Skip to content
We're Hiring
We're Hiring
Morningside Avenue/CSAH 15

Morningside Avenue/CSAH 15 Improves Connectivity and Safety

Morningside Avenue/CSAH 15 project photos


Faced with growing traffic demands, safety concerns, and a desire to improve local and regional connectivity, the City of Glencoe and McLeod County sought to improve the Morningside Avenue/CSAH 15 corridor as the final phase in a series of three projects dating back to 2005. The road right-of-way was initially established in the 1960s. Previous efforts by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) to construct a Trunk Highway in this corridor in the late 1990s were met with public opposition and ultimately put the project on hold.


McLeod County and the City of Glencoe turned to SEH to lead the public engagement, design, and construction of the $5 million Morningside Avenue/CSAH 15 project, which involved a new rail crossing, roundabout, water main replacement, reconstructed roadway, and 0.5 miles of new urban infrastructure. This corridor gives access across Buffalo Creek to US Highway 212 while providing direct access to the community and other regional transportation corridors.

To address flooding issues, the design incorporated a trunk storm sewer system, a new stormwater pond, and an expansion of an existing pond. The roundabout at the north end of the project provides traffic calming for high-speed vehicles entering the city and accommodates a high volume of turning movements from the nearby school campus.

The location for this connection presented several potential safety challenges during construction, such as construction adjacent to a high voltage power line and near active railroad tracks. SEH, the County, the City, the utility owners, and the contractor worked together to develop and follow a safety program to address these issues and maintain overall safety.

Cooperative funding results in cost savings

The project was funded through various sources, including MnDOT's Rail Safety Funding, Twin Cities and Western (TCW) Railroad, Local Roads Improvement Program earmarks, County State Aid, Municipal State Aid, and local city and county funds. A significant achievement was the successful cooperation and coordination among all parties involved to bring the project to fruition, which involved meeting the requirements of various funding sources and reaching a cost-sharing agreement.

Proactive agency coordination keeps project on track  

Coordination with various city, county, rail, and utility agencies was critical in the project's development and final design.

  • Great River Energy and McLeod Cooperative power were involved early on to safely relocate transmission line poles and ensure safe de-energizing of the line during construction.
  • Cooperation with the Buffalo Creek Watershed District addressed technical challenges, including trunk sewer system integration, new stormwater pond construction, and existing pond expansion.
  • Proactive communication with TCW Railroad led to a new crossing plan that improved operations while avoiding project hindrances. Agreements with TCW Railroad addressed key issues, including roadway and trail crossing, track siding extension to reduce conflicts, and closure of two other crossings.

Thoughtful staging accommodates local business needs  

Construction was phased to minimize disruption to businesses and traffic in the area and staged to accommodate local business needs. The project construction took two years to complete, with the first year focused on storm sewer, grading, base work, and the second on curb and gutter work and paving.

Effective public engagement essential to project’s success

SEH, the City, and the County worked together to listen and respond to concerns, build a public outreach plan, and make a case for the project's positive outcomes. The team used various techniques to keep the community informed and engaged, including open house events, onsite meetings, newsletters, and social media updates. Despite some challenges, such as opposition from neighboring property owners and last-minute changes to the design due to concerns from the agricultural industry, the team reached compromises by maintaining open communication throughout the project.


  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota’s 2023 Engineering Excellence Honor Award
  • Minnesota County Engineers Association 2022 Special Project of the Year 

Morningside Avenue/CSAH 15

Glencoe, Minnesota 

McLeod County, Minnesota


  • Addition of a roundabout provides traffic calming, minimizes footprint, and improves safety
  • Addressed drainage and flooding issues, saving significant costs in the process
  • New regional highway corridor connection
  • Trail connection to public school campus and regional trail system
  • New railroad crossing with gates and signals for pedestrians and vehicles
  • Coordination and funding for closure of two other rail crossings and extensive sidetrack construction to reduce roadway conflicts


  • Civil engineering
  • Construction administration
  • Environmental
  • Highway design
  • Mechanical/electrical engineering
  • Natural resources
  • Survey
  • Traffic engineering
  • Transportation planning
  • Water resource engineering