SEH Receives Four Engineering Excellence Awards From ACEC-MN, Including A Grand Award For Duluth Sky Harbor Airport Project

Published in Midwest Flyer Magazine June/July 2021
Online Issue

SEH received the Grand Award for its work at Duluth Sky Harbor Airport in Duluth, and the new Northern Metal Shredder Site in Becker. Honor awards were given to the Owasso Boulevard North Reconstruction in Shoreview, and The Ledge Amphitheater in Waite Park. 

ACEC-MN Awards Program recognizes engineering achievements that “exhibit the highest degree of merit and ingenuity.” Entries were judged by an objective panel based on “originality and innovation; future value to the engineering profession; social, economic and sustainable design considerations; complexity; and meeting the client’s needs.”

Duluth Sky Harbor Airport – City of Duluth, Minnesota

Duluth Airport Authority’s Sky Harbor Airport Runway Relocation effort protected 27 acres of vulnerable forest, nurtured local wildlife and ensured the safety of all airport users. The project involved rotating the runway by 5 degrees into Lake Superior, creating 7 acres of new land in the process.

“We’re thrilled with the results of a decade-plus of engaging community conversations and stakeholder relations. Combine this with innovative engineering and construction solutions and it’s a win for aviation, the community and the natural environment,” said Kaci Nowicki, SEH Project Manager.

Over the course of the 13-year project, SEH facilitated a complex environmental review, permitting, mitigation, and a design and construction process for maintaining the airport within and adjacent to protected and regulated natural resources. 

The SEH team minimized impacts to airport users through a unique phasing plan, which kept the runway open through nearly all of construction. The project team avoided construction impacts to a 5-mile residential street, a historic lift bridge and Duluth’s tourist district by barging 210,000 tons (12,500 truckloads) of material to the site. Barging this material also saved 50,000 gallons of fuel.

For additional information, including a video of the project underway, go to

Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, SEH is a multidisciplined professional services firm made up of 800 engineers, architects, planners and scientists who connect its government, commercial and industrial clients to the right solutions. With 31 offices across the Midwest, Colorado and Wyoming, SEH focuses on improving mobility, improving infrastructure, engineering clean water and creating better places. In partnership with their clients, SEH is “Building a Better World for All of Us®”. Learn more about what SEH does at (

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