Engineering, Architecture, Planning

Camp Ripley work recognized as APWA Project of the Year Honorable Mention

November 20, 2015

Aerial view of Camp Ripley

TKDA recently accepted a Project of the Year Honorable Mention at the America Public Works Association Minnesota Chapter (APWA-MN) Fall Conference for road and utility infrastructure improvements at Camp Ripley in Little Falls, Minnesota. Projects are selected based on innovation, sustainability, and future value to the public works profession and to the community.

The Minnesota Department of Military Affairs selected TKDA to provide engineering services for street, parking lot, sanitary sewer, watermain, storm sewer, lift station, and airfield improvements in the Cantonment Area at Camp Ripley. The $15.4 million seven-phase project improves and upgrades the Camp’s infrastructure to better support and sustain the overall base operations, and minimize annual maintenance costs. Camp Ripley’s 53,000-acre facility has the infrastructure of a self-contained city, capable of supporting a peak influx of 20,000 military personnel.

The award was accepted by TKDA Senior Engineer, Larry Bohrer, PE and staff from the Minnesota Army National Guard. Larry led the Camp Ripley project through its entire six-year duration. Larry is a former Vice President of Municipal Services at TKDA and has served government clients as a staff manager, consulting city engineer, project manager, and project engineer. He will be retiring at the end of 2015 after 43 years of service at TKDA.

This is the second award the Camp Ripley project has won. The first award was given by the Concrete Paving Association of Minnesota and recognized the Camp’s airfield taxiway reconstruction.

TKDA participates in Hennepin County Citizens Academy

November 12, 2015

Hennepin Citizens Academy

TKDA Water Services leader John Berrigan, PE recently graduated from the Hennepin County Citizens Academy. The seven-week series provides participants with access to how county government operates and includes topics ranging from winter road plowing to light rail transit. Participants meet County leaders and learn about many of the services provided by the County.

“Minnesota is exceptional in its transparency, accessibility and outreach to each citizen or professional, and the Citizens Academy was no exception,” noted John. “I would definitely recommend the Hennepin County Citizens Academy for anyone wanting to learn more about Hennepin County services across community agency lines.”

As a 100 percent employee-owned firm, TKDA fosters a commitment to thoroughly understanding how our clients operate and their goals. Understanding a client’s vision, culture, processes, and personnel, streamlines design delivery and guides the firm toward highly-valued, client-specific solutions.

TKDA Presents Infrastructure Renewal Options

November 6, 2015

Water/Wastewater Presentation

TKDA Senior Water/Wastewater Engineer, Bernie Bullert, recently presented water infrastructure renewal options to a group of public works officials and facilities managers at an event at Oakdale City Hall in Oakdale, MN. Bernie was joined by Mitchell Hoeft of Insituform, who provided specific technical solutions for pipe rehabilitation. This was the third in a series of lunch and learn events given by Bernie throughout the Twin Cities Metro and Northland regions. Bernie will give additional presentations in the coming months to other public and private organizations.

The discussion included tools for successful water distribution and collection system management and capital investment, including:

  • Replacement vs. rehabilitation for water mains, force mains, and gravity sewers
  • Cost-effective asset management for water distribution or wastewater collection
  • Technology selection, renewal planning, and winning public support for investment

Senior Registered Engineer Bernie Bullert is a leader in the use of new technologies to reduce long-term infrastructure costs. Dedicated to helping communities move their infrastructure renewal projects forward, he has established water infrastructure rehabilitation programs through his previous leadership roles at Utilities in the Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, as well as providing asset management consulting to Minnesota communities.

If you are interested in attending a future speaking engagement, please contact Bernie at

Duluth Airport Terminal Named for Jim Oberstar

October 30, 2015


Duluth International Airport named its new airport terminal after the man who helped make it a reality: the late Congressman Jim Oberstar. The airport hosted a dedication ceremony naming the facility after the Minnesota Congressman. As longtime chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Oberstar secured funding for many road, bridge, bike path and transit projects, including crucial funding for the $78 million Duluth terminal project.

