Engineering, Architecture, Planning

TKDA Announces New Hires

July 22, 2014

New TKDA Employees

Top Row from Left to Right: Jeffrey Hilden, Tom Green, Elisabeth Schaler, Allison Lindbeck, Sarah Johnson, Nick Maki. Center Row from Left to Right: Alberto Martinez, Kelly Nelson, Brandon Schnier, Thomas Kram, Andrew Vogel, Margaret Pilewicz, Cheryl Rodenbeck. Bottom Row from Left to Right: Yuan Carmichael, Lou Conroy, Ben Olson, Michelle Gallagher, Shawn Meyer, Kelly Tornio.

TKDA recently added several new employees as workloads increase across the company. “We are experiencing growth in several of our markets and have been fortunate to hire excellent professionals to join the TKDA team and help us meet those growing demands,” said Bill Deitner, PE, President and CEO.

The following registered engineers joined the firm: Jeffrey Hilden, PE, PTOE/Highway; Tom Green, PE, Rail and Elisabeth Schaler, PE, Electrical Engineer.

The following graduate engineers joined the firm: Allison Lindbeck, Surface Transportation; Sarah Johnson, Surface Transportation; Nick Maki, Municipal; Alberto Martinez, Rail; Kelly Nelson, Electrical and Brandon Schnier, Mechanical.

The following engineering designers joined the firm: Thomas Kram and Andrew Vogel, Electrical; Margaret Pilewicz, Architectural and Cheryl Rodenbeck, Rail.

The following engineering technicians joined the firm: Yuan Carmichael, Facilities and Lou Conroy, Municipal.

Other new employees include Architect Ben Olson, AIA; Michelle Gallagher, Interior Designer; Shawn Meyer, Land Surveyor in Training and Kelly Tornio, Accountant.


New Video Showcases TKDA Talent

July 15, 2014

Bryant Ficek

TKDA recently released its latest project manager video showcasing Traffic Engineer Bryant Ficek. Ficek is a registered engineer with 16 years of experience. His resume includes several significant projects across the state of Minnesota, including the reconstruction of the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis after its collapse, the first Diverging Diamond Interchange in the state, and many roundabout projects. He often takes the lead outreach role, educating the public on the goals and benefits of his projects.

In addition, Ficek has recently coauthored a book, “Traffic Study Manual,” with his colleague Mike Spack. The book is designed to help engineers plan for, analyze, and write easy-to-understand traffic studies. The manual can be used as a reference tool for developers, planners and government officials. A portion of proceeds from the book sales are donated to Engineers Without Borders.

“I have been pretty lucky throughout my career and it’s been great to have the book out and I’ve enjoyed the feedback I have gotten from it. Donating profits to Engineers Without Borders for their good use is just our way of giving a little something back to the profession,” Ficek said.

The video can be seen at http://www.tkda.com/video/bryant-ficek-roundabouts.php. Information on the “Traffic Study Manual” can be found at spackacademy.com.


TKDA Designing New Austin Utilities Facility

July 3, 2014

TKDA has been chosen to design a new central service center in Austin, Minn.

At the Austin Utilities board’s direction, TKDA will create two design options for the new facility. One option includes all utility operations and customer service functions consolidated under one roof at the 23-acre Energy Park. The second option sites the Operations Center at the Energy Park with customer service and administration remaining in downtown Austin. Board input will be sought on the two options prior to a final decision on which option to build.

Austin Utilities currently operates out of three sites and seven buildings in different parts of the city. These facilities are between 20 to 80 years of age.  Increased efficiency is a goal of the centralized building project.

Several energy options will be explored for the project, including skylights and clerestory for daylighting, chilled beam, geothermal, earth tube and solar photovoltaic power, as well as wind power.

Design and construction documents are scheduled to be completed for spring 2015 bidding and construction completed for spring 2016 occupancy.

Austin Utilities is a municipal utility serving approximately 12,300 electric customers, 10,300 natural gas customers, and 9,000 water customers. Their mission is to offer utility products and services in a safe, reliable and responsible manner in order to enhance the quality of life in our community. For more information visit www.austinutilities.com.


Ground Broken for North Shore Community School Project

June 25, 2014

North Shore Community School Groundbreaking

Ground was recently broken for the North Shore Community School addition that will add four new classrooms, an art lab, two small conference rooms, restrooms and a greenhouse to the kindergarten through sixth grade environmental charter school on the North Shore of Lake Superior. TKDA is providing architectural and engineering services on the project which is expected to be completed near the end of 2014.


