The Metropolitan Council and Minnesota Department of Transportation were faced with limited transportation funds to complete necessary maintenance, safety, and expansion projects within the seven-county metropolitan area.
Bolton & Menk delivered efficient data analysis, which enabled effective prioritization of intersection needs. A customized web GIS tool automates analysis of spatial intersection data, including mobility and safety data. Use of GIS services provided an efficient method to evaluate more than 350 intersections to a level of detail not feasible using traditional evaluation methods. In addition to the time savings automation provided, a fully documented process is available that can easily be repeated in future studies.
Another aspect of the study was consideration of emerging project development and design approaches to deliver lower-cost, high-benefit intersection projects as compared to fully grade separated intersections.
The results articulate priorities for new grade separations and will help guide intersections toward strategic investments and right-sized solutions. A steering committee confirmed the need to ensure major intersection investments are based on sound analysis, local/regional collaboration, and strategic priorities to target needs and maximize the value of investments. The study will be incorporated into the Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Policy Plan update and other metro plans.