Owasso Boulevard North Reconstruction Serves Residents, Drivers and Community as a Whole

Challenge

The Owasso Boulevard North Reconstruction Project is the largest reconstruction project in the City of Shoreview’s history – improving safety and quality of life for pedestrians, drivers and community as a whole. The project involved reconstruction of approximately 1.25 miles of roadway of Owasso Boulevard North from Victoria Street North to Soo Street. The roadway serves as a main thoroughfare to residential neighborhoods, adjacent residential properties and Lake Owasso County Park.

The $7 million project provided necessary improvements to the roadway, pedestrian facilities and underlying public utilities. Overall, it was a partnership between the City, Ramsey County Parks and Recreation, Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD) for improvements within the adjacent Lake Owasso County Park, SEH, Barr Engineering and various additional teaming partners.

The project also involved reconstructing a recreational trail on the north side of Owasso Boulevard to improve access and compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The project required realigning the existing roadway in the park area – shifting northerly to create more room to accommodate park facilities on the south side, incorporate stormwater treatment systems, and improve pedestrian access and safety.

Ultimately, the City sought to provide critical improvements by undertaking the Owasso Boulevard North reconstruction effort and partnering with Ramsey County Parks and Recreation on Phase II of the Lake Owasso County park project.

These improvements required creative designs and innovative stormwater solutions, as well as significant coordination among numerous stakeholders. SEH and Barr Engineering were selected and worked closely with the City, among other stakeholders, to implement the right solutions and make the largest reconstruction project in the City’s history a success.

Solution

Project highlights, impact
The SEH team led a process that provided a range of improvements, from realignment of the existing road in the park area to utility reconstruction to innovative stormwater treatment. Leading design and construction administration for the reconstruction and realignment of Owasso Boulevard North, the SEH team’s work was highlighted by the following:

  • Significant realignment of the roadway corridor through Lake Owasso County Park to allow for more room to accommodate park facilities on the south side and added benefits of walkability and bikeability for park users.
     
  • Identification of the surface water treatment solution needed underneath the roadway in the area of the park, including Best management practices (BMPs) and storage to meet permitting rules.
     
  • Altering the alignment at the curve at the top of the hill near Dale Street on a tight curve to correct sight distance issues and make travel safer.
     
  • Full reconstruction of the utilities in the area and removal of poor underlying soils.
     
  • Coordination of private utility facilities.
     
  • Public involvement.

Barr Engineering served an integral role in providing the conceptual design for stormwater treatment and the BMPs that were implemented in the park area. These solutions included the use of porous asphalt pavement and PaveDrain® permeable articulating concrete paver blocks – making Owasso Boulevard North the first municipal state aid collector street to implement Permeable Articulating Concrete Block (P-ACB) for achieving water quality standards.

Challenges overcome
There were numerous challenges to overcome – including the need for significant road realignment to accommodate park facilities and improve multimodal options. In addition, creative stormwater solutions were required to meet permit requirements in a narrow, residential area near two lakes.

The SEH project team also had to coordinate significant private and public utility relocations and address poor underlying soils. Finally, extensive agency coordination was required for project success, as the work in the park area was a joint project between the City, Ramsey County Parks and Recreation and RWMWD.

Public involvement and engagement
As noted, this was a large and highly visible project. The SEH team collaborated with the City, Ramsey County Parks and Recreation and RWMWD to provide thoughtful public outreach throughout the project.

This was important to ensure genuine concerns were addressed, such as concerns about impacts to the nearby lakes and construction near Lake Owasso County Park. These efforts further strengthened the partnerships that made the project as a whole a success.

Additional teaming partners
Braun Intertec and Northern Technologies, LLC (NTI) served as the geotechnical consultants for the project. American Engineering Testing, Inc. (AET) provided construction materials testing. Forest Lake Contracting, Inc. served as the prime contractor for construction along with various subcontractors.

 

Project Name
Owasso Boulevard North Reconstruction

Location
City of Shoreview, Minnesota

Client
City of Shoreview

Services

  • Municipal engineering
  • Water resources engineering
  • Landscape architecture
  • Street lighting and electrical engineering
  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Survey
  • Construction management

Features

  • Road and trail reconstruction
  • Road realignment to improve safety, sight distance, and park use and access
  • Trenchless, traditional sewer and water main utility improvements
  • New storm sewer and surface water treatment solutions
  • Stormwater filtration basin
  • Porous asphalt pavement
  • Permeable articulating concrete blocks
  • ADA accessible improvements to trail and sidewalks
  • ADA accessible canoe/kayak launch
  • Strategic public involvement

Awards

  • 2021 Engineering Excellence Honor Award | American Council of Engineering Companies, Minnesota Chapter (ACEC-MN)