Site logo

© 2016 Craig Churchward Contact

Highway Planning and Design

Stacks Image 82

Legacy Parkway and Preserve
Salt Lake City, Utah
Utah Department of Transportation 

Using a Context Sensitive Solutions (CSS) approach to preliminary design, oversaw the conceptual development of a controversial roadway at the edge of the Great Salt Lake. He transformed a typical urban freeway into a parkway, helping settle a three year court battle. The parkway, which was designed and constructed in 40 months, opened in September 2008. It defines the edge of the city and separates urban land uses from a wildlife preserve. From roadway geometrics, the grading of landforms and wetlands, to the architectural character of bridges and gateways, the project was designed to create a parkway experience for the 80,000 commuters who use the roadway each day. A set of pedestrian, bicycling, and equestrian trails parallel the roadway. The parkway has been designed to emphasize views of the native landscape from the roadway, trails, and the many recreational turnouts. Orchestrated the full integration of an interdisciplinary team of landscape architects, highway engineers, structural engineers, environmental scientists, and artists in developing what will be a memorable trip for tens of thousands of people every day. By utilizing a CSS process for every aspect of the project, the schedule was accelerated by at estimated three years and the cost reduced approximately $80 million compared to the previously proposed freeway project. In the first week after opening congestion was eliminated on parallel routes, decreasing average commute times by over 10 minutes, and helping reduce air pollution significantly. The parkway has been designated a scenic byway. The FHWA in 2007 gave Legacy its Environmental Excellence Award for Excellence in Ecosystem Habitat and Wildlife. In 2008, it was selected by Roads and Bridges magazine in as one of the ten best highway projects in the country.

. . .

US Highway 10 Reconstruction;
Detroit Lakes, Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Transportation

A comprehensive and flexible approach to design and a thorough public involvement process ensured that the project to improve the safety and mobility of Highway 10 through Detroit Lakes would finally be realized after decades of ineffective studies. By developing alternatives in coordination with all stakeholders—including MnDOT, the City of Detroit Lakes, MNDNR, the watershed district, BNSF Railroad, local business owners, adjacent property owners and nearby residents, civic groups, and local and state historical societies—a preferred alternative not only emerged but was embraced by the community as a desirable outcome. The completed project reconnected the community with a new underpass of the railroad and Highway 10 along with a new local frontage road connecting the city to its waterfront. The intent of this project was to provide a solution to improve safety and mobility on the highway and railroad along with providing an opportunity for urban development in Detroit Lakes. Concept development evolved through holding public workshops and coordination with the various public and private agencies. From the public discourse, the alternative to shift the alignments of both the highway and the railroad to create a “through town bypass” was selected. In addition, a downtown development study was conducted for the City of Detroit Lakes to set the stage for urban development which has led to expansion of the downtown businesses, redevelopment of the historic depot by the White Earth Nation, and the creation of a new park to honor the communities’ veterans.

. . .

Stacks Image 445

Trout Brook Bridge and Roadway Reconstruction
Washington County Road 21
Afton, Minnesota 

As project manager during preliminary design, overcame more than a decade of opposition by engaging the public and agency regulators in developing a new, architecturally interesting—yet not visually dominating—bridge, spanning a designated trout stream with a low-speed curvilinear highway alignment to improve safety while reducing runoff and minimizing other environmental impacts to an adjacent state park and National Scenic River that attracts considerable tourist traffic.

. . .

Stacks Image 96

Mississippi River Bridge and Lakeshore Promenade
Minnesota Highway 197 
Bemidji, Minnesota
City of Bemidji and the Minnesota Department of Transportation

Leading the public engagement process, orchestrated the layout of the highway; the design of streetscape enhancements; pedestrian, bicycle, and snowmobile trails; WPA‑inspired architectural treatments for a new bridge over the Mississippi River; a lakefront pedestrian promenade; a dock for fishing, and water access for boaters.   

Winner of the
2001 FHWA Environmental Excellence Award,  "Excellence in Livable Communities."

. . .

Stacks Image 86

Zumbro River Bridge
Minnesota Highway 57 
Mantorville, Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Transportation 

Using a public process to select a preferred alternative, directed study of bridge form and materials which incorporated architectural details from the town’s historic stone buildings into the design of the bridge. 

Winner of the 1998
Award of Excellence, Biennial Concrete Bridge Awards Competition, Portland Cement Association. Photo courtesy of MnDOT

. . .

Stacks Image 111

Bridge of Hope
Mississippi River Bridge
Minnesota Highway 15 
Sauk Rapids, Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Transportation 

As an ode to the region’s many stone quarries, designed the bridge piers to reflect the community’s ethnic heritage and ideals, particularly its gothic church architecture. Successfully advocated for MnDOT’s first use of architectural concrete form-liners for bridge piers. Adopted by the Jacob Wetterling Foundation as the “Bridge of Hope”. 

 . . .

Stacks Image 24

Aesthetic Design Guidelines
I-75/I-475 Interchange Reconstruction
Toledo, Ohio 
Ohio Department of Transportation

Acknowledging Toledo’s history of setting industrial trends, especially in glass making, headed a team of landscape architects to develop the aesthetic design guidelines for the reconstruction of one of the city’s primary interchanges, I-75 with I-475. In coordination with ODOT and a committee of stakeholders, design guidelines were developed for bridges, retaining walls, noise walls, gateway monuments, planting design, lighting, fencing, and traffic barriers. The design of city streets was also included in the plan.

. . .

Stacks Image 29
Crossroads Heritage 
Accelerate I-465 Design Guidelines
Indianapolis, Indiana
Indiana Department of Transportation 

Development of Crossroads Heritage, the Design Guidelines for an eleven mile segment of I-465 on the west side of Indianapolis. Coordinating the work of designers in four offices—Salt Lake City, Dallas, Indianapolis, and Minneapolis, the guidelines provided plans that mitigated adverse social, economic, and environmental impacts, by enhancing the livability of adjacent communities, and improving the environmental quality of the region. 

Winner of the 2005 Award of Excellence from the Indiana Chapter, and the 2006 Merit Award for Planning from the Texas Chapter, of the American Association of Landscape Architects.

. . .

Legacy Parkway in Salt Lake City was produced under the direction of Craig Churchward and Jack Broz as employees of HNTB, The projects for I-75/I-475 in Toledo and I-465 in Indianapolis were produced under the direction of Craig Churchward as an employee of HNTB; Minnesota 197 in Bemidji and Washington County Road 21 as an employee of SEH; and the bridges on Minnesota 57 in Mantorville and Minnesota 15 in St. Cloud as an employee of MnDOT. US Highway 10 in Detroit Lakes was produced under the direction of Jack Broz as an employee of HNTB. Photos by Craig Churchward, Jack Broz, or from project portfolios. Illustrations from project portfolios.