Manning Avenue study consultant picked by board

County to pursue federal highway safety funds

WashCo_logoSRF Consulting Group, Inc. will do design, engineering and environmental studies on Manning Avenue from Interstate 94 to Minnesota 5 under a $618,000 contract approved Tuesday by the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

On a separate issue, commissioners Tuesday also approved county plans to request federal highway safety improvement funds from the state Department of Transportation.
SRF’s work on Manning Avenue is a preliminary corridor study looking at environmental issues and analysis of key intersections, including possible realignment of the Manning-Olinda Boulevard North and Manning-MN 5 intersections.

Manning Avenue (CSAH 15) is a heavily traveled north-south road the runs from just north of Hastings to MN 5 in Lake Elmo. Development along the road includes Oak-Land Junior High School, Lake Elmo Airport and the County Fairgrounds.

Communities in the project area include Lake Elmo and West Lakeland and Baytown townships.

Manning Avenue’s current configuration has poor intersection alignment, lacks left-turn lanes, might need additional lanes to accommodate future increased traffic and possible coordination with potential development in the area.

Project goals include improved safety, mobility and capacity; added pedestrian facilities; ADA compliance; addressing drainage issues; review potential environmental impacts and limit impacts to surrounding properties.

When the SRF study is finished, it will provide a municipally-approved preliminary layout, completed environmental documentation and a prioritized improvement plan.
The county plans open houses in July, September, November and February 2014 to discuss the project. A preliminary layout for Manning Avenue should be completed in July 2014.

The federal highway safety fund request will go to MnDOT’s metropolitan district, which is soliciting HSIP projects on behalf of the Metropolitan Council’s Transportation Advisory Board.

The two county projects meeting funding criteria are CSAH 12 and Boutwell Road-Eagle Ridge Trail in Stillwater for access management and improved turn lanes, and CSAH 14 and CSAH 24 in Baytown Township for improved turn lanes.

The federal HSIP program provides 90 percent of eligible total project costs on work that  achieves significant reductions in traffic deaths and serious injuries on public roads. The program uses a data-driven strategic approach to improving highway safety.

The state has developed a strategic highway safety plan and collaborates with counties to implement that plan as part of receiving HSIP funds.