TH 4 through St. James was in a state of disrepair. The city utility infrastructure was also in poor condition, experiencing multiple breaks annually. Bolton & Menk completed final design services for the reconstruction of this 1.6-mile project that included narrowing the corridor, replacing two traffic signals with two mini-roundabouts, implementing back-in angle parking, and preparing plans for aesthetic improvements in the downtown.
The project was led with an informed-consent approach to address design and public perception challenges. Public support for removal of traffic signals that have operated in a town for decades can be challenging. Print materials, tutorial animations, and a public outreach video were produced to tell the story of this project. By presenting factual information in a non-technical format and persistently conveying consistent messages, support was built for the mini-roundabout intersections.
One challenge was working with downtown businesses to identify coal chutes, areaways, window wells, and other underground structures along the project. We produced specific plan details that showed proper removal or protection of the structures, which minimized the risk to MnDOT and the business owner.
Minnesota Department of Transportation – 2019 Environmental Stewardship for Context Sensitive Solutions