TH 53/Piedmont Avenue

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MN/DOT Piedmont Ave/TH53

Project Type: TH 53/Piedmont Avenue; Duluth, MN

Client: Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT)

Recognition: 

2006 Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota (ACEC/MN)

Working with URS, LHB provided detailed design for improvements to reconstruct Trunk Highway 53/ Piedmont Avenue. The project involved widening the highway from two to four lanes, adding turn lanes and bus pullouts, frontage road, sidewalks, utilities, drainage work, signals and lighting, retaining walls, and landscaping. Special structural features of the project designed by LHB include a new three-span, haunched steel girder bridge carrying historic Skyline Parkway over the new TH 53 roadway. Also, a new pedestrian concourse bridge to provide for safe pedestrian crossing beneath TH 53. The project included roadway lighting and ornamental and safety lighting of the pedestrian access areas. The light fixtures feature an ornamental design matching those constructed on Upper Piedmont by St. Louis County. The project also included textured sidewalks, extensive tree and shrub plantings, and architectural surface treatments to provide aesthetically pleasing context- sensitive structures that fit into the neighborhood. Several residents/ neighbors participated in “hands on” workshops to develop the aesthetic treatments. The final landscaping and aesthetic treatments were chosen by the neighborhood panel. More than 7600 lineal feet of concrete retaining wall was necessary. In addition to extensive surface treatments, the walls were tiered in several locations with plantings between the tiers. The tops of the walls feature ornamental railings. In addition to completely reconstructing the storm sewer system and culverts, the project included enhancements to the Coffee Creek inlet structure. By cutting into the native stream bedrock, a waterfall was created to provide aesthetic and hydraulic improvements. In addition, land previously used as commercial property and roadway was converted into storm water treatment/retaining ponds adjacent to Miller Creek, which is a sensitive trout stream. The impact of the excavation for the new facilities required that almost all of the existing utilities be replaced or upgraded. Working closely with the City of Duluth, the finished project provided brand new utilities for almost the entire project corridor.


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