CNA Consulting Engineers
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CNA Consulting Engineers is an award-winning professional civil and mining engineering firm that provides services for projects built in, on, or using soil and rock materials. We have a 30-year track record of successful projects and satisfied clients on the local, national and international communities. We routinely assist clients with all phases of the project life cycle - from conceptualization through maintenance and rehabilitation.

Projects include, but are not limited to: work on underground transportation facilities and occupied underground spaces, utility tunnels, storm tunnels, sanitary tunnels, infrastructure evaluation, geostructural research and evaluation. Our firm also specializes in the design of inhabited underground space and frequently take the same role for underground projects that architects do for above-ground projects - the role of project leader and coordinator.

We often team with other firms to provide mechanical, electrical, fire protection, fire and life safety, outfitting and similar design services.
Highlights

read more › Design of these underground structures is CNA Engineer's core business. Our project history and expertise spans the full range of subsurface materials, depth, span, length, diameter, and use. We have designed projects with a few feet of cover up to 5,000-ft deep; in soft ground, soft rock and hard rock. Projects include storm sewer, sanitary sewer and other utility tunnels and shafts, occupied underground space, science facilities, transportation tunnels, and warehousing. We specialize in developing management plans for tunnels and large-diameter pipelines.

read more › A broad swath of the Midwestern United States from Pennsylvania to Kansas contains underground limestone mines. When the limestone reserves are depleted, the mines are commonly converted to secondary uses like records storage, manufacturing, printing and commodity warehousing. CNA Engineers provides owners and tenants with comprehensive facility assessment, design and conversion services for pillars, roofs and portals.

read more › CNA Engineers plans and manages site investigations for surface and underground projects. Included are site evaluations, geophysics, geologic and geotechnical mapping, borings and core holes, sample and core logging, and laboratory testing. We conduct mapping, logging, and some types of geophysics. We subcontract for boring, core holes, geophysics, and laboratory testing. Every project has cost and schedule risks that must be identified, assessed, mitigated and assigned to project stakeholders.

read more › Our firm prepares geotechnical data and geotechnical baseline reports, which are a critical means of communicating geotechnical conditions to project owners, designers and contractors. Geotechnical data reports convey the information collected during site investigations. They contain the factual information collected in the field and measured in the laboratory. They are free of interpretations or statements about material behavior. Geotechnical baseline reports provide clear and realistic baselines for conditions anticipated to be encountered during the project's construction.

read more › We conduct rock and soil slope engineering as part of larger projects or as stand-alone projects. Rock slope engineering projects arise in mining, tunnel approaches, bridge abutments and similar. The orientation, spacing, continuity, infilling and strength of rock joints are the principal input to the kinematics analysis of rock slopes. We analyze soil slopes using the traditional method of slices, and with continuum analyses using FLAC and FLAC3D. Joint use of the two methods enhances the reliability of the analysis results.

read more › Our firm was the tunnel designer for the new interceptor tunnel under Highway 94 in Maple Grove, Minnesota. The tunnel was 836 feet long, 42 inches in diameter, 50 feet deep and placed in soil. The contractor was EJM Pipe Services, Inc. The tunnel was constructed using an Akkerman microtunneling machine and Hobas FRP pipe. Selected as the tunnel designer of ten tunnels varying in size from 54" to 78" diameter with a total length of 13,400 feet and also 3,800 feet of river pipeline design on a 12-mile sewer system in Rosemount, Minnesota.

read more › The project consisted of rehabilitating one mile of storm tunnel in St. Paul, Minnesota. The tunnel was 6 feet in diameter, and contained large voids outside the liner and cracks and holes leaking groundwater into the concrete liner. This process consisted of three phases, inspection and evaluation, design and construction. CNA Engineers inspected and evaluated the tunnels using a unique rating system modeled after the NAASCO system to determine the level of repair for each area. Our engineers used liner investigative drilling to determine liner thickness and void size outside the liner.

