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Roundabout Installation Included in Road Project

Crews are putting the finishing touches on a roundabout in South Bend, Ind. that was created as part of a $3.1 million road improvement project.
Photo courtesy of South Bend Tribune

In 1971, John Anderson and his band mates in the classic rock band Yes recorded "Roundabout," a song inspired by a long tour van ride from northern Scotland to north England, which featured many traffic-clogged roundabouts.

Forty years later, South Bend, Ind. officials have said "yes" to the installation of a roundabout in their city.

The intersection of Riverside Drive and Angela Blvd., closed since May as part of a $3.1 million improvement project, has re-opened. As part of the project, the city constructed a one-lane roundabout to replace the former traffic signal; a storm-water basin at the northeast corner of the intersection; and a new parking lot along Angela to serve Brownfield Park.

Certain sections of pavement need to be marked and landscaping and general cleanup work needs to be completed, according to Don Dietz with the design and engineering firm Lawson-Fisher Associates, but otherwise the project is finished.

"It's beautiful, it turned out really nice," Dietz said, adding that the project included the installation of multipurpose paths on both sides of Angela and a full-court basketball court and new soccer goals at Brownfield.

The project was designed by The Troyer Group, a Mishawaka, Ind.-based architecture and planning firm. Lawson-Fisher Associates was in charge of the construction inspection services.

The new storm-water basin will collect storm water from a soon-to-be constructed sewer line. The line will run along Angela and Portage to the intersection of Walnut Street and Euclid Avenue.

Currently, storm and wastewater collected at Walnut and Euclid flows into a combined sewer overflow, or CSO, which the Environmental Protection Agency has mandated the city eliminate.

By design, CSOs overflow into streams or other bodies of water, in this case the St. Joseph River, during periods of heavy rainfall. Those overflows contain industrial waste, toxic materials and other debris.

Both the intersection improvement and the planned sewer line are being financed with sewer bonds. Those bonds will be repaid with revenue generated by sewer rates.


Trees Part of Streetscapes Plan

Tarpon Springs, Fla. will plant more trees along East Tarpon Avenue now that it has gained jurisdiction over the downtown street from the Florida Department of Transportation.

Photo courtesy of Suncoast News

Tarpon Springs, Fla.'s concept to streetscape Tarpon Avenue will soon take root now that Tarpon Springs has been granted jurisdiction over its main downtown commercial corridor by the state Department of Transportation.

After many years of discussing the issue, in August the state formally gave Tarpon Avenue to the city. City Manager Mark LeCouris said the city can now streetscape and improve the roadway unencumbered by state highway regulations.

Banner flags can fly in front of retail shops and once-prohibited trees and shrubs can now blossom from its medians. The city plans to plant trees and shrubs in existing medians and bulb-outs along Tarpon Avenue, from Pinellas to Huey avenues.

Commissioner Chris Alahouzos said he is glad to see olive tress added to the plantings. He said he is happy the city finally has the freedom to plant the trees it desires.

"I encourage the city to get more input from the public not only about what trees are planted but how the street is utilized," Alahouzos said.

Mayor David Archie said he wants the street to look good and does not want to get calls about visibility being impaired.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it," he added.


Master Plan Approval Sought for Woodbury Project

The Minneapolis-based firm Hoisington Koegler Group Inc. is working with the city of Woodbury, Minn. on a master plan for that city's Urban Village. The plan includes streetscapes and storm drainage work.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Roberts

Woodbury, Minn. officials are mulling over a master plan for its Urban Village project.

Landscape architect Bryan Harjes recently presented Hoisington Koegler Group Inc.'s (HKGi) most recent designs to the Woodbury city council. The firm is scheduled to complete the master plan in December.

The design -- which includes high-density, single-family and senior living areas, 40 acres of commercial space and expansive parks and trails -- is planned for a site that sits at the corner of Radio Drive and Bailey Road, between the Bielenberg Sports Complex and Gordon Bailey Elementary School.

According to Harjes' presentation, some of the fundamental design principles in the Urban Village master plan include the following elements:

  • An attractive transition between the commercial development pattern and urban pattern of adjacent mixed-use and residential development.
  • A clustered pattern of development through placement of buildings, location of parking lots, alignment/sharing of driveways and service/delivery/storage facilities to create pedestrian-oriented places to shop.
  • Design stormwater pond areas as visual amenities and integrate with restaurant uses for outdoor seating and gathering areas.
  • A diagonal view corridor between the arterial street intersection, corner stormwater water pond, NE block restaurants and SW block businesses.
  • Orient large anchor retail buildings diagonally to face the corner of the Bailey Road & Radio Drive intersection.
  • Buffer surface parking lots from street views with trees and plantings or fencing along all streets.

Among these principles, one of the biggest challenges is the stormwater management strategy.

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May 19, 2019, 8:28 am PDT

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