Using the Complete Street Policy to Make Route AA SaferPosted on Thursday, November 5th, 2015 by Linda Rottinghaus
In Projects, Transportation Engineering, tagged in Tags: complete street policy, route aa, sustainable places grant
Affinis designed improvements to approximately 2,200 feet of Route AA (Main Street) from Eagles Parkway to Walnut Street in Grain Valley, Missouri. Because the project received federal funds and a Sustainable Places grant, we followed the Mid-America Regional Council’s (MARC) Complete Street policy. With this funding, our design must provide safe and convenient travel for users of all ages and abilities, in addition to all modes of transportation.
To this end, the existing 2-lane, open ditch road will be widened to a 3-lane section with an enclosed drainage system. Other roadway improvements include adding continuous street lighting, installing traffic and pedestrian signals, constructing a new waterline, and adjusting the Kansas City Southern (KCS) railroad crossing arms and signals. Along with the roadway improvements, the project includes a multi-use trail, sidewalk, on-street bike lane, enhanced pedestrian crosswalks, bicycle racks, and benches.
The project is divided into two, distinct areas. North of the KCS railroad is the downtown business section, and south of it is commercial space. The downtown district has been designed to include delineated, on-street, parallel parking. We also provided ADA-compliant accessibility to all business entrances by strategically placing retaining walls and ramps. South of the railroad, there is limited right-of-way available for improvements, so our team narrowed the traffic lanes and adjusted the sidewalk and multi-use trail locations and dimensions. To reduce turning conflicts, the off-set Broadway intersection was realigned, and a two-way center left turn lane will be added.
The construction of the project was placed out to bid in November 2014. Phillips Hardy was awarded the work with their low bid of $3.5 million. Construction began in March 2015, but with heavy rains this spring and summer, progress has been delayed. The improvements are expected to be complete during the summer of 2016.
In an effort to keep Route AA open to traffic throughout construction, our design team divided the area into three sections for construction phasing: south of the railroad, at the railroad, and downtown. In each, the lanes will be narrowed and shifted during construction so that two-lanes remain open. This has required three, separate traffic control stages for the construction of each section.