TH 169 Safety Improvements
Improving Pedestrian & Vehicle Safety
The project took place along a two-lane section of TH 169, which is the only remaining section of TH169 that is not a four-lane expressway between Grand Rapids and Hibbing in Northern Minnesota. LHB was hired to assist MnDOT in studying the roadway, which had known safety-related issues, to find strategic safety improvements that could benefit the traveling public. Overall, 11 site-specific roadway improvements that could be implemented within the available scope, schedule, and budgetary restrictions, were identified.
Various improvements between Marble and Pengilly were integrated into the project to improve corridor conditions consisting of new dedicated turn lanes and bypass lanes, removal of redundant accesses, reconstructing skewed intersections, and non-motorized safety improvements. Additional improvements integrated into the project included intersection lighting, removal of trees along roadway curves to reduce winter icing conditions, and drainage and guardrail improvements.
Calumet Pedestrian Improvements
Pedestrian and drainage improvements were made to an urban block of TH 169 through Calumet, MN. Improvements included new pedestrian curb bumpouts, lane modifications, drainage improvements, and contaminated soil mitigation.
Traffic Staging to Minimize Disruption
Knowing that TH 169 is a critical access route between Grand Rapids and Hibbing, construction was completed in one season. A detailed traffic staging plan was developed that allowed construction to take place while maintaining travel in both directions.
Virtual Public Engagement
The project’s design and public engagement process took place shortly after COVID-19 restrictions were implemented. Virtual public engagement technology was introduced as the new required method to engage the community. LHB successfully led and co-hosted one of the first, fully-virtual, public engagement processses for the District.