CURRENT UPWP   //  TH-15 OPERATIONS IMPROVEMENT STUDY

TH-15 OPERATIONS IMPROVEMENT STUDY

Planning Study

Background

TH-15 is a four-lane arterial through the cities of Saint Cloud and Waite Park, with a posted speed limit of 45 mph. Average daily traffic (ADT) within the study area ranges from 31,000 to 36,500 (2017), which is nearing daily capacity for a facility of its type. It is also a major freight corridor, carrying between 1,500 and 1,750 heavy commercial vehicles each day.

APO performance measures indicate that the intersections at 2nd Street South and Division Street are among the worst in the region in terms of travel time reliability.

A critical crash rate analysis[1] by APO staff shows that the intersection at 2nd Street South exceeds 2.0. Three other intersections – Division Street, 3rd Street North, and 12th Street North – are between 1.50 and 1.99.

Given the volume and speed of traffic carried on the corridor and the width of the right-of-way, TH-15 is somewhat of a barrier to good east-west traffic flow, particularly for non-motorized travel modes.

During the development of the most recent Metropolitan Transportation Plan, the APO heard a number of dissatisfied comments from the general public about how TH-15 currently operates. Traffic modeling indicates that operations will get worse as the urban area grows, with ADT increasing as high as 51,000 on some segments.

The members of the APO desire to improve operations on TH-15 to increase safety, mobility, and improve traffic flow, both now and in the future.

[1]  For more information on how the Critical Crash Rate is calculated, please see http://www.dot.state.mn.us/trafficeng/publ/tem/2015/chapter11.pdf, page 11-9

What Has Happened So Far?

March 19, 2020

  • Jan. 2nd – The APO released a Request for Proposals and, in response, received proposals from four consulting firms.
  • Feb. 10th – An evaluation committee reviewed and ranked the four proposals. The firm of Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson (KLJ) submitted the top-ranked proposal.
  • Feb 19th – Negotiations with KLJ over the final scope-of-work and cost were completed and a contract was developed for consideration by the APO Policy Board on March 12th.
  • March 12th – The APO Policy Board approved the KLJ contract and the consultant was given their official notice-to-proceed with the work

What Happens Next?

The consultant is gathering existing conditions data such as traffic counts, turning-movement counts, signal timing plans, and crash history data in order to begin their analysis of current operations along the corridor.

How Can You Participate?

As formal public input events and opportunities are scheduled, we will update this page. You can also monitor the APO’s Facebook page or sign up for our “Interested Persons” mailing list to be notified of public input opportunities. Go to our GET INVOLVED page and use the SIGN UP TO STAY INFORMED form at the bottom of the page.

The negotiated scope-of-work includes:

  • Up to five invitation-only listening sessions for specific groups of stakeholders to be held early in the process. For example, one of the listening sessions is expected to be for elected officials of St. Cloud, Waite Park, and Stearns County. Other listening sessions may include – as examples – business-owners within the study area, or active transportation advocates. The final decision about the listening sessions will be made by the project Steering Committee.
  • Two Public Input Meetings
    • July (estimated) – The first public input meeting will include a review of the existing and future issues, needs, and opportunities. Included at this meeting will be a formal presentation, an issues mapping exercise, and a value profile exercise. These activities will be posted here as well. A meeting summary will be provided after the comment period has closed that includes the public feedback and how that will be used in the study process.
    • November (estimated) – The second public input meeting will include a review of the corridor alternatives. Included at this meeting will be a formal presentation, the alternatives, and a prioritization exercise. A survey with the alternatives and prioritization questions will be developed and posted here. A meeting summary will be provided after the comment period has closed that includes the public feedback and how that will be used in the study process.