Looks the same, only better
In addition to using innovative approaches to stabilize soil, the project team took special steps to reestablish native plants to prevent erosion. Introducing non-local native species posed an ecological risk, so the team hired a contractor to collect native seed from the site before construction and seeded it back after construction. That helped retain the pre-existing native species composition, aesthetics, and plant ecotype characteristics and functions for the remnant prairie.
“When we're done with this project, we want it to look like it did before we even got started," said Staebell. “Only, with a better road, new bridge and new shared path to serve the residents of the county better."
In addition to Hennepin County, the following entities contributed to the project's success: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Lower Sioux Indian Community; Prairie Island Indian Community; Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community; Upper Sioux Community; 106 Group; Stantec Consulting Services, Inc.; Standard Contracting, Inc.; and Ames Construction.