The segment of CSAH 1 (aka, River Avenue North) between 9th Avenue and CR 120 has quickly become one of the top five Stearns County roads for congestion, particularly during the morning and afternoon peak travel periods. This route connects Sartell, northern Stearns County, the Saint Cloud Hospital and downtown Saint Cloud. It is a vital commuter route for the region and a critical link for the movement of people and goods.
The planning area for this study is mostly a two-lane minor arterial roadway, with short four-lane segments at either end of the corridor. In 2017, the roadway averaged 14,300 vehicles per day. The purpose of this study is to determine the need for, and feasibility of, widening the two-lane section of CSAH 1, perform a planning-level social, environmental, and economic (SEE) scan, and provide planning-level cost estimates for potential alternatives.
Given the relatively narrow current cross-section and the proximity of adjacent single-family housing, a robust and effective public input process will be critical to the success of this planning process. (Note, the adjacent neighborhood is NOT considered an Environmental Justice area by the APO.) Associated with the public input process, attractive visualizations of any potential future conditions will be critical to effectively communicate alternatives being considered for the corridor.
Given the proximity of a portion of the corridor to both the Mississippi and Sauk Rivers, soil conditions and slope stability may be important to any future widening project. Protecting the environmental quality of the waterways will also be an important consideration.
There is one bridge within the planning area which is currently rated in good condition.
There are currently no active transportation facilities within the study area, though there are 6-foot-wide paved shoulders which could be used by a cyclist or pedestrian for much of the corridor. However, the shoulders disappear near the major intersections at either end of the study area as they give way to additional travel lanes. The APO recently completed a regional Active Transportation Plan which identifies this section of River Ave North as part of the regional bikeway network and recommended a future shared-use path for the corridor.
Currently, MetroBus transit fixed-route 31 uses the corridor, with one posted stop location near the intersection of 321st Street (on both sides of CSAH 1).
The City of Sartell has a large force main (wastewater pipeline) located along the corridor, which is the City’s only feed to the City of St. Cloud’s wastewater treatment plant. If the roadway is reconstructed, the City of Sartell will likely also want to complete improvements to this water main. This RFP is for a transportation study, not a utility study, so the chosen consultant is not expected to address the water main issue other than to be mindful of it in the project planning-level cost estimates and any construction staging recommendations.
The results of this corridor study will be an assessment of current conditions, likely/potential future problems, and possible present-day and future alternatives to improve traffic flow and safety within the study area for all modes of travel.
What is Happening Now?
A consultant team has been awarded the contract and has begun work by collecting and analyzing existing conditions data. The first public input meeting was held on May 23rd.
How Can You Get Involved?
There will be multiple opportunities and methods for the public to provide input throughout the study process. When more details are available about when and how the public can provide their input, we will publish that information here.