County manager wins national award for Forest Lake project

Cory Slagle engineered ‘mega project’

 

Washington County Board of Commissioners Chair Lisa Weik with Cory Slagle, Washington County’s engineering and construction manager, who was bestowed the National Association of County Engineers (NACE) 2012 Project Manager of the Year Award. (Photo submitted)

Washington County Board of Commissioners Chair Lisa Weik with Cory Slagle, Washington County’s engineering and construction manager, who was bestowed the National Association of County Engineers (NACE) 2012 Project Manager of the Year Award. (Photo submitted)

Cory Slagle, Washington County’s engineering and construction manager, has been awarded the National Association of County Engineers (NACE) 2012 Project Manager of the Year Award.

The award was announced April 24 at the organization’s Annual Meeting/Management & Technical Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.

“From around the country, we’re all proud of Cory’s achievement,” said Brian Roberts, NACE Executive Director. “The residents might not understand the technical complexity of the project. Its success and timeliness are directly attributed to Cory’s expertise in planning, budgeting, and coordinating with local businesses, multiple road authorities, regulatory agencies, and consulting firms. No easy task, I can assure you.”

The award highlights Slagle’s work on the three-year Forest Lake “mega project.” The Broadway Avenue corridor was one of the most dangerous in the county and was failing to meet the demands of over 31,000 vehicles per day. The project, the largest ever undertaken in the history of Washington County, improved safety and mobility with a new crossing over Interstate 35 at County Road 83; a new interchange at Broadway Avenue and I-35; a new “backage” road to provide an alternative access to the city’s businesses; a reconstruction of Broadway Avenue; the construction of two pedestrian bridges along the Hardwood Creek Trail, and a roundabout at Highway 61.

Wayne Sandberg, County Engineer, noted that “while literally hundreds of people helped to plan, design and implement the Broadway Avenue Mega Project, the overall success of it can be largely attributed to Cory’s outstanding leadership and project management skills.”

Slagle oversees a group of 14 professional staff, and is responsible for delivering the county’s five-year capital improvement project, of which the $41 million Forest Lake project was a part.

As part of his work on the project, Slagle oversaw six individual bid packages, and worked with a management team that included staff and elected officials from three counties and two cities affected by the project, as well as state and federal officials.

The key to the project was developing an innovative and complex staging plan to allow construction at the same time that local traffic continued to use the roadways. It also involved an extensive communication plan to assure that community residents, business owners and drivers were aware of construction progress. The communication plan used community meetings, newsletters, social media, and a live web cam that kept community members abreast of construction progress.

Slagle has bachelors and masters of civil engineering degrees from the University of Minnesota, and is a well-known county expert in pavement design. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists.

Slagle is a Stillwater resident, where he lives with his wife and two children.

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