“Congressman Oberstar was a champion of aviation in our region,” Duluth Airport Authority Executive Director Tom Werner said in a previous statement. “It’s through his leadership and vision that we have such a vibrant aviation sector at the Duluth International Airport today.”

TKDA provided interior design on the Terminal, collaborating with lead designer RS&H. The Duluth terminal’s long expanses of glass created a connection with its Northland setting. To strengthen this connection, TKDA interior designers chose materials and finishes native to northern Minnesota. The main lobby’s gently flowing ceiling plane and paneled walls evoke both water and woods, creating a tranquil, yet captivating atmosphere for the traveler. Warm, inviting tones in a natural palette — dark blue, muted green, creamy white, along with wood finishes and brushed metal — play off the area’s naturally cool climate.

The project was selected by Minnesota Council of Airports for a Project of the Year award in 2014.

TKDA also collaborated with RS&H on the terminal’s new parking structure.

TKDA to Present at AASHE Sustainability Conference

October 26, 2015

Photo of 17th Avenue Student Residence Hall and Dining Facility

University of Minnesota 17th Avenue Residence Hall and Dining Center Gray Water Case Study
Tuesday, October 27, 8:30 a.m.

TKDA is presenting a sustainable design feature of the University of Minnesota’s newest Residence Hall and Dining Center at the AASHE Conference in Minneapolis this week. TKDA’s Architect-of Record, Brian Morse, and Lead Mechanical Engineer, Greg Trende of Michaud Cooley Erickson will present an overview of the Residence Hall’s gray water system. The system provides a site water management strategy for a constrained urban setting with few options for on-site infiltration. Minimizing run-off to the nearby Mississippi River was a major objective. The design gathered water from the facility’s roofs and site, as well as from the adjacent property’s surface parking lots. The system provides non-potable water for residence hall water closets and site irrigation, and has the ability to fill watering trucks for off-site use. The presentation will describe monitoring and displaying systems that track performance, assess energy use, and educate users/residents. The discussion will include a review of the system’s performance since becoming operational, and the lessons learned from the design, construction and operation.

TKDA was the Architect-of-Record for the 17th Avenue Student Residence Hall and Dining Facility. A collaborative project with design architects Mackey Mitchell, the 600-bed facility features “super suite” accommodations for students and private apartments for advising staff. The dining facility’s commercial kitchen prepares and serves three meals a day in an innovative, fresh food delivery method. Community spaces and state-of-the-art technology is featured throughout the building. Constructed to meet Minnesota’s B3 sustainability standards, the building offers energy efficient design, systems, and equipment, including a green, vegetated roof with a water collection system, energy-saving appliances, and sensor lighting.

Larry Morgan Presents Construction History of Cathedral of Saint Paul

October 14, 2015

Photo of Larry Morgan

TKDA Engineer Larry Morgan was the featured speaker at this month’s meeting of the Engineers’ Society of Saint Paul. His presentation “Construction of the Cathedral of Saint Paul – From Concept to Masterpiece in 36 years” provided a look back in history on how this grand structure came to be. Designed by famed French architect El Masqueray, the Cathedral had a final construction cost of $1.625 million upon its completion in 1915. Today’s cost to duplicate the exterior and interior construction is estimated at $2 billion.

TKDA was founded in 1910 as Toltz Engineering and the firm was involved in the design of the Cathedral’s heating system. That original system is still operational. Of the more than 30 firms and contractors that contributed their skills to design and build the Cathedral, TKDA is one of only four that are still in business today.

The Engineers’ Society of Saint Paul has been gathering for monthly meetings since 1883. For Morgan’s presentation, TKDA hosted the group at its downtown Saint Paul office, just four blocks away from where Toltz Engineering was originally founded 105 years ago.

Download a PDF of the presentation! (5 MB)

Sarah Tracy Joins TKDA Traffic Team

September 25, 2015

Photo of Sarah Tracy

Sarah Tracy, PE, PTOE, has joined the TKDA Surface Transportation Division, bringing 18 years of transportation engineering experience to the team.