TKDA Celebrates Green Line Opening

June 12, 2014

Green Line Central Station Left Photo: Terry Olsen, Architect; Chris Lawson, Mechanical Engineer; and Fred Beukema, Structural Engineer celebrate the grand opening of the Green Line Central Station and stairway and elevator tower in downtown Saint Paul. They are just a few of the TKDA employees who provided a variety of services for the new light rail line. Right Photo: TKDA architect Terry Olsen collaborated with artist JoAnn Verburg to bring together functional art and architecture into the space that connects the ground level Central Station and the skywalk in downtown Saint Paul. The space is named Betwixt because it represents the space between street level and the skyway, and is between the vehicular and pedestrian realm. The artist chose colors for the stair treads and the terrazzo floor that are dark at the first level and change to lighter shades as the stairs climb.

TKDA is celebrating the new Green Line Light Rail system as another link in the Twin Cities’ transit system comes on line. The Green Line is the Twin Cities new light rail connection between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Learn more about the Green Line opening: http://www.metrotransit.org/greenline

Our team is proud to have provided a variety of engineering and architectural services to this new Metro transportation corridor.

TKDA provided demolition engineering services for the removal of the Bremer Bank Building, at 5th and Cedar streets, to make way for construction of the new downtown Saint Paul Central Station, which is located just steps away from our downtown office.

TKDA provided architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical and civil design and prepared construction documents for the 165-foot-long skyway that spans the Central Station platform connecting the downtown Alliance Bank Building with the Saint Paul Athletic Club Building.

TKDA also designed the new stairway and elevator tower that connects the ground level station platform with the skyway. The space, named Betwixt because it represents the space between street level and the skyway, and is between the vehicular and pedestrian realm, is the new gateway to the Green Line and the downtown skyway system.

During construction of the Green Line, TKDA provided building areaway modifications along University Avenue. (Building areaways are privately-owned spaces extending under the sidewalks to the curb.) Structural, electrical and mechanical modifications were required in many areaways to accommodate the poles supporting overhead electrical cables that power the light rail vehicles, street realignments, utility construction and foundations for the new street lights. TKDA conducted property surveys and site observations while coordinating with the building owners and the Central Corridor Project Office to create improvement plans for these areaways upgrades.

TKDA also designed new bus stops in downtown Saint Paul to accommodate bus connections for the downtown transit riders. This project included replacing and relocating exterior transit shelters, streetscaping, traffic management and sidewalk improvements to facilitate circulation and improve accessibility, signage and security for light rail users. Public art at the stops reflects Saint Paul’s modernistic skyscrapers and provides contemporary and functional shelters designed with increased visibility to deter crime.

Many of TKDA’s employees working at our downtown Saint Paul office not only worked on parts of the new Green Line design, they will also be taking the new light rail system to commute into work.


Track Raise Project Wins Design Award

May 30, 2014

BNSF Design Award

TKDA was part of a collaborative team that won a design award for raising the level of a railroad track to accommodate the rising level of Devil’s Lake in North Dakota.

Houston Engineering, Inc., (HEI) and BNSF Railway and TKDA shared the Outstanding Engineering Design Award, presented recently by the North Dakota Society of Professional Engineers.

Devil’s Lake is experiencing historically high water levels, increasing nearly 32 feet from its lowest level in 1993 to its record elevation in 2011. To preserve both passenger and commercial rail traffic between Chicago and Seattle, several segments of a 12-mile section of track were raised nearly 10 feet from original grade. The massive effort faced multiple design challenges, including raising the rail with rising water on both sides of the track, and completing the project without minimal rail service interruptions.

HEI, BNSF and TKDA are longtime partners on rail work in the Devil’s Lake area, performing design, construction management, survey, track raise and embankment widening projects.

The North Dakota Society of Professional Engineers award recognizes outstanding engineering firms based on innovation, quality and uniqueness of a project’s design.


TKDA Receives CSI Award

May 29, 2014

Terry Olsen

Terry Olsen

TKDA received the Principal’s Award from the Minneapolis – St. Paul Chapter of the Construction Specification Institute for contributions to the organization by Terry Olsen, AIA, CSI, LEED AP BD+C.

Olsen, a 13-year TKDA employee, has been a member of CSI for 18 years and has been active in the organization holding various positions, including vice president, and serving on the Programs Committee in some capacity the entire time, including roles as Monthly Program Captain and as Programs Committee Chair and Co-Chair. She also has provided educational articles in the monthly newsletter for nearly a decade.

The Principal’s Award is presented to firms for their enthusiastic support of the Chapter and its goals and principals and is an endorsement of the firm’s generous commitment of its personnel, time, services, or facilities.

CSI was founded in 1948 as an organization of construction professionals who work together to effectively communicate the designers’ vision, the material producers’ solutions, and the constructors’ techniques to create outstanding facilities that meet facility owners’ objectives.


TKDA Supports River Quest

May 22, 2014

School children at River Quest

A group of sixth grade students participated in River Quest aboard the Vista Star in Duluth recently. TKDA is one of many community sponsors of the program which brought 1,400 sixth grade students on tours of the Duluth-Superior harbor to learn about the environmental, commercial, industrial and recreational values of the estuary of the St. Louis River. More information about River Quest can be found at www.seagrant.umn.edu/riverquest.


Target Field Station Connects Transit With Culture

May 16, 2014

Target Field Station

The grand opening of Target Field Station will be celebrated May 17. Connecting transit with culture, the new multi-modal hub and public plaza will provide an iconic gateway to Target Field Stadium, home of the Minnesota Twins.

Located at 417 5th St. and 5th Ave. in Minneapolis, this new public space will connect 500 trains daily from the Metro Blue LRT (Hiawatha), Metro Green Line LRT (Central Corridor), Northstar Commuter Rail and the future Metro Green Line LRT extension (Southwest).

Hennepin County selected Knutson Construction in 2012 as part of the multidisciplinary, design-build team working closely with Perkins Eastman and architect Peter Cavaluzzi, FAIA. As part of this team, TKDA designed the 1,200-foot-long, 13-span bridge that carries light rail vehicles over a two-level parking ramp and the pedestrian plaza below. This structure supports the LRT station itself, including two 300-foot-long passenger loading platforms, ticket vending and the a 270 foot-long by 50 foot-wide station canopy.

Target Field Station’s more than 104,000 square feet of space also includes the public plaza for year-round special events and activities, green space, a 1,000-seat amphitheater, office space and retail shops, and a 286-car underground parking structure.

Hennepin County seeks certification from both the State of Minnesota’s B3 Guidelines and the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Rating System for Target Field Station’s innovative design that reduces environmental impact. The all-season public plaza’s surfaces will remain clear in winter thanks to more than 23 miles of tubing installed as part of an integrated snow melting system that utilizes excess heat generated by the adjacent Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC) energy plant.
Within Target Field Station’s landscape will grow 5,422 flowering native plant bulbs, 150 trees and 1,300 shrubs. The site’s natural topography, along with its natural filtering properties and new high-performance streetscape along 5th and 6th Streets, funnels stormwater runoff into a series of cisterns and underground storage systems capable of holding 40,000 gallons. Collected water then is returned to the HERC as part of an initiative by the Watershed District and in support of the project’s sustainability goals.

Target Field Station is a project of Hennepin County, the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority and the Hennepin County Housing and Redevelopment Authority. A mix of federal, state and local sources funded the $79.3 million project. More than half of the project is funded by local government.


TKDA Wins National ACEC Recognition

May 5, 2014

ACEC National Recognition

Projects from left to right: Van White Memorial Boulevard and Highway 169/I-494 Interchange Reconstruction.

TKDA was presented with a National Recognition Award in the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) 2014 Engineering Excellence Award competition for the Van White Memorial Boulevard project.

The award was presented in April at the “Academy Awards of the engineering industry” in Washington, D.C.

TKDA was the City of Minneapolis’ lead design engineer on the project, named for Van White, the city’s first African-American council member who for years championed a transportation connection between North Minneapolis and downtown. The boulevard includes a two-lane roadway, a multi-use trail and three bridges to create a corridor for traffic, bicyclists, and pedestrians to travel between two areas separated for decades by freeways, a creek, rail corridors and industrial storage yards.

TKDA was also on the Jacobs Engineering team for the Highway 169/I-494 Interchange Reconstruction project that also received a National Recognition Award. TKDA was the design partner for roundabouts, bridges, drainage and utilities.

In 2011, TKDA, a 100 percent employee-owned engineering, architectural and planning firm, was named Firm of the Year by ACEC Minnesota.