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Structural Engineering

Widseth Smith Nolting’s structural design team brings together function and aesthetics with mindful consideration of cost-effectiveness. Working closely with our clients, we transform ideas, concepts, and goals into safe, durable, and attractive structures.

Our structural engineers have designed more than 250 bridges, including PPC beam, continuous slab, and composite steel girder design. We have designed bridges for 75% of Minnesota’s counties and are qualified as Minnesota Department of Transportation Bridge Consultants. We are also prequalified Consulting Engineers by the North Dakota Department of Transportation. Our structural team provides county engineers with recommendations for condition code revisions, structural rating revisions, load postings, and bridge replacement versus rehabilitation. 

In addition to bridges, we provide structural design of solid building foundations and superstructures using a variety of materials, including wood, concrete, masonry, and steel. From schools and healthcare facilities to maintenance building and industrial plants, we design buildings to meet the uniform building codes and to withstand loads from snow, wind, and all applicable live and dead loads.

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Featured Video: Paul Bunyan Trail Bridge — Bemidji, MN

Expertise: Bridges and Buildings

Bridges | Services Provided:

  • Preliminary surveys
  • Approach design
  • Preliminary and final bridge design (replacement, repair, and rehabilitation)
  • Project development documentation 
  • Inventory and bridge rating forms
  • Hydraulic analysis/risk assessment
  • Scour analysis
  • Permit applications
  • Cost analysis/estimate
  • Bridge inspections—Conducted annually or at the discretion of the bridge owner, our licensed structural engineers conduct bridge inspections to determine the structural integrity of bridges. These inspections include thorough visual observations of existing conditions, followed by a comprehensive load rating analysis. 
  • Bridge load capacity ratings—Our certified and experienced personnel perform load capacity ratings of new and existing bridges for states, counties, and municipalities. The load capacity ratings comply with the revised National Bridge Inspection Standards (NBIS) and follow the procedures outlined in Mn/DOT’s Bridge Capacity Rating Manual.
  • Construction observation and administration—Our team prepares construction contract documents, special provisions, and has provided construction observation and administration services on hundreds of bridge projects throughout Minnesota and North Dakota.


Buildings | Services Provided:

  • Foundation design
  • Superstructure design
  • Existing building analysis
  • Load ratings
  • Construction observation
  • Insurance claim inspection/evaluation
  • Feasibility studies— We also provide feasibility studies to determine if existing buildings can be remodeled or repaired.  
  • Building inspections and evaluations—Our experienced engineers can determine the cause of damage to structures and if they can be repaired.