The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) sought to improve the area along Smith Avenue and Dodd Road – Trunk Highway (TH) 149 between West 7th Street in Saint Paul, and I-494 in Mendota Heights – to make it safer and more accessible for residents and visitors. KLJ was originally hired to complete a mill and overlay project to improve roadway conditions. However, the project transformed into a much larger-scale endeavor that greatly enhanced mobility along the corridor. During the planning and design phase, KLJ identified numerous areas for improvement and focused on delivering a complete streets approach along TH 149 to better serve the community.
What started out as a simple mill-and-overlay project evolved into the conceptualization, design, and construction of a 6.5-mile Complete Streets project to facilitate safe and efficient multimodal transportation for commuters along the corridor, regardless of age and ability. KLJ provided survey, design, and engineering services for corridor enhancements that included an upgraded drainage system with specialty grates for curbs at intersections and multimodal facilities with ADA-compliant features. We also supported public engagement efforts and extensive coordination efforts with multiple stakeholders throughout the project.
Due to a lack of information about the condition of existing infrastructure prior to project initiation, KLJ conducted drainage analysis in small segments and determined that a new storm sewer layout would be beneficial. The project team designed a new pre-cast concrete system with the ability to incorporate recently updated ADA-compliant components. Throughout the project, KLJ supported MnDOT’s public engagement efforts by assisting with exhibits, public meetings, and other stakeholder events as needed. Coordination with utility companies proved to be especially important as the project spanned across urban, suburban, and rural sections of three cities and impacted a total of 16 utility companies.
This project incorporated an ADA-compliant Complete Streets approach, meaning the corridor was designed to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists, regardless of their age and ability. We worked closely with MnDOT to design and incorporate a bike trail that connected with other bicycle facilities in accordance with Saint Paul’s citywide master plan for connectivity. In total, KLJ replaced and upgraded 130 ADA-compliant ramps, 21,000 feet of curb and gutter, and 10,000 square yards of sidewalk.