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Rethink Reconstruction, Take a Holistic Approach to Your Road Improvement Plan


Before getting too far along in the process of planning a major infrastructure project, take a step back and think about the broader vision for your community. Are there other goals that could be rolled into the project? Sometimes taking this holistic approach can mean cost savings as well as additional sources for funding. Widseth’s engineers and planners will ask you strategic questions to help discover solutions that address more of your community’s needs and goals while minimizing costs to the city, assessments to property owners, and time spent coordinating successive projects. Together, we’ll look at:

  • What are your city’s goals for future projects?
  • Are typical design elements like streets, sidewalks, curb and gutter, storm sewers, and utilities needed for every project?
  • What are some related projects that might have additional, alternative funding options?

When sections of Deerwood Drive and Agnes Boulevard in the City of Alexandria were going to be converted from rural roads to city streets, concerned property owners had a lot of questions and concerns. To address these apprehensions, Widseth worked with the City of Alexandria to weigh the costs and benefits of several possible solutions. We looked for approaches that would meet the immediate needs, incorporate some “wish list” items, and reduce assessment costs.

Widseth developed a conversion plan for both projects that provided safe pedestrian connections to the city at a lower cost to the abutting property owner. Rather than providing a standard curb-gutter-sidewalk on both sides of the street, the final design features a trail on one side of each roadway. The new trails are maintained by the city, minimizing the maintenance responsibility and assessment costs to the landowners.

The new trails have been very popular; traffic by walkers, runners, and cyclists has greatly increased, and neighborhoods are connected to downtown and the Central Lakes State Trail. The trails are valuable amenities for the entire community.

Almost every community deals with multiple, sometimes changing, needs. When it’s time to tackle one of your projects, Widseth will help you approach it with a holistic mindset and find creative solutions that could check a few items off your wish list.

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