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Builders of New Minneapolis Bridge Honored at the Lipinski Symposium

The team that built the Minneapolis bridge replacing the one that collapsed into the Mississippi River two years ago received the David F. Schulz Award for Outstanding Public Service in Transportation and Infrastructure Policy from Northwestern University on November 2.

The honor was presented as part of the third annual William O. Lipinski Symposium on Transportation Policy. The symposium, "Moving the Goods: Chicago and the Nation's Freight," was held at the Allen Center on Northwestern's Evanston campus.

Transportation leaders and policy makers from across the country and Canada addressed issues and opportunities in freight transportation for the Chicago region, the nation's leading freight hub. Northwestern's Infrastructure Technology Institute (ITI) was the event's sponsor.

The I-35W St. Anthony Falls Bridge team members are the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the City of Minneapolis, the Federal Highway Administration, Figg Engineering and Flatiron Manson Joint Venture. All of the organizations, with the exception of the City of Minneapolis, were represented at the award presentation. The award is named for the late Dave Schulz, founding director of the Infrastructure Technology Institute.

"The bridge opened only 437 days after design work began -- a near miracle," said Joseph Schofer, director of ITI and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Northwestern. "This team showed what could be accomplished in response to the unexpected loss of a critical piece of transportation infrastructure. The success is attributable to teamwork, innovation, a fast-track design-build contract, a quick build design and nearly round-the-clock operations."

The event featured remarks from U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Other symposium participants discussed priorities for making freight flowing to and through Chicago -- via train, truck, ship and plane -- more efficient, sustainable and environmentally sound. The format will include individual presentations, question-and-answer sessions and a roundtable discussion.

The annual event is named for former Congressman William O. Lipinski of Chicago, the host of the conference. In addition to Lipinski and Secretary LaHood, speakers included:

- U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, chairman, Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
- Joseph C. Szabo, administrator, Federal Railroad Administration
- Daniel Elliott, chairman, U.S. Surface Transportation Board
- Sen. Martin A. Sandoval, chairman, Illinois Senate Transportation Committee
- U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski, member, U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee
- Gary Hannig, secretary, Illinois Department of Transportation
- E. Hunter Harrison, president and chief executive officer, Canadian National Railroad
- Edward R. Hamberger, president and chief executive officer, Association of American Railroads
- Michael Burton, president, C&K Trucking
- Ann Drake, chief executive officer, DSC Logistics
- Hani Mahmassani, William A. Patterson Distinguished Professor of Transportation and director, Transportation Center, Northwestern University
- Rep. Elaine Nekritz, chair, Illinois House Railroad Industry Committee
- James LaBelle, Chicago Metropolis 2020
- Norman Carlson, transportation consultant
- Paul E. Nowicki, assistant vice president, government and public policy, BNSF Railway Company
- Rep. Luis Arroyo, chairman, Illinois House Infrastructure Committee
- Joseph Schofer, associate dean and professor of civil and environmental engineering, McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, and director of the Infrastructure Technology Institute, Northwestern University