Annual Meeting 2017

Darin Mielke Awarded NACE

2016 Program/Project Manager of the Year


Darin Mielke, PE, was awarded the NACE 2016 Program/Project Manager of the Year. Darin, Assistant Public Works Director for Carver County, Minn., managed the design and construction phases of the Southwest Reconnection Project in the cities of Shakopee and Chanhassen.

L-R: Darin Mielke & President Brian Stacy, PE.


“Engineers from around the country recognize the ingenuity and forethought that Darin brought to the project,” said Brian Roberts, P.E., NACE Executive Director.

“I’m sure the residents appreciate the improved quality of travel. But what might not be as noticeable is the safety effect of the improved design and traffic flow for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Overall, the Reconnection Project is helping to save lives.”

At a $52 million construction cost, this was the largest construction project led by Carver County in its history. 

Several innovative construction techniques were used in the bridge deck consolidation and concrete mixture designs, as well as 3-dimensional modeling of a significant muck excavation area along CSAH 61.

The Southwest Reconnection Project solved the seasonal roadway closures of Highways 101 and 41 due to flooding—6 times between 1993 and 2011. The project included a new 4,200 ft. long Highway 101/Minn. River bridge—widening the bridge to 4 lanes from 2, reconstruction of .7 mile of County Highway 61 with 2 new roundabouts, and a new bridge over Bluff Creek. The design also incorporates a multi-use trail, completing a previously missing link between the adjacent counties.

The complex challenges included the 1,000 linear ft. realignment of Bluff Creek channel, involving redirection of spring water runoff during construction of the roundabout; muck excavation with large areas of inaccessible swampland; the roundabout design to construct a 3-leg operational configuration to accommodate a future 4th leg connection; and the lack of detour options.

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David Brand - Safety Award First Recipient 

Paul Gruner - Urban County Engineer of the Year

Richard West - Rural County Engineer of the Year

Darin Mielke - Project Manager of the Year

Thank NACE 2017 Sponsors

Brian Keierleber - Your New NACE President

Farewell from President Brian Stacy

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National Roadway Safety Awards

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EPA and Corps Start Rewrite of WOTUS

Participate in the Toward Zero Deaths Survey

Improving the Quality of Environmental Documentation