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New Brighton Exchange redevelopment

New Brighton Exchange redevelopment
City of New Brighton

helping complete an ambitious brownfields redevelopment with sustainable-design elements

Barr helped the city of New Brighton, Minnesota, with the New Brighton Exchange (formerly known as the Northwest Quadrant) redevelopment area, one of the most ambitious and complex brownfields projects in the state. Situated at the interchange of highways I-694 and I-35W, this site comprises nearly 100 acres of land with a century of heavy industrial use and includes two Superfund sites, several petroleum-release sites, and two former dumps. 

Barr provided an array of technical services at the site, including Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments, preliminary geotechnical evaluations, and coordination of building demolition. We also designed and oversaw cleanup of the two former dumps. One, the Old Miller Dump, contained approximately 1 million cubic yards of debris. The decaying garbage was producing high levels of landfill gas, primarily methane, and raising concerns about vapor intrusion and risk of explosions.

To address these concerns, we reduced the dump's overall footprint by designing and overseeing excavation of 20 percent of it and then consolidating the remaining materials under a new landfill cap, using clean soil. We also designed a landfill-gas-collection system and incorporated it into the cap. The system, which seals gas inside the dump and provides control of horizontal migration, is being monitored to verify that methane is being dissipated safely.

Our involvement in the redevelopment portion of the project encompassed wetland delineation and permitting, stormwater design and permitting, data management and data quality assurance, design of new public utilities, community relations assistance, and assistance with regulatory and stakeholder approval. To improve stormwater quality in the project area, we worked with state, county, and local agencies to design and implement a complex stormwater management plan, including design and construction of eight stormwater ponds.

To help fund this multimillion-dollar project, Barr assisted the city in obtaining more than $9.6 million in environmental cleanup funds from a variety of grant programs. The cleanup of the New Brighton Exchange site has been completed, and most of the area is now redeveloped, including four new corporate headquarters, a new luxury apartment building, eight new stormwater ponds, and new streets and boulevards. The city is continuing to work with their development partner Ryan Companies to market the remaining development area for high-profile commercial development, and the city is anticipating that they will have attracted up to $200 million in private redevelopment when completed.

Throughout the project, LEED building standards and numerous principles of sustainability have been incorporated, including green remediation methods to lower the impact of cleanup and construction on the environment, and new ponds and systems to improve stormwater management and protect water quality in nearby lakes and wetlands. The overall redevelopment plan involves a mix of residential, commercial, and recreational areas connected to existing roads; public and private transit options; a popular regional park; and numerous pedestrian and bicycle paths—all designed to reduce the need for driving and for parking space.