Tracy comes to TKDA from the Nebraska Department of Roads, where she held the position of State Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Engineer, managing and maintaining ITS infrastructure throughout the state. Her duties included developing and delivering an annual ITS program, managing the state’s ITS software systems, including advanced traffic management and traveler information/511 system, developing systems engineering documentation and coordinating statewide traffic incident management activities. Tracy was also involved in developing and implementing Nebraska’s Statewide Operation Center, improving efficiencies of the state’s ITS.

Her expertise includes extensive experience in long-range transportation planning, environmental documentation and a wide variety of traffic engineering services for a number of state agencies, including the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the Iowa Department of Transportation.

“We are very happy to welcome Sarah to our team and her expertise in ITS, traffic planning and environmental studies adds to the full complement of design services we provide for our clients,” said Kevin Cullen, Vice President of TKDA’s Surface Transportation Division.

Tracy is also very active in transportation professional organizations and is a board member and past-president of ITS Heartland, which includes ITS professionals from Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Valley Institute of Transportation Engineers and the Lincoln-Omaha-Council Bluffs Association of Transportation Engineers.

“I am excited to be working with the TKDA design team and I look forward to engaging in the traffic engineering community in Minnesota and throughout our region,” Tracy said.

Lake Superior College Opens Center for Advanced Aviation

September 17, 2015

Photo in Hangar 13

Congratulations to Lake Superior College in Duluth on the opening of its new Center of Advanced Aviation. TKDA designed the renovations to Hangar 103 at the Duluth International Airport for the program that trains students to work in the growing aviation sector.

Read the full article in the Duluth News Tribune.

TKDA Water Engineers to present at AWWA

September 8, 2015

Verne Jacobsen, PE and Matt Ellingson, PE of TKDA’s Water Services Group will present their recently completed Rochester, Minnesota reservoir project at the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Minnesota Section’s Annual Conference in Duluth on September 17.

TKDA completed a feasibility study, design and construction administration for the new 3.3 MG St. Mary’s water storage facility for Rochester Public Utilities. The project included review and evaluation of 11 different sites and studied elevated verses ground storage facilities to meet growing water demands of the service area which includes downtown Rochester and the Mayo Clinic facilities.

Verne Jacobsen is a senior registered engineer and experienced leader in water engineering, both at TKDA and previously with Saint Paul’s water utility where he directed water treatment operations and administration of all utility operating divisions. Matt Ellingson is a registered engineer with TKDA’s Water/Wastewater Group since 2008. Recently Matt was the lead field engineer for inspections and quality control for over 90,000 meters for Saint Paul Regional Water Services.

TKDA Food Drive Helps Those in Need

August 18, 2015

photos of donation check delivery

Left Photo: Leslee LeRoux presents Anders Ringdalh-Mayland, In-Kind Donations Coordinator for Neighborhood House, with a donation of $2,382.
Right: Leslee LeRoux presents Christine Pulver, Director of Basic Needs at Keystone Community Services, with a donation of $2,382.

TKDA donated a total of $4,764 to two Saint Paul organizations recently through our Fill a Lunch Box food drive. The donations represent $2,382 from employees and an equal company match.

We delivered $2,382 to Neighborhood House, located in the Wellstone Center across the Robert Street Bridge. The organization donates more than 3,000 pounds of food per week to Ramsey County families in need. Through its distribution and donation networks, Neighborhood House triples the value of each donated dollar to purchase food for its food shelves, where 50 percent of those served are children.

We also delivered $2,382 to Keystone Community Services, an organization that serves families in need from the greater Midway area, the North End and the northern suburbs of Saint Paul. The cash donation comes at a critical time for the organization that saw its food costs go up 50 percent in July. Summer demands on food shelves increases dramatically when families cannot rely on free breakfast and lunch programs through their children’s schools.

Both organizations expressed deep gratitude to TKDA and all of its employees who made a donation during a time of high demand on local food shelves.