns County Engineer, and his staff were recognized at the Minnesota County Engineers Association annual award banquet on January 22, 2008.
The $57 million project, which involved nearly ten years of planning and over two years of construction, replaced a two lane bridge having an at-grade railroad crossing with a four lane grade separated bridge that connects CSAH 1/9th Avenue in St. Cloud to 2nd Street North/Benton Drive in Sauk Rapids. The project involved 42 right of way purchases for road and bridge purposes. Right of way also included a first of its kind Downtown Impact Mitigation Program, encouraging dislocated businesses to relocate in downtown Sauk Rapids. Twenty parcels were purchased for the DIM Program.
The new bridge, which opened to traffic on October 23, 2007, is 1,298 feet long. At its high point it is 60 feet above the Mississippi River. Materials necessary to construct the bridge included 8.6 million pounds of steel, 13,100 cubic yard of concrete and 5,100 linear feet of metal railing. WSB & Associates and SRF Consulting Group provided construction inspection for Stearns County.