read more › CNA Engineers designed the underground storage space for the Elmer L. Andersen Library at the University of Minnesota. The library has two components - a storage of archives collections as well as overflow storage. This University of Minnesota project consisted of two storage caverns, a four-story conventional surface building, two vertical shafts and a mined portal entrance. The mined caverns and tunnels have a footprint of 106,000 square feet and an excavated volume of 95,000 cubic yards. Each cavern is 600 feet long, 25 feet high and 70 feet wide.

read more › CNA Engineer s provided design team engineering for the Lafayette Bluff Highway Tunnel project in Two Harbors, Minnesota. The Lafayette Bluff highway tunnel is located on the environmentally and aesthetically sensitive North Shore of Lake Superior and opened to traffic in the fall of 1991. The tunnel was part of an eighteen year, $104 million program to upgrade US Route 61 in northeastern Minnesota. The existing highway was threatened by steep, unstable cliffs and contained tight curves not meeting current design standards.

read more › We prepared preliminary designs for a National Underground Science Laboratory (NUSL) at Icicle Creek in Washington State. CNA Engineers acted as an advisor for site assessment, developed the preliminary underground layout, coordinated the mechanical and electrical concept and reviewed the WBS (Work Breakdown Structure), project costs and the project proposal. This horizontal access, ultra clean laboratory was accessed via two TBM-driven tunnels through granite. The TBM (tunnel boring machine) will drive about 18,000 feet to the cavern complex, encircle the cavern complex and drive back out to the portal.

read more › CNA Engineers designed the protection for the MN-300 interceptor tunnel under the Bridal Veil Falls in Minneapolis. Bridal Veil Falls is fed by a naturally occurring stream that flows to the Mississippi River. Over several decades the falls receded upstream due to bluff erosion, exposing the 6ft tall unreinforced concrete lined sanitary sewer tunnel to rockfalls from the overhanging limestone. Due to the proximity to the Mississippi River, a structural failure of the interceptor could have resulted in sewage flow to the river.

read more › The Crosstown Commons (I-35W and Hwy 62) project required pile driving in the vicinity of residential, commercial, and industrial buildings in the cities of Minneapolis and Richfield, Minnesota. Pile driving generates ground vibrations, which may cause damage to surrounding structures. Preconstruction building condition surveys are used to assess the condition of structures prior to construction and provide a baseline for claims against the contractor and owner. We conducted preconstruction building condition surveys on all structures within a 225-ft radius of the pile driving.

read more › The Glen Road (T.H. 61) project provided the citizens of Newport, Minnesota, with access to the reconstructed T.H. 61. Deep soil mixing was planned to improve all foundation soils. CNA Engineers, together with C.S. McCrossan and American Engineering and Testing (AET), developed a value engineering plan to limit the use of deep soil mixing to critical zones, and implement soil replacement elsewhere. We developed a quality control/quality assurance program to ensure that deflections of the foundation soils would not exceed the project requirements.

read more › Our engineers designed and tested round and elliptical concrete culverts following the ASCE Standard Practice for Direct Design of Buried Precast Concrete Pipe Using Standard Installations (SIDD). The new design concept brings a direct structural design to precast culverts by simulating the installation with soil zones of different stiffness and the use of finite element analysis to determine the distribution of soil loads and support stresses on the concrete section. A field test program was conducted to determine soil stiffness and stress distribution for construction conditions of a typical Minnesota highway construction project.

read more › Charles holds a Master's and Ph. D. in Civil Engineering from MIT. He is currently a registered Professional Engineer in Minnesota and Ohio. Charles oversees project planning, conceptualization, design, analysis and review of CNA's engineering projects. Marlys sets strategy and vision for the firm, planning, management of resources and the oversight of all of the finance and accounting. Brent specializes in underground construction, tunnels and deep cavern design and construction from project planning to design and construction administration.

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