KLJ Receives National Award Recognition for Bridge Replacement

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KLJ Receives National Award Recognition for Bridge Replacement

We are honored to announce that the firm has been awarded a Prize Bridge Award by The American Institute of Steel Construction and the National Steel Bridge Alliance. The Prize Bridge Award is the structural steel industry’s highest design honor for bridges. KLJ’s bridge design was one of only eight bridges recognized in 2024.  

The recognition stems from KLJ’s work with Grand Forks County, in Northwood, ND where an aging bridge in the eastern portion of the state, posed safety concerns due to deteriorating structures and increasing load demands, particularly within the agriculture economy.  

As a result, Grand Forks County hired KLJ to design a solution that could be swiftly implemented to accommodate the upcoming spring agricultural activities. During this time, the industry was experiencing significant material shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This not only impacted the availability of cement powder but also meant potential delays in the construction of a concrete bridge. 

KLJ’s innovative approach involved the design of a prefabricated steel structure, circumventing the need for concrete and expediting the construction process. This strategic decision not only ensured timely completion but also yielded a visually appealing structure that seamlessly integrated with its surroundings. The unique structure comprised beams manufactured with weathering steel, a bridge deck comprised of corrugated sheet metal, and abutments that were fabricated using raw steel to be painted after installation.

The Contractor mobilized to the site on March 14, 2022, and while the superstructure of the bridge was being manufactured, they removed the existing bridge and started constructing the abutments, driving piling, welding on pile caps, and installing sheet piling backwalls. The prefabricated sections were delivered and installed on April 19, 2022. The bridge was nearly completed when a near-record spring flood event and blizzard hit the Red River Valley. The project site was inundated and unworkable for nearly two weeks. As soon as the water receded, materials were cleaned and prepared for painting, and earthwork grading operations were completed to tie the roadway back in and facilitate guardrail installation. The roadway and deck were graveled, and the bridge was open to traffic on May 19, 2022.

The successful implementation of KLJ's design not only addressed critical safety concerns but also showcased the firm's commitment to delivering efficient and sustainable infrastructure solutions. Without the use of steel in all aspects of this bridge, the timeline would not have been feasible. Concrete cure times, cold temperatures, flooding issues, and material delays would have meant another season of detours and potential safety concerns for the traveling public. To learn more about this project click here