The Laurentian Mountain Biking Venues — Northeast Minnesota

To Whom would you like your solicitation available: Open to the Public

Project Title: The Laurentian Mountain Biking Venues — Northeast Minnesota

Project Solicitation Number (if any):

Project Description: News Release: $5 Million+ funding has been approved for developing the Laurentian Mountain Bike Trail Venues — three complementary destination mountain trail systems on Northeast Minnesota’s historic Mesabi Iron Range. RFPs are being developed and, after local and state approvals, expected to be formally issued in March, with trail building beginning as early as June 2018. 

Up to 90+ miles of high quality purpose-built mountain biking trails will be built over the next two building seasons. Given the mileage and budget, multiple experienced trail builders are expected to be selected. 

Each of the three venues exhibits widely varying landscapes and offers the potential for a diversity of mountain bike riding experiences, as described below:

Tioga (Cohasset, MN): 30 miles of high quality flow trails, plus a multitude of B-lines and other technical features. Site consists of hills and valleys created by both natural glacial processes and the excavation and stockpiling of millions of tons of iron mining overburden and waste rock. Landscape is well suited for developing a wide variety of all-weather mountain biking trails. Developing this site is all about using the numerous ridges, valleys, side slopes, vegetation and boulder fields to create a very compelling riding experience. Think in terms of “crazy fun” trails as a theme, with plenty of opportunities to build features for the more advanced riders too. 

Redhead (Chisholm, MN): 10 miles of high quality flow trails and two bare rock free ride areas inside a former open mine pit, plus another 15 miles of cross-country “play areas.” This is perhaps the most dramatic of the three sites, with extensive man-made cliffs, steep mining slopes and great vistas across the mine pit lake. High drama (yet very rideable) trails that take advantage of site features are envisioned for this site.

Giants Ridge (Biwabik, MN): 7 to 9 miles of gravity/downhill trails (served by a new high-speed lift system), plus up to 25 miles of cross-country trails. Three existing gravity runs, totaling 3.5 miles in length, exist on this property. The mountain biking trails will be integrated into a well-established recreation area with downhill and cross-country ski trails and two well-regarded 18-hole golf courses. A goal of the design is provide a race venue suitable for use by the Minnesota High School Cycling League/National Interscholastic Cycling Association.

Company/Organization/Agency Submitting Contract: Barr Engineering Company, representing the owners

Primary Contact for Contract Information: Pete Kero

Email Address:

Closest City to Project: Potential project venues in Biwabik, Cohasset and Chisholm, Minnesota

State/Province/Region: Northeastern Minnesota

Country: USA

Pre-Bid Meeting Date:

Pre-Bid Meeting Time:

Anticipated Project Start Date: 6/1/2018

Application Deadline:

Additional Project Bid Information: This notice is a news release only. Trail builders interested in being notified of the RFP issuing should send contact information (company name, contact person, email, phone, and website) to the primary contact listed above. Information about the RFP will be forwarded to those on the list once an issue date has been approved. “This news release is informational only and does not bind any of the parties or owners of the proposed bike trails, including the State of Minnesota or the Cities of Chisholm or Cohasset, to take any actions or to any other obligations with respect to construction of the bike trails.”

Other things to know include the following.  

A conceptual alignment has or will be developed for each of the three potential venues; however, the actual alignment, design, character, level of difficulty, flow, add-on features and so forth will be determined in the field through collaboration between the project management team and trail builders. The goal is to take full advantage of the experience of all professionals to build the highest quality trails possible on these three sites. 

Key development factors include: 1) a high quality outcome is vital to creating destination-level mountain bike trail venues; 2) experienced trail builders with proven skills and craftsmanship are critical to achieving this outcome; 3) terrain on the three sites is highly variable; and 4) site characteristics and the variety of landforms that will be encountered makes it difficult to bid the project on a typical “unit” basis – i.e., some features can be easily built, while others will take much more time and effort. 
Given these factors, an hourly and daily-rate cost approach (for various types of crews and equipment) is being considered for all three sites in lieu of unit-based cost approach. Under this approach, the experience, proven skills and productivity of builders becomes very important in the selection process. 
Selection guidelines may include: 1) company profile/history; 2) relevant experience of the crews that will be in the field; 3) cost – daily-rates relative to experience and productivity; 4) availability; and 5) willingness/capacity to work as a team – with other builders and the project management team.
Although no final number has been set, multiple builders are likely to be selected, depending on the quality of the proposals submitted. 
Work will begin as early as June 2018, and continue through October. It is expected to take the 2018 and 2019 construction seasons to complete all of the trails and features on the three sites. Builders will likely start at varying dates as part of a phased startup, and availability will factor into when a particular builder is scheduled to be onsite. With the emphasis on hiring proven builders, the project management team will remain as flexible as possible to accommodate any previous commitments that selected builders have with other clients.

(Sent via Professional TrailBuilders Association)