1972 | The IDS Tower opens. It is the tallest building in the state



1972 | The IDS Tower opens. It is the tallest building in the state
Engineering Minnesota:
Inspiring the Next 100 Years
2014 | Members of the Minnesota Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) have contributed greatly to the infrastructure
of the state over the past century. As our Section celebrates its first 100 years, this timeline documents those contributions and recounts
the stories of civil engineers that helped build our communities and continue to shape our lives.
A view from
beneath the bridge
piers of the newly
reconstructed I-35W
bridge spanning the
Mississippi River.
2007 | On August 1, the I-35W Mississippi River Bridge collapses, killing 13 people. The replacement bridges were designed and built in
11 months.
Collin Anderson/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-2.0
2005 |Dennis Martinson, (Minnesota ASCE President, 1976) serves as the President of the National American Society of Civil Engineers.
1992 | On August 11, the Mall of America, the nation’s largest indoor shopping center, opens in Bloomington, Minnesota.
The Mall of America
is built on the former
site of Metropolitan
Stadium, precursor to
the Metrodome.
Image courtesy of the Mall of America
1983 |The University of Minnesota Civil and Mineral Engineering Building effectively uses underground space to alleviate land constraints
on the densely packed campus. For its pioneering design, the building received the prestigious ASCE Outstanding Civil Engineering
Achievement Award.
1982 | On April 6, the Minnesota Twins play their first official game in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. The Metrodome is the
largest air supported structure in Minnesota, and the second major air supported facility in the United States.
1972 | The IDS Tower opens. It is the tallest building in the state, standing at 775 feet, 6 inches.
Bobak Ha’Eri/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA-3.0
By 2016, the
Metrodome will
be replaced by a
new stadium on
the same site. The
owner’s goals is that
construction will
take place while the
Vikings play only
two seasons off-site.
1963 | The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completes the upper St. Anthony Falls dam, a horseshoe-shaped hydroelectric dam.
1956 | The U.S. Congress authorizes the Interstate Highway System. The first freeway for Minnesota is a five-mile section built along the
north outskirts of Austin. Originally designated TH-252, the total cost of the section of four-lane divided road is $2 million.
1943 | The ALCAN Highway is constructed during World War II for the purpose of connecting the contiguous U.S. to Alaska through
Canada. Okes Construction Company, based in Saint Paul, is the managing contractor for the Fort St. John to Fort Nelson segment. Saint
Paul city engineer George M. Shepard (Minnesota ASCE President, 1942) serves on the Okes staff.
George M. Shepard
Bachelor of Civil Engineering,
University of Minnesota
Minnesota Historical Society
1930-1939 | The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Saint Paul District, completes eight locks and dams on the Mississippi River from
Hastings, Minnesota to Guttenberg, Iowa.
J.A. Childs
Bachelor of Civil Engineering,
University of Minnesota
Minnesota ASCE President, 1928
1938 | The St. Anthony Falls Laboratory is completed under the direction of Lorenz G. Straub (Minnesota ASCE President, 1937), with
funds from the Works Progress Administration and the University of Minnesota.
1934-1938 | Fifty-two miles of sewers are constructed to carry sanitary sewage to the Metropolitan Wastewater Treatment Plant, the
first treatment plant in a major city on the Mississippi River.
Minnesota Historical Society
Childs played an important
role in ensuring clean and safe
drinking water for Minnesota.
1933 | Walter H. Wheeler serves as President of the Minnesota Section of ASCE. From 1923 to 1927, Wheeler was the consulting
engineer for Hennepin County, with primary responsibility for the design and supervision of the Mendota Bridge construction. He also held
a patent for the invention of the “smooth ceilings” system, which used reinforced concrete.
1930 | The U.S. Congress approves funding for the creation of a nine foot channel to improve navigation on the upper Mississippi River.
1929 | Construction of the Foshay Tower is complete. It is the tallest building in Minnesota, standing at 447 feet.
Walter H. Wheeler
Bachelor of Mining
Engineering, 1906
University of Minnesota
Minnesota Historical Society
1923 | Wold-Chamberlain Field is dedicated (later to become the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport). The airport is named in
honor of two local pilots, Ernest Wold and Cyrus Chamberlain, who lost their lives in combat during World War I. The airport soon becomes
home to Northwest Airways, which won the government’s airmail contract in 1926 and acquired the airport’s only hangar.
1922 | George H. Herrold serves as President of the Minnesota Section of ASCE. From 1920 to 1952, Herrold was the Director of City
Planning for the City of Saint Paul.
1914 | The Minnesota Section of the ASCE is formed as the Northwestern Association. F.W. Cappelen serves as the first local president.
James J. Hill, President of the Great Northern Railway, is an Affiliate Member.
1871 | The Duluth Ship Canal opens as a private venture. An artificial channel cut through Minnesota Point, the canal provides direct
access to Duluth Harbor from Lake Superior. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has operated the canal since 1887.
Minnesota Historical Society
George H. Herrold
A U.S. Army Corps of
Engineers barge in the
Duluth Channel.
1819 | Fort Snelling is established at the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Minnesota River. Originally known as Fort Saint
Anthony, the fort served a number of purposes. Soldiers at the territorial outpost enforced commercial use of the rivers, cartographers and
engineers created topographic surveys of the region, and explorers set out on expeditions west.
Background image: Fort Snelling, Seth Eastman, 1930
U.S. Army
U.S